January 9, 2014

REVIEW: How To Run With a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3)

How To Run With a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #3), by Molly Harper
Published December 31, 2013
Pocket Books
e-ARC, obtained from Edelweiss
adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads)
Down, Boy

Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he's really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don't faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she's known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham that's a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.

The problem is, Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a not-quite-legal bounty hunter, and Anna is suspicious of both him and his profession. On the run from her past, with old problems closing in, she'd like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb, however, seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle?

Anna's been dreaming of returning to a semi-normal life, but now she's experiencing a strange new urge . . . to join Caleb in running with the wolves.

Molly Harper, how I have missed you and your naked werewolves. 

Anna is on the run from an abusive relationship when she stumbles upon Caleb, a member of the pack of werewolves she used to care for as the pack physician, in a sticky situation. He convinces her to travel with him until they reach Anchorage. She learns his job as a bounty hunter and even helps out. And both of them continue to fight the feelings they start to develop for each other. And, when her secrets and his come out, they both wonder if their time on the road has built enough of a foundation for their tentative relationship to survive.

Molly Harper's books have just a different kind of feel to them, you know? They're light and fun and quirky. They make me smile and laugh. And there's plenty of swooning. I mean, we're talking werewolves here. You can't get any more alpha than that. Even in a book like How To Run With a Naked Werewolf where we're reading about such a serious situation as domestic abuse, I found myself laughing out loud more often than not. 

Molly did a fantastic job balancing out the serious nature of the book with the fun-loving style that she's known for. It's a fine line to walk - how much humor is enough to lighten the mood, yet not so much that it detracts from the seriousness that the situation deserves? Molly Harper walks that line perfectly. She slows things down and gets serious when its needed.

The romance between Anna and Caleb is slow to build as each learns how much to trust the other. Caleb is so sweet for being such a big, burly werewolf man. The way he cares for Anna and watches out for her is completely endearing. I loved seeing the two distinct sides of him - the bounty hunter and the mated werewolf. It was like seeing two sides of the same coin. I dare you to not fall in love with him. 

Anna has been through so much. She's running and hiding from her husband who stalked her and beat the crap out of her. Obviously, she doesn't trust easily. She's strong and capable. Her distrust and at times standoffishness did start to grate on me a bit, but I had to remind myself that this is probably pretty true to life. 

After Anna rescues Caleb in the beginning, the two embark on a crazy, epic road trip. I love road trips and the spontaneity they bring. The towns in which they find themselves and the crazy situations were the absolute best part of this book. 

I loved so much that Molly found a way to inject our favorite characters from her first two books into the story. We saw Cooper and Mo and Maggie and Nate and where both couples are in their relationships now. The fusing of all three books was done seamlessly - it didn't seem at all like they were forced into the story just to have them there.  

The ending was explosive. I loved how everything came to a head and then worked itself out. There was a bit of a strange and awkward interaction between Anna and two side characters from the book, but outside of that, the HEA was perfect. If you haven't experienced Molly Harper's unique style of writing yet, please pick up one of her books and give them a try. They're perfect to get you out of a reading slump and make you smile.

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