Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Jane Jameson #3
Published by Audible Inc., Simon and Schuster on December 9, 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 9 hours 4 minutes
Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson’s sexy sire, Gabriel, has always been unpredictable. But the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow — alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her.
Now the children’s-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly-renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby . . . or litter. Step Three: Figure out who’s been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is becoming a matter of life and undeath...
My Initial Reaction…
I expected hilarity and I got it. I expected to love the characters and I did. I was not expecting a mystery with unexpected twists and turns, but I got that that too! Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever was definitely the best book in the Jane Jameson Series so far.
I feel like a broken record by now, since I seem to sing Amanda Ronconi’s praises at least once a week. But I’ll say it again, just in case you didn’t know – Ronconi is an amazing narrator, who brings her characters to life through unique voices that embrace each individuals personality and ultimately improves every book she touches with her skills. I mean it says something that she makes it into at least one book review a week doesn’t it? I will listen to anything she narrates. In fact, I chose to read this series because of her, not the story, the characters, or the author. I stuck around because all those elements came together beautifully, but she’s what got me started in the first place.
When we left Jane in New Girls Don’t Date Dead Men, she had inherited the bookshop and finally gotten access to all her funds (which was a huge amount of cash apparently) from killing Missy in Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs. Her newly acquired financial security was accompanied by a renewal of her relationship with her sire and on-again off-again boyfriend, Gabriel, who planned to whisk her away on a romantic trip to Europe. So I fully expected a chipper Jane when I started Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever. But things weren’t going exactly as planned; Jane and Gabriel’s trip was a disaster on all accounts and within the first few pages (or minutes if you were listening like me) Jane runs off to Half-Moon Hallow alone, not quite sure if Gabriel has just broken up with her or not. So, while Jane continues to entertain with her dry, sarcastic humor, we had a much more sombre Jane in Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever. She’s not sure where her relationship lies, she’s not sure what Gabriel’s been hiding from her, and she’s really not sure how or where she’s going to find answers.
Gabriel is true to form. He’s continuing to be secretive and mysterious, even leaving her alone for hours at a time on their romantic getaway. He’s receiving mysterious notes and he puts up no argument when Jane presents a flimsy excuse to leave the trip early. He’s not exactly winning any boyfriend of the year awards, that’s for sure. I have gone from thinking he seems like a nice character, to a boring character, to an enormously frustrating character over the span of the series so far. I’m not sure what the future holds for Jane and Gabriel, but I sure hope it includes a much needed attitude adjustment!
For me the secondary characters, and Jane’s interactions with them, make this series. Zeb and Jolene have reached another milestone in their relationship already- Jolene’s pregnant and because she’s a werewolf, that means a shorter pregnancy. And their house still hasn’t been built. So think of all the ways that could turn into a clusterfuck – especially with their respective families – and you’ve got the hilarity that ensues. And there’s plenty of Dick (come on you know you just laughed!), who continues to be one of my favorite characters. He’s changing because of his relationship with Andrea and I think I like the new Dick as much as the old one, if not more. And Jane’s family continues to make her life…interesting. Her mom’s in rare form in Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever and I loved every minute with her in it.
So the story is actually a bit more complex than usual. A big part of the story centers around the gang in Half-Moon Hallow, with all their relationship/family drama and the day-to-day business of running the bookstore, including the hilarious new addition of the Half-Moon Hallow Chamber of Commerce, aka the Stepford Wives Club. There’s something else going on though, and it may explain what’s up with Gabriel – and that’s where the mystery lies.
There was more drama, more action (soft-action?) and more mystery in Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever than in any of the previous books. And it managed all that without sacrificing the humor you’ve come to expect. In fact, I can think of more moments that had my laughing my ass of than in the previous book (though the first one, with her death scene remains the best moment of the series).
If you’re looking for a book heavy on the fun and laughs, with a bit of drama and mystery to boot, you’ll enjoy Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever. I’m looking forward to moving on to Nice Girls Don’t Bite Their Neighbors very soon!