Jaded, Bearded, Wolfish
Jaded, Bearded, Wolfish by G.G. Andrew is the third standalone romantic comedy in her Crazy, Sexy, Ghoulish novella series, and the first one I read (though as soon as I finished I was at Amazon picking up the other two faster than you can say Boo!). I admit to being completely pulled in by the title, the cover, and my completely inaccurate belief that it was a shifter book (it’s not). Instead, it’s the hilarious, sexy opposites attract story of a couple who meet while working in costume as werewolves at a Halloween theme park.
Zach is nursing a broken heart and staying clear of female companionship after his fiancée dumped him for his cousin (ouch). He’s got a great group of friends who are used to his grumpy self though, and he enjoys his job dressing up as a werewolf and scaring children and adults alike. What he isn’t keen on is discovering that his new werewolf co-worker is female – chatty, perky, pretty, but thankfully already in a relationship.
Sam is a massage therapist, putting in some part time hours at the Halloween house for some extra cash. She’s been in some plays and her howling and growling skills are pretty convincing. She’s dating a hipster musician, but lately he hasn’t had much time for her. She wants a guy who’ll sweep her off her feet. Zach certainly can’t be that guy – he doesn’t even believe in rainbows never mind true love! Zach doesn’t want to find Sam interesting or attractive, but he does. When their friendship starts to lead to more, will they take a chance on each other?
Romances with a Halloween theme are few and far between but I’m so glad I took a chance on this one! I love a grumpy hero, especially a bearded lumberjack type, and Zach hit all my buttons in that regard. The banter when he and Sam meet is quite funny since they are so different in character and yet that old saying about opposites attract definitely holds true. Though Sam has a boyfriend at the start, there is no cheating in this story (he doesn’t last long) and the contrast between him and Zach definitely shows that actions speak louder than words.
Zach and Sam have some mutual friends (something they discover while working together), some of whom are the couples from the first two books who add to the fun (and give hints of what’s to come). Zach has good reasons for not wanting to get involved with anyone, but he’s lonely, and it doesn’t take long for Sam’s friendly and engaging nature to prise him out of his shell. There are several laugh out loud moments and a few sexy scenes that showcase the attraction they have for each other. The happy for now ending is very sweet and perfect for this new couple. No tricks, this is a Halloween treat well worth the read.