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I Belong


Review: Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper

Title: Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs

Author: Molly Harper

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Jane Jameson (Book 1)

Publication Date: March 31, 2009

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1416589422 (Pocket Books)

ISBN-13: 978-1416589426 (Pocket Books)

Reviewed by: Kiwi

Synopsis:

Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children’s librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that’s sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she’s mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood.

Jane is now the latest recipient of a gift basket from the Newly Undead Welcoming Committee, and her life-after-lifestyle is taking some getting used to. Her recently deceased favorite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and endure daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She’s forced to forgo her favorite down-home Southern cooking for bags of O negative. Her relationship with her sexy, mercurial vampire sire keeps running hot and cold. And if all that wasn’t enough, it looks like someone in Half Moon Hollow is trying to frame her for a series of vampire murders. What’s a nice undead girl to do?

Quick & Dirty: Quirky, sarcastic, almost normal—the vampire next door.

Opening Sentence I’ve always been a glass-half-full kind of girl.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Meet Jane Jameson, normal everyday small town girl. Jane is a children’s librarian in the public library in the town of Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky where she was born and raised. Jane is super smart and quirky, but sarcasm and useless trivia are her strongest points. Jane is so universal she fits right in, like she could just move in right next door. Jane lives in the family home her Great Aunt Jettie left her, and the rest her family never lets her forget how little they feel she deserves it.

Jane has had a bad day. Her boss fired her from the job she loves for “budget reasons” and gave her a gift certificate for a bar as a severance package. After getting decidedly piss-drunk she is met by a man who has perfect teeth, good skin, nicer hair, gorgeous eyes and more upper-class type clothes. In short, “definitely a metrosexual, possibly gay, with a spontaneous yen for mozzarella sticks.” Jane’s car craps out on her way home from the bar, and she trips and lands face first in a ditch while walking home. Then, in some sort of strange cosmic accident, she is mistaken for a deer by a drunk redneck and fatally shot. Thankfully her new cheese-stick loving friend from the bar is actually a vampire and is able to turn her before she permanently kicks it.

The GQ model vamp who likes to pick up drunk girls in bars is Gabriel Nightengale. A long time resident of the Hollow (and by long I mean over 100 years). Gabriel is pretty decent for a vamp. He’s not all I’m a prince of darkness, an ancient being, humans are nothing but food. And he can take a joke, and even make a few himself. Even since the Great Vampire Coming Out in 2000, Gabriel had preferred to live a quiet existence, which is next to impossible in a town this size. In true old world chivalry, he follows Jane home to make sure she is OK, but cannot stop her from getting shot. So, he gets her permission to be turned into a vampire and takes her to his home for the three days it takes to reawaken.

When Jane wakes back up she is frightened, and runs for home—that’s after she spends some time attached to the ceiling. Upon her return she is met by her BFF Zeb and she practically attaches herself to his jugular. Gabriel arrives just in time to stop her, save Zeb, read her the riot act, get a lecture in return—along with a quote from Dr. Seuss “I will not drink it in a house, I will not drink it with a mouse,” take care of her feeding, take Zeb home…you know, basically save the day again.

Jane spends a lot of time getting used to being a vamp, making new friends, both vamp and human, fighting with her family members—who don’t learn of her condition until the end. She also starts a new job working in an occult bookstore, a relationship with her vampire sire, and a couple of permanent friendships with some awesome people.

In this first installment, Jane gets caught up in some weird plot to build a luxury housing development specifically for vamps, one which would require the property her current home sits on. The antics of the criminal mastermind behind the plot, a blond bottle of vampire Pepto named Missy, makes her a suspect for some vampire deaths in the neighborhood. Jane ends up on a sort of vampire probation, which she finds hard not to break. Eventually, Missy just tries to kill her straight out, but loses the duel, and Jane inherits all of her considerable possessions, which is a cool rule if you ask me.

Oh, and before I go, I want you to meet some of the other characters who play a big role in these books.

Zeb is Jane’s best friend, a kindergarten teacher with his own family issues, whom she is expected to eventually marry.

Jolene is a werewolf Zeb meets when they both attend meetings of a group called Friends and Families of the Undead, sort of like Al-Anon, but for families of blood drinkers, not booze drinkers. Jolene is as Southern as one could get, and boy does she have an appetite.

Andrea is a blood surrogate, a human who willingly donates her blood to vampires who are willing to pay her prices. Gabriel sends Andrea to Jane’s house for a feeding, and the two sort of hit it off from there.

Jane has also acquired another house guest, her Aunt Jettie’s ghost, who has actually been there all along; she has just now decided to show her face. And in Aunt Jettie we find where Jane contracted her attitude. Jettie is a hoot.

And last, but certainly not least, is the vampire Richard “Dick” Cheney. Yup, that’s right. Dick is a sexy smart-ass you’ve got to hate to love. Dick rescues Jane from a bar fight with a redneck vamp, and they just hit it right off.  Girls, you’ll just love him and his god awful T-shirt collection. Dick and Gabriel go way back, back to their human infancy, and the past causes some animosity, some jealousy over Jane, etc.

So, now that this review is LONG, I will leave you saying that I really liked this book, and the others. I traditionally don’t get into a series that solely revolves around the same few characters; in fact I have only kept up with two of them in the past. And it’s no small coincidence that these three females are all sarcastic, smart and accident prone. Always a good time when you are sitting somewhere, like say the waiting room at the dentist office,  and you have to laugh out loud, and people stare at you like you’ve grown an antenna or something. So, yeah thanks Ms. Harper for making me look like an idiot.

Notable Scene:

Sometime between my sustaining multiple gunshot wounds and losing my panties, Dick had called my cell phone to leave me a cryptic voice-mail message.

“Hey, Jane, it’s Dick,” he said, his voice unusually quiet and subdued. “Do you think you could stop by my place sometime tonight? I need to talk to you.”

It was almost four by the time I heard the voice mail. And Dick wasn’t answering his phone, so I risked some early-morning exposure to drive to his trailer. Because if I was at home, I would be cleaning up broken glass and thinking about what I had decided to call “the incident.”

My phone rang as I jogged up the steps to Dick’s trailer. The caller ID said it was Gabriel. I debated picking it up but finally hit the ignore button. I knocked on the door and—

WHHHOOOOOMMMMMMPPFFF

Red and gold stars exploded at the base of my skull as I was blown off Dick’s porch and onto the hood of my car. My frustration at being thrown through yet another windshield was superseded  by the fact that my sleeves were on fire. It seemed to be a more pressing concern. I slapped them out just before a secondary explosion knocked me back again. The blast threw me off the car, thwacking the back of my head against the cement blocks supporting the nearby El Camino. The flames burned orange behind my eyelids. I slipped into a soft black place where the burns on my arms didn’t leave me screaming.

The Jane Jameson Series:

1. Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs

2. Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men

3. Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever

4. Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books graciously provided me with a copy of Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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