Sunday, August 9, 2015

An American Werewolf in Hoboken (Dakota Cassidy)

An American Werewolf in Hoboken
(The Wolf Mates series, Book 1)
Dakota Cassidy
Book Boutiques
Fiction, Fantasy/Romance
**** (Good)

DESCRIPTION: Ever since they defied the elders and harbored "defective" paranormals, victims of abuse and human experimentation, the Adams werewolf clan has been cursed: when a prophecy comes, the males of the line must find their life mates before the next full moon or die. Clan alpha Max never really wanted to believe that mumbo-jumbo, but his time has come at last. According to the clan mystic Eva and her ever-reliable bowl of chicken noodle soup, his life mate awaits in Hoboken. If he really is going to be tied down for the rest of his existence, Max figures he might as well enjoy his last days of freedom in wolf form. It was just his bad luck he didn't manage to change back before the city animal control officers cornered him and drug him to the pound... where he finds himself face-to-face with the woman who will be his mate: impossibly, a human woman, not a shifter.
Coming off a bad breakup, Hoboken hairdresser JC decides to give the dating scene a rest. She'll try filling the void in her life at the local animal shelter instead of the singles bar. Somehow, she finds herself standing in front of a cage holding the biggest, ugliest, filthiest dog she's ever laid eyes on, an animal so ill-tempered (and foul-smelling) he's due to be put down at the end of the day. JC's apartment's too small for a brute like that, and she really wanted a cat - but who could say no to those eyes?
Now Max has to balance life as JC's hunky new neighbor and life as "Fluffy," her monster-sized canine companion... and, somehow, convince a love-shy woman to not only believe in werewolves, but become his mate before midnight at the next full moon. Because, if the prophecy is true about his life mate, then the Adams clan curse is all too real.

REVIEW: An amusing twist on paranormal romances, this story contains humor and heat in nearly equal portions. Max in wolf form undergoes all manner of canine indignities and doggie dilemmas as Fluffy (his inner war/rationalization over eating JC's unattended T-bone steak versus the premium doggie kibble she so painstakingly selected for him at the pet store nearly had me laughing out loud), while JC struggles to reconcile her instant attraction to her new neighbor with her own bad luck picking men, not to mention her personal vow to stay off the market until she can think straight about romance. Cassidy builds a decent, if not especially deep, mythology behind her paranormals, and if there are a few holes in the story here and there, well, the steam level's high enough to obscure most of them. Speaking of steam, the sex scenes come early and fast (even if the characters don't), making the matter of JC accepting a life mate less about seduction and more about simply foregoing protection... save the whole not-freaking-out-that-her-boyfriend's-a-werewolf thing. For the humor alone, I came close to adding another half-star. By the end, though, some forced conveniences and forgotten threads, not to mention a somewhat rushed conclusion, managed to keep it down to a still-respectable Good rating. I might even spring for the second book in the series, if it's this much fun.

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