HOW TO RUN WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF
Series: NAKED WEREWOLF (BOOK 3)
by Molly Harper
Pocket Books/Simon and Schuster
E-Book and Mass Market Paperback 352 pages
E-Galley provided by publisher via Edelweiss for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions granted herein are my own unless otherwise noted. Page and review ©2013, Stephanie Takes-Desbiens, All rights reserved.
Caleb Graham is a werewolf by nature, a tracker by profession. He uses his “extra gifts” to find people, and not always in the most legal or ethical manner. He doesn’t care what they’ve done, or who wants them found, as long as his considerable fee is paid. He likes his life simple and uncomplicated.
Anna Moder, former physician to Caleb’s pack, happens across Caleb during a particularly violent “negotiation” that has left him bloodied and unconscious. She helps him, despite the fact that he’s cost her a car, so he insists that she stay with him on the road for a while. As they grow closer, Anna looks past the gruff exterior and and the questionable job to thoroughly decent werewolf underneath.
Anna – who is careful to edit her involvement with Caleb’s pack from their conversations – doesn’t talk about why a nice girl wants to live in the middle of frozen nowhere, but she’s obviously on the run from something. When Anna’s past collides with Caleb’s current assignment from one of his sleazier contacts, Caleb finally has to make a choice—protect his job…or his potential mate? http://mollyharper.com/books/
I love how Molly Harper makes each book in this series stand-alone, while at the same time maintaining continuity. It’s a pleasure to read this with the other books in the series, but as a stand alone it’s just as enjoyable.
Like most of the series this book is funny and smexy, but this one has a dark side: Domestic Violence and how a smart woman can become a victim and a survivor. This character is damaged, struggling and on the run. Ending up in a relationship will be hard and the last thing she needs is to be betrayed again. How does a woman ever regain trust in any man after losing so much of one’s life to a bad guy?
Harper really gets into the psychology of this issue without becoming maudlin. Neither does she downplay its seriousness; she runs through a lot of the issues, including the violence. And, in a way, she shows that a woman is not alone — not really. Help is available but like Molly’s character, many women feel shame or at fault.
On the other hand, Molly once again takes us to the beauty of Alaska and the ruggedness of life in many of its small towns. Her description of the life of a stripper is funny and sure taught me something new. The characters are different — Anna/Tina describes herself as adventurous in a way most of Harper’s heroines haven’t. The situation of being on the road, taking a long time to get to one’s destination via truck and cheap motels, was unusual.
There’s a little willful blindness to the obvious about Tina/Anna’s connection to Caleb. Tina and Caleb are connected by her last hide-out; the town and pack where Caleb grew up. The relationship develops organically, so by the time they are really together they are friends as well as lovers. And there’s a definite paradox between her ethics and his job as a bounty hunter; can she compromise her ethics so they can negotiate a relationship? I loved the surprise at the very end.
In the end, Harper’s trademark snarky humor and the sexy-times outweigh the social issue and the book is both enjoyable and thought-provoking. Like all Molly’s books, I just loved the read and devoured it. If you haven’t read Molly you are missing a treat. I highly recommend the book and Molly is a MUST READ! With the wonder of e-shopping you can still pre-order this as a Christmas gift!