Rav Miller looked into the terrified, intelligent eyes of the chocolate Labrador on death row, and knew he’d do anything to save him. When the dog, Sammy, escapes and heads to Mad Creek, Rav follows. Mad Creek. The town had become legendary in Rav’s mind after he’d met that bizarre group last year. Rav dismissed his crazy suspicions back then, but when he arrives in Mad Creek, he knows it’s true. Dog shifters exist, and apparently they all live in the California mountains. It’s enough to blow a bad boy’s mind.
Sammy has something in common with Rav—neither one of them trusts people. After Sammy’s abuse as a dog, he particularly dislikes tough-looking men like Rav. But when Sammy gets a chance to work with rescued dogs at the new Mad Creek shelter, his deep compulsion to help others overcomes his fear. Rav and Sammy bond over saving strays. If they can each find the courage to let someone else in, they might find their way to love.
Sheriff Lance Beaufort doesn’t like humans moving into Mad Creek, especially not the tattooed and defiant Rav. When Rav starts a rescue shelter, the town thinks he’s wonderful! But Lance isn’t fooled. He doesn’t buy Rav’s innocent act for one second. How much does Rav know about the quickened? What is his game? And why did he have to show up now, when Lance and the other town leaders are overwhelmed by all the new quickened pouring in?
Rav knows how to save a life. But can he save an entire town? Can he rescue Mad Creek?
This is one of my favorite shifter series. It's cute and delightful and adorably endearing and it doesn't take itself too seriously. Except for Lance -- he takes everything too seriously (I love him, anyway).
How to Save a Life is the 4th book in Eli Easton's <i>Howl at the Moon and it is brilliant! The innocence and enthusiasm of the quickened in Mad Creek is enough to make me smile for days. I smiled the whole time I was reading this story (well, except for the beginning, which was sad) and I haven't stopped, yet.
Sammy was my favorite breed of dog -- Labrador. He was a chocolate lab whose first human, Mama Charlotte, died in a fall. That was when Sammy first got the spark. It sometimes happens during times of intense grief. But after that, Sammy's life was full of trauma and then he was taken to an animal shelter. And it was horrible and Sammy was so scared. He was terrified of men and so no one adopted him. But just before his time is up, Rav comes and rescues him and takes him to his no-kill shelter, called Hold My Paw. But Sammy is no ordinary dog, of course.
We first met Rav in How to Wish Upon a Star, when some of our Mad Creek guys travel to Arizona in search of one of their own, and a cure for a virus that was spreading through the quickened in Mad Creek. Rav looks like a big, tough, tattooed biker, but the man is a teddy bear, especially when it comes to dogs. In this book, we get Rav's background and we get to see lots of his teddy bear side. He and Sammy were downright adorable.
Sammy was brave. He didn't see that in himself, but he was brave and kind and very loyal. He reached out even when it made him feel uncomfortable and even when he thought he would fail. All he wants is to be the best person he can possibly be. He wants to make a difference. So he learns what to do and he does it. I fell in love with Sammy in about two seconds flat. He was amazing with the shelter dogs, especially those that were skittish or had been abused.
Rav was compassionate and kind. After walking away from the family business after finding out how the money was made, Rav spent his time and money saving dogs and finding them forever homes. He'd take every stray if he could, because his heart is just that big. And even though he can only take so many, he does everything he can to find them families that will love and cherish them.
There are so many things I love about Mad Creek. I love how they all work together. The quickened may not often be skilled, but they are enthusiastic and I loved just how patient Rav was with the volunteers at the new shelter. And I really enjoyed watching Sammy and Rav interact and get closer and watching Sammy come into his own.
How to Save a Life was everything I'd hoped it would be and if you're a fan of this series, you won't be disappointed here.
ARC of How to Save a Life was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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