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Saturday, March 24, 2012

'Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors' Jane Jameson #4 by Molly Harper


From the BLURB:

Just as Jane Jameson’s unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of wedding planning, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend, Gabriel, are coming along smoothly. That is, until she turns a fatally wounded teenage acquaintance, and the Council pronounces her responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst.

Jane’s kitchen barely holds enough Faux Type O to satiate the cute teen’s appetite and maintain Gabriel’s jealous streak at a slow simmer. As if keeping her hyperactive childe from sucking the blood out of the entire neighborhood isn’t enough to deal with, the persnickety ghost of Jane’s newly deceased grandma Ruthie has declared war on the fanged residents of River Oaks. Suddenly choosing monogrammed cocktail napkins and a cake she can’t even eat seem downright relaxing in comparison.

Tensions inside the house are growing…and outside, a sinister force is aiming a stake straight for the center of Gabriel’s heart. Most brides just have to worry about choosing the right dress, but Jane fears that at this rate, she’ll never make it down the aisle for the wedding all nice girls dream of…


Things have been quiet around Half-Moon Hollow. Zeb has settled into parenthood with his werewolf wife, Jolene, and they are happily being driven mad by their twins. Dick and Andrea have tied the knot and are still enjoying wedded bliss (so long as no one mentions the probability of Dick turning their basement into a ‘man cave’). Even Jane Jameson’s high-strung older sister, Jenny, has mellowed and been getting along swimmingly with her vampiric sibling.

And as for Jane? Once considered a spinster with limited shelf-life, Jane has adapted and thrived as a vampire . . .  with the help of her lover and sire, Gabriel. Now Jane and Gabriel are settled into a comfortable and committed relationship;

We were settled, as so many people were when they reached their thirties. It had just taken Dick and Gabriel a while to get around to it. We spent weekends at my house, watching movies, the babies asleep upstairs in the old nursery. You’d think a bunch of supernatural creatures would find this boring as hell, but after two years filled with blood, heartache, hostage crises, and death, a quiet movie night seems downright decadent.
Sometimes I marvelled at how grown-up we’d all become, and then Dick would recite a sixteen-stanza penis-based epic poem, and I'd take it back.

So with everything so settled at River Oaks, it seems the perfect time for Gabriel to pop the question (again) and ask Jane to be his wedded wife from here to eternity.

Now Jane is organizing an undead wedding, and reaping the rewards of bridesmaid vindictiveness. So of course it’s the perfect time for everything to go wrong.

First her Grandma Ruthie dies. Then Gabriel gets a creepy stalker. And to cap things off, Jane is witness to the murder of her old babysitting charge, all-American teenage boy, Jamie. Jane decides to save Jamie’s life by turning him into a vamp, and takes Jamie on as her sire.

Half-Moon Hollow isn’t so sleepy anymore. Jane is sire to a sullen teenage boy. Gabriel is on some homicidal redneck’s hit-list and to top it all off, Jane has a wedding to plan!

‘Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors’ is the fourth book in Molly Harper’s hilariously magnificent ‘Jane Jameson’ paranormal comedy series.

It has been so long since the last ‘Jane Jameson’ book (2009!) that when this fourth instalment landed in my hot little hands, I took my time and savoured the reading . . .  especially because Molly Harper has no more Jane books planned. Instead she has two spin-off books coming out, the first of which is ‘The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires’ in August, which features a character we meet in ‘Neighbors’. And while Jane and her gang will feature in the spin-offs, Harper hasn’t got any more Jane-only books planned.

Going into this book, knowing it’s a finale of sorts, means that readers have heightened expectations. There are a few loose ends that need tying – like Jane’s Grandma Ruthie harbouring old resentments, and Gabriel finally popping the question to Jane and getting an affirmative answer! What I wasn’t prepared for was all the curveballs and ‘OMG’ jaw-droppers that Harper throws on as icing on this finale cake.

Jane siring her old babysitting charge, Jamie, is hilariously and awkwardly awesome. Jamie is a hot young high-schooler, and all-American teenage God who is cut-down in the prime of his life, right before his old babysitter’s eyes. Luckily vampire Jane is on hand to sire him. . .  but with siring comes many responsibilities. Jamie moves into Jane and Gabriel’s home at River Oaks (not exactly conducive to their sex life). Jamie is not being allowed to see his good Christian parents for fear he might eat them. To top it all off, Jamie has all the usual surging teen hormones. . .  now with vampire reflexes and blood-lust.

Jamie’s death has Jane seeking advice from vampire council member, Ophelia, yet again. This teenage vampire is all kinds of creepy – doubly creepy is the immortal teen’s instant infatuation with Jamie. Not to mention that Jane discovers a little secret Ophelia has been keeping. . .  in the form of her young vampire sister, who she turned some three hundred years ago. Little vampire Georgie makes Damien from ‘The Omen’ look like a boy scout;
“Does someone need a nap?” I asked, patting her head.
“Does someone need to be defenestrated?” she retorted, whirling on me.
I have to admit that having those little china-doll eyes narrowed at me sent a chill down my spine. So I did what any sensible person would do when confronted with a miniature killing machine . . .  I leaned closer and provoked her.
I smiled in that saccharine way that drove Jenny nuts. “I don’t know what sort of low-rent vampires you’re used to dealing with, but I know exactly what ‘defenestrated’ means. And if you think you’re strong enough to push me out a window, bring it on, Pocket Vamp.”
Georgie’s lip curled up as she ground her tiny baby fangs together. The tension in her face suddenly snapped, and she turned to Ophelia.
“I like her,” Georgie said as Ophelia handed her a handheld game unit.

Reading Molly Harper is always a bit of a health hazard . . .  because she will leave you in stitches, every single time. Seriously, side-splitting is an understatement. Harper brings the big laughs when Jane has to plan her wedding – from dealing with her insane mama to accepting the inevitable hen’s night backlash.

Everyone’s favourites are back – Gabriel, Andrea, Dick, Zeb and Jolene. And everyone is revelling in Jane’s wedding planning discomfort, not to mention her siring hits and misses. Gabriel and Jane are steamy as usual, and equally sweet are newlyweds Andrea and Dick. Molly Harper also introduces a few newbies to the series – like human vampire wedding-planner Iris Scanlon, who is the protagonist of the August spin-off book.

‘Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors’ is a brilliantly funny send-off for our girl, Jane Jameson. I’m going to cross my fingers that Molly Harper writes more Jane-centric books. . .  but Harper has proved with her ‘Naked Werewolf’ series and contemporary romance stand-alone that she has a lot more up her sleeve than just Ms Jameson (fabulous as she is). I’ll miss her, but this was a great goodbye for ‘Jane Jameson’, and I do look forward to the promising spin-off books.

5/5

August 2012

2 comments:

  1. This series has quickly become one of my favorites!! (And somehow? I didn't realize there was another one in August!! WOO HOO!)

    Thanks for the great review, Don't Bite their Neighbors is next up on my reading pile!! Now I'm super excited :)

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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  2. I just read this last week and loved it!!! Do we know who the Care and Feeding is going to be about? I didn't realize this was the last Jane book...

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