Thursday, May 7, 2015

Really Short Reviews: Half Moon Hollow Novellas by Molly Harper

I don't always make the effort to include the novellas when I binge read a new series, but I was in love with the town of Half Moon Hollow after reading the Jane Jameson series and I didn't want to miss any of the craziness. I was a little bit confused about the series reading order, since Goodreads and Amazon have different numbers. I used my own numbers here, but this order matches the author's website.

Driving Mr. Dead (Half Moon Hollow #1.5)
Molly Harper
Release: January 31, 2012
Goodreads Amazon
Really Short Review: In the first Half Moon Hollow book, The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires, Iris mentions that she's thinking of adding a vampire transport service to her concierge business Beeline. This is the story of that service's inaugural journey.

Miranda has recently moved back home to Half Moon Hollow after losing her Chicago photography studio, and several previous jobs, in rather spectacular ways. She hates working at her parents' law firm and needs some time apart from her on-again-off-again fiancĂ©. Her high school friend Iris offers her the perfect getaway - driving stick-in-the-mud vampire Collin back to Half Moon Hollow from his home in Oregon on an errand for the Council.

Driving Mr. Dead is sort of like the vampire version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles as everything that could possibly go wrong on the trip does. It's sometimes ridiculous and slapstick-y, but it's often hilarious. And I thought the opposites attract story was charming. Harper does seem to have a thing about heroines who are "on a break" in their relationships, but not necessarily broken up when they find their true love - I know there are some people who are bothered by that.

It's not necessary to read this novella in order to understand the series plot, but Miranda appears in the next book and I liked knowing her history. I also love finding bits of Half Moon Hollow history in these stories - Miranda's brother married Head Courtney.

3.5  stars

Undead Sublet (Half-Moon Hollow #1.6)
Molly Harper
Release: September 25, 2012 as part the Undead in My Bed anthology
Really Short Review: Undead Sublet also takes place between books one and two. Rock star chef Tess Maitland has a meltdown. When she starts talking to the produce in her Chicago restaurant, she's forced to take a sebatical. She travels to Half Moon Hollow to visit her former mentor Chef Gamling who's retired there. Tess rents a house for the month of her stay, only to find someone already living there.

Sam Clemson is going through an ugly divorce. His wife drove away all of his friends and clients when he unwillingly became a vampire and now she's trying to take his house. Her last ditch attempt to drive him out is renting the house to Tess. Sam is unwilling to lose his home and Tess has no where else to go, so the battle for the house is on. The ensuing prank war is so much fun!

Undead Sublet also gave me a lot more of the Hollow. This is what I've been missing in some of the books! The food! Since vampires don't eat, the culinary culture really hasn't been a big part of the series so far. (Unless you count Sherry Jameson's pot pie.) But Tess meets Jolene, Zeb and their kids in a sandwich shop. She helps Chef Gamling cook for a church social. And she decides to buy and renovate an old restaurant. I loved watching her and attitude toward cooking evolve though all of that.
I also like that Tess and Sam aren't getting married at the end of the story. Instead it's just the beginning of their enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story. Tess and her restaurant are mentioned in book two of the series. She and Sam both appear in the Undead Christmas novella and in Gigi's book, The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire.
4 stars

I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas (Half Moon Hollow #2.5)
Molly Harper
Release: November 17, 2014
Really Short Review: This story takes place about three years after The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires. Gigi Scanlon, now twenty years old and a student at the University of Kentucky, is home for the first holiday since her sister Iris became a vampire. Iris has gone full on Martha Stewart with the decorations, food and house full of guests to try to give Gigi the most normal Christmas possible.
But of course vampires can't eat or even stand the smell of food, so Gigi's left with a lot of cooking to do. Her culinary catastrophe had me laughing until I cried! And Gigi's distracted from celebrating by her crumbling relationship with her high school boyfriend and her job interview with the Vampire Council. Not to mention the golden-eyed vampire who might be stalking her.
All the couples from both the Jane Jameson series and the previous Half Moon Hollow stories make an appearance (or in one case a mention) in this novella. It was nice to see what they're all doing and how much Jane's gang has grown since her first book. I love their banter. And their antics after they exchange gifts will have you LOLing.
I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas also serves as a prequel to Gigi's book, so I would recommend reading it before The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire.

4 stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses
The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire


  1. I absolutely adore Molly Harper!! (Except maybe the Bluegrass series, it didn't seem as great as Jane, Half Moon and the Naked Werewolves.) I can't get enough of her! I do still have to read or listen to The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire, though I feel I've waited long enough for it. I keep getting distracted by things like Lexi Blake's Masters and Mercenaries series. Dang it's hot! (Love your site too, by the way! I don't keep up with many review sites, but Goldilocks and the Three Weres is one of my top two favorites!)

    1. Thanks Angie!

      I just started reading Harper this year, but I'm really enjoying her books. I have tried any of the contemp stuff yet.


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