How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf - Molly Harper I’m torn about this book. The story is fascinating, but the execution … well, it is so-so at best, and its flaws affect my overall impression of the novel.
To escape her interfering mother, the protagonist Mo moves from her hometown on the Mississippi to Grundy, Alaska, as far as she could get from her parents and still be in the same country. In Grundy, she meets a medley of colorful local denizens: some charming, others grumpy or confrontational. One of the latter is Cooper, a gorgeous but sullen werewolf, although Mo is at first unaware of his supernatural heritage.
Despite Cooper’s crabby demeanor, sensual sparks ignite in Mo’s heart (and her lower parts) whenever he is in the vicinity. As she gradually makes Grundy her home, Cooper becomes even less cooperative, until at last lust overcomes them both, and hot romance ensues.
Of course, there are complications: an unknown wolf is killing people in the surrounding wilderness, the villagers are primping themselves for a wolf hunt, and both Cooper and Mo have their doubts as to the identity of the killer.
The book is easy to read, although not very absorbing. I had no problem putting it aside, but I wasn’t averse to picking it up again a day or too later. I wanted to know what happened to Mo next.
As any novel where the plot tumbles helter-skelter towards the ending, the tension is high, especially in the second half of the book, but there are some logical lapses. One of them is the ease with which Mo accepts the werewolf aspect of her new boyfriend. Her inevitable shock should’ve been much more profound, but there is nothing profound in her reaction, and her astonishment doesn’t last very long. It resembles more a mild surprise than an earth-shattering revelation. I have a bone to pick with such a cavalier treatment of Mo’s gullibility.
The bedding scenes are numerous and steamy, but it seems to me that both lovers mistake lust for a deeper affection. They dislike each other for the first half of the novel, and then plunge into a torrid affair, where most of their interactions lean towards the vagina-penis variety. Feels like an extremely shallow and silly way to build a relationship.
Of the two lead characters, Mo is much more sympathetic. A compassionate and fearless thirty-year-old woman, she is always willing to help friends in needs, although at times, she seems a bit feckless. Cooper, on the other hand, behaves repeatedly like a wimp, his outer attributes of a hunk notwithstanding: too much self-recrimination and whining and running away from problems; too little action.
The dialog is snappy and often hilarious, especially when Mo is doing the talking, but the editing is bad. Examples? On the first page, Grundy is located in the southeast of Alaska. In the middle of the book it is mentioned as a place in the northwest of the state. Such little blunders litter the novel, but the worst editing gaffe happens on pages 126-127. In one paragraph, Cooper transforms from wolf to man. In the next paragraph, he is back to being wolf, and in the paragraph after that, he transforms again. It feels as if the writer didn’t like one version of the transformation mini-scene, re-wrote it, but forgot to delete the previous version. Very irritating.
Overall rating – 2.5 stars, but I bumped it up to 3 stars, because the story was entertaining, fluffy, and fun.