Friday, December 13, 2013

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf (Naked Werewolf #2) by Molly Harper

Now that Connor is abdicated his position of alpha, his younger sister Maggie is now alpha.  Maggie campaigned for this position but as with all things in life, one must be careful what they wish for.  Maggie new role calls for great responsibility because pack life is not a democracy.  All decision must be made her and a result, if something goes wrong all the blame is hers as well.

As the alpha, Maggie must set a good example to the other werewolves.  The were line is in jeopardy of dying out and the only was to assure not having a deadlined family is mate with another werewolf.  Unfortunately the male werewolf options presented to Maggie are not in the least bit appealing.  It seems that they are more interested in taking over her position as alpha than respecting her, let alone loving her.  When a human professor enters the valley researching werewolves with the intent of publishing a book about werewolves, Maggie knows that she must stop him but when she finds herself having feelings, Maggie must weigh what is best for the pack against where her heart wants to go.  If that were not enough, Maggie's pack is under attack from outsiders.  Can Maggie resist the outsider pressures and will she chose her people or her heart?

The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf is written in the first person.  What Harper forgot is that if you are going to use this format, the protagonist must be engaging and interesting.  Maggie is the quintessential spunky agent with a side of Kellie Independence thrown in.  Her first instinct is always to punch and respond in angry. She eschews anything that would be considered typically feminine like makeup or dresses.  Maggie seems to spend quite a bit of her time being angry.  What made this book difficult to read is having to read about Maggie's inner thoughts which were at best insipid.

Of course this book is paranormal chick lit and so going in one should keep expectations low.  In How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf, Harper infused her story with humor, unfortunately there was very little to laugh about in The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf. When you write a story like this, often the humor is the only thing making it entertaining. 

We did get a romance running through the novel but because the story was told mainly from Maggie's point of view, Nick felt completely detached.  Harper put Nick in many of the same situations that Mo, the protagonist from How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf was in, giving the whole story a feeling of repetition.  When you add this to Harper's penchant for constantly back filling information, the entire book itself had a been there done that feel to it.   In the case of The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, instead of the dashing man running to the distress of the female love interest, Maggie save Nick.  I suppose this is a switch upon gender roles but I found it boring that in order to be a leader, a woman (read: Maggie) has to eschew any feminine qualities.

It is further telling that Maggie unlike her brother Connor was a virgin.  We were told that because were wolves mate for life that they tend to stay virgins until marriage.  Somehow, this was not an issue for Maggie's brother Connor.  The gently used female protagonist is an absolute staple in paranormal romance. I could have dealt with this had we not had Connor and Samson complaining repeatedly about men wanting to have sex with Maggie.  Connor justified this as normal because of course as her brother, it's his job to police her sexuality.  Does it get anymore creepy or sexist?

Once again, there were no GLBT people in this story.  In fact the only reference to gay people was Nick suggesting that Maggie marry a gay man for the purposes of breeding but then maintain her primary relationship with him. Isn't that sweet? Though we are told that the werewolves themselves are mixed race, there was no real culture context to make this believable for the reader.

I want into this book not expecting the great American novel, after all this is paranormal chick lit.  I did however expect to be entertained and on that note, The Art of Seducing A Naked Werewolf absolutely failed.  At best, this book is landfill and I am thankful that no trees died for the e-copy I read.  When you go into a book with low expectations and find that it cannot even measure up with that, then there is really little hope for this series.