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Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Northern Exposure

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. . . .


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A fun book that takes various wacky twists and turns along the way. It wasn't quite what I was expecting (not that I'm entirely sure just what I expected from it), but it was thoroughly enjoyable anyway.



Mo is a southern belle from Mississippi, though she's far from being your typical southern belle. For starters, she had a rather unconventional upbringing by hippie parents, and has spent most of her life striving to get out from under their influence and to live her life in ways they don't approve of by doing things like eating cheeseburgers and french fries. She even goes to the extreme of moving all the way to Alaska without telling them where she's moving to just to get far enough away from them that she feels she'll finally be out of their reach. Once there, she adapts amazingly well to the drastic change in climate and lifestyle. Though she had intended to be something of a lady of leisure for the first year or so, she ends up employed as the cook at the local restaurant/bar almost right away due to unforseen circumstances and a freak (or not so freak perhaps) accident just a day or two after she arrives in town. It ends up being one of the best things that's happened to her in many ways, for not only does it help her to get to know the residents of Grundy and become accepted by them faster, she also discovers one of her true passions for cooking and it creates the right circumstances for her to meet and get to know Cooper.

When we first meet him, Cooper is portrayed as the gruff, largely anti-social wilderness man type. He's surly with almost everyone he sees, including his cousin Evie (one of Mo's bosses) and Mo. It takes awhile for the characterization to change, but eventually he seems to soften, at least toward Mo, though he still is apt to make very rude and cutting comments at times, especially about her being an "outsider". After awhile it becomes evident that the gruffness is something of a facade, a form of protection to keep people at arms length, an it becomes obvious that he's quite attracted to Mo however rude he is to her on occassion. Even after she discovers his secret, that he's a werewolf, he doesn't change his treatment of her much. Not until suddenly on the night of the First Freeze party when Mo spends the night dancing with other men and being hit on quite heavily by one in particular does Cooper have an abrupt change of attitude and declares his interest quite boldly and unmistakeably. That's far from the end of the story, however, which is one thing that makes this book so interesting and which makes their romance realistic and believable, paranormal elements aside.

I did have a few minor complaints about the book, which are what took it down to a 4 star rating instead of a 5 in my mind, though I'd be willing to go to 4.5 on this one probably. For one thing, I thought the change to Mo and Cooper being passionate lovers was just a bit abrupt. True, he was kind of prompted into taking action by jealousy at seeing her almost end up spending the night with another man, but it still seemed a bit contrived that he would suddenly decide to declare his feelings for her the way he did. Also, I thought the mystery plotline that threads through the book was drug out just a touch too long, though certainly not to the point that it became too tedious. Much longer and it might have though.

Those few minor complaints aside, this was a thoroughly enjoyable book that I'd recommend to anyone that enjoys paranormal romances, or to anyone that simply enjoys a mostly lighthearted romance with plenty of humor in it and just enough seriousness and danger to make things interesting. I'm certainly curious to see what the follow-up book will bring.

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