Dead and Dateless by Kimberly Raye

(Dead End Dating, #2)
  Paranormal Romance

The sassiest vampire in all of Manhattan, Lil Marchette, is the owner of Dead End Dating–a matchmaking service for hip, intelligent singles like herself. After only three months, business is booming, and she can finally pay her bills (or, more important, feed a hungry cosmetics addiction). But when one of her clients turns up dead (as in never coming back), Lil is named as the prime suspect.

Sure, she’s a vampire, but she can’t even work up her nerve when it comes to blood-sucking. Hacking somebody to pieces is so out of the question.

To make matters worse, Lil must also contend with a pack of werewolves who ask–no, demand–that she find each one a tall, dark, and handsome mate before the next full moon. Plus, the to-die-for-if-I wasn’t-already-dead Ty Bonner, a lusciously sexy lover but totally unsuitable eternity mate, is never far from her midnight fantasies. But Lil has no time for such thoughts. She must prove her innocence and focus on pairing off the dead and the furry–and maybe stake a claim to her own tasty true love.

Following up the original Dead End Dating, Dead and Dateless delves much further into Liv's blooming romance with the born vampire Tyler, shows her still struggling to keep her new dating service afoot, and this time around running from the police and trying to clear her name in a messy murder investigation. Plot-wise there's a bunch of happenings stuffed in here, much more than the first, yet it all manages to weave together tirelessly, donating ample time to each plot point but never overcrowding the pot.

Dead End Dating was a fun book with an amusing character that didn't annoy, but in this sequel Liv wasn't as likable. First of all, who takes a murder investigation so lightly when they waltz around town? At first she realizes the seriousness of the situation, but this never seems to last. She grew too bored in her FIRST NIGHT of hiding, so bored to the point that she has to leave the apartment and explore town. I can be more understanding on needing to scope out how her new-born biz is doing, but her restless itch to have fun and not take the cops more seriously grated on my nerves. When a main character acts that stupid, it gets a little frustrating.

An even bigger gripe I held was her mother. In the first book her setting Liv up and being oddly dysfunctional made a cute read, but this time the undead's parents get a lot more of the spotlight, and not in a good way. I'm sure Raye wrote the mother to be amusing, but instead it was annoying how she seemed to ignore the fact her only daughter was wanted for killing a man and was a refugee from the police. Come on, clearly she could be forgiven and pardoned for missing tea brunches and the weekly family hunt considering the circumstances? And then Liv placing those things - that she loathes anyway - above her own freedom couldn't sit well with me.

Relationship-wise, Raye fortunately delved much further into the relationship with Ty, giving the two plenty of interaction time. I have no complaints in this department, for the writer did a great job showing expected discomfort, lustful situations, and even funnier misunderstandings. The ending, as before, leaves the couple as an open door that could go either way.

Overall I was disappointed with the sequel. It's still written in the same manner Raye painted previously, but some of the situations were so over the top they just repelled the saner side of me. I find it impossible to root for main characters who act stupid much of the time, and I just wanted to slap the mother every other chapter, gritting my teeth. There also seemed to be less laugh out loud humor, even if it was attempted. It's worth a read, and you don't have to read the original book first - although it's recommended - to start the series, but I'm hoping the third book will be much better.

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