I never would have found out about Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe by Hazel Osmond if it wasn’t for Sabrina of About Happy Books and her review of the book. It seemed like something that I’d enjoy reading so I ordered a copy from Book Depository since it’s not locally available. I picked this up when I felt that I needed a light and fun book in between fantasy reads. Too bad I wasn’t able to take a picture of the cover because it looks a lot nicer in person, all purple and sparkly. I think it’s perfect for the contents of the book.
Here’s the summary from Hazel Osmond’s website:
Her life gets more complicated when her new boss Jack Wolfe – Heathcliff in a Suit – arrives at the agency. With his brooding good looks, trademark scowl and plans for change, he challenges Ellie to smarten up and prove herself.
To Ellie’s horror, she finds herself both repelled and attracted to the sexy and dangerous Jack. But this particular wolf has an awful lot to hide.
Who’s afraid of Mr Wolfe? Not Ellie.
Not until it’s far too late.
This is part of the acknowledgments section: “the actor Richard Armitage, because without his cravat and scowls there would be no Jack Wolfe.” As if I needed more encouragement to read this book? I’m always on the lookout for chick lit with more depth than usual and I think Who’s Afraid of Mr. Wolfe falls under that classification. I loved Richard Armitage in North and South so any book that has a hero resembling him is a winner in my eyes. The first half of the book was highly entertaining and the pages flew by as I read them. Ellie works as a copywriter in an ad agency and is one-half of a creative team in their company. She works with her graphic artist best friend, Lesley. Ellie is great at what she does, she’s smart and she’s willing to take risks for the sake of creativity. She studied English in college and reads paperbacks during her free time. She likes to take care of her eccentric great-aunt Edith. Sounds like someone who I can be friends with. She’s immune to the charms of their new boss, Jack Wolfe. He’s well-known in the industry for shaping things up in ad agencies that lag behind and he seems like a great boss. All the other women in the office thinks he’s hot and he’s a really good catch but this is what Ellie thinks of him:
“They’ve read too many of those romances with alpha males striding their way through them. They think that beneath all that granite they’re going to find a tender, injured soul crying out for their healing touch. Whereas I see someone whose mother didn’t tell him to “make nice” enough when he was little. If he ever was little.”
So a leading lady who thinks she doesn’t like the leading man? My kind of story. I liked a lot of things about this novel. I feel like the setting is realistic and it actually made me think that it would be nice to work in an ad agency (crazy but in a fun way). I liked that the secondary characters were fully fleshed out – Ellie’s great-aunt Edith is a hoot when it comes to playing Scrabble because she only uses filthy words. The novel is thicker than other chick lit reads so there’s time for the characters to get to know each other – Ellie was even in another relationship at the start of the novel. I really liked the banter between Ellie and Jack and how they kept denying the attraction between them. Like I said, I liked the tension and the build-up to their romance. I also liked the chemistry when they finally got together (that isn’t a spoiler, right? You know that was going to happen). What I didn’t like was the conflict because it was a bit frustrating. I wanted to hit Jack in the head to knock some sense into him. There was a point where I thought Jack was a real jerk and that it would be difficult for Ellie to forgive him. Rest assured, everything works out in the end. That’s my only quibble with the book – aside from that, I enjoyed it as a whole and would recommend it to fans of British chick lit or those who want a feel good read. It’s funny, has smart characters and very easy to fall into. I’m definitely going to watch out for Hazel Osmond’s future novels.