Reading level: Adult
Mass market paperback: 384 pages
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release date: May 28, 2013
Series: Flirting with Fangs #1
Source: eARC via Netgalley
Reviewed by: Jenn
Brandee has been dumped in every way possible, but by text is the last straw. That's it—she's officially done with men. Unfortunately, she's just been told her "soul mate" is the drool-worthy hottie all her friends call One-Night Nick.
Nick has been searching for true love for one hundred years. After all, werewolves mate for life, and he does not want to mess this up. As soon as he kisses Brandee, he knows she's the one. But how will he convince a woman who knows nothing of paranormals that she's about to be bound to a werewolf forever?
Ashlyn Chase is a new-to-me author and I thought that FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON sounded like a lot of fun when I saw it on NetGalley. I checked it out online and saw some very positive things as well so I went into it hoping for a fun, flirty paranormal romance. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed. There are some nice aspects to FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON but it wasn't the fun paranormal romp I was hoping for. There's nothing inherently wrong with FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON -- it's nicely written and has a good plot and characters -- but the book definitely wasn't to my tastes.
Stuff I liked:
- The Boston setting. I visited Boston for the first time this year for a conference and I thought it was a great city. I loved seeing it featured in a novel.
- Brandee's optimism. I don't see a lot of truly optimistic, sunny characters in the books I read. I don't only read gloomy books but it's not all that often that you see a character with Brandee's unbridled hopes, at least not one who can also maintain a sense of practicality. I like that Brandee has dreams and that she's working hard to achieve them. And she's a genuinely nice character with a clear set of values. It's great to see a leading lady who has dating rules and doesn't throw them out the window the instant a hottie tells her he's interested. Don't get me wrong -- the two characters have some sexy moments but she doesn't completely change once Nick expresses his interest.
- The supporting characters. I was really interesting in Anthony and some of his customers. Sometimes more interested in them than in Nick and Brandee, so perhaps this isn't as positive as I thought it was when I started this bullet point. But I like a well-rounded cast in my stories and there are some interesting folks in the wings, presumably for future books.
- A more technical one: Chase's ability to explain relationships from past books. I didn't realize it when I requested FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON but it's actually a spin-off of Chase's Strange Neighbors series. Having never heard of her before, I assumed that this was a stand-alone or a start of a series but it's actually a spin-off. To Chase's credit, even though it's obvious that there are books for some of the characters we encounter, she has a deft hand at explaining how the characters met. There's a vampire couple that obviously had a book of their own (THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR) but I still felt like I understood Sly's motivation and history, even without the previous book. Not everyone can do this in a smooth way but I think Chase did a great job of reminding/introducing readers to her old characters.
So why didn't I like it? The root of the problem for me is that FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON was just too silly in places for me. Brandee is lactose intolerant, for example, and her gassiness pops up as a problem for a moment in the novel. I'm all for injecting a bit of realism in fiction but it didn't really advance the plot. And then there's Gaia -- Mother Nature is a total crackpot in this one and I found the scenes with her to be painfully over-the-top. I realize she was supposed to be a diva and all that but I cringed when I was reading her scenes. There were also some corny lines and cheesy moments, which I usually don't mind, but it was a bit too much for me when combined with all the rest. I know there's a strong market for these types of books but I am definitely not the target audience.
So there you have it. FLIRTING UNDER A FULL MOON is a perfectly fine book. I'm sure it will appeal to fans of paranormal romance who enjoy a light tone. It's not the book for me but I think folks who enjoy authors like G. A. Aiken or MaryJanice Davidson should give Ashlyn Chase a shot.