Review: How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Format: mass market, ebook
Pub Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Pocket
Length: 352 pages
FTC: e-ARC courtesy of the publisher

"I was the ass-backward Red Riding Hood."

As much as I like Molly Harper's writing style, I have to admit that her books aren't super memorable. I remember reading both of the previous installments in this series, but I can't tell you anything about them except that they were funny. Which, sometimes, is all you need.

How to Run with a Naked Werewolf starts off with a bang, literally, when Anna Moder witnesses a shooting and watches as her ancient Pinto explodes. The story is told in the first person through Anna's POV, an abuse victim on the run from her stalker ex. The "ass-backward" part of the story is that the injured man she rescues is a werewolf. And she knows it. In a fun twist on the usual 'keeping the other nature secret' plot device, Anna is well aware of Caleb's nature, having served as a pack doctor for over two years. Caleb still keeps his nature under wraps, but it's fun watching Anna watch Caleb's struggles. Kind of an 'I know what you don't think I know' inside joke.

 Trigger warning: there are some pretty graphic violence-against-women scenes (no rape, but plenty of abuse) that might catch readers off guard given the overall tone of the book. The heroine is in hiding from an emotionally and physically abusive husband/stalker, so the scenes aren't gratuitous, but still...fair warning.

Although I found the friendship and companionship a delightful surprise in the book, I didn't buy into the shift from platonic to romantic. There was no sexual tension and no heat. No compelling inner struggle. A large part of that is the choice of POV, because we don't get any insight into Caleb's thoughts or feelings.

 This is fluff, but it's funny fluff that doesn't strive to be more than it is.  Despite some of the more serious issues featured here, it doesn't have a deep message.  Judged on its own merits, the book accomplishes what it sets out to do: make the reader laugh.

My Grade: B

The Blurb:
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 notquite- 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.

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