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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Author:  Molly Harper
Plot Type:  Paranormal Chick Lit (CH) , Soul-mate Romance (SMR)
Ratings:  Violence3; Sensuality3-4; Humor4
Publisher and Titles:  Pocket Star
          Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (2009)
          Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (2009)
          Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (2010)
          Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors (2012)

      This is a paranormal chick lit romance series with vampires and werewolves. In this world, the vampires revealed themselves to the mortal world back in 1999, but the shifters are still in the closet. These vampires are sun-sensitive night walkers with extra strength and speed. They have the traditional fatal allergy to silver and can be killed by a wooden stake in the heart or by decapitation

      Here, Jane explains how the vampires were forced to reveal themselves to humans: "Vampires had it pretty good for about two thousand years, living in the shadows, drinking their fill, looking all pretty and ageless. And then this doofus tax constant, Arnie Frink, gets turned and sues his boss for nighttime work hours, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act. After the courts determined that Arnie was not, in fact, crazyor breathing, for that matterArnie got his night hours, a handsome settlement, and an interview with Barbara Walters. Vampires were out, whether they wanted it or not." (Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors, p. 60) 

      The series is set in the small town of Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, where a handful of vamps and werewolves try to coexist with the quirky and querulous townsfolk. The heroine is Jane Jameson, a former children's librarian, and her vampire sire, Gabriel Nightengale. Supporting characters are Jane's friends and family members. In general, the tone is sarcastic and humorous, but there is always an undertone of viciousness, particularly when it comes to the hurtful words and actions that Jane's family uses against her when she becomes a vampire. 

      In each book, Jane and/or her friends are threatened by a mysterious villain or villainess. The most unforgettable of the supporting cast members is Gabriel's long-time best friend, Dick Cheney, who is notable for his slick and sleazy business practices and his famous (or infamous) moniker.

     Harper has also written a spin-off series called HALF-MOON HOLLOW, which tells the love stories for more of the town's residents. Click HERE to read my review of the books in that series.

     If you enjoyed this series, you'll probably love MaryJanice Davidson's QUEEN BETSY/UNDEAD series. Click HERE to read my review of that series.

                    NOVEL 1Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs                     
      As book 1 opens, Jane is fired from her job as a children's librarian and goes off to a local bar to drown her sorrows, where she gets drunk and flirts with a handsome man. On her way home, she has car trouble and gets out to stumble on home. Unfortunately, there is another drunken stumbler out there, and he has a gun. That man mistakes Jane for a deer and shoots her dead. The next thing Jane knows, she's waking up to find the handsome man from the bar looking down at her, andwonder of wondersshe's a vampire (and so is he). That handsome man is, of course, Gabriel. The plot in this book follows Jane as she tries to escape true death at the hands of a mysterious stalker. She must also deal with the hate and scorn heaped on her by her mother, grandmother, and sister when they find out that she is a vampire. Jane's sister, Jenny, is also furious that their recently deceased great aunt bequeathed her huge historic house and all its contents to Jane.

                    NOVEL 2Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men                      
      In this book, Jane's best friend, Zeb, falls in love with Jolene, a beautiful werewolf. Both Jane's mother and Zeb's mother have always assumed that the two would eventually marry, but Jane and Zeb have always maintained a platonic BFF relationship. That doesn't stop Zeb's mother from doing everything she can to stop the wedding, including getting some outside help to disrupt the proceedings. Jolene's relatives are equally opposed to the marriage. The plot follows Jane's adventures as she tries to help out the happy couple and keep herself alive. Jane is also dealing with her sexy sire, Gabriel, who seems to love her, but he refuses to commit. He's been going out of town on a lot of mysterious business trips, so she's feeling a bit insecure about their relationship. 

                    NOVEL 3Nice Girls Don't Live Forever                      
      Jane and Gabriel are on vacation in Europe when he suddenly begins receiving mysterious notes that he won't explain to her. His attitude becomes distant and cold, and Jane winds upupset and aloneback home in Half-Moon Hollow. She's afraid that Gabriel just broke up with her even though he didn't speak the actual words. Jane soon turns her thoughts to getting her new businessan occult book storeoff the ground and to helping Zeb and Jolene get ready for the impending birth of their twins. Jane must also discover who is sending her threatening letters and whether that letter writer is somehow connected to Gabriel.

      The books are unrelentingly and darkly humorousboth characters and dialogue. Jane's mother is the stereotypical ditzy Southern mamawanting her daughter to forget all this silly vampire business, settle down, and marry a nice human man (picked out by Mom, of course).

                 NOVEL 4: Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors                 

      As book 4 opens, Jane finally accepts Gabriel's marriage proposal and begins planning for the wedding. Jane is, of course, dreading her mother's interference, but her friend, Andrea, hires a wedding planner to ease the pressure. In this book, Jane has three problems

      First Jane must try to make it through her wedding without killing her mother. This is particularly difficult during the wedding dress try-ons, when Mama tries to select the perfect dress: 
     "I turned toward the mirror and flinched. "I look like a bad meringue hallucination." 
     "You look like Cinderella," Mama cooed....
     "If she was doing the walk of shame home from the ball," Andrea muttered. (p. 166)

      Secondand most unexpectedlyJane finds herself siring a teenager after he is hit by a car in front of her shop and asks her to turn him just before he dies. Now, she has to deal with all kinds of vampire-childe crises along with the usual hormonal, adolescent behavior of teens everywhere, whether they be human or supernatural

      Jane's third problemand the most seriousis that someone is trying to hurt and/or kill her in order to punish Gabriel for unknown reasons. The three story lines eventually come together and explode on the long-awaited wedding day

      Given the chaotic nature of Jane's family, it's only natural that a number of wild kin-related events occur in the story as well, just to keep things lively. The most urgent crisis is that the ghost of Jane's hateful, recently deceased Grandma Ruthie moves into Jane's house and tries to force Jane to move out. Ruthie has never liked Jane very much, and has actually despised her since she became a vampireso she is definitely not Jane's idea of an ideal housemate

      Shortly before her wedding day, Jane reflects on recent events in her life: "Time is a funny thing. The weeks leading up to the wedding seemed to be moving at fast-forward, what with blowing up a school bus, evicting a dead grandparent, and building relationships with dead grandpas." (p. 280)

      Although there are some inconsistencies in the plot, I enjoyed this light and fluffy story, just as I've enjoyed the other books in the series. Beware, though, that although the sarcastic gibes among Jane and her friends are quite humorous, the cruel remarks from Jane's mother and grandmother are extremely thoughtless and painfully malicious. The supporting characters are in their usual humorous quirky form as they try their best to keep up with the latest catastrophes in Jane's life

      Click HERE to watch a cute video trailer for the book on YouTube.

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