Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs
Published 2009 355 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
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 $25 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-coloured 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 favourite aunt is now her ghostly roommate. She has to fake breathing and daytime hours to avoid coming out of the coffin to her family. She’s forced to forego her favourite 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?
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs is the debut novel of former humour columnist and newspaper reporter Molly Harper. Her first full length novel is a paranormal romance written in a lightly humorous chick-lit style - clearly drawing on her humour columnist past.
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs is the story of small town librarian Jane who manages to lose her job and her life all on the same day. Sound familiar? Well, if you are a fan of MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series the answer to that question is definitely “Yes” since this is pretty much what happened to her protagonist Betsy when she suddenly became unemployed and Queen of the Vampires all at the same time.
Like MaryJanice Davidson’s Betsy, Jane has a cool best friend to help her with her transition to newly undead and a family that couldn’t understand her when she was alive, let alone deal with her now that she’s a vampire. Unlike Betsy, librarian Jane doesn’t have the distinction of being made Queen and has to try and deal with being newly undead and find a new job so that she can keep a roof over her head and buy food for her dog.
While Betsy had the initially annoying Sinclair to show her the ropes, Jane has her vampire sire Gabriel to teach her about being a vampire and be her romantic interest in this story. As a romantic lead, Gabriel is too remote and emotionally distant for my tastes and to my mind this impacts his attraction as the romantic hero of the story. Since Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs is the first part of a series, there isn’t a huge amount of relationship development or big HEA for Jane and Gabriel either but more a feeling that their relationship is progressing nicely but still has a lot of obstacles to be passed – which will presumably happen in following books.
Above all, plot-wise there just isn’t anything new here. Nice girl gets turned unexpectedly into a vampire with ensuing light romance hilarious hi-jinx has already been explored by several popular authors and there isn’t a huge amount here to make Nice Girl’s Don’t Have Fangs stand out from that crowd. That said, it is worth pointing out that if you like vampire chick-lit and are just looking for quick fix of their favourite reading without wanting anything more than a light, fun read with supernatural elements then you can’t go far wrong with Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs either.
Jane narrates the story with sarcasm and snark so while some of the humour is situational, mostly it’s her reactions to the situations, and the words that flow out of her mouth that make the story funny. A high point of the book is Jane’s re-evaluation of her career options now that she can only work nights and includes her unfortunate foray into telemarketing, a career that even as a vampire she just isn’t evil enough to pursue…
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs shows plenty of potential and makes a decent start to this series. If you are looking for new voice in lightweight vampire romance than Jane Jameson, undead ex-librarian could well be the girl for you.
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