Monday, May 4, 2015

The Accidental Werewolf (Accidentals #1) by Dakota Cassidy

Marty Andrews is well on her way to success having worked her way up the Bobbie-Sue cosmetics chain.  Marty has even gotten to the point where she can mentor Wendy and Nina.  All Marty can think about is the moment when she will sell enough product to earn the coveted blue convertible and how well it will match her colour wheel.  It all comes to a grinding halt when her toy puddle Muffin decides to attack her werewolf  neighbour Keegan and Marty gets bitten trying to free the werewolf from Muffin, who suddenly thinks she is bigger than she is.

Before Marty knows it, she starts sprouting hair everywhere, cannot control her temper and there's a little issue with her tail appearing when she gets mad.  Things turn from bad to worse when Marty finds herself kidnapped and forced into the back of car.  Marty's a werewolf now and despite her desire to spend her life on colour wheels, things have to change and change fast.  Then there's the issue of finding Keegan tempting as hell.  Somehow, Marty has to get the hang of being a werewolf, trying to stay alive and figure out exactly what it means to be part of Keegan's pack.

At the beginning of The Accidental Werewolf, I was far from a fan of Marty.  On one hand, it was nice to move away from the tough girl protagonist that we often find in this genre but on the other, Marty was simply speaking irritating.  I simply couldn't take her seriously and building a career out of selling makeup and being obsessed with sending the appropriate message just irked me. I began to think differently about her when I learned that she ended a long term relationship because she wanted to focus on her career, though I still didn't take her career seriously.  It irked me that she was more interested in lip gloss than figuring out what being a werewolf meant for the longest time. I will however say that Marty grew on me as the book continued on.

Marty of course is another protagonist with no family and a dead mother. This fact of course makes joining Keegan's family rather appealing.  When Marty thinks about it, her focus on her career has made her extremely isolated.  The only two people she can call friend are Wendy and Nina, who work under her at Bobbie-Sue and because of that, Marty has to wonder whether the word of friend is even appropriate to use with her.  As it turns out, Wendy and Nina are both loyal to Marty and friend is absolutely the right word.  I love Nina's take no prisoners attitude and Wendy's shy peacemaker personality. 

As love interests go, Keegan is the typical alpha male werewolf.  He orders Marty around, and withholds information for supposedly her own good.  We are told repeatedly how handsome he is and that his scent drives Marty wild.  We don't really get to know much about Keegan beyond his authoritative nature but I still felt myself feeling sorry for him every time Marty uttered the faithful words, "we need to talk."  The amount of patience he showed her is remarkable, even if we take into account that he is responsible for her becoming a werewolf in the first place.  Marty is quite literally a pain in the ass, and I have no idea how Keegan tolerated her, let alone fell in love with her.

The Accidental Werewolf is utterly predictable but that is to be expected from paranormal chick lit.  I knew exactly who the antagonist was and why they wanted Marty out of the way.  The big Perry Mason style confession didn't exactly come as a surprise.  That said, I completely enjoyed the ride.  If you go into The Accidental Werewolf in the right frame of mind, expecting light fluff, a little irritation and a few laughs, it's not a bad book at all.  Predictability, the motivations behind the antagonists actions made perfect sense to me.  I don't know that I would have gone as far as murder but a sense of betrayal for both the male and female antagonist made sense to me. 

The Accidental Werewolf is highly erased.  It's ridiculous considering that the book starts off New York City and then ends in upstate N.Y.  Has Cassidy every been to NYC?  The only reference to POC is Mr. Gonzalez, the owner of a bodega where Marty buys her fruit and vegetables.
Rounding the corner, Marty marched into the bodega and gave Mr. Gonzalez, the owner, a beaming smile as she headed for the cucumbers. “Hey, Mr. G. How goes it?”

His balding head bobbed, glossy and shining under the store lights. “Eees good, Miss Marty. Ju do someting wit ju hair? I liiiike,” he crooned. His smile was teasingly lascivious and shone with approval. “I like de darker hair. Eees pretty on ju. Almost make ju a señorita, eh?” He chuckled at his own cleverness.

With a sigh, she grabbed a cucumber and ignored the comment about her hair. She was a blonde, not some brunette hot tamale (page 58)
Yep, all a White lady needs to look like a Latina is to have her hair go from blonde to brown.  Thanks for that Cassidy.  The entirety of Gonzalez's inclusion in The Accidental Werewolf is the above few paragraphs.  That's it for racial inclusion in freaking NYC.

LGBT people didn't fare much better.  Marty is always looking for an opportunity to sell someone makeup they don't need.  In this instance, Marty tried to sell  makeup to a lesbian so that she could ...wait for it.... attract a man.
Jesus, Marty! We were in the I-Hop, for fuck’s sake. Who wants to find out what their season is over pancakes?

Not to mention the lesbian you thought might be able to find a man if she’d just wear a little eye shadow.”

Marty’s lips puckered. “I was only trying to help.”

“Help?” Nina shouted with a sharp bark, shoving her hands into her jacket. “She’s a lesbian, Marty! Girls! She likes girls, and no amount of frosted eye shadow is going to make her want dick.” (pg 8-9)
I was really glad to see Nina call Marty out on her homophobia and the very idea that every woman, regardless of their sexuality, cannot wait to catch herself a man.  Given how this exchange went, I'm not sure if things would have gotten any better had Cassidy tried for real inclusion in The Accidental Werewolf.  There is also the issue that while I am glad that Nina called Marty out, I think I would have preferred the nameless lesbian to have spoken for herself.

The Accidental Werewolf is typical paranormal chick lit.  It never promised to be more than it was and delivered exactly what it promised.  Once Marty became tolerable, it really wasn't a bad book.  It had moments of comedy which made me laugh, like Marty having tail envy and stressing about her inability to fully shift.  I like the idea of a career driven protagonist, even if I found her so-called career questionable.  There were absolutely elements of insta love in Marty's relationship with Keegan but she held back and didn't vow HEA.  Keegan and Marty actually spend six months getting to know each other and when Keegan does propose, he's willing to wait until Marty is ready.  This works for me in a big way because I am sick to death of the insta love trope.

I read The Accidental Werewolf rather quickly, though I wouldn't say that I was caught up in the story. It was light and entertaining and perfect for whiling away a spring afternoon.  If you're just looking for light meaningless fluff, this might be the book for you.