[Book Revew] A SEAL Wolf Christmas

A SEAL Wolf Christmas / Terry Spear

To start off, this is exactly the sort of romance novel (paranormal or not) I'm embarrassed to be caught reading.  I wouldn't have picked this up on my own, and really only did so as it was a book club pick.  If you are into books that have titles like A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing (admit it, you probably read it as "a seal in wolf's clothing" and giggled), A Highland Wolf Christmas (kilts AND werewolves), Call of the Cougar (were-cougars, not older women chasing significantly younger men), Jaguar Fever, and the like, you will probably like this book (and other titles by Terry Spear).

I didn't.  But then, I'm not someone who generally sees a book like this and says "hot damn, I have got to read this."  Exceptions standing for books involving Librarians for amusement reasons and review copies requested at 3AM.  I really can't defend many of my 3AM review choices.

Official teaser text for A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing:
Can an Alpha Wolf Who's Met His Match...

Navy SEAL Bjornolf Jorgenson has had tough missions before, but going undercover with feisty gray wolf Anna Johnson could top the list. She drives him crazy—in more ways than one. Now he has to investigate a murder, supervise a wild teenage wolf—and handle Christmas with Anna.

Survive the Holidays with Her?

For Anna, the only thing worse than staging the perfect family Christmas is having to do it with Bjornolf posing as her husband. Anna is a serious undercover operative who isn't afraid of a fight, even with a hunky SEAL shifter. With a killer on the loose, Anna just wants to focus on their mission, but the one thing she can't fight is her sizzling chemistry with Bjornolf.

Praise for USA Today bestseller A SEAL in Wolf's Clothing:

"A nonstop, action-packed romance with kick, growls, and sexy attitude."—Long and Short Reviews

"A delightful and tantalizing read...You'll be captivated."—Thoughts in Progress

"Edgy characters, lots of loving, and lots of action. Just about as good as it gets!"—The Book Binge
Guess who's not buying it?

Yup.  Me.

Okay.  Starting with "She drives him crazy - in more ways than one."  In this book Anna doesn't drive him crazy in "more ways than one"; his reactions to Anna are fuck and protect.  It's pretty clear cut.  Next, "supervise a wild teenage wolf."  I'm not sure they ever really supervise this kid, they're more there to be there as theoretically positive examples of adult werewolves.  That he requested.  And Nathan's more "earnest" and likely to cause trouble by mistake than actually act out in a "wild" manner.

My take on summarizing this book:

Retired Navy SEAL (because we have to have that in here, obviously) Bjornolf Jorgenson (now that I think of it, I don't think they ever address his rank) is a loner and a ghost.  He specializes in providing unseen security for teams operating in dangerous conditions.  But sometimes, revealing himself is inevitable.

Anna Johnson contracts with Hunter's rescue teams, but isn't part of the pack.  When on a mission in the Amazon to rescue a hostage family, she and Jorgenson end up working closely together, after his quick work saves her life.  Things get a little steamy between the two, and not just because they're in a jungle.

What Anna isn't prepared for is their next assignment.  Hunter wants Anna and Bjornolf to pose as newly wed relations of the teen were Nathan, who's stumbled onto evidence of foul play.  Not comfortable with Christmas or the temptation of shacking up with the sexy Bjornolf, Anna reluctantly accepts the assignment, determined to solve the murders as quickly as possible.  What she doesn't count on is Nathan and Bjornolf changing her mind about the holiday, and about family and relationships.
If I'm reading a book about werewolves I get that we'll have bad-ass alpha males coming to the rescue.  Here's the thing, Anna is supposed to be seriously bad ass.  Maybe not quite as deadly or combat experienced as Bjornolf, but she's been working as an independent security contractor for years.  I want to see her throw down.  Instead we pretty much get "she's a badass woman, look at how badass she is" while Bjornolf runs in to save the day.

Honestly, the book reads more like "here are normal humans who can be hardcore" with a propensity for turning fuzzy, rather than the superhumans they're promised to be.

Maybe I'm just yearning for Elena Michaels.

In this setting it's also made out that if two werewolves bone, they are mated for life (unless one dies, then the other is free to find a new mate).  Okay, so I totally get that relationships between werewolves need to be taken slow, and maybe they have a tendency towards one-night stands with humans whom they can't bond with.  Anna and Bjornolf sure shack up in a permanent relationship fast.

The narration switches from person to person quickly and without much warning.  Just paragraph to paragraph within the same scene.  The prose is weak and under developed.  Everything within the plot is so pat.  The villains are little more than paper dolls.  Hell, the sex wasn't even that hot.  It was just sort of there.  I've read hotter sex scenes in non-romance novels.

I don't see myself reading anything else by this author, her writing just isn't for me.

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