I chose to read The Werewolf Upstairs by Ashlyn Chase because I do like a lighter read now and then; something laced with humor, a few unusual characters and a fun story. It provides a nice change from the gritty urban fantasy worlds and the emotionally charged romances I like to read.
Roz Wells, an attorney, moves into her friends recently vacated apartment in what is apparently one of the strangest buildings in the city. She meets her neighbor Konrad Wolfensen who happens to be a werewolf, and is immediately attracted to him. Konrad is a security specialist who stages break-ins to convince people they need to buy his security systems. He is also attracted to Roz although she does not feel she’s worthy of his attention since she’s overweight, etc.
When Konrad is arrested during a ‘robbery’ Roz is called upon for legal services. They become better acquainted and next thing you know they are kissing, sharing telepathy, having sex and Konrad is fighting his urge to mark Roz as his mate. This all happens within the first forty pages of the book.
I’m not opposed to the fated mate troupe or instantaneous undeniable attraction. I’ve certainly read my share of these scenarios and enjoyed them. However in order for me to get on board, there has to be something about the hero and heroine beyond the surface that interests me. I have to suspect that there is more than meets the eye and sense the chemistry between the characters to understand what draws them together. Konrad and Roz are virtually strangers to each other yet Roz confides in him regarding a very personal matter but instead of picking up chemistry I was left wondering why she was sharing with someone she hardly knows especially when she’s already insecure as it is. Their jump from acquaintances to lovers was too quick and it seemed forced in order to establish a romantic connection so the characters could get on with their adventures and hijinks.
Reading beyond the first forty there was plenty of humor and quirky secondary characters: witches, ghosts, and a nosy landlady, however, there is a fine line between quirky and silly and unfortunately the characters in this story crossed the line a few too many times for me. What I suspect should have been fun and sexy came off as silly and clearly, it was not my brand of humor. Even trying to overlook the attempted humor, the characters were not interesting enough for me to want to continue.
I am not a reader that insists that a book enthrall me within the first few chapters or else I’ll put it on the DNF shelf. I like to give a book a fair shot since sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s the book. I’ll usually read at least a third of the story and if I’m still not feeling it I might set it aside and come back later just to give it another chance. I gave The Werewolf Upstairs several chances, reading nearly half the book before I had to finally admit, it just wasn’t for me.