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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men by Molly Harper



Following Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs, the second in a hilarious, smart, sexy romantic series about an out-of-work librarian who is turned into a vampire.

With her best friend Zeb’s Titanic-themed wedding looming ahead, new vampire Jane Jameson struggles to develop her budding relationship with her enigmatic sire, Gabriel. It seems unfair that she’s expected to master undead dating while dealing with a groom heading for a nuptial nervous breakdown, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and the ugliest bridesmaid dress in the history of marriage.

Meanwhile, the passing of Jane’s future step-grandpa puts Grandma Ruthie back on the market. Her new fiancĂ©, Wilbur, has his own history of suspiciously dead spouses, and he may or may not have died ten years ago. Half-Moon Hollow’s own Black Widow has finally met her match.

Should Jane warn her grandmother of Wilbur’s marital habits or let things run their course? Will Jane always be an undead bridesmaid, never the undead bride?

Combining Mary Janice Davidson’s sass and the charm of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels, this is an incredibly satisfying read for fans of paranormal romantic comedy.

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This book picks up more or less where the first book left off, though there is the implication that a certain amount of time has passed. Jane continues to settle into undead life while having to deal with a variety of different relationship issues, both her own and others'. She manages to navigate all the pitfalls with grace (for the most part anyway), sass, and good ol' Southern charm. While there are certainly limits to how much crap she'll put up with from others, and she rarely hesitates to stand up for herself, still she recognizes that sometimes you have to pick your battles and compromise is often the best policy. Still, for all the leeway she's willing to give those around her, she draws some definite lines in the sand that those others would do well not to try to cross.



Jane hasn't changed all that much from the first book. She's gotten a tad more self-confident perhaps, and she's a bit less willing to just put up with other peoples' crap, but for the most part she's the same sassy and sometimes insecure Jane that we got to know in the first book. It's difficult to say whether or not she's grown since the first story as she was already fairly mature in her outlook and mannerisms, but she definitely seems more accepting of her new lifestyle. Still, there are issues she hasn't yet dealt with, and a few of those bubble up to the forefront here. A few long-standing problems are finally addressed, though no doubt they'll continue to crop up in the future, and a few others are acknowledged though far from fully addressed. It will be interesting to see how she handles them in future. I suspect she's going to be even less willing to compromise or put up with crap regarding a few of them.

The story here leads us through various twists and turns, and never quite follows a predictable path. While there is little doubt about what the final outcome will be, how exactly it will be achieved is something that keeps us guessing throughout. I'll admit to being a bit disappointed with some aspects, however, as some storylines that are built up with a lot of mystery and suspense are wrapped up far too quickly and easily in my opinion. Not that I think they should have been drug out a long time, but when you spend most of the book building up a situation to sound incredibly dangerous and it ends up being defused with almost laughing ease, then it's always a bit of a let down and the resolution feels very anti-climactic. There's certainly a few instances of this, but they don't really drag things down that much as there are enough issues raises and unresolved to hold the reader's interest and make you eager to see where the story will go from here.

Though you'll probably understand a few things better if you read the first book before this one, it probably isn't strictly necessary. Enough of what came before is explained at least briefly that you shouldn't be all that lost. Still, I'd recommend starting at the beginning to have the best understanding of the characters, their relationships with one another, and what has happened with them prior to the events shown here. The book and series should appeal to paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans as well as mystery fans, particularly the cozy mystery type, so long as you don't mind a hefty dose of the paranormal in things.

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