Adams imprint. Written by Holley Trent, this is a standalone tie-in with crossover characters from her other 'Maria' novels. (Maria is a town, not a person).
Alex Cavanaugh is a waitress in a diner in Maria, New Mexico where paranormals live side by side with humans. Ben Swain's a wolf shifter who's in town on bodyguard duty and looking for a temporary encounter to keep his wolf hormones in check. Alex has had some bad experiences (her ex's nickname, 'Deputy Dipsh*t' almost made me snort diet coke out my nose), and she swears she's not looking for anything other than a temporary measure to keep her hormones in check, so she can concentrate on her budding horticulture business.
Yes, they bonded in about 5 minutes flat. Yes, it's goofy in places and the sarcastic humor doesn't always ring true. On the other hand, sometimes you need a really sweet, silly, light, romantic sexy read and this one is sweet and undemanding. There's enough dramatic tension to give the denouement a fluffy and romantic payoff.
I wasn't particularly pleased by portraying the local conservationist/ecology park ranger type character as a complete doofus, and I'm very much against gathering native plant materials irresponsibly (which Alex doesn't do, exactly), but I'm probably the only person who will react to that part of the story.
For fans of playfully light paranormal romance, this quick read (128 pages) will satisfy. NSFW, but not erotica, either. I'm not really the target audience; I'm sure paranormal romance fans will enjoy it very much.
Three and a half stars.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher.