Thursday, May 1, 2014

Molly Harper - The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf

Generations of werewolves have been secretly residing in a secluded valley a stone's throw from Grundy, Alaska. So when a snooping Outsider comes to Grundy to investigate rumors of lycanthropic shenanigans in the area, the valley's pack alpha, Maggie Graham, resolves to chase him away, even if doing so takes a quick bite on the butt. What a pity that researcher Nick Thatcher turns out to be so drool-worthy, and that his kisses make Maggie want to sit up and beg. Maggie just can't seem to convince Nick to leave . . . and even worse, she can't convince "herself "to stay away from "him. "Cross-species dating is problem enough for a harried alpha female, but on top of that, a rival group of werewolves is trying to move into the valley. With interpack war threatening, Maggie can't afford to be distracted. Combining romance and a career can be tough for anyone; for a werewolf in love with a human, it may be disastrous. . .

Comment: After five months I could finally return to this world created by ms Harper. I love shape shifter stories and the first one in this werewolf trilogy was brilliant and I didn't have to think hard about reading more.

This is the story of Maggie Graham, Cooper's sister. She feels pretty good now that she is pack alpha and it's even better to have Cooper supporting her and her beloved pack happy enough. So, when a scientist shows up trying to prove werewolves existence, she is eager to send him home but isn't prepared to accept he might be her mate. But he is attractive and does smell good...
Nick is doing his work but after meeting Maggie and the community in Alaska, his feelings develop for Maggie quite fast. Things move in a direction he didn't expect, but he's very accepting and resourceful. Can they be what the other wants?

I think the previous book was better. It had a better balance between the romance and the plot, I think. In this story's case, the romance felt a bit rushed and not as polished as the other one. I think Nick and Maggie had a very fast change of heart for the type of commitment on the line. Maggie is a wonderful heroine and she expressed her feelings on the subject quite well but I had the feeling she went pretty fast from trying to send Nick away to having him near. I know, this is just part of the romance formula, but it would have worked out better if we could see Nick's behavior more. The story is told from Maggie's POV so, of course we can't see everything the other characters are doing or thinking and in this story's case, I think it wasn't done the best way. I mean, it's not that bad, but I sure felt the need to balance Maggie's attitudes and actions with Nick's. Nick certainly feels something and knowing things from his conversations wasn't enough, in my opinion. This is the thing I would change, I wish we could have Nick's POV also.

As for the plot, it also had many romance tricks, like the wrong misunderstandings and the bad guy revealed on the last scene, which seemed just like a way to end things, but overall, it was OK.
Once more, I liked the interactions between Maggie and Nick and with all the secondary characters. It was fun to see things progressed between books and that the author doesn't focus only on the main couple, although they are center of course. 
It was also good to see some interesting subjects, like the disease in old age, the concept of helping others in a close community, the fondness and love within was good and it added strength to the plot and the story.

The best thing to me was Maggie's personality. I really loved her voice and her way of behaving, her irony and sarcasm and also her love for the family and those she felt protective of. Maggie is a good heroine although her hero didn't have the same focus on.

All things considered, this wasn't a bad story, it was actually a good second installment, but I think it could have used more solid points here and there. I'm still eager to read the third, so my enjoyment wasn't lost even with the less than stellar parts.
Grade: 7/10

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