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?
I'm a huge fan of this series and totally loved the first seventy percent or so of this story. It was pretty much perfect.
Sammy's innocence and Rav's curiosity were very entertaining to watch play out as the story progressed.
The outright exuberance of all of the quickened, especially Milo was so much fun to see. Like when Rav first showed up in Mad Creek, I thought Milo was going to freaking pee on the floor like a butt-wiggling, tail-wagging cocker spaniel. Those parts made me laugh so hard.
And don't even get me started on the "job interview" part of the story. I was dying, and loving every word of it. "You WON!" heh
Then the tone of the story changed a bit, with Rav trying to save the town from rampant unemployment, while still trying to guard its most dangerous secret.
And Sammy's developing sense of humor was just so... corny, which definitely made me roll my eyes, as he tried what I felt was waaaaaaay too hard to be funny. #MomHumor
Plus, "BAE". Rav was a Harvard MBA turned badass, tattooed biker, I assumed in his 30's. And he was calling Sammy "bae", like some teenage girl? Just... ugh. That felt really out of place to me and I was *not* a fan. At all.
So yes, those parts fell a bit flat for me, but I loved seeing all of the previous MC's making frequent on-page appearances throughout the book, including Lance being extra prickly and protective. (I snorted extra hard at Tim mouthing "valium" to Rav.)
This story, much more so than the previous three books, did rely heavily on the reader already being familiar with the goings on up to this point in the series, so I would definitely *not* recommend reading it as a stand-alone story.
I'd rate this story at around 3.75 stars and, while it wasn't my favorite of the series, it was still definitely worth a read.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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