Today and tomorrow we are having a Molly Harper Spotlight. Earlier today we joint reviewed Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs the first book in the Jane Jameson trilogy; Now, we take a look at Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men (book 2) and Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever (book 3) . And tomorrow, the author will be stopping by to talk about her inspirations and influences and to answer YOUR questions – plus you will have a chance to win a set of all three books!
Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men
Publishing Date: August 2009
Paperback 400 pages
Summary: Once a devoted children’s librarian, Jane Jameson now works at a rundown occult bookstore. Once a regular gal, she’s now a vampire. And instead of a bride, she’s an eternal bridesmaid — which leads her to question where exactly her relationship with her irresistibly sexy sire, Gabriel, is headed. Mercurial, enigmatic, apparently commitment-phobic vampires are nothing if not hard to read. While Jane is trying to master undead dating, she is also donning the ugliest bridesmaid’s dress in history at her best friend Zeb’s Titanic-themed wedding. Between a freaked-out groom-to-be, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and Zeb’s mother, hell-bent on seeing Jane walk the aisle with Zeb, Jane’s got the feeling she’s just rearranging the proverbial deck chairs.
Meanwhile, Half Moon Hollow’s own Black Widow, Jane’s Grandma Ruthie, has met her match in her latest fiancé. He smells like bad cheese and has a suspicious history of dead spouses. But Jane’s biting her tongue. After all, would a nice girl really think she has a future with a vampire?
Review: In Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men, Jane Jameson, former librarian turned vampire after she was accidentally killed when a deer hunter mistook her for a deer , is still coming to grips with her life as one of the undead. If that was not enough, her best friend Zeb is getting married to a werewolf and the two families are not getting along, to put it very mildly; Zeb’s mother (AKA Mama Ginger or the Mother From Hell) is bent on getting Zeb to marry Jane instead and the werewolves are not very keen on Zeb either who now has one less toe, the result of one of a myriad of pranks they play on him. The wedding is to be Titanic themed, with an Iceberg and everything and Jane is supposed to wear the most horrendous bridesmaid dress of all time.
On top of that, Gabriel, Jane’s sire and boyfriend keep going away on business, disappearing for days without contacting her, never answering the phone. Jane is certain he is cheating on her but her lack of self-confidence prevents her from confronting him. Then her Grandmother Ruthie, a serial Widow starts dating someone new and Zeb starts sending really weird vibes her way. All of sudden, Jane maybe well be the sanest person around ,which just goes to show how insane this whole book is.
Drama: this book has in spades. Only, of the funny variety. Although, less hysterically funny than the first book, I still had a smile pretty much the entire time I was reading. Although a comedy at heart, this is also a character-driven story and Jane continues to grow as a character. And in this book, it is all about her circle of relationships and how she interacts or reacts (or not) with them. Sometimes, she manages to be proactive, sometimes she just shuts down completely. I also LOVE to read about the other character’s relationships especially that between Andrea and Dick Cheney. I am so rooting for them!
On the flip side, I was not very keen at all about the whole Grandma Ruthie storyline and could have done without it. I was also very frustrated with the relationship between Gabriel and Jane. He was hardly ever around and I could not, for the life of me, understand how Jane did not deal with that for most of the book. BUT that is part of their story and definitely part of Jane’s arc.
On to the next one!
Notable Quotes/ Parts:I love how Jane is a Jane Austen enthusiast. Her dog is named Fitz after Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice for example. But she also loves Sense and Sensibility. I loved how in several scenes in Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men, she would be in situations and she would muse whether she should behave like Elinor (and be logical) or Marianne (and be emotional).
Verdict: Although not the best in the series, this book is still funny and sexy and quirky.
Rating: 7 Very Good
Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever
Publishing Date: December 2009
Paperback: 336 pages
Summary: Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson’s sexy sire Gabriel has always been unpredictable, but the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow — alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.
Now the children’s-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby…or litter. Step Three: Figure out who’s been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is suddenly becoming a matter of life and undeath..
Review: Warning. Contains spoilers for books one and two.
Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever picks up where Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men left off, with Jane and Gabriel touring Europe. Gabriel is still been a mysterious pig. Although it is obvious that he loves Jane, he is hiding something as the phone calls, letters (who read like love letters by the way by someone named Jeanine) and sudden business meeting prove. And he simply refuses to explain what is going on. Then, back home someone breaks into her new bookstore and she decides to leave Gabriel behind and go back home.
Back in Half Moon Hollow, thinks are as manic as usual. Zeb and Jolene are pregnant (and who knows how many babies a werewolf mother may give birth to) ; Dick and Andrea have moved in together; the ghosts of Mr. Wainsworth and Auntie Jettie are going steady; then Jane decided to join the Chamber of Commerce (where all the members are named Courtney) and whomever was writing letters to Gabriel start threatening her.
This book is slightly more serious than the previous books but this is because Jane has come a long way as a character. This is where she finally takes definite proactive actions. Seeing all of her friend settled and happy makes wonders to her life; her new business starts to grow (and does really have a love for books and literature) she settles her issues with her sister and confronts Gabriel . I have to admit I actually grew fonder of the guy with this book but Dick Cheney takes the cake for best make character of this series. His arc with Andrea was the best romantic arc in the books and I loved the way it ended for both of them. They provided me with laughter and even a bit of tears (which is to be admired considering this is supposed to be a Comedy).
But this is also a more balanced book and the best one in the series. The author has also grown as a writer and it shows. The story has less zigzagging and I thought a cleaner , simpler plot that worked out really well.
On the whole, I really enjoyed reading this series. I think these books are really funny and heart-warming with a bunch of great characters. I will miss reading about them but I don’t wish for more books in the series. I generally think that series tend to go for too long which a lot of the time results in series exhaustion, character assassination, jumping the shark, etc. I think Jane and Co are in a really good, happy place right now. Let them be.
Notable Quotes/ Parts: Because I am such a romantic at heart, I have to say I loved the interactions between Dick and Andrea. And there is one scene between Dick and Jane that was so cute. And adorable. I have a crush. So sue me.
Verdict: The strongest book in the series, it is a perfect ending for the trilogy.
Rating: 7 Very Good leaning towards a 8
Make sure to come back tomorrow for a chance to learn more about the series and ask Molly Harper your own questions, and for a chance to win a set of all the books in the Jane Jameson series!