Title: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Author: Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Audiobook Length: 9 hours, 12 minutes
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 22 February 2011
Bottom Line: Sexy and fun and quintessential Molly Harper
“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…”
Thoughts: Mo Westein is sassy, capable, and strong. Anyone who moves across the country to avoid her parents’ interference is not a wallflower. Neither is she a damsel in distress and in fact would probably punch someone in the face were one to accuse her of it. is a thoroughly modern woman and a surprisingly decent role model. Cooper Graham is equally strong and admirable. He proves himself to be the perfect balance to Mo’s feistiness, romantic without being sappy, and a genuinely good person werewolf. Together, they make a great couple, and the happily-ever-after is both realistic and perfectly fairy tale-esque.
One of the things that Molly Harper does so well is capture the complications that make up a mother-daughter relationship. Mo and Saffron (yes, like the spice; Mo’s parents are quite the couple, and any time she references her childhood, it is cause for giggling) have a loving but strained relationship as Saffron struggles with letting go of her thirty-year-old daughter. Any daughter can recognize the delicate balance Mo uses in regards to her mother and completely understands when she throws delicacy out the window and opts for the brutal truth. In addition to providing comic relief, theirs is a great example of the need for well-established boundaries as well as the fact that families, no matter how insane, are for life.
The partnership between Ms. Harper and Amanda Ronconi is arguably one of the best author/narrator partnerships out there. Ms. Ronconi nails Ms. Harper’s sarcasm and humor. The easy banter with which Ms. Harper infuses her stories takes on a life of its own under Ms. Ronconi’s breezy cadence and slight southern drawl. Ms. Ronconi’s male voices leave much to be desired, but it matters not because the rest of her performance is so amusing and absolutely charming, highlighting the best of Ms. Harper’s dialogue.
Ms. Harper’s novels are silly. They involve preposterously gorgeous men and women who are adorably awkward but fiercely independent. Sparks always fly, as do panties. There is also at least one supernatural creature, whether it is a vampire, a ghost, or – as in this case – a werewolf. Yet, Ms. Harper takes all of these ridiculous elements and blends them into a fun, romance-slash-comedy-slash-mystery-slash-suspense story that works very, very well of which How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf is just another example.