Series: Jane Jameson #4
Format Read: paper ARC
Source: publisher for participatjng in an online conference
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads: SPOILERS FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS
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 neighbourhood 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 seems 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...
I received this book several years ago but with one thing and another it kept getting pushed to the back of the TBR pile. I'd read several Harper books and enjoyed them and since then I'd read more so I brought it back to the top. As usual, I'm reading out of order. Cuz I'm special that way. :P
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Harper's humor appeals to me; quirky, silly, snarky, sometimes punny, never mean. She plays with tropes from urban fantasy and paranormal romance and has fun with them. These vamps do get extra gorgeous when they're turned but not all are rich, some are stupid, and some, such as the ones we read about, live in small rural towns. There are even redneck vampires (shades of Bubba in Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series). We have nice vamps, mean vamps, and vamps who are in between. They're just trying to live, love, and not get staked.
I was first introduced to the main characters in this book and series when I read, A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses, in the spin off of this series. I didn't like Dick in that book and some of Jane's actions in it didn't seem believable to me but now that I've read this one, I've changed my mind. So, maybe read this series in order for maximum benefit. Do as I say, not as I do. :P
The hijinks in "Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors" had me laughing almost non-stop and there are lots of funny quotes and scenes. Jane means well, is impulsive, tries to balance being her own person with familial expectations, and regularly gets in her own way. She may be a vampire and be a frequent target of kidnappings and assassination attempts (I swear she rivals Savannah and Jaime in Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series) but she's completely relatable and likeable. I loved the relationship between her and her family and her and boyfriend Gabriel. Gabriel gets her, he understands her, and doesn't try to change her though he has an annoying habit of not sharing information with her.
Ophelia, the local vampire is devious and scary and hoo boy, I don't want to catch her attention. That can have catastrophic results. Her sister is creeeeeeepy and also frightening. Jane's relatives are a mixed bunch, and I'm not sure any of them are sane. I really hope we've seen the last of Grandma Ruthie, so long, farewell, adios. I need to find Zeb and Jolene's book and read it as I really liked them and want to know more; Zeb is a childhood friend who married a non-human and they actually seem sort of normal. :D
The newborn vamp that Jane cares for was fun and brought in some seriousness to the story. The human family of baby vamp are having a hard time coping and that adds to baby vamp's transition challenges. Baby vamp has a strong awareness of fictional vamps but quickly discovers that the reality is different. The interactions between baby vamp and Jane show her responsible side and her maternal side while baby vamp and Gabriel have some bumps to smooth out. I felt for baby vamp but it seems he s/he is off to a solid start in his/her new life.
The storyline about the person hunting and trying to kill Jane and Gabriel was, while rooted in understandable motivation, nevertheless over-the-top and almost unbelievable. But, the story kept me reading, I had to see what was going to happen, and as I said, I laughed my way through the book so I can overlook the implausibility. Though, the trick with poison arrow was pretty neat and awfully smart of the person responsible. The book's ending is tidy, everything all tied up in neat bows, but again, I don't care. I had fun.
So, quirky, smart, silly, funny, cute, sweet but tart; "Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors" is a fun, frothy confection for when you need a good laugh.