Author: Molly Harper
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Jane Jameson (Book 2)
Publication Date: August 25, 2009
Format: Paperback, 400 Pages
ISBN-10: 1416589430 (Pocket Books)
ISBN-13: 978-1416589433 (Pocket Books)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
Forever A Bridesmaid, Never an Undead Bride
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 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?
Quick & Dirty: Non-human weddings are the pits.
Opening Sentence: “I can’t do this.”
Jane is back in another sarcasm filled adventure in this, the second book from the “Nice Girls” series. In today’s episode Jane is the Best-Maid in her BFF Zeb’s wedding to the werewolf Jolene and things are rather complicated. The werewolf clan won’t accept Zeb because he’s a human and Zeb’s family won’t accept Jolene because she’s not Jane. And there’s something going on with Zeb. All of a sudden, he has become obnoxious and rude, and romantically attached to Jane, and you all know how Gabriel, Jane’s sire and boyfriend, feels about that. And there, in the middle, sits poor Jane, whose place is apparently to run in-law interference and play counselor to the engaged couple all while trying to hold down a job, run a business, and figure out her own messed up relationships.
Sounds just about right for Jane.
Now that the immediate threat to Jane’s undead life has passed, Gabriel has been spending a lot of time away tending to his various businesses. This does not make a relationship as most of you know. But along with these trips are mysterious calls from and whispered conversations about someone named Jeanine, a woman Jane has never heard of. Because of this, Jane becomes certain that she is not the only girl vamp in Gabriel’s life, but cannot get any information from anyone, not even Dick, his lifelong friend.
Jane is keeping busy during this time revamping (no pun intended) the occult bookstore she works at, owned by the very kind and loving Mr. Wainwright. And, of course, there is the mess that is Zeb and Jolene’s upcoming nuptials. For a wedding that is not her own, this business is taking practically every free moment Jane has, and some she doesn’t. And on the bright side? She gets to wear this absolutely horrid peach gown from the 1980’s prom line, complete with cabbage rose and huge butt bow. Awesome!
As for the very nice Mr. Wainwright, his mortal life comes to an end in this book. And he leaves his shop and everything to Jane, since all he has left for family is a religious nut of a nephew. Little does he know that his great-grandfather is actually Dick, the vampire friend of Jane’s who occasionally stops by the store. But all is not lost, because Mr. Wainwright sticks around in ghost form to watch over them all, and even strikes up a relationship with Jane’s Aunt Jettie. I’m very glad that when he died he did not leave. I would have missed him more.
Aunt Jettie is still kickin’ around Jane’s house, offering smart-ass cracks and grossing Jane out with her fun times with Jane’s dead step-grandfather, and then Mr. Wainwright.
Dick Cheney, Jane’s novelty T-shirt wearing, smart-alecky vampire friend wants Jane to do him a favor. He wants to be hooked up with the beautiful blood surrogate Andrea. But, Jane refuses, and good for her. This guy should be well able to get his own girls.
Andrea has a bad past with Dick’s type of guy. After her first vampire lover left her for someone younger, Andrea is reluctant to hook up with the same kind of vamp. But, in the end he wears her down, and she agrees to attend the wedding with him as his date.
Jolene, the bride-to-be, is having a rough time through most of this one. First with her family, then with Zeb’s mother, then with Zeb himself, who even goes as far as calling off the wedding, on the night of the rehearsal dinner. What she doesn’t, and no one does until the end, is that Zeb is under some type of spell.
Zeb is not having much fun either. He is continuously suffering from accidents when spending time with his soon-to-be in-laws; a bottle to the eye, a fishing hook to the head, a bear trap to the toe, etc. They are threatening his health, and have cost him his home. Good thing that he loves this girl…he thinks. You see, his mama has gone crazy and has hired a hypnotist to convince him he is in love with Jane, and he hates Jolene. So, every time someone brings up the wedding, he insults his fiancée and hits on Jane. But, eventually they find out what was going on, and save the day just in time for him to get married, and live happily ever after. Sort of…
With the wedding taking up so much of this book, it felt like there was less time for fun and light-heartedness in this one, compared to the last one. Gabriel spends a lot less time with Jane, so the romance in the story seems to mostly be Zeb/Jolene, or Dick/Andrea, but there isn’t much of that in there for them either. But not every book must be all romance, and it doesn’t take away from the story at all. Zeb is still a major force in Jane’s life, so it is no matter that most of the story line revolves around him. Think of this one as a second episode in the life of Jane, a time to better learn about her friends and family.
I couldn’t pick just one scene for this, so I am putting down some snarky conversational snippets so you can get the feel of Jane and the others in character.
“They talked for a bit before he went into the light. Sago was down at the golf course spreading the news faster than you can say ‘erectile dysfunction.’ “
“Lalalalalalala.” I sang, pressing my hands over my ears, but even that couldn’t keep me from hearing her.
“I just wish I could get to Ruthie long enough to tell her every dead soul in the Hollow knows her dearly departed had to have pharmaceutical help to—“
“Enough!” I cried. “First, you and Grandpa Fred, and now—just enough. I’d pierce my own eardrums, but they would just grow back.”
“Ageist.” Jettie sneered.
“Exhibitionist,” I retorted.
“I don’t think you can afford to throw any naked stones here, pumpkin.”
I nodded. “Touché.”
Gabriel’s smile could not be contained as he bent over my hand and kissed it. “You’re a vision.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Like the kind you see after a healthy dose of peyote?”
“No, you know, it sort of looks like something some of the more promiscuous girls might have worn in my day,” Gabriel said.
“On what planet it that a compliment?” I demanded as Dick laughed.
“I wonder how much he spends on body waxin’?” she mused.
I smirked. “It’s probably a tax deduction. It’s a necessary item. I mean, it takes a little hair and a lot of confidence to dance around in that get-up.”
We tapped glasses. Jolene snorted. “Confidence and a couple of gym socks.”
The Jane Jameson Series:
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books graciously provided me with a copy of Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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