“With her best friend Zeb’s Titanic-themed wedding looming ahead, new vampire Jane Jameson struggles to develop her budding relationship with her enigmatic sire, Gabriel. It seems unfair that she’s expected to master undead dating while dealing with a groom heading for a nuptial nervous breakdown, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and the ugliest bridesmaid dress in the history of marriage.
Meanwhile, the passing of Jane’s future step-grandpa puts Grandma Ruthie back on the market. Her new fiance, Wilbur, has his own history of suspiciously dead spouses, and he may or may not have died ten years ago. Half-Moon Hollow’s own Black Widow has finally met her match.
Should Jane warn her grandmother of Wilbur’s marital habits or let things run their course? Will Jane always be an undead bridesmaid, never the undead bride?”
Thoughts: Poor Jane. Being human, and alive, has never looked quite as enticing. Forced to wear the ugliest bridesmaid dress in existence all while trying to keep the groom alive, maneuvering through the minefield that is her family relationships, and trying to make sense of her relationship with Gabriel, it is enough to turn even the nicest girl into something best seen on The Exorcist. Throughout all her trials and tribulations however, Jane remains her goofy self replete with her insecurities, her strong sense of obligation, and her wit.
Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men picks up several months after the end of the first novel. While there are some references to the first book, first-time readers will be able to survive after just reading the synopsis. This time, the reader gets a better look at Jane’s circle of friends and family, adding some much-needed character development that was missing the first time around. Jane is much more comfortable in her vampire skin now that she has had several months to get used to the transformation. Her family’s inability to adjust to her new lifestyle add some of the funniest, albeit saddest, moments in the story. We all want to be accepted for who we are, and the fact that Jane’s family cannot is disappointing even as these scenes provides comic relief.
Amanda Ronconi had me in stitches with her enactment of Jane. Just the barest hint of a Southern accent creeps through her performance, which fits the locale of the novel. The timbre of her voice is perfectly suited to audio, just low enough to still be feminine while not irritating the listener. The only drawback to her performance is her attempt at male voices. While Ms. Ronconi’s voice is low for a female, she cannot pull off the bass notes necessary to emulate masculine voices. The result is something that sounds more painful than male. Still, as Jane, she captures her sarcasm, earnestness and gaucheness will also portraying hints of the strength of character that makes Jane such a great heroine.
Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men makes no demands of the reader other than to sit back and chuckle. The gentle mocking of the entire genre never gets old but only serves to add to the general hilarity. Jane remains endearingly clumsy and absolutely charming. Every once in a while, every reader needs a book that does not take itself too seriously but should be enjoyed as is, with minimal effort. Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men fits the bill perfectly.
Acknowledgements: Mine. All mine.