Deputy Roman Charsguard survived Afghanistan where he lost his best friend—his K-9 handler James. Roman was a military dog until two years ago when he developed the ability to shift into a human. It’s not easy to learn how to be a man. He found a place to live in Mad Creek, a haven for the secret world of dog shifters. Finding a reason to live has been harder. That is, until a certain human walks into the Mad Creek Sheriff’s office and starts making trouble.
Matt Barclay has the worst luck. First he was shot in a SWAT drug raid, then he was sent as DEA investigator to Mad Creek, a little town in the California mountains. Matt’s job is to keep a lookout for illegal drug farms, but nobody in the town wants him there. And then there’s Roman, Matt’s erstwhile baby-sitter. He’s the hottest guy Matt’s ever seen, even if he is a bit peculiar. If the town doesn’t kill him, sexual frustration just might.
The town is counting on Roman to prevent Matt from learning about dog shifters, Matt’s counting on Roman to be his work partner and tell him the truth, and Roman’s trying to navigate love, sex, and a whole lot of messy human emotions. Who knew it was so complicated to walk like a man?
Such an amazing sequel!
We met Roman (and fell head over heels in love with him!) in book one. He’s a newly quickened German Shepherd who lost his master, James, in the war in Afghanistan.
He’s adapting, slowly, to life on two legs with the help of Lance and Tim and of course, Lily.
Near the end of book one, Roman saves a DEA agent (who reminds him of James) from drug dealers. That DEA agent is Matt Barclay. Matt got injured in that drug raid, and is still recovering and though he’s grateful to the man who risked his life for him that day, but perplexed by his actions, as well.
When he meets Roman again at a joint DEA/Mad Creek task force meeting, he realizes that Roman is a unique guy. He’s at once innocent and sweet, but with a will of steel and a heart as big as the sky.
Lance tasks Roman with keeping Matt occupied and out of town so as not to give away the secrets of the quickened. Roman diligently drags Matt all over the mountains both in search of the drug dealers who might be praying on the town and because he’s fascinated with him.
It doesn’t take long before Roman’s affections turn from friend to more and he struggles with understanding these new emotions and desires. Luckily *smirk, he has Lance to go to when he’s got questions.
When Roman gets shot and Matt is faced with some questionable actions from both Roman and the rest of the town, will Roman have to give up his new love? Or will Matt be able to accept Roman for who he really is?
OMG this was even better than book one and I absolutely LOVED book one. I’ve already rhapsodized on how amazing I think the “quickened” concept is in my review of How to Howl at the Moon here: http://kimichanexperience.com/how-to-howl-at-the-moon-audiobook-dog-shifters-of-mad-creek-1-by-eli-easton-narrated-by-matthew-shaw/
Roman grabbed me by the heartstrings in book one and he continues to tug at them throughout this entire story.
Gawd. When Roman “tells” the story of James and his training days and the day he turned into a man I was seriously sobbing. It’s such a touching story and so obviously in tune with that relationship between man and dog. There’s no question that the love Roman had for James was deep and abiding and Roman’s pain and loss is so deep and heartbreaking.
The parts where Roman is discovering his sexuality had me howling with laughter. Lance and Tim’s “help” is hysterical.
“I think I need a doctor.”
“What’s the matter?”
“My… my penis is all swollen up and hard. Could it be a spider bite or… or…” Roman swallowed, pressing down the panic. “I don’t know. Cancer?” He knew cancer killed a lot of humans and involved lumps and tumors.
There was silence from the other end of the line. A long silence.
“Yeah, uh, Roman….” Lance sounded strained. “You’ve never had this happen before? I mean, since you’ve been human?”
“Ah.” Lance covered up the phone with his hand and said something. Roman didn’t understand his words, but he thought he heard Tim giggling on the other end. Lance came back. “Sorry about that.”
Roman felt a tinge of annoyance creep in among the fear. “Do I need a doctor, sir?”
This had me in tears, it was so funny!
The slowly developing relationship between Matt and Roman is so sweet, my only regret is that we didn’t get to see them as a couple for more than a few pages. I loved how easy going Matt was and how tender and gentle he was when he figured out Roman was a virgin.
The rest of the townspeople continue to entertain me endlessly with their “dogisms” and the drinking of broth instead of coffee was another inspired detail.
Watching Lance nearly screw up everything with his overprotectiveness also made me laugh out loud. In the movie theatre:
Then, Beaufort compounded the weirdness. Because, you know, this wasn’t already strange enough. He stood up, faced the people sitting behind them, and loudly said. “We’re just going to quietly enjoy the films.Quietly. Without comments, talking, or noises of any kind.” Then he sat back down.
So funny! I must have underlined a dozen passages that cracked me up.
I can’t express just how entertaining this book is. The dogisms are hysterical, Roman is an absolute sweetheart and the love story is so very sweet.
I can’t recommend this and the entire series enough.
6 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review