Monday, July 15, 2019

How to Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton

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.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is possibly the strangest shifter romance I’ve encountered, and only Eli Easton’s reliably good writing prevents the story from becoming completely ridiculous. Dog shifters aren’t too much of a departure from the more common werewolf shifters, but I really struggled with the Quickened concept where dogs who are loved enough eventually wake up as humans. I’m still not convinced by the idea, but the eccentric characters and their secretive town kept me entertained and I enjoyed Tim and Lance’s relationship.

This isn’t a remotely plausible story, but it is a fun read. Characters, including Tim and Lance, are fairly simplistic and very dramatic. Readers discover Mad Creek alongside Tim, an unsuspecting human newcomer. Tim’s own life is full of drama – but he’s actually not the criminal Lance suspects he is. As town sheriff, Lance is very suspicious of the new arrival and he concocts an elaborate plan that allows him to keep a close eye on Tim.

Between Lance’s meddlesome mother, the unusual citizens of Mad Creek, and the actual criminals threatening Lance’s town, this story descends into almost farcical comedy. The romance between Lance and Tim is fairly low heat and I didn’t really get into the dog element to the romance. Moments of this book are exciting, several scenes are very funny and there are a few steamy moments. I don’t think I ever completely relaxed into the quickened dog shifter concept and I struggled with some of the dog/human elements of the romance. I like that the series concept feels completely original, but I’m not sure it works for me.

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particularly admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include Blame it on the Mistletoe, Unwrapping Hank and Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles. Her Howl at the Moon series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

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ARC Provided by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of How to Howl at the Moon (Howl at the Moon #1) by Eli Easton to read and review.

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