Howl at the Moon #1
Narrator: Matthew Shaw
Length: 5 hrs, 52mins
Publisher: Pinkerton Road
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.
How to Howl at the Moon was quite a little story. In fact it was a delightful combination of sweet, angsty, thrilling, and sexy. What’s not to love about a story set in an world (or, in this case, town) were many are ‘quickened’ dogs, meaning that they have the ability to become human while still being able to shift back to their dog form, and never completely losing their dog’s sensibilities.
When the story starts Sheriff Lance Beaufort is as far removed from his inner dog (a black Border Collie, how wonderfully appropriate for me) as he can get. Taking his duties of keeping his town safe and the quickened’s secret well buried very seriously, he hasn’t shifted to his dog form in ages, rejecting the playfulness for what he perceives to be the necessity to be human and on guard all the time.
Tim Weston needs a fresh start in a safe environment. Having been let down by people who should have loved and protected him and those who would take advantage of his trusting nature, he decides to keep his cards close to his chest, in the process, inevitably, triggering Lance’s mistrust towards him.
In order to discover exactly what is going on with Tim, Lance decides to introduce his inner dog into Tim’s life. And this may well be one of the cutest things I’ve ever read. Chance, the dog, is so adorable, especially compared to the stand-offish Lance. And Tim’s instant love for the creature he thinks he’s harmed is deeply touching. Of course, things get complicated for Lance when his two natures find themselves on opposite sites. The human Lance may still have suspicions about what exactly Tim is up to, Chance his dog has been won over by Tim’s joyous love and sharing nature.
Throw in a meddling mother, territorial drug dealers, a former military shifter, and a secret that can’t be let out into the open, and you’re in for a story that will charm you while it also keeps you on the edge of your seat. Combined with a fabulous and very easy-on-the-ear narrator, all of the above made How to Howl at the Moon a very enjoyable second venture into the world of audio books.