Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Title: How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werwolf, #1) 

Author: Molly Harper 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

I feel like I always pick up a paranormal adult romance novel thinking that I cannot possibly give it more than three stars and sometimes, I just do. It's not that these books are thought-provoking or deep, it's not that they make you cry or scream, it's not even that they are books that change your life. Instead, they're novels that offer some perfect fun and put a smile on your face when you're down and sometimes, that's even harder to do than write a story that touches your heart. Well, sometimes.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf is every bit as funny, romantic, and cute as its title and cover promise. It all starts out when Mo moves hundreds of miles from her humid hometown of Mississippi to Alaska, hoping to re-invent herself. All her life, Mo has been surrounded by completely hipster parents who force her to eat organic food and consider it blasphemous to shop at Wal-Mart. Now, after twenty-nine years of their overbearing presence, Mo has realized that she no longer knows what parts of her are her from what parts of her are simply the person she's become while rebelling against her parents.

Thus, a spontaneous move to Alaska ensues. Alaskans, however, aren't overly friendly to strangers, firmly looking down upon folks who move to the wilderness hoping to re-connect with a hidden part of themselves. Grundy, the small town Mo moves into, however, quickly accepts her. Or rather her fantastic cooking. Cooper, the surly neighbor, handsome man, and cousin of the woman who owns the restaurant Mo works in now, though, isn't so taken with Mo. Not only are the two of them constantly at each others throats, but the next thing you know, Mo knows Cooper's secret: he's a werewolf. At a time when people in Grundy are mysteriously being killed by wolves, that's one secret you want to keep.

What makes How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf such a success, for me at least, is Mo. Even from the first page, Mo has a vivacious and compelling personality, full of spunk and courage. Not only is she strong and stubborn, but her narration is absolutely hilarious. Her memories of her childhood are sprinkled with an incredulousness that is somehow believable and the manner in which she so fully integrates herself into Alaskan society is admirable. Even better, she's not afraid to stand up for herself and refuses to take crap from anyone. In other words, she is the perfect type of literary heroine.

Enter: Cooper. Cooper reminded me a lot of Mr. Darcy in the beginning of this novel - antisocial, aloof, and grumpy. Yet, what I loved about this book is the phenomenal transformation he slowly makes as the book progresses. Cooper and Mo have a charged relationship from the start and seeing their romance culminate is both rewarding and steamy. Mo evidently has a huge influence on Cooper, but it is not immediate. Cooper is a very multi-layered and intriguing character and peeling back each one of those layers is what kept me riveted to this story, unable to set it down. I literally read it in one sitting, so be prepared to not move for a few hours if you pick this one up.

In addition to a toe-curling romance and engaging protagonists, we have a mystery on our hands as well. Since a wolf is running free, killing tourists and villagers in Grundy, Mo's thoughts can't help but flee to Cooper and his family not far away. What I enjoyed about this mystery was that it was perfectly paced, with just the right amount of red herrings to make it obvious, but only if you really, really looked. It still came as a surprise to me by the end and the manner in which it was woven into the romance, making it deeper by the end, was rewarding as well. Even better, the mystery aspect opened new doors for complex family relationships as we got to meet Cooper's parents, sister, and cousins, as well as gain insight into why he, as an alpha, is no longer leading his pack.

How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf is the perfect winter read. It is heartwarming, amusing, and is sure to put a smile on your face and keep it there. Furthermore, its characters are utterly charming and the friendships, romances, and other bonds in this novel will make you form your own ties with these memorable personalities. Mo and Cooper are one of the best paranormal romance couples I've read about and the manner in which their relationship progresses, along with the pacing, is simply perfect. We have character growth, butterfly-inducing romance, and complex relationships, all with a dash of drama, murder mystery, and - let's not forget - sexy werewolves. If that isn't a recipe for success, then I don't know what is.


  1. I have had this in my pile forever and I just decided after reading your review that I need to move it up. I have had a bad streak of not so great reads and I just need something funny and light and entertaining and obviously this worked for you and I know you have impeccable taste!

  2. I totally get what you mean. It's kind of like with Moning's Fever series - it's not perfect by any means, more like guilty pleasure reads. Y'know? I must admit I kind of laughed when I read the title for this book, aha. xD Mo sounds like a fun character, and you say Cooper is kind of like My Darcy to being with? I have a soft spot for him so... ;) Glad to hear he changes as the novel progresses, though. I love me some layered characters! Wonderful review. <3

  3. WOW A romance novel with such a high stamp of approval from you is a must buy! I will be checking it out asap. I always have to intersperse indulgent reads into heavier books, and I especially love that these characters sound unique and engaging. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Whoa, 4.5 stars?! I have to read this one!

    I have seen this around, but I confess I was really turned off by the cover. It doesn't read "toe-curling romance" to me, hah, NOR a hero who reminds you of Mr. Darcy! But after this review, I definitely have to check this one out.

    I love the occasional adult urban fantasy for the exact reasons you listed; they're just fun escapist fantasy, and there's nothing wrong with that. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  5. I so agree! I also love her characters. This one is just fun. That is why I enjoy Molly Harper. Loved the Jane series and I also have the second book in the naked were series I need to read. Can't wait to get to it.

  6. I'm always looking for a good werewolf novel, but I seem to find very few.

    The fact that you rated this one 4.5 stars has me already adding it to my wishlist because you have me utterly convinced that I need to read it.

    Great review as always dearest! :)

  7. This book does sound like the perfect winter read, although it IS 75 degrees outside right now as I type this. Not exactly common winter weather, unfortunately!

    But I love how the romance is slow-building, and with such fantastic protagonists, I can just imagine how great it was to see the romance develop.

    Fabulous review, Keertana! This sounds like the perfect adorable read. <3

  8. The title is certainly eye catching so I'm glad this book ended up being super cute. It doesn't normally sound like my cup of tea but I kind of want to check it out now. Great review, K!

  9. Dang it woman! You are blowing my reading schedule right out of the water! I LOVE the sound of this one. I've never heard of this and laughed when I saw the cover, but then I saw your 4.5 Stars. You review makes this sound awesome. I need this, like STAT. Brilliant review. :)

  10. I think I've mentioned that I listened to this one on audio (while ironing, hah), and I liked it a lot. It wasn't that memorable, I admit, but I admired Mo as much as you did, and I enjoyed her quirky narrative.
    I was never really tempted to read book two, but after reading your review, I think I want to reread (listen) this one next time I get a chance. It's been a while after all.
    Great review!

  11. YAY KEERTANA! I really enjoyed this book too! Molly Harper has such a warm and hilarious sense of humor, I thoroughly enjoy her books:) Are you going to continue on with the series? I've read book 2 and liked that one as well, and I can't remember if there are more after that or not. I should probably check:)

  12. I can't believe I've never heard of this book before it sounds utterly charming. Also our winter in the UK has come quite late as usual so I think this would be perfect to pick up now. I love a good toe-curling romance and mystery and any character who reminds me of Mr. Darcy, also now that I think about it I don't think I've read a book where I've fallen for a werewolf! I think I need to change that asap! Thanks for yet again another wonderful review and for putting this awesome book on my tbr! <3! :)

  13. I am with Lauren and Wendy, a 4.5 from you on a paranormal romance with a cutesy cartoon-ish cover?? Get out! I actually have heard of this but, call me a snob, I just couldn't get past the cover and the title. But now, after your stamp of approval I am calling myself out on my snobbery and definitely going to give this a try! Because I love fun reads with awesome protagonists like you described Mo being! Yay! I am so glad you tested this one out for all of us and enjoyed it, Keertana!!:)

  14. Oooh 4.5 stars for a PNR? I just did a very happy double take! I love hilarious narrators, and it sounds like I would enjoy reading about Mo and Cooper's relationship. I am SO in the mood for this kind of read after being disappointed with several recent literary/high-concept novels. I need a breath of fresh air! Cool review, and thanks for bringing this book up, I'm pretty sure I never would have heard of it otherwise. :-)

  15. I love books that are just fun. That are just easy to read and have a blast. And this one is already on my WL since I have seen a few other good reviews. I have to say, you have my finger itching to hit the 'buy' button. I want to read it now!

  16. I've never heard of this, but it does sound fun, Keertana!

  17. Mo sounds great, and I think the title is funny.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  18. oh, you have totally made me want to get this book :) that, and the title. sounds like my kind of fun

    x Nomes

  19. Chalk another one up to wolf love! I was so happy when you enjoyed this one so much. I agree completely, I never go into these types of books thinking to rate them so highly, but when they're such a fun, entertaining escape, it's hard not to just love all over them! Mo is straight up hilarious, and I love that she's the practical child of hippies, and Cooper is totally that hot anti-social gruff guy...mmm...flannel... The rest of Harper's books aren't as much fun as this one, but you let me know if you find something that is!


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