Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson, #3) by Molly Harper

Author's Website:

When you become immortal things change. Goals once thought to be long term start looking like short terms plans because your life expectancy increases by an immeasurable amount. Things need to be reprioritized and you have to reevaluate what is important and perhaps reinvent yourself...

'My plan to become a Brave New Jane went a little something like this:
(1) Develop a healthy, normal romantic relationship, preferably with Gabriel.
(2) Create a fulfilling career for myself.

(3) Demand that my family love me without judgment. Even if it means I have to rent a new family over the Internet.
(4) Find a solution for world peace.

I can live without the last one, though I know it's far more likely than the other three.'

Okay, so maybe things don't change that much, but it sure feels like it. 

Jane and Gabriel's relationship is on shaky ground. Gabriel is hiding something and Jane fears it is another woman. How many times have we heard someone say, "How could I have missed the warning signs? They were so obvious." Well, the signs seem pretty obvious. While on their round-the-world romantic getaway, Gabriel kept receiving mysterious messages at each hotel they stayed at. Additionally, he received phone calls which required him to leave the room and be out of hearing range. Just before she decided to pack up and go home, she managed to salvage part of one of those letters for the waste basket. It contained  words like, "bloodmate" and "love you". It also contained "phrases like, 'Remember what we are to each other,' and 'Remember what we have,' 'The woman your with can't satisfy you like I do.'" 

Jane's excuse for going home and gracefully bowing out of the remainder of the trip came when Zeb called with news of a minor break in at her newly remodeled bookstore. When she informed Gabriel she was going home, he didn't put up a fuss, and she wasn't sure if they were a couple anymore. Shortly upon arriving home the same style of letters that Gabriel had been receiving starting showing up at her shop addressed to her. The messages warned her to stay away from Gabriel that he was only using her.

When someone attempts to kill Jane in a fashion that makes it clear that she was the intended target, the question is who wants her dead?  Could it be the letter writer, the person who broke in to the shop, or someone in town who hates vampires or just her?

This was another great book by Ms. Harper. I loved how many fun characters she added into the mix. Mr. Wainwright's nephew Emery was such a pain in the neck, and it was fun to see Jane's conflicted feeling of  wanting to be nice to him because he was Mr. Wainwrigh's nephew and wanting to toss his annoying butt to the curb. She really is too nice. Also, a large number of Chamber of Commerce members being named Courtney was a hilarious addition. Plus, Jane still doesn't know whether it's best to be open with everyone about her "Undead" status or keep it hidden because of the feelings of fear and hostility it can sometimes evoke.

I also enjoyed Jane's endeavors to make the occult bookstore she inherited a profitable business. She's remodeled and upgraded the place to include a lounge area with coffee/cappachino machines, and expanded the stock beyond that of the occult in an attempt to attract more customers and make it more cozy. I loved how she opened her store up as a meeting spot for Friends and Family of the Undead (FFOTU) meetings, a support group for those with a friend or loved one that has been turned.

Favorite quotes/lines/moments:
 - "Wow, is that our dairy guy?" I whispered. Andrea didn't bother removing her eyes from the sight of Dairy Guy's delicious blue-clad bottom swaying as he loaded the fridge.
   "Yep," Andrea answered absently.
   "He's going to be coming here regularly, right"?
   We simultaneously tilted our heads as Dairy Guy's hips changed angles. Andrea sighed, "Yep."
   "Maybe we should arrange for Dick to be elsewhere on delivery nights," I whispered. "Because you're drooling. And milk does a body goooo---Oh, my God." My jaw dropped as Dairy Guy turned, and I recognized him as little Jamie Lanier, who I used to baby sit every summer. 

-  "So you're going to take this like a man. No ice cream. No fruity drinks. No movies where whiny woman 'find their power.' You're not a girl, Jane."
  "I think my God-given gift of cleavage proves otherwise."

- "You're the sister I never really wanted."

-  “The two of them shared a look over my head. Gabriel made serval threatening faces. Dick responded with rude gestures. Eventually, they looked like two inebriated mimes having a dance off.” 

When writing a book it's the little things that mean a lot because without them you have a one dimensional character in a one dimensional world that doesn't translate well. Ms. Harper creates a fun world with characters that are quirky, vulnerable, and flawed in a way that you can't help but identify or sympathize with them. Add on the addition of a community caught in the grips of dealing with a recent paranormal outing and fears and misgivings will run high. All these little things combined make the characters come to life within the pages and make for a fun series that I find most enjoyable. Overall I gave this one 4 1/2 roses.  On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating - too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Molly Harper created a short story between 'Nice Girls Don't Live Forever' and 'Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors'. It's called 'Nice Girls Don’t Sign a Lease Without a Wedding Ring'  and can be found on Molly Harper's blog at:

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