From the publisher:
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.
I don’t tend to read a lot of romance novels. Scratch that. I rarely if ever read a romance novel. I like my romance sprinkled in to historical fiction, sci-fi, young adult books. I like a well written little bit of steamy toe-curling action. I rarely pick up a book with the main theme being romance. I had a friend recommend How To Howl At The Moon at one of our book club brunches.
Being in a bit of a reading slump these last few months, I found the book on audible and decided to listen to it while I cleaned my house. My house is sparkling, my laundry is all folded and put away, and I stayed up riduculously late to finish this book.
It was simply that good.
The narrator did a good job of layering his voice work though I have to admit if I read this book I don’t think I’d have pictured Tim’s voice going as high as the narrator took it. That was easy to ignore though because the story kept me interested enough I forgave the voice acting.
The concept of how dogs ‘quicken’ into people and how they retain their ability to return to their dog forms, or are born ‘quickened’, could have been almost cringe-worthy if it wasn’t executed right. It was not the true main focus of the book, but it added in some fun layers to the characters we encounter in it.
Lance is a hard headed, over committed, 2nd generation ‘quickened’ border collie. He’s so focused on his role as the sheriff, he never makes room for love. I enjoyed his character growth of finding himself through his ‘dog soul’ and how he slowly fell in love with Tim.
Tim has come from trauma that the reader only glimpses at times. I would have enjoyed more character development for him as I found his story to be quite interesting. His big heart and willingness to accept Lance for who he is despite his past speaks to someone who has many layers.
The side characters are fun and the town itself has a great vibe to it. The story that moves the characters through their journey of self-discovery and finding love is quick and fun. The overall pace of the book is easy and compelling. It’s a page turner without nail-biting suspense. As the reader, you simply become committed to finding out what will happen next between our two male leads.
The steamy-bits were not heavy-handed or over erotic. They bring the heat… trust me! But they were well constructed love scenes. Maybe it was the fact that it was love that drew their passion out of each other rather than lust. Either way, I’ll be picking up more of Eli Easton’s books to read in the future.
I rate this book a 4 out of 5. It was a great, fun, quick read. Not a lot of layers to dig in to but sometimes it’s nice to just get lost in a fun story that makes you smile.
My professional background in biotechnology as a research chemist and as a veterinary technician has allowed me to have experienced two vastly different fields and for that I am thankful. In both careers, I have mentored, encouraged, and developed talent.
As a mother of two (a daughter and a son), I’m a self-proclaimed backyard chicken guru and someone who has “foster failed” nearly all the animals currently running the household. Oh, and I maintain a husband in my spare time.