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Wednesday, January 27, 2010:
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (2009)
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?

Here is yet another of the books that Mandi of Smexy Books was talking about, and since I pretty much enjoy her recommendations, I went ahead and bought it, no questions asked. Since I love vampire books in pretty much all their various incarnations, I was all for reading about a former librarian who accidentally ends up dead, then is "saved" by a sexy mystery man named Gabriel.

Author Molly Harper has written an engaging first book in her Nice Girls series. Jane has issues with just about everything. First off, she loses a job she loves to someone completely incompetent. Then her mother wonders why she's not married yet and her perfect sister covets the house she inherited. Her best friend Zeb is a lovable dork who nevertheless tries to stab her when he discovers she's now a vampire. Her house is haunted by her beloved Aunt Jettie. She can't eat real food. And oh yeah, someone's trying to ruin her life.

My thoughts:

I initially started out really enthusiastic about this book. It was fun, and I could imagine Jane getting into all kinds of crazy scrapes because of her unfamiliarity with vampirism. She was attracted to her sire, Gabriel, but then there was this weird kinda sexual vibe she had going on with his nemesis Dick, a perverted vampire if there ever was one. Her family drove her crazy, but that was nothing new. However the added complication of her newly changed status set her up for some wonderfully amusing situations. I was really enjoying the ride.

Somewhere after the first half of the book though, I found my attention wandering. It's like things were happening, but I was waiting for something more...significant. Something interesting. I think what it was is that too much was going on for me to focus. Jane is feeling her way around the vampire protocol while dodging her family and trying to look for a job. She's attracted to her sire but there's just not enough sexual tension between them to get me excited. I'm much more intrigued, and yes repulsed (though in a good way), by Dick, but he comes across as a major man-ho. Zeb is distracted by a girl and is not there as much for his best friend. Jane needs to find a job. Now a vampire has died and Jane's been accused of his death, and other vampires are shunning Jane because of it. Lots of drama.

So bottom line is, I didn't hate this book, I just felt it needed more direction. Too many things happening that it took me a week to finally concentrate enough to finish it. And yes, as it was eluded to on Twitter, Gabriel does something that can be considered rather unforgivable. He may be a vampire, but he crossed a line of morality that is going to be extremely difficult to come back from, and Jane's almost immediate reaction baffled and disappointed me. It was actually rather disturbing.

That being said, I'm still intrigued enough by some of the characters and story possibilities to want to continue reading the other 2 books, which I already have in my tbr pile. So while I would recommend the book, I would like to advise that there's a lot going on, and your head might be spinning trying to keep up with everything. Of course, that very well could just be me.

Rating: ***1/2 out of *****

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  1. Now I need to know what Gabriel did! How horrible are we talking?

  2. How funny Mandi suggested this one to me as well. I don't even ask her questions I just buy. I think for me I would have preferred a little more...I dunno... grit? I really love the humor in this book but I found myself starting to drift towards the middle end. I would have liked some more 1 on 1 time with Gabriel and Jane. The humor alone makes me want to rate this book a 4.

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