Sunday, June 22, 2014

Molly Harper - How to Run With a Naked Werewolf

Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he's really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don't faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she's known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham that's a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.
The problem is, Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a notquite-legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she'd like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?
Anna's been dreaming of returning to a semi-normal life, but now she's experiencing a strange new urge . . . to join Caleb in running with the wolves.

Comment: After having read and enjoyed the previous two stories in this trilogy, of course I had to read this one as well, even though the second book wasn't as great as the first one. Now that I have read the three books, I consider the trilogy successful and with more than enough elements to suit my taste.

This is Anna Moder's story. We've know her as the pack's doctor and now it's her turn to tell her story. Anna is on the run because someone is after her and she wants to get away as fast as she can and start new someplace else. But she helps a stranger after he's attacked and finding out he's part of the pack she just left and even more, he's a werewolf too, is too much for Anna an she ends up traveling with him to reach Anchorage and leave for good. But neither she nor Caleb the werewolf were expecting the trip to be as enlightening about their fates or as vital for the two of them because their bond could be stronger the more time they spend together...

I liked the story. I liked that it followed the same patterns we saw in previous books and even more important, that it maintained the same feel as the other novels had. I have to say this book looked to be at the same level as the previous one, Maggie's story. It was cute and full of amazing scenes and a good structure but it didn't have the punch of perfection the first book had, at least not for the way I saw this. Still, this book was more than satisfying in terms of plot and HEA.

I liked Anna and her way of thinking, her so called "voice". She is a woman unafraid of the unexpected, thus proved by her work with the pack, and her efforts to help strangers, even though she had all the reasons to avoid others. But through her trials she kept her helpful manner and her courage and she only run away because she felt it was her duty to keep the troubles away from those she came to care about. She is the kind of heroine I like, with many strong and valid points of interest about her personality but with a sense of vulnerability too  that makes her more humane. I think the author showed this quite well.

Caleb also explained his reasons to be away for so long and in a way, his reasoning is understandable. But I also think it was the suitable explanation for the plot needed for this story to develop and somehow it felt set up, which ruined the mood a bit. Still, I can't say it was such a bad thing because overall I enjoyed reading the story and following the adventures Caleb and Anna had.
Caleb seemed too distanced emotionally at first but by the end of the story, we see him with family and with people who support him and he changes too, from someone who's been away to someone who always belonged. The change can look a bit too perfect but once again, it felt good enough. 

The romance was interesting, a bit fast but the author managed to give hints about time passing, about important thoughts by the main characters to help them deal with what was happening, which, in turn, allowed for a better time frame to be set and the reader can enjoy the romance developing without the strain of too much too fast which usually might be found in these cases. I can understand why some readers find this book to be weak but for me, most of it worked out well.

In the end, I liked how Anna and Caleb dealt with their pasts and fears and even expectations and found new dreams to help them and to care about. I liked seeing the community welcome them and be, once more, one of the strongest points in the story.
Grade: 8/10

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