Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Molly Harper - How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it's unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham, who has been openly critical of Mo's ability to adapt to life in Alaska, has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.
For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it's love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he's worried that he might be the violent canine in question. 

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he's not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . 

Comment: This was the book chosen for a book club I participate in. I have another book by the author to read but the chosen one was this so I went and got it. I was a bit optimistic because it has a good rating and it has a werewolf that, as surely those who read my comments know, is my favorite paranormal character, even more so than vampires. So, I was really eager to start it.

This is the story of Mo and Cooper. Mo goes to Alaska to be away from her parents because they think differently from her, they are some kind of hippies and she wants independence and to be in a place for herself, without their interference. She is only looking for some solitude and time to charge batteries until she makes a decision to stay or to go after her lease is done.
Cooper is a werewolf away from home after some disputes with his family over the fact he's an alpha who took action over something but didn't like how it went. Now he works as a guide in the wild and after meeting Mo, it seems they feel attracted but he doesn't want to like her, so their interactions are often mutually rude. But will this happen all the time?

I was hoping for a good story, entertaining, vibrant. I also expected humor and probably silly stuff, considering the cover and some things I've read about the story here and there. I was really expecting a silly chic lit story where the main point would be to see how long the main couple would take to have sex. It's really great when we can be surprised positively, because the way I saw this novel, it wasn't as funny or as stupid as I thought! In fact, it wasn't superficial at all.

The story has the funny elements we would expect, like Mo's upbringing, her challenges to start over, her adventures in the Alaska weather, the cliched characters to balance her, and so on. But I guess I had some sort of colored glasses on because apart from the silly scene randomly inserted, I didn't think this was a comedy. This was a lighter paranormal than my usual, but I think it wasn't a silly comedy. The way I saw it, it was about someone with a weird life that just wanted normalcy and she sees herself trying to be as normal as possible in situations that aren't that common, but they can't be said to be an exaggeration. She found friends and a job and a purpose and even love. I consider this book to be a light contemporary, and very good. The paranormal part isn't that exploited besides the basic and I felt the tone used was quite balanced and nothing was made intentionally exaggerated. I loved it! It's hard to find a contemporary that reaches this sort of balance, especially to fit my personal tastes, so...god work, ms Harper!

Mo is an intriguing character. The best thing about her, for me, was how down to earth she was. I now many can say it's because she was raised by hippies and she wanted to be normal, do normal things. Yes, it was this, but also her own personality. She was practical but not too stiff or too lazy. She was quite well characterized and she thought things, she had confidence but this wasn't the aspect of her personality that stand out. She was a responsible person and I liked seeing her dealing with responsibility. I really liked her.
Cooper was an interesting main character. Not stupid or just a stud to help the heroine, he had something about himself and he wasn't the mighty know-it-all hero that usually alphas in paranormal can be. He had his weaknesses and doubts and it was good to see him needing Mo for her support and not only sex. I was quite impressed with their relationship. it was a great romance.

Overall, I liked everything about this book, although by the end things happened a bit rushed somehow...I just felt it could have been a bit slower, that's all. But no complaints, for me this story worked wonderfully!
I'm now eager to read more and will buy the rest of the trilogy as soon as I can. I thin this was one of the best romances I've read, no doubts. I hope all the author's work is as engrossing and addictive.
Grade: 9/10

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