Lil Marchette is a vampire who still believes in love. Never mind the fact that she's currently between paramours - and has been for quite some time - Lil is convinced that all vampires need love, and that she's just the person to help those who are having a little trouble in that department. Much to the chagrin of her father, who wants her to come work for him in the family business, Lil chooses to max out her credit cards setting up shop for her new match-making service, Dead End Dating.
The road to Happily Ever After is never simple, though, and even though Lil is intent on finding love for other vampires, her mother insists on setting her up on one blind date after another. To complicate things further, Lil meets Ty Bonner, a bounty hunter vamp who is quite the hottie. Unfortunately, as a born vamp, Lil isn't supposed to be interested in turned vampires since they can't procreate. Too bad Lil's heart never got that memo...
This book can best be described as Stephanie Plum meets Betsy Taylor. Lil Marchette is a vampire turned detective and those who enjoy the Betsy or Plum books might enjoy this. However, similarities to those other books aside, Dead End Dating is not without its flaws.
Author Kimberly Raye could have benefited from an editor who insisted that the plot be tightened up. There are times during the story where the pacing seems too slow, and at times, stops altogether. Sometimes it feels like scenes are being dragged out so that Raye can meet her word count, not because the length of the scene enhances the story in any way. Similarly, there are some inconsistencies in some plot lines. For example, Lil says she is five-hundred years old, and she describes one of her first Dead End Dating customers as "a trillion years old," only to find out later in the story that the customer is only one-hundred and nineteen. Sure, it's a small nitpick, but it takes away from the story if the reader constantly questions what they are reading.
Raye succeeds in creating a vampire world that closely mirrors our own but has its own set of vampire rules. The dialogue is snappy and funny. How much a reader will enjoy this will most likely depend on how willing they are to overlook the book’s flaws. Dead End Dating is the first in a trilogy of Lil books, so there are some unresolved plot lines. The sequel, Dead and Dateless is scheduled for release in February 2007.