Today, I've decided to review How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf... Thought it'd be nice, since I've been waiting for the sequel :) Enjoy the review!
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper
published by Simon & Schuster in February 2011
Northern ExposureGenre: Paranormal romance
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...
Series: Naked Werewolf, Book #1
The Story: After the end of her engagement with a man who was exactly the opposite of what her parents want, Mo figures it's time that she puts some distance between her and her hippy parents... and thus, move as far as possible while staying in the US: Grundy, Alaska.
Getting accustomed to Alaska's weather and being one of the only eligible woman in town takes time... but it's nothing compared to discovering that werewolves do exist for real and that your neighbor is one... and that you're kind of falling for him. However, being with Cooper Graham is complicated. First, there have been sighting of wolves and a few attacks... and Cooper can't rule out it was him. Then, there's his estranged relationship with his family that has been a weight on his shoulder and is not getting any lighter with the attacks. Can this work out?
My Opinion: So I picked How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf because I read Ms Harper's Jane Jameson vampire series last year (already?!?) and really enjoyed it. Ms Harper has a breezy writing style and a wicked sense of humor and I was hoping to enjoy them in her new series :) It's just unfortunate for me that I ran into some little issues as well ^_^;
What I liked about the book was the heroine, Mo :) I liked that Mo was finally taking charge of her life. Mo and her parents - mother in particular - have a difficult relationship. Her parents could be considered as extremist hippies - against meat, against capitalism, against processed sugar, etc. and have never really forgotten Mo for breaking from the mold. That means her mother regularly breaks into her place to throw out all the unhealthy junk she eats and Mo often does things just to be contrary. However, when Mo realizes she was going to marry a guy - not out of love, but because his type was all what her parents despise, it's like a reality check of Mo. Time to live her life for herself and thus the move. I thought it showed Mo's strength, but also her courage. Also, I really like her personality and manner, she was fun and reminded me a lot of Jane, but a bit more level-headed. I guess discovering that the paranormal is real is easier to deal with than turning into a vampire :P
I thought Ms Harper handled Mo's move to Grundy, Alaska pretty well. We got some nice introductions to the little town, some of the important players and to the cold LOL. I think whenever there's a book set in Alaska, the cold is always factored in and it makes it more realistic, because it's really an important element. I liked the little town and the sense of community there was - it felt a bit like back in a western, the pioneer feeling. And I think the pacing contributed to the feeling. Ms Harper took her time getting Mo settled and I enjoyed that part of the story :) Sometimes, authors seem to rush things along to get to "the" story, but not Ms Harper and I appreciated that.
So what were the issues? Well, the hero, Cooper Graham. I never really warmed up to him and as a result, I never warmed up to the romance either. I just didn't find him interesting ^_^; And that was quite the surprise, because after all, he's the werewolf and I was looking forward to get to know their world. We've glimpsed a little of werewolves in the Jane Jameson series and I was hoping there'd be a bit more links between the two series... Anyway, Cooper being the werewolf, I thought he'd be more interesting, more appealing... but he wasn't. Part of it was the character/man himself. He's the quiet, silent type that seems very broody and surly. Also, he had quite a lot of baggage that he didn't seem able to handle. I don't know, but to me, it took a little bit away from his manliness. Women look for safety and security with man, or at least, I do, but I never felt like Cooper could provided it to Mo. It seems when things became overwhelming, he ran :( Another reason I might not have warmed to him is because the narration is from Mo's POV, so it skews things a little. It worked in the Jane Jameson series because Jane was turned in a vampire, but in this case, Mo is still human - so the werewolf aspect is not complete. In any case, I had difficulty understanding why Mo would fall for him, besides the fact that sex was hot ^_^;
Aside from the romance, there was a little intrigue with the wolves attacks that was used to introduced Cooper's past. Overall, it was okay - no real surprise there.
My Grade: C-. It might seem pretty tough as a grade, but I guess it's because I had high expectations ^_^; How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf shares a lot of similarity with the Jane Jameson series - great, quirky heroine with a dysfunctional family who discovers that the paranormal exists... And while the Jane Jameson series didn't have a great hero either, it got away because of Jane's tribulations as a vampire, a solid cast of secondary characters and Jane's overall growth throughout the series. As a result, Ms Harper's writing style which borders chick-lit works well. How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf just doesn't seem to have the same edge to it... and therefore, combined with a not so lovable hero and lukewarm romance, suffers :( Hoping however that The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf will be better... and LOL, I can't help but think that the woman on the cover really fits my image of Maggie ^_^;