Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Sheriff Lance Beaufort is not going to let trouble into his town, no sir. Tucked away in the California mountains, Mad Creek has secrets to keep, like the fact that half the town consists of ‘quickened’—dogs who have gained the ability to become human. Descended on both sides from Border Collies, Lance is as alert a guardian as they come.
Tim Weston is looking for a safe haven. After learning that his boss patented all of Tim’s work on vegetable hybrids in his own name, Tim quit his old job. A client offers him use of her cabin in Mad Creek, and Tim sees a chance for a new start. But the shy gardener has a way of fumbling and sounding like a liar around strangers, particularly gorgeous alpha men like Sheriff Beaufort.
Lance’s hackles are definitely raised by the lanky young stranger. He’s concerned about marijuana growers moving into Mad Creek, and he’s not satisfied with the boy’s story. Lance decides a bit of undercover work is called for. When Tim hits a beautiful black collie with his car and adopts the dog, its love at first sight for both Tim and Lance’s inner dog. Pretending to be a pet is about to get Sheriff Beaufort in very hot water.
Let me start off by saying I didn’t hate How to Howl at the Moon, the first book in a new dog shift series by Eli Easton. I, however, didn’t love it either.
There are parts of it that had me shaking my head and parts that I couldn’t have loved more if I tried. Quite the dichotomy.
Let us start with the cast of characters.
I have a soft spot for Tim. Our main character. He has had a string of terrible men in his life. None of them have been “love” interests, but they have royally screwed him over. However, he is still going forward. He is still trying to make his way.
I could not stand Lance. I don’t know what else to say without getting catty. He is not good enough for Tim. He is manipulative, secretive, and just overall an asshole.
I loved Raymond (I think that was his name). He is a secondary character, but he added a lot to the story. He is an old lost military man. His partner (never clear if it was sexual or just an owner/dog relationship) is gone, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
Lily needs a to be gagged and handcuffed to her desk until she learns not to interfere in other people’s lives.
So with the characters out of the way let’s look at the shifter lore used in this series.
They are dogs. Not wolves. Dogs. Like house pet dogs. Maybe it is because I am not a dog person, but this fact was more than a little shudder-inducing for me. While I appreciate the playful and loyal nature of the pack, it was all just a little too… something… for me. The fact that the humans still acted like dogs in their human forms was just odd. The whole “why would anyone want to live like a dog when they could be human” line was a little too elitist (another reason I disliked Lance). The whole “falling in love with your human as a dog” was just weird.
I did appreciate that there were no fated mates, but once a mate was chosen it was for life. I also appreciated that once one was accepted into the pack, they were all in. They had that person’s back dog or not.
The final element I want to look at is the plot itself. Here is where my love for Eli Easton’s work shines through. As I said earlier, Tim has had a pretty rough life, but he doesn’t let that stop him. He still is open to love. He is still open to living. He is just a bit more cautious. However, when it counted, he acquiesced a bit too easily for my comfort. Maybe that lies in the fact that I didn’t like to whom he was capitulating. Maybe it lies in the fact that I still couldn’t get my head around the shifter paradigm. But, I felt he gave in too easily in the end.
I will happily revisit this world again in the next instalment. Maybe by then the world will have had time to gel with me.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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