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.
Lance is a fourth generation “quickened” shifter, hailing from a long line of Border Collie shifters and the Sherriff of Mad Creek. A “quickened” shifter is a dog (born a dog) who was so beloved by his or her master that they receive the “gift” of turning human at will. That ability is then transferred to their off-spring and thus a shifter is born.
Tim is a horticulturist whose hybrid plant ideas were ripped off by his ex-boss. He’s currently living on the last of his money and hopes to build back his business with the help of a friend.
Tim also is very nervous in front of alpha-males and Lance is ALL alpha.
At first, Lance thinks Tim is growing an illegal crop and stoops to using his shifted form to spy on Tim. But the lonely and sad and socially inept Tim cracks through Lance’s tough shell until both the dog and the man can’t get enough of Tim.
But before they can be together many questions must be answered. How is Lance going to break it to Tim that the dog he loves is really the man he fears? And… Is Tim’s boss going to make trouble for Tim in his new home? And… If not Tim, who is growing illegal drugs near Mad Creek and how can they be stopped?
Through a combination of amazingly astute observations on the various dog breeds and imagining them as humans, Eli has done the unbelievable – created a unique shifter story! Sure, there are some common threads, but by and large this is a truly unique look at shifter lore.
Because they were dogs first the transition to being human is both touching at times (Roman’s devotion to his past master) and hilarious (the friendly and chatty Mr. Beagle).
You know that since it’s Eli Easton, the writing is impeccable. The sex is hot. The emotion is deep and abiding. And the humor is sharp and witty.
If I could describe a perfect book it would be this: Eli Easton writing a shifter book. And yet, it gets even better because it’s going to be an entire SERIES! It’s true – there is a heaven!
The slow burn between Tim and Lance is delicious and when Lance finally “comes out” to Tim it is both hysterical and touching. (Did I mention that this is Lance’s first male love interest – yes, you guessed it – GFY, too!) It really doesn’t get any better than this!
I loved the meddling mother and the “vindictive” vet scene. Superb!
All in all I can’t wait for the next book, am so excited the audio book is on it’s way and will likely have read this book at least three more times before I get my hands on the audio version.
6 of 5 hearts!
Look here for fun facts about writing the book and a sample of the audiobook due out in mid March. http://elieaston.com/