Title: How to Howl at the Moon
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Pinkerton Road
Length: 196 pages
Blurb: 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.
Review: Loved this book! A fun, silly and romantic story of dog shifters and the unsuspecting human who stumbled into their sleepy town one day.
Tim is looking to start over. An abusive childhood left him nervous and lacking confidence and people skills. Then he met a man who let him work on his hybrid plant creations and trusted that they were equal partners. When he found out that he’d been cheated out of the patents for years of work he was devastated. Scared and beyond poor he hides out at his friends cabin in the California mountains and tries to start a small business of his own.
Lance has so much of his dog in his human aspect. He’s a border collie and he takes his job as sheriff very seriously. He protects and guards his town at the expense of everything else in his life. He has a hard time relaxing or letting down his guard. When a new guy shows up in town and acts secretive and uncomfortable he’s immediately suspicious. When he catches Tim in a lie Lance goes into guard dog mode. His crazy scheme to go undercover loses him his heart and shifts his focus and loyalties in ways he would have never believed possible.
From the first moment the two men met sparks flew. Both were suspicious and thought the worst. Neither could trust nor forget the other. The fact that their romance began when one was a dog ended up being very sweet and charming. They could interact with each other with their hearts wide open. Tim was so shy and he could be open and real with his dog, Chance in ways he didn’t know how to be with the human, Lance. When Lance was the dog, Chance he was all instinct and affection, the knowledge that he acquired wasn’t filtered the same way and he couldn’t resist falling for the sweet and shy Tim. Neither man was great in the social skills department so this premise allowed them to have a relationship where they would have messed everything up and never gotten past their own issues to find a love that makes them both very happy.
I laughed throughout at the way that the dog characteristics bled over into the human side of the people. How appropriate their jobs and interests were. For anyone who has had any beloved pets they will wish that their animal were able to take on a human skin and express themselves in such diverse ways.
I loved the town full of dog shifters and the humans they share their lives with. I loved the origins of the dog shifters. What a wonderful concept and execution! I liked that they were mates by choice and completely bound and loyal to each other.
Lance’s mom, Lily is a trip and her interference almost costs them everything. Beans was ready to chuck her kindle she was so mad at Lily and her manipulations and schemes. Luckily both men are too sweet and in love to be able to hold a grudge for too long.
A fantastic shifter story full of love and sweetness that had me hooked from the first pages and hoping that this is a series and I’ll get to come back to this enchanting little town of magic and love. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Nina