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3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Sexy, funny, and dark--this is the story of a nice girl who discovers that murder is the only way out of a dead-end relationship. But one man knows exactly what she's up to because he's exactly like Grace. He's a killer himself.

The cult favorite that was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel is back in a special 15th Anniversary Edition.

...First there was Clay
Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published October 11th 2012 by Jen Sacks (first published August 15th 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 504)
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*3 stars*

I bought this book because I saw B.G. Harlen was going on about it on Facebook, and it sounded like an interesting read.

Firs of all, I don't know who was responsible for writing the book description, but it's completely wrong. The heroine, Grace, is not like him, at all. And don't go in thinking that they are alike. He's a murderer for hire and she is... I don't know, not a psychopath, they have more discipline than she does, and better reasons to kill. Crazy? Yes, that's it. And the ot
The title of the book refers to how the female lead describes herself: too nice to hurt anyone's feelings, especially not the men she has had sex with. To avoid the discomfort of bruising anyone's ego, she breaks off her relations with them the only way she thinks she has left: she kills them. To be fair, she's never impolite to them, just fatal.

The male lead character doesn't kid himself that he's a nice guy. No, he's an assassin, with no delusions about his personality or relationships.

The pr
Dec 04, 2008 Catten rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jen Sacks is clever. And funny. Satire fits her well. This is a quick read - no heavy stuff to try to digest - the first main character, Grace, is down-to-earth and very likable. I kept picturing Jeff Goldblum as Sam, the second main character, but I just watched Earth Girls are Easy again, and maybe that had something to do with it. (Why did I like that movie?!)

Grace is nice. Really nice. In fact, she's so nice, she can't stand to hurt a guy's feelings.

So she kills him instead.

This technique ma
Mar 17, 2011 Birgit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another novel from my looming TBR stacks, this time a mystery of a different kind. The book offers a quirky premise about Grace, a girl getting rid of her boyfriends by killing them (as she hates to hurt the guys by telling them to bugger off) which is subsequently witnessed by a professional killer, who helps her with disposing of one of the victims.
The plot as such was refreshing and Jen Sacks' short and concise writing style matched it perfectly, as did the alternating narrative of the tw
Jul 06, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Nice is the story of a lady who's too nice to break up with her suitors, but manages to find a way to get rid of them nonetheless. It is, in my mind, a rare 'writer's novel'--the sort of book that, as I read it, I hate myself for not having written it myself. (And yet I can't help but be thrilled to have chosen to read it!) It's in my top five, all-time.
The concept was interesting - girl starts to kill off guys who are interested in her and do not catch on to her subtle refusals because she is too "nice" to break their hearts; girl attracts the attention of an ex-spy and trained killer, originally because he thinks she's cute and later because he figures out that she is getting away with murder; their relationship progresses on the understanding that either one might off the other at any given moment.

Except, well... the concept fell flat in exe
Sarah Sammis
Dec 14, 2011 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2004
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erica Anderson
Jun 10, 2013 Erica Anderson rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! But it is most definitely not for everyone. The heroine, Grace, has a bad habit of knocking off her dates. Sam is a professional killer who becomes intrigued with her. This set-up is so original, that I had to give it a try, and Jen Sacks delivers. There's a lot of black humor and irony, as Sam woos Grace away from her sociopathic tendencies.

Just in case you're worried, this is a romance, with the requisite HEA. Highly recommended if you're interested in something contemporary a
Nov 23, 2008 Maurean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maurean by: bookring
Not having read Bridget Jones, I can't compare the two, but I thought this was an offbeat, fun kind of read. Like many of the journalers before me, I think it started out with a great over-the-top premise, but sort of lost that edge when Sacks decided to wrap it up as a happily-ever-after chick-lit, that I personally found a bit too "nice" and tidy. But, overall, it was a fun read, and I'm glad I took the opportunity!
I really enjoyed seeing two people who are legitimately crazy being presented as still deserving of a good relationship and not really all that bad. The only thing I didn't like was that every other chapter was from Grace's pov and every other from Sam's. It was hard sometimes to remember who was talking, since both povs were told in the first person. It's still a fun dark romantic comedy though.
Feb 17, 2013 Kitti rated it liked it
Sam is an assassin. While testing out some new surveillance equipment he happens upon a pretty redhead, Grace. While watching her he sees her kill off her a couple of her lovers. This intrigues him and makes him start to fall for Grace. Quick quirky story of their interactions with others and the blossoming relationship of these killer bedfellows.
Short oddball tale of a young woman who hates hurting men's feelings so much that she decides killing them is a viable alternative to breaking up. At first pretty entertaining but, all in all, not much of book and really more of a romance/relationship story than a crime story though it was nominated for an Edgar for best first back in 1999.
Oct 21, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been over 10 years since I read this. I will admit that I recall nothing of the book itself, just the impression that it didn't totally suck. In fact, it seems like I actually liked the book. Just not enough to keep it or revisit it.
Mar 18, 2016 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the idea of this book is brilliant - I wish I thought of it myself. But the fragmented writing style and inconsitent shift from tense to tense made the book difficult to read. I couldn't finish more than 40 pages.
Mar 16, 2014 Tiffany rated it it was ok
An interesting premise that could have been a wry commentary on societal expectations placed on women and instead goes the east way into a sort of "prince charming as former-Soviet hired killer" fairytale.
Apr 12, 2012 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This book is hilarious. I read it more then 10 yrs ago and I'm still telling people about it, laughing the whole way through. This book is definitely worth the search since it is now out of print!
Sep 09, 2007 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books is a nice, short read that made me wish that Jen Sacks (the author) was writing more. I was really amused by the characters and the touble they get into. Hope others enjoy it as well!
Wayne Michael
Jan 27, 2012 Wayne Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First - The book description looks like a bad parse of HTML. this needs to be fixed.

This was a dark and humorous story that offered much entertainment.
Aug 03, 2010 Bettie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so fun. What if the standard too-nice chick-lit heroine snapped and started killing people? Find out in NICE by Jen Sacks
May 25, 2010 Glenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous-novels
2.5 stars. The book started out decent, but didn't really go anywhere after the first half, so a very average read and somewhat forgettable.
Apr 20, 2010 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books about an unlikely serial killer and her hitman boyfriend. If you enjoy dark comedy this is the book for you.
Kat Crabbe
Aug 15, 2013 Kat Crabbe rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books! The dark humor won't be for everyone, but I found it laugh-out-loud funny and was sorry when I reached the end.
Feb 11, 2013 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book because it was a quick read and entertaining but I didn't approve of the ending. It was a bit too romantic for my tastes.
In addition to being a witty, creative spin on the serial killer novel, this story was HOTHOTHOT! Serial killers are SOOOOOO sexy!
Apr 27, 2009 Rick marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
female serial killer. You gotta love books about female serila killers. There is not enough books about female serial kilers
Dec 12, 2010 Alison is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly creeped out by the first part of this book. Put it aside to read others, but plan on getting back to it.
Jan 11, 2009 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nice people who wish they could stand (or stab) up for themselves
Grace is too nice. She can't stand the thought of hurting anyone's feelings. So instead... she kills them.
Feb 02, 2010 Radha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a quick, fun read. plot and writing isn't wonderful, but I found it to be a page turner
Sherri Hunter
Aug 20, 2009 Sherri Hunter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
The book started out great, but quickly petered out after Grace and Sam meet in person.
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