Driving Mr. Dead Audiobook
By: Molly Harper
Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
Published by: Audible 12/2012
Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation.
Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog! And she has to do it without letting her passenger—the most persnickety, stuffy, devastatingly handsome vamp she’s ever met—drive her crazy. As she and Collin find disaster on the roads, they also find an undeniable spark between them. Could Miranda have found the perfect job and the perfect guy for her?
Review by Terran Lynn
Based on the title and cover, I can honestly say I would more than likely pass right by this book. I guess I just don’t like “cheesy” covers/titles. Well, the old moniker “Don’t judge a book by its cover” certainly applies here! Molly Harper has written an engaging (albeit short) and laugh-out-loud-glad-you-weren’t-drinking-anything-or-it-would-be-spewing-from-your-nose story. If I did have a specific criticism, it’s that it is, in fact, too short. I really loved these characters and the audiobook version was just over 5 hours. Since the story is a novella…I suppose this does make sense, but it left me wanting more.
Miranda has left behind her a string of epic job failures. She finally finds herself in a role that she thinks she just may succeed at: Driver to the undead. And then she meets her first passenger. Collin Sutherland is a reclusive vampire with ginormous OCD issues (made crystal clear by the 16 page list of rules and regs he hands Miranda before their journey). Because of his fear of flying, they embark on a cross-country trek FULL of the disasters that seem to follow Miranda everywhere she goes. Initially, she is completely put off by Collin’s stick-up-his-rear behavior and his snooty, 18th century attitude. They are challenged by some humorous and daunting situations. Miranda’s attitude and personality intrigue and amuse Collin and he begins warming up….then things heat up.
I have one word for this book. Fun. Ms. Harper’s writing style is perfect for a quick summer read…you know, the ones that have you sitting by the pool with a sly grin on your face (unbeknownst to you) and have everyone around you wondering what you’ve got that they haven’t. Some of the phrases she comes up with are absolutely hilarious and they come off so naturally that it doesn’t seem as if she’s trying too hard to be witty.
At first though, I didn’t understand how this romance could work. Collin seems so thoroughly jerkish and neurotic in the beginning. It was difficult to imagine him being attractive. I enjoyed that the warm-up was gradual not forced. I love that they didn’t take one look at each other and attack (I absolutely HATE that….H-A-T-E it). If I have one criticism, it’s that I found myself anticipating answers that didn’t come…answers to quirks that were highlighted several times. For instance: “why can’t Collin sense Miranda like he does all others?” and “why is Miranda’s life riddled with constant disaster?”. I guess I have to get creative because the answers don’t come. I did feel left hanging. Again, these are small things that don’t take away from the total enjoyment of the story. If you have a road trip coming up, put this in your audio queue. It will be the perfect driving companion for a good 5-6 hours.
As for narration, Amanda Ronconi is such a brilliant comedic reader. Sarcasm isn’t always easy. With Molly Harper’s writing style, it had better come easy, or the narrator will do a full-on face plant. Well, Ms. Ronconi definitely speaks fluent sarcasm. Her timing and inflection are fantastic. As a female lead voice, she nails it…every time. One thing though…I just wish she could get the male lead voices right. I remember thinking this in the last book of hers that I listened to. Her leading male voices are breathy and throaty (although, I guess some ladies will like this??). I always seem to get past it, but it definitely annoys…especially since she is always so completely spot-on with females and even some secondary male characters. Despite this one issue, I will probably listen to this book again. It is highly amusing and I may have laughed more with this little novella than I have during any other full-length book. It’s a keeper!
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