The Accidental Werewolf
by Dakota Cassidy
(Berkley, $14, PG-13 ) ISBN 978-0425219300
****
Marty Andrews is your typical girly-girl: she enjoys spa treatments, hair coloring, wearing pretty things, and is cheerleader-perky about her job selling Bobbie Sue cosmetics. At least, until Keegan Flaherty and his big teeth come along.

Though the bite was accidental, Keegan has turned Marty into a werewolf. Since werewolves have refrained from running around biting people for several centuries, not only is Marty now an anomaly in her own world, but in the werewolf world as well – plus, the other werewolves don't like her!

Someone seems to be out to get her, as well.  Marty's already been kidnapped and managed to break free with her new superhuman powers, but Keegan's receiving threatening notes – and he's not about to let anything happen to her, to hell with the Council that has ruled the werewolf realm for so long.

Being as Marty's perky and endlessly asking questions (and why shouldn't she?) and Keegan's the type – an Alpha, actually THE Alpha – who expects his word to pass as gospel, the two butt heads. A lot. Marty's struggling as a werewolf, not only with the general changes, but with trying to make the physical one. Keegan's struggling with his temper constantly – trying to keep a rein on it around Marty at home, and trying not to kill his co-workers at Pack, the cosmetic company his family owns and runs.

Keegan and Marty's individual struggles are probably even more funny than their unquestionably comic romance. Marty's irritating at first, but most readers will probably agree that the change to werewolf did her a lot of good – and Marty's only two friends in the world would be the first to agree, if they only knew what she'd become. Keegan's not just your typical brainless stud of a romantic hero, either, which is refreshing, especially considering how shallow much of the book is otherwise. In fact, given the flighty nature of the book, the characters were surprising in their depth and especially in the ways they resisted conforming to the roles to which they were cast.

The rapport between the characters is fabulous (I especially enjoyed Keegan's interactions with his various family members), and even when readers grow weary of the lack of substance to this novel, that will keep them entertained. The plot to get rid of Marty in a permanent sense keeps The Accidental Werewolf from total brainlessness, but it is still just a quick, flirty read. Cassidy has done a fine job of combining chick lit and the paranormal in a way that surpasses Erin McCarthy's Vegas Vampires series and will keep both romance and paranormal lovers satisfied.

--Sarrah Knight


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