Group Review: How to Save a Life (Howl at the Moon #4) by Eli Easton

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?

3.91 average!

Lost in a Book - 3.5 Hearts

Mad Creek. How I love thee. After googling Mad Creek, California and finding out it’s just a stream, my plans for moving have been placed on hold until a real shifter town opens. *sigh* I love this series and have loved each and every book…until this one. We met Rav in book three and I was excited to find out that the broody, growly, tattooed dog shelter owner was going to get a starring role in this book.

In How to Save a Life, we are introduced to Sammy, a sweet chocolate lab. Sammy got the spark when his original owner passed away. He moved to a new home that was full of abuse and unfortunately shaped the way he interacted with men. He was terrified of them. Sammy ended up at the pound and met Rex, another quickened who told him about Mad Creek. When Rav rescued him from the pound, Sammy cowered and waited for his opportunity to get to Mad Creek. Using his advanced Quickened brain, he was able to escape from the shelter and start the journey to a town where dogs were like him.

Rav tracked Sammy with his GPS microchip to Mad Creek and immediately realized that either he was crazy or dog shifters were a real thing. Looking into the golden eyes of Sammy the person, he came to terms with shifters pretty quick and wanted to know more. So of course, Rav moves to Mad Creek.

This book follows the transformation of sweet, terrified, and skittish Sammy as he gets to know Rav in a different capacity. Rav gets to know Sammy and the two have quite the journey. Being newly quickened, Sammy is SO innocent.


That’s how I pictured him throughout much of the book. He hasn’t had any life experience and is still suffering from traumatic events and the abuse that followed. Rav does a great job of pulling him out of his head and showing him that not all men are like “Bad Man.”

“The more Sammy watched Rav with the dogs, the more new feelings stirred inside him. He wanted to play with Rav too. No, that wasn't right. He wanted to be touched. He wanted to sit in Rav's lap and feel his strength, feel safe. He wanted to be soothed by those hands. He craved it very much! He felt jealous of the dogs.”

Sammy and Rav stayed platonic for a lot of the book. Their touches and kisses didn’t hold heat, serving mostly as comfort. While their growth individually and together was realistic considering their past, this book had a much different feel than the previous ones. It was hard coming to terms with their relationship even being a possibility for a lot of the book due to Sammy’s childlike thoughts, actions, and emotions. An intimate “mate” relationship seemed icky… until it didn't.


There was a turning point in the book which I am thankful for. Prior to this turning point, anything outside of their platonic comforting touches would have been creeper status to me. But, we were able to gradually see the transition from innocent, childlike Sammy to sweet, brave, I-want-to-have-butt-sex, Sammy. *whew* When they finally took the intimate steps in their relationship, I was no longer in the omg-wtf mind frame and was able to appreciate how far they had come.

“It was almost sad to see the shy, awkward Sammy ebb away. Or it would have been, if the new, more confident Sammy were not so damned appealing. Rav loved seeing Sammy happy.”

One other teeny tiny little nit picky thing that caused a few eye rolls was when broody, growly, and grown-ass-man Rav’s inner frat boy and part teenage girl came out. Nothing wrong with frat boys or growly tattooed men. I like them both. Separately and possibly even as part of a trio. What was annoying was the “bruh” and “bae” that kept on coming. It didn’t fit Rav’s personality and I was pulled out of the story each time.

This book was a decent addition to the series. Milo and his enthusiasm when welcoming Rav still makes me giggle. Definitely my least favorite out of the four but I would recommend it if you're a fan of the series. There is just something about this quirky town that keeps me coming back.

“When a man is a hero, he deserves to be sexed in the ass.” ~Sammy

Adam - 3.25 Hearts

I can’t help but smile when I read a book from the Howl at the Moon series. They’re fun reads that blend sweet romances and an entertaining paranormal setting.

In the series’ latest addition, we’re introduced to Sammy, a newly-quickened Labrador who has been having a tough time since his owner’s death. Sammy stole my heart from the start. He was just so sad and alone. If anyone needed love, it was him.

Sammy spends much of the story slowly learning to be a human, and learning to be brave. He struggles a lot throughout the course of the book, but eventually he finds his place in Mad Creek.


Rav Miller is the other main character. Since his cameo in book #3, Rav has had his suspicions about Mad Creek and the quickened. He ends up in the town because of Sammy, and decides to stay.

Rav and Sammy’s relationship takes a lot of work. While Rav feels an immediate connection to Sammy, Sammy is wary of big men like Rav. But Rav, who’s had his own struggles in life, is willing to take a step back.

Through infinite patience, and a shared desire to rescue dogs, the two slowly build a friendship.

It takes a long time for Sammy and Rav to move on to a romantic relationship. While Rav has feelings for Sammy, Sammy is still getting used to being in a human body. He doesn’t recognize that his feelings for Rav are romantic.

Even so, the two are very cute while they navigate their odd dynamic. Rav is willing to take whatever Sammy gives, and Sammy finds home and happiness in Rav.

When Sammy finally catches up, the two don’t waste any time. They quickly move forward with their relationship, and soon admit to each other how serious they are about it. The two complete each other, and end up a lot happier for it.


As a backdrop to this romance, readers learn more about Mad Creek and the struggling quickened community. One thing that I just didn’t understand in the previous books was where the money for it all came from. Book #4 answers that question.

Rav and Sammy become central to the town’s survival. I thought the solution the author chose was very creative, and believable.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Sammy and Rav’s romance was a bit slow for my liking, but it’s still the sweet and fluffy romance that I’ve come to expect and enjoy from this series.

Chelsea - 5 Hearts

Seriously?!? How am I meant to function reading a book with this level of cuteness!?!?!

Poor sad and sweet Sammy. Oh how I loved him! And there's Rav.

*Psst... the man, not the dog*

Who is sexy as hell and possibly a tad too good to be true, but then again so is this entire town.

The first chapter of this book almost broke me, but the story after that was surprisingly light and super fluffy. Lance was the only character close to an antagonist and well…. I love Lance.

I love this whole series, I don't think I can pick a favourite but this one had a level of sweetness we only really found with Milo in the previous book. Yes Sammy is super innocent, but not really any less innocent than Roman was. Roman was just manlier so we didn't notice it at much.

I know I've prattled on about previous books a bit but all these characters are so memorable I can't help but connect all their stories together. Rav and Sammy are an essential and beautiful addition to this series!

I am praying that this isn't the end of the series!! If you haven't read this series and don't mind some fluff, DO IT! Start from the beginning, it's well worth it!!

A copy provided for an honest review.

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