Blurb:Zeus loves his job on the new Mad Creek Search & Rescue team, and his inner Saint Bernard is finally being used to his full potential. When he sees a mysterious and wild-looking quickened—a dog shifter—at an earthquake site in Alaska, Zeus is compelled to investigate. Zeus falls hard for the primal beauty of Timo and of Alaska itself. Both call to his deep canine soul. But the Quimmiq pack’s laws are as harsh as the Alaskan winters, and Timo is out of his reach.
Timo’s pack of dog shifters left their Inuit village generations ago and have lived wild ever since. Not trusting the “one-skinned,” and with their numbers dwindling, the Quimmiq are on the verge of extinction. Timo is shocked to discover a whole group of “two-skinned” working as a rescue team, and he is particularly fascinated by Zeus, a gentle giant. He senses what Zeus feels for him… but it’s forbidden.
Can Mad Creek save this lost quickened clan? Perhaps—if they can learn how to run with the wolves.
What a delightful romp in the Alaskan snow this book was! I have missed Mad Creek and it's quirky and playful inhabitants and How to Run with the Wolves is just the thing to help us weather the summer heat.
Eli Easton has said that How to Run with the Wolves was meant to branch off from Mad Creek and I think her transition from Mad Creek to the wilds of Alaska was perfect. Also, Zeus, in his quite gentleness and Timo with his frenetic energy were quite the pair. Timo was just clueless enough about his own feelings that he endeared himself to me quite easily.
With this book, the Qimmig are introduced, along with the stunning landscape of Alaska. I've never been to Alaska, but I hope to, some day. The picture the author paints is vivid and crisp and beautiful.
The Qimmig, as legend has it, were once Inuit sled dogs. Their bonds got so strong that the dogs became men and for a while things were good, until the human leader demanded they do something awful. Now they live in isolation and the pack is in danger.
Zeus Barkley is a St Bernard shifter. He's lived in Mad Creek his whole life and, unlike most of Mad Creek's inhabitants, finds crowds and overly touchy people a bit off-putting. Nature - that's what makes Zeus feel happy and at peace and his job as a Search and Rescue worker fulfills him. On an S&R trip to Alaska, after an earthquake, is where he first senses and then sees Timo; and Zeus is enthralled.
Timo is beautiful and head strong and pretty skilled at getting his way. His brother, Yuki, is the pack Alpha and he doesn't much let his people forget that. Timo wanted a bit of freedom to breathe, so talked his brother into letting him work in Anchorage with the hopes of finding new "two-skinned" to introduce to their dying pack. Finding Zeus was akin to a miracle, and though Timo knew that he wanted -- needed --- to get Zeus to go with him to his pack, it took him way longer to really understand why. Was it really because of his directive? Or is it more? Of course you already know the answer to this question, but Watching Timo work through it, and screw up royally, along the way, was perfect.
How to Run with the Wolves was delightful and gorgeous and it had just enough angst to give the story something for me to chew on. Timo's pack is dying, but they're distrustful of outsiders, so Timo and Zeus have to forge ahead carefully. We get two "fish out of water" situations, first with Zeus in Timo's camp and then with Timo and his sister, Hitty, in Mad Creek. Both were fantastically written. We also get a nice slow burn and some sweet sexy-times, and a satisfying HEA.
Eli Easton captures, perfectly, the different personalities of the different dog breeds and also what a small pack might be like if isolated for generations. I was never bored, and was left with a smile when the story was done. I can't wait to see where this new series goes and if the erm...pairing is who I think it will be. I guess time will tell!
Meanwhile, if you like cute as fuck shifter stories, do not pass this series up. You won't regret it.
ARC of How to Run with the Wolves was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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