Cupid Rocks by Francesca Hawley was one of those stories I picked up on impulse. I had not read a real review of it, but between seeing the cover in several blogs and that cover just speaking to me, I went ahead and grabbed this. For some reason, I had in my mind that it was more of a short story or novella. Nope, full length novel, but it read very quickly and smoothly like a novella would. This was the first book I have read by Ms. Hawley, but I doubt it will be the last.
The story starts off with Mandy Goldwolf getting ready for her parents band, The Pack, to come into town for a brief sabbatical off the road. They will be working in the studio and celebrating her parents anniversary. She is also lying to her parents about finding a mate. The owner of the local bar where The Pack will be playing and a long time friend of Mandy's is going to play the part of her mate. Problems soon arise, when Mandy meets the new lead singer, Joe Blackwolf, and discovers her actual True Mate. Can anyone else guess how badly this is going to turn out? But that was just this tip of the ice burg. The story continues on with a depth that totally surprised me.
The story was told in the view point of both Mandy and Joe. Both have issues going into this relationship, but the other one is there to help them work through them. The coming together of family and the breaking down of long held misunderstandings was a very nice thing to see. I really liked how two such diverse family groups came together to find common ground. Yes, there was sex, but all of it helped to move the story forward. It didn't feel like it was just there as a gratuitous sex scene or was too over the top to be really believable. As for the paranormal aspects, the wolf was so well integrated into the story that it just seemed believable in this story. I wasn't thrown out of the story at any point, going "Oh Come On, Really!" or "*Snort*, Seen THAT before". Because, hey, been there, done that. The wolf is a part of the story, but the main theme was family and forgiveness and love.
I am giving this 4 stars on Goodreads. 3 1/2 for a solid good story, and 1/2 star because of that cover. What a great impulse read. Here's to trusting your instincts and finding great books everywhere you read.