Skip to main content

Review | How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger

The moral of this story is that it has been far too long since I read a Gail Carriger book. I discovered her back when her debut novel Soulless first came out and thought it was perfectly delightful. I read the next couple of Parasol Protectorate novels and then sort of lost my way a bit. I've always rather wanted to return and, my word, has she been prolific in the intervening years. When I began hearing happy rumblings about this first installment in a new series of novellas set in the same familiar world, it felt like the perfect time to jump back in and test the waters.

Faith Wigglesworth (I know) has been exiled to London and ordered to find herself a werewolf husband posthaste. Her family appears to view such a fate as merely her just desserts for the scandal she caused them back home in Boston. Faith remembers the story a trifle differently. But she is nothing if not relieved to be an ocean away from her less-than-loving family and not at all opposed to a werewolf spouse should the right prospect come along. Enter Major Channing Channing (I know). Head of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry and gamma of the local pack, Channing's years weigh heavy on him and he has little to no use for young debutantes of any sort, let alone the ruined American variety. But Faith is different, with her suitcase full of rocks, her mysterious familiarity with wolves, and her complete and utter lack of fear. Fate (and his very own alpha, Channing suspects) keeps throwing them together and, before long, it's all he can do to remember to be his usual grumpy, off-putting self whenever Faith is in sight.
Faith was enjoying her evening, the looming presence of Major Channing notwithstanding. He seemed to swoop in at odd times, presenting her with a glass of punch or distracting her from her conversation by glowering fiercely. She noticed that if she paid any one gentleman too much attention for too long a time, the major would make himself known. Then he would disappear and ignore her once more.

It was sublimely aggravating. Like being desired by a very large mosquito.
The entirety of this vastly entertaining novella is packed with similarly delightful observations and exchanges. Faith is an immediately sympathetic character. As her history is slowly revealed, my sympathy for her grew. The same is true of Major Channing. Both of these seemingly disparate individuals have suffered greatly, and I so admired their determination to keep going. Every day. Faith is indomitable, and watching Channing struggle to stay away from her lively spark is incredibly amusing and gratifying. I was so grateful the London portion of her family was demonstrably kinder and more protective than her seriously lacking American relations. Her cousin Teddy, in particular, is an absolute gem. As are the scruffy members of Channing's pack, especially Biffy and Lyall, the alpha and beta.
Stop terrorizing the servants, Channing. I don't care how you get yourself out of this twitchy, angry mood you are in, but do it now. I believe I preferred you as a cold, elusive pollock."

Channing grinned. "Now you see why I work so hard for that state. Anything else is worse."

Biffy rolled his eyes. "You could try being happy. Or would that strain something?"

"He doesn't know how." Lyall's voice was sad.

Biffy glared at them both. "Oh, for goodness' sake, he's a werewolf, and he likes to fight. Is it so wrong to suggest he might, oh I don't know, fight for her?
It is such a sweet tale. There is dancing and tea and fancy frocks and quiet longing. And, in the end, they learn to fight for each other. I couldn't ask for more and am so looking forward to the next novella in the Claw & Courtship series.

Tell Me More

Comments

You Might Also Like

Angie’s Best Books of the Decade

I am winded, you guys. Winded from laboring over this list. This is the first time I've attempted to cobble together a Best Books of the Decade list, and I can't say I'll be up to it for another ten years or so. But my, I couldn't resist the challenge (or profound pleasure, if we're being honest). I kept trying to winnow it down, kept forcing myself to be ruthless. Like somehow I could (or should) keep it to a top ten (flat impossible) or at least a top twenty-five (who are we kidding?). But after bidding those constraints good riddance, I really did press myself to take a hard, clear look at what hurts (to mangle my favorite Hemingway quote). Because these novels hurt in the best way. Each entry on this list is a five-star book in my books. Which means I wouldn't change a single thing about a single one of them. They are the ones I call perfect when I recommend them to friends and strangers. They are the ones I have read and reread over the past ten years and…

Angie's Best Books of 2019

It is the last day of the year. How are you doing at this point? You good to go on? I'm going to. For a number of important reasons, which are too varied (or possibly too private) to enumerate here. So how about we say we shall go on because: "Gansey. That's all there is." I find that "Because Gansey" is highly motivating when motivation is thin on the ground.

Also thin on the ground have been my posts this year. And yet, I'm still not stopping. And I still greatly enjoy arriving at this final post of the year. And so here I leave my best books of the year. It wound up being a respectable nineteen titles this year. Nineteen for 2019. That's down a fair bit from last year's whopping twenty-eight, but rather on par with previous years' lists and more than 2016 and 2017, respectively. I'm pleased. I'm pleased with every book on this list, with every one of the books you shared with me and the ones I've been able to share with you. …

Angie's 2020 Must Be Mine List

Tomorrow is always fresh. With no mistakes in it.  And here is the list of upcoming titles that I can hardly wait to read. Behold, my most anticipated novels of 2020:






 And no covers for these ones yet, but I've got my eye on them just the same:
Two Rogues Make a Rightby Cat Sebastian
Second First Impressionsby Sally Thorne