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.Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Three and a half stars: A fun read with a more serious tone.
Anna Moder is on the run. She is currently working as a grocery store clerk while waiting to hear from her contact. She was forced to leave her home and the pack after she received word that danger was closing in. Scared and alone, Anna is just trying to get to a safe place. After finishing a long shift, she wants nothing more than to return to her hotel, shower and fall into bed. Unfortunately on the way to her car, she inadvertently witnesses an altercation and a shooting. Without thinking, she grabs the bleeding man and tosses him into his truck. Holed up in a hotel room, she treats the man and discovers that he is a werewolf. Anna is all too familiar with werewolves as she spent the last four years as the doctor for a pack of werewolves. Anna hopes to make a clean escape in the morning, but Werewolf Caleb has other plans. Can Caleb convince Anna to stop running?
What I Liked:
- This book takes on a more serious tone as it deals with a woman on the run from an abusive and controlling spouse. Even though there is some darker subject matter, Ms. Harper manages to keep the overall tone of the book light, fun and flirty. This was a quick, enjoyable read with memorable characters and a solid story.
- The romance moves at a slow pace. I liked that it takes its sweet time building and developing before moving into something more. I loved that Caleb was ever patient and gave Anna plenty of space. Yes, there are some stumbles, but everything works itself out. This is a romance done right, no insta love or triangles or ridiculous drama. I especially liked the way they both ended up changing each other for the better, Anna makes Caleb more scrupulous in his job, while Caleb teaches Anna to trust and love again.
- Anna was a character that gained my admiration quickly. She is a smart and successful doctor who unfortunately met and married the wrong man. After years of control and abuse, she found the courage to run. Her life is terrifying, but she continues to move forward. She never wallows in self pity or gives up. Domestic abuse is a terrifying topic, and I liked the way that Anna and Ms. Harper handled it in this book. I also appreciated that Anna wanted to stand on her own two feet, and not let Caleb interfere. She does the right thing even when she is so tempted to not to. I only wish that Ms. Harper had given some resource information at the end for woman who are caught in the same troubling situation as Anna.
- Caleb is fantastic. He is a werewolf bounty hunter, who hunts down people and objects for cash. Even though he is a werewolf, he is kind and patient with Anna. Sure he puts his stamp on her from the get go by saying she is his and he wants to protect her in exchange for saving his life, but there is so much more to the story than that. I loved that he never pushed or questioned, even though he knew she was lying. When the two end up in a quarrel, he steps back and lets Anna sort through her feelings. He is hot, sexy and big hearted. He is certainly my favorite werewolf in the series.
- I appreciate that this is a series you can read in any order as it the books are companion novels. You don't have to read them in succession. In fact, I skipped book two as it was the least favorite of readers, but I was never lost. It was fun to catch up with the characters from the previous books toward the end of this one. I liked seeing how Mo and Cooper were faring as well as Maggie and the rest of the pack.
And The Not So Much:
- One of the biggest draws for the first book was the charming, cozy town of Grundy. I was so eager to get back to Grundy and reconnect with the pleasant townsfolk. Unfortunately, Grundy is far behind as Anna and Caleb are on the run. Anna is running from her past, while Caleb is running after his next bounty hunt. That means the two are constantly driving through small towns in Alaska staying in rundown, grungy hotels. I missed the comfortable charm of Grundy.
- The ending was a bit hurried and abrupt. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger and everything is resolved, but it just ends in a strange place. I felt like it needed a bit more resolution.
- As much as I liked the romance and Anna's courage, I was frustrated with Anna's inability to trust. Sure I understood where she was coming from, but Anna and Caleb are constantly lying to one another, and worse, they both know the other is lying, but they continue to go along with the ruse. I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration at the their lack of communication. It gets a little irritating.
- Since this book was more serious in nature, it lacked a bit of the humor and snark that I loved in How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf. There are still some funny lines, but it isn't as light, and humorous as book one.
- This is just a personal preference, but I don't like the book cover, it is a bit ridiculous to have a half dressed girl in the snow of Alaska, it doesn't fit Anna at all. I much preferred the cartoon covers that were featured on the first two books.
How to Run with a Naked Werewolf was a fun and entertaining read. This book is a bit more serious in nature as it deals with the troubling topic of spousal abuse. Still it is a solid read with enjoyable characters and a terrific romance. If you are fan of Ms. Harper, this will surely be a good read for you. For those of you who have yet to try a book by this author, this is a book you can pick up and read in a few hours. Fear not if you have not read the other book in the series as this is a companion book. I definitely recommend giving this series a go.
"Bartenders are like priests armed with truth serum. People tell them everything."
"I did not spend four almost homeless years avoiding a pole---despite several potentially lucrative offers---to start publicly baring skin now."
"What are you running from?" That put a damper on the fluttering lashes. "Columbia House Music Club," I said, recovering my snarkiness quickly. "Oh sure, they say they'll sell you six CDs for a penny, but they'll hunt you down like the hounds of hell if you miss the payments."
"Seriously, I'd fix it so they'd use your carcass as bait on that Deadliest Catch show."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.