“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…”
Thoughts: Molly Harper has done it again. With the fourth installment of the Jane Jameson series, Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors, she continues regaling readers with the always charming, absolutely hilarious antics of Jane and her eclectic group of friends. This time, Jane tries to plan her wedding to her sire/dreamy boyfriend while adjusting to life as a mother to a newborn vampire. Yes, it is just as wacky as it sounds.
One of the reasons Jane is so fun to read is that she is not embarrassed or afraid to be different. She sees nothing wrong with re-reading any of Austen’s or Bronte sisters’ books. She knows she is goofy, and she embraces it. Better yet, her friends love her for all her quirks and foibles. A reader can get behind a character that is not perfect and accepts that about herself. In fact, it is refreshing to see a character embrace her nerdiness with such gusto.
Amanda Ronconi continues as the narrator, which is essential. Ms. Ronconi is Jane Jameson. She is that good. There is an artlessness about her performance that enhances Ms. Harper’s humor and makes the entire audio experience feel less canned and more like a spontaneous retelling of family stories. For a story where the dialogue is clever and the repartees are witty and quick, it requires a narrator capable of making the story seem natural. As always, Ms. Ronconi delivers perfectly.
Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors is exactly what readers have come to expect from this series. Jane remains as snarky as ever. Even better, Jane’s friends all get their chances to shine as well. While Jane’s shenanigans are formulaic, they still are fun, especially when Ms. Harper makes mocks herself for reusing the same plot devices. Hopefully, with the ending of this particular novel, Jane’s story has come to its natural conclusion. One wouldn’t want to see such a darling series lose its ability to entertain readers.
Acknowledgements: Mine. All mine.