"Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men" is Molly Harper's second Jane Jameson novel. I first noticed that I really liked the cover. The second thing I noticed was that the book was decently `plump' in size. I bought this book at the same time I bought the new Servant and Alpha & Omega books. They both seemed disappointingly thin, so "NGDDDM" stood out in comparison. Now I admit to enjoying both urban fantasy and paranormal romance but this series really doesn't fit in either genre. "NGDDDM" doesn't really have a main plot but Jane has a lot going on. Her best friend Zeb is marrying Jolene, a werewolf. Her were-family is trying to maim or kill him. Zeb's mother, Mama Ginger, is convinced Jolene is wrong for Zeb and is taking desperate measures to convince Zeb he should marry Jane instead. Jane's sire and boyfriend Gabriel is disappearing and being mysterious. Now Grandam Ruthie has another dead husband and a new fiancé who may just be one of the UNDEAD. And this isn't even including her regular family and work drama! My complaint with the first book was that although the book at times was laugh aloud funny, the story's main idea wasn't very unique. That is still a legitimate opinion with book 2. The idea of a girl turning vampire and falling for her sire has been done and done over. Yet there is an undeniable charm in Molly Harper's series. The characters are likeable and fun. The situations these characters find themselves in are over the top, but often hilarious. The reason for that hilarity is that even in Harper's most outrageous situations, some relatable (and human) element shines through. Have most of us not wanted to throw a plate through our sister's car and break her windows? After this happens in the book, Jane looks over at her mom and dad and innocently says, "She started it!" I do find that Harper's characters are strong enough (and again funny enough) to shine in a story that sounds like it could be just another recycled paranormal plot. All the side stories here make the book far more unique and compelling than it would have been had it been overwhelmed by a trite "whodunit" plot. In my opinion, this character driven story was superior to the first in the series, as well as superior to many of the similar themed books on the shelf. I look forward to reading more about Jane and her friends.
Poor Jane. She's got the bridesmaid dress from hell, a dead great aunt with a penchant for getting some ghostly nookie in her living room, a mother who refuses to come to terms with her less-than-alive status (and still foists food off on her at every chance), a grandmother who's a black widow - maybe, a sister who loathes her, a boyfriend/sire who keeps disappearing for weeks at a time with suspicious reasons...when there are any, and a best friend who's begun to make some disturbing sexual and emotional advances on her - despite his engagement to a werewolf (whose family could eat him). Oh yeah, and she's a vampire.
Jane's life is like a cross between an I Love Lucy special and an episode of Punk'd. And it's hysterical at times. Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men is a definitively original, character-driven narrative of life on the other side of a pulse for the ex-librarian and slightly geeky Jane. It's not always easy, it's not always comfortable, but she's making do with what she has as she comes to terms with it all. And MAN her inner monologue makes me laugh.
I personally enjoyed Harper's first Jane book, Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, just a wee bit more, though this one was funnier. I just prefer books with a bit more of a story-driven plot and this one was light on that. That's a personal preference, though, not a critique, because without a doubt, Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men is one of the funniest books I've read in a very long time.
The few critical issues I have with the book is centered around Jane's family. I hate them. I really, really do. I think her mother needs to get her head out of her a....er...nether regions and her sister needs to have a house dropped on her - or a tree (can we get Gabriel to do that? I've heard he's good for that sort of thing). I'm not sure why Jane hasn't smacked the stupid out of her sister and I'm not sure why her Dad hasn't gotten control of his wife - and the fact that he hasn't tried and goes around looking helpless about it doesn't exactly warm him in my estimation). I also had a problem with Gabriel's comings and goings and how Jane dealt with it - or doesn't. There wasn't any true development of that relationship because he just wasn't around enough, and when he was it seemed very uncomfortable for him AND Jane. Left me feeling sort of weird about their whole relationship.
I can't stress enough, though, that this book is perfect for a laugh. If you like your comedy reading with a bit of a bite and don't mind a Seinfeld-esque story-about-nothing, I highly recommend the Jane Jameson series. It's an absolute charmer.
on May 29, 2010
I think I'm falling in love with Molly Harper's Jane Madison series. I really enjoyed the previous installment, Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs (Jane Jameson, Book 1), and this one is just as good.
As far as paranormal romances go, it does get to a point where they all start to seem the same. What set's Harper and this series apart is the fact that the heroine is smart and has a great, witty sense of humor.
Jane and her friends' stories continue along nicely here. Her romance with Gabriel is pretty realistic. There's a lot of tension between them due to the nature of their relationship. As her sire, he can be domineering and that doesn't sit well with the independent Jane. She also becomes aware of some less-than-honest behavior on Gabriel's part, adding to their troubles. The impending nuptials of her best friend Jeb and her strained relationship with her family also add great fodder to the storyline.
If you haven't read the first book in this series, you'll probably be a bit lost if you jump straight to this one. They're great though, light-hearted but not so fluffy that it seems contrived or like some other paranormal romance that you've already read.
on October 25, 2009
I am a fan of Molly Harper's "Nice Girls Don't" series and I love her humor and prose, but I agree with the last review: PLEASE give the heroine a backbone! Readers of this genre want to see heroines strong and beating the odds. Jane should have slammed the door on her sick family long ago. And since Jane tends to repeatedly let her family walk all over her, it's hard to feel sorry for her "perception" of her relationship with Gabriel. I think there's definitely a mcguffin out there on that whole "why is two timing me with the other woman" scenario, but I certainly hope the third book has Jane either resolving the relationship with Gabriel or just tossing him. Otherwise, I can't see myself reading past book three. Fish, or cut bait. I don't want to keep reading about a woman who lets people keep taking advantage of her, especially in regards to relationships with men; I want to read about a woman that wins in the end - in this day and age, we all need to see more happy endings and less dysfunction.
on January 4, 2011
Even though Jane is still trying to come to terms with the reality that she is a vampire, her biggest challenge right now is accepting the worst bridesmaid dress imaginable. Her best friend Jeb is getting married, and Jane is the Maid of honor. The Titanic is the wedding theme, which is fitting because everything really does seem to be a sinking ship. Somehow she becomes the one responsible for holding everything together despite her own bad track record with relationships. She is ever suspicious of her sire, Gabriel, but as of late he has been giving her plenty of reasons to be. He disappears for days at a time without any contact, and always returns with some lame excuse for his absence. Add into this mess the fact that her grandmother may just be shacked up with her match for killing off spouses, Jane sure is in over her head, and just will have to take it one step at a time.
Everyone thinks they have a terrible family, but after reading this book, I think both Jane and Jeb's family could easily duke it out for that title in the end. I almost added Jolene's family to the mix, but then I realized that they really were not vindictive like the other two's family, just a little meddlesome. Jane's family constantly belittles her, steals from her and even brings lawyers into the nasty mess. I cannot say how many time I was utterly appalled at their behavior and I honestly don't know why she just hasn't "written them off." No one deserves to put through that. Speaking of which I won't go into depth on Zeb's family and their treatment of Jolene and Jane as it is spoilery, but let's just say it is pretty horrible as well.
There was a lot of tension between Gabriel and Jane in this book, most of it not being the good type of tension. His secretiveness and her insecurities really started to clash and wreak havoc on their relationship. This fact kind of made the book fizzle just a little bit for me. Jane just never had a backbone and stood up for herself and her feelings, and Gabriel just expected her to trust him yet he never once gave her a good reason to. Trust has to be earned and he has been very secretive from the start, so I just didn't find the situation to be very realistic. For Jane being such a questioning person, she lets way too much go in this book. I'm hoping this gets resolved in the next book, with Gabriel having one heck of good reason for his mysteriousness.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, there was plenty of humor just like the first one, but because of the relationship issues I didn't like it quite as much. I'm hoping the next book brings these issues to the front of focus, and gets them hashed out. I don't like when the character's happiness in a relationship is in limbo for too long. Despite this complaint, I still highly recommend the book. It is lighter, laugh out loud, type of paranormal romance that is sure to keep you entertained.
Once upon a time Jane was a living, breathing children's librarian... then she died in a rather tragic mistaken-for-a-deer-by-a-drunken-redneck accident and was turned into a vampire. Now life in Half Moon Hollow is filled with visits from her ghostly great-aunt and her sexy sire. That, and her best friend, Zeb, is getting ready to marry a werewolf and she's been called upon to play bridesmaid.
Jane's boss at the occult bookshop she's now working at offers a book on werewolf mating customs to help smooth the process and there's hilarity galore as the Titanic-themed wedding from hell approaches. Grandma Ruthie's creepy new boyfriend, Zeb's mother's attempts at getting Jane and Zeb to realize their true feelings for one another and scary werewolf bridal meltdowns make for tasty reading on the lighter side of the paranormal.
It's taken me forever to sit down and review this one and for that I am super sorry! I LOVED this book. LOVED. I don't say that often but it was such a fun read that I made sure I packed it in the bag I took with me to the hospital when I went into labor--and forgot to pack my favorite slippers!--just so I could finish it.
What readers looking for some romance might not like about this one is that there's really not much romance-romance. It's pretty tame there. You have the whole Gabriel/Jane thing but really their relationship isn't the focus of the story. I haven't had time to read it yet but I think the next in the series will focus a bit more on their relationship.
I will admit it is a little long and there were a few parts that were a little slow-ish but if you like paranormals and urban fantasies with cheeky humor this follow-up to Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs is just as good as the first. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for something light but not fluffy in the genre. Jane is fast becoming one of my favorite heroines and Harper is definitely an author I plan to watch closely.
on October 27, 2014
New vampires probably shouldn’t be involved in anything Titanic-themed. Jane Jameson is back and she’s the matron of honor in her best friend’s wedding to his ladylove werewolf. Zeb and Jolene want a Titanic-themed wedding because…well why not? Jane is not overly excited about the wedding, losing her best friend’s undivided attention, her mysterious boyfriend’s recent odd behavior, and the consistent pressure from Zeb’s mother to stop the wedding so Jane can marry Zeb. You’d think all of it would be too much for a newbie vampire but Jane still finds time to look into her grandmother’s sixth fiancé. Although her plate is more than full with anything but food, Jane and her friends transverse the crazy town of Half Moon Hollows once more.
Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men is book two in the Jane Jameson series by Molly Harper. Although you technically don’t need to read book one to understand this one as the author does a really nice job of reminding new and returning readers of important details, I think readers should as it’s essential to understanding the cast dynamic and fully appreciating the characters themselves. In this new outing, Jane doesn’t really mature much unfortunately and I thought she came off slightly worse for the wear with her antics. The plot revolves around Jane’s best friend Zeb getting married; an event that Jane is ambivalent about at best since she’s struggling to come to terms with Zeb maturing and growing up while she isn’t. Additionally Zeb’s mother, Mama Ginger, is of course a caricature from hell bent on destroying the wedding in an attempt to make Zeb and Jane marry instead.
I found the story humorous and entertaining for the most part. The few issues I had were that Jane could have easily stopped the drama with Zeb’s mother by simply telling her that Jane was a vampire. Of course there would be no book with over the top wacky hijinks if logic actually prevailed so there is a reason for the lack of any common sense. Whether readers like that or not is a personal choice. Furthermore it was almost ridiculously easy to figure out what was going on, and who the bad guy was this time, and Jane started to look rather stupid in not figuring it out sooner. The book did everything but paint neon signs with the answers while Jane just shrugged and did nothing to add any intelligence nor intuitive thinking to any of the problems brought up. So I was much less enamored of Jane’s pratfalls, witty mumblings, and general air of buffoonery in combination with her less than average intelligence.
That said I still love the ensemble cast of characters and their ability to act as wonderful counterpoints to Jane’s sometimes irritating personality. I am not a huge Jane lover as she feels like a character pandering to a certain reading demographic. However the supporting cast is funny, entertaining, and generally helps soothe over any frustration. The writing is quick and easy to absorb without really remembering the details. It’s a little repetitive and formulaic to be sure but with the lack of real humor in the vampire genre I find this series much like ice cream. It’s not exactly something to be proud of binging on but it seems to taste so good at the time.
originally posted at long and short reviews
on September 16, 2013
Worried about turning into bride-zilla? Nothing will make you feel better about your own wedding planning mishaps than reading about Jolene's upcoming werewolf nuptials. Between her family's questionable traditions, a future mother-in-law from hell and a theme that's centered on a sinking ship; there's no shortage of drama in Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men. Molly Harper's unique sense of humour never fails to bring a smile to my face and even a few laugh-out-low moments but when her story is narrated by Amanda Ronconi the whole experience becomes doubly enjoyable. In this installment we get the best of both worlds: Jane Jameson AND werewolves!
I'm currently in the midst of planning my own big day so I absolutely loved reading about Jolene's werewolf wedding disasters. She's a fictional character so I didn't feel bad about laughing at and even feeling better because of her misfortunes. There are several things that I am dreading about this whole "getting married" process but I was comforted by the knowledge that no matter how bad it gets, it'll never be this bad. The wedding cake snafu was hilarious and I almost started crying from laughing so hard when the new couple had their first dance to Celine Dion.
One of my favourite characters in this series has to be Dick Cheney; every time he's in a scene I just know that within no time I'll be trying to suppress an uncontrollable case of the giggles. We uncover what his secret "vampire" power is and it's so blatantly obvious yet ridiculously preposterous at the same time. I was as shocked as Jane was to learn the truth but couldn't resist doing a quick *facepalm* over having missed the clues. Cheney even goes so far as to vamperize Jane's car; you won't believe the modifications that Harper dreamed up! This guy should get his own spin-off series. Seriously!
I loved getting to know more about the werewolves in this series; some of their wedding traditions are downright weird but they were definitely good for a laugh. Female wolves don't consider the B-word to be derogatory and Jane quickly catches on to that fact; it was funny listening to her vent her frustrations over dealing with Jolene's crazy family by repeatedly using the term. Unfortunately, the bride-to-be quickly caught on to Jameson's scheme and makes her tone it down. It was great while it lasted though!
The only reason why I haven't finished this series yet is because I find that the audiobooks are a great way to get me out of a reading slump so I always try to keep at least one in reserve. Molly Harper never ceases to entertain and Nice Girls Don't Date Men is a great addition to her repertoire. If you haven't listened to a story narrated by Amanda Ronconi yet, this series is for you.
on May 8, 2012
Reading this book was like settling in with old friends. Jane is brides-maid to Jolene, her best friend Zeb's fiance. Throwing a wedding is never easy, tossing in vampires and were-wolf in-laws. Not to mention regular crazy in-laws and a very reluctant mother of the groom. Mama Ginger is bound and determined that Jane is the one and only woman for her Zeb. Even if Jane and Zeb don't have that sort of relationship. This adds to the undue stress and drama already circling the poor couple. I kind of saw what was happening when Zeb got his first blank stare, but had to keep reading just to make sure I was right.
Jane takes to amateur sleuthing when she learns her future step-grandpa might not be all he's saying he is. I have to admit I found this weird. Jane takes it upon herself to figure out if Grandma Ruthie might have met her match, which Grandma isn't all that happy about. FYI I didn't like Wilbur he needs an attitude adjustment and to be honest I don't think he was all that nice a guy when he was human. Kind of a player. Although I did like when Jane stood up for herself, as she seems to be adjusting well to being a vampire.
I felt bad for Jane as her family and romantic relationships took a nose dive. Her dealings with her sister involve lawyers, her mama is in denial, and actually so is Jane as Gabriel's behavior becomes rather evasive. It really doesn't help that Jane keeps questioning the relationship.
Keeping with the first book this was a fast moving read, mainly because it was so enthralling I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to know what was going on with Zeb and Jolene's wedding and if it would end up like the Titanic. Of course it wouldn't be a Jane Jameson book without her trademark humor and snarky wit. I love that she is willing to help her friends, even if she isn't all that good at it.
I received this book from the publisher.
on August 31, 2010
This is the second book in the Jane Jameson trilogy (the third book is Nice Girls Don't Live Forever). It was a great installment in the series, although I didn't like it quite as much as the first book.
Jane has gotten roped in to being the Maid of Honor at Zeb and Jolene's wedding and is stuck playing sympathetic ear to their problems with the future werewolf in-laws. Meanwhile Gabriel, supposedly in love forever with Jane, keeps disappearing on business out of town and won't tell Jane what it's about. As if that's not bad enough Jane's grandmother is planning marriage to the guy she brought as a date to her last husband's funeral; and there is something seriously off about grandma's new flame.
I didn't like this book as much as the previous book because the story line is pretty scattered. Jane bounces between dealing with money problems, Gabriel's absence, Zeb's problems with Jolene's family, Jolene's problems with Zeb's mother, and her grandma's strange boyfriend. It is kind of unfocused. Most of the issues are dealt with and wrapped up by the end of the book, but the plot wasn't as tight as the first book.
I still enjoyed all the crazy characters and their hilarious antics. I enjoy the intelligent and witty banter between the characters. It was nice getting to know Dick better and getting to learn more about Jane's employer at the occult book shop.
There were a few things that bothered me some. We don't see a ton of Gabriel and his relationship with Jane doesn't progress much from where it was in the first book. Then there are the women in Jane's family. Where they were pretty funny in the first book, in this book Jane's evil female relatives just got to be a bit much for me. We do see a little tenderness added to the character of Jane's mother, but Jane's sister and grandmother are evil and vile creatures that I got sick of reading about. Hopefully Harper either spends less time with these characters in the third book, or gives them a bit...more...well character.
Overall this was a fun and witty read and I enjoyed it. I thought the plot wandered around more than it should of and I missed Gabriel. I also am sick of Jane's evil female relatives. I am really looking forward to the third book though, to see how all of the Gabriel issues are resolved.