Audio Review | Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever

September 18, 2013 Reviews 4

Audio Review | Nice Girls Don’t Live ForeverNice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Series: Jane Jameson #3
Published by Audible Inc., Simon and Schuster on December 9, 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 324
Length: 9 hours 4 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

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...

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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.

The Narration…

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.

The Characters…

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.

The Story…

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).

Concluding Sentiments…

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!

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About Molly Harper

My mother remembers an 8-year-old me setting up my “writing office” in our living room by putting her old manual typewriter on the couch next to a toy phone. And I (very slowly) pecked out the story of my third-grade class taking a trip around the world and losing a kid in each city.

I had a dark sense of humor, even then.

In high school, when other girls my age were writing poems about dying unicorns and bleeding roses, I was writing essays about having political arguments with my dad at the dinner table. (Whoever made the other person laugh at their own political party won the argument.) I knew I wanted to write when I grew up, but I also knew there was very little chance I could make a living writing books, so I went for the next best thing – newspaper writing.

I majored in print journalism at Western Kentucky University and used my shiny new degree to get a job at my hometown newspaper. I married my high school sweetheart, David, a local police officer. And for six years, I wrote about school board meetings, quilt shows, a man “losing” the fully grown bear he kept as a pet in his basement, and a guy who faked his death by shark attack in Florida and ended up tossing pies at a local pizzeria.

I loved my job at the paper. I loved meeting new people every day and never knowing where I would end up. But somehow, the ever-shifting schedules of a police officer and a reporter did not equal “family friendly.” One of us needed to take a normal job for the sake of our young daughter. I took a secretarial position at a local church office, which left me with dependably free evenings for the first time in my adult life. David was working the night shift that summer and I was We were living in “The Apartment of Lost Souls” while building our new home. This was the place where appliances and small electronics went to die. Every night I would tuck our snoozing child into bed and wait for the washing machine to start smoking or the computer to suddenly flash the “blue screen of death.” Then there was the plague of frogs in the bathroom that put our daughter of potty-training for about six months.

Normally, when things get tough, I can take solace in reading. But I surveyed my packing box of favorite books with the apathetic air of someone who stands in front of the open refrigerator for 10 minutes and can’t find anything. Nothing sounded good. So I just sat down and started writing something I would want to read.

Being a huge fan of vampire movies and TV shows, I wondered, what would be the most humiliating way possible to be turned into a vampire- a story that a vampire would be embarrassed to share with their vampire buddies over a nice glass of Type O. Well, first, you’d have to make the protaganist a bit of an accidental loser. She’s single, almost 30, and a librarian working in the small Kentucky town where she grew up. This “triple whammy of worry” has made her a permanent fixture on her Mama’s prayer list. And despite the fact that’s pretty good at her job, she just got canned so her boss could replace her with someone who occasionally starts workplace fires. She drowns her sorrows at the local faux nostalgia-themed sports bar and during the commute home, she’s mistaken for a deer and then shot by a drunk hunter. And then she wakes up as a vampire.

And thus, Jane Jameson and the wacky denizens of Half-Moon Hollow were born.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

4 Responses to “Audio Review | Nice Girls Don’t Live Forever”

    • Berls

      Thanks Donna! I don’t think I’ll ever READ this books because Ronconi adds so much, I’d feel like I was being cheated. They’re probably still good reads without her, but I don’t think you can go back after having her read to you!

    • Berls

      Hmmm that’s a good question. Harper does a pretty good job of filling in details, so maybe. But the characters are really only introduced fully the first time and the character development/relationships carries over from book to book. Since that’s a huge part of what makes them enjoyable I don’t think I’d recommend it; you could probably follow what’s going on, but I don’t think you’d enjoy it as much.

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