Release date: February 22nd, 2011
More info: goodreads
Series: #1 in the Naked Werewolf series
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. . . .
I had not read Ms. Harper before, but friends of mine who had, raved about her, so when I had a chance to get this one, I took it. I knew it would be light and probably humorous. It was. It was also well written, a light romance with some depth and some good writing. I enjoyed it very much.
Mo and Cooper are the cliched couple who are physically attracted to each other but don't like each other so they try to resist. Harper makes their dislike feel real and not forced so it took me a while to realize the cliche she was using. Their relationship develops over time instead of happening instantly or in a brief period of time. Harper allows things to unfold naturally and doesn't rush them.
Mo is from the mainland of the USA, specifically Mississippi. She makes the radical move from the Deep South to Alaska, despite not having a job lined up, because her life needs shaking up and she really, REALLY wants to put distance between herself and her parents. Mo and her fiancee called off their engagement and she doesn't want to stay in her small town. Plus, her parents make her crazy, especially her mother. Her parents are hippies who have never quite transitioned out of being hippies and her mother tries to run her life, even letting herself into Mo's home and throwing out any food that she disapproves of.
So Mo moves to Alaska where the women are scarce and the men are eager to court them. She gets a job, makes friends, and in short order realizes that the wolf she has encountered on several occasions is actually hunky, cranky Cooper, trail guide. She begins to wonder if Cooper may be the wolf responsible for attacking and killing some of the locals. Cooper himself believes that he may be (Harper's werewolves sometimes have trouble recalling their actions while in wolf form). The wolf attacks are devastating to the town and the local US Forestry ranger, Alan Dahling, is working overtime trying to track the wolf responsible.
The story is primarily a romance with paranormal and mystery elements but it's really Mo's blossoming and finding her place in Grundy which really held my interest. Mo is strong and stubborn without being TSTL, or too stupid to live; she's smart, funny, loyal, and able to admit when she's wrong. Harper is funny and sharp, I tweeted some of my favorite lines as I was reading the book - "Wait a minute, I recognized that scowl. That was Cooper's scowl. That was Cooper's sister." "So, it's like an olfactory chastity belt?" "Werewolves could be such horndogs." were among them.
Overall, this is a funny, easy sweet read that doesn't skimp on story or development.
This paperback was received from the publisher for review.