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How to Save a Life

Howl at the Moon
Narrated by: Matthew Shaw
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Romance, Paranormal
4.6 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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?

This is an 80,000 word novel, book four in the Howl at the Moon series. It features a new couple and can be enjoyed as a standalone, but we recommend the series in order.

©2017 Jane Holmes (P)2017 Jane Holmes

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  • Belen
  • 25-01-2018

Love this series! ❤

Matthew Shaw was such a perfect choice to narrate this series. He captures the characters perfectly and brings the story to life. I honestly love the Howl at the Moon series so much - they are such feel good, easy to read, totally engrossing stories that leave me with all the fuzzy feels. Rav and Sammy rival my love of Matt and Roman as a couple. Told from multiple third person points of view (Sammy, Rav, Lily, Lance) this story struck all the right notes, has tons of feels, is a beautiful love story, and has a well-deserved happy ending. I loved Matthew Shaw's performance! I love his character voices, his timing is impeccable, and everything from his pacing to his tone is always spot on. This audio made me smile every time I turned it back on. I sure hope there's more to come in the series and that Matthew Shaw continues to narrate them all. ❤🐾😍

9 people found this helpful

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  • Annika
  • 02-03-2018

Love this series!

🐾 🐾 🐾 🐾 ½

I love this series so much! How to Save a Life was another great addition to the Howl at the Moon series. It had everything we’ve come to expect from the series, the sweetness, quirkiness, humour and a great amount of love in all shapes and forms.

Once again my heart breaks for the newly quickened that we meet. Sammy loved and was loved in return the first years of his life. But then an accident took that love away and replaced it with a nightmare that never seemed to end – that is until he ended up at a (kill) dog shelter and his time was almost up…

Remember Rav from the previous book – the man who owned the dog shelter where Milo and Jason went to, to get the cure for the virus? Well he is back and he’s never been able to forget the meeting with the, to say the least, odd people from Mad Creek, and the eerily intelligent dogs. So when he comes across Sammy at a kill shelter he recognises that intelligent look and decides to bring him back with him to Hold My Paw. When Sammy ends up breaking out of the shelter and runs away – heading for Mad Creek, Rav decides to follow and just maybe once and for all get some answers. And just maybe he’ll find a place to call home while he’s at it.

The romance between Sammy and Rav is another slow-burn. I loved to see how Sammy slowly started to trust again, learning how to be human. And I absolutely loved his truly bad sense of humour. He captured my heart the first time we met him and never let go. As with the other quickened we’ve gotten to know he was this generous soul capable of such great love that you couldn’t help but fall for him. Rav never stood a chance either, and I had a great time reading about him muddling through Mad Creek and its inhabitants. Teaching Sammy everything about being human and what it meant to be in love with another man.

Matthew Shaw performed this book to perfection. He truly is the perfect choice for this series. He nails the voices, the feelings, atmosphere and everything that is this series. He brings you to Mad Creek and he brings it all to life and it is a pure joy listening to these books.

I sincerely hope we haven't seen the last of Mad Creek because I'm not ready to say goodbye to this wonderful town or the people living there, because it truly is a wonderful place to spend your time. 🐾


A copy of this book was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes

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  • William
  • 01-03-2018

Possibly the best of the lot

I adore the first three books in this series. I was checking frequently on Eli Easton’s website and in Audible to see when this installment would arrive. Like the other books, this is a love story that takes its time to build its characters and its world wonderfully. Easton’s prose often had me skipping back to relish some particularly apt phrase. Shaw’s narration with his feel for tone and timing adds a whole dimension to the story. All of the books share Easton’s skill with language and Shaw’s skill with delivery. But having just finished this one, I’m tempted to say it’s the best so far. It would be hard for me to recommend this enough.

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  • Sir Reads-A-Lot
  • 19-02-2018

New Characters add a New Perspective to Mad Creek

Any additional comments?

A couple new characters show up in Mad Creek that add a new dimension to this wacky community. All the previous residents and newcomers are still engaged in delightful supporting roles. The focus is on turning around somene's challenged life (no spoiler), a trend in most of the "Howling" series. And, it is accomplished with humorous drama and in an inspirationally entertaining manner, as Eli Easton and Mathew Shaw delight us with another puppydog tail. I will listen to it again soon. The books in this series always lift my spirits whenever I'm feeling a bit down. Enjoy!

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  • Jessica
  • 18-04-2018

Tiny bit uncomfortable.

Sammy seemed more childlike than the newly turned quicks in the previous stories. I spent the entire book trying to get past how disturbed it made me feel. I also hated Lance more than usual. Least favorite character in the series.

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  • BrattyOz
  • 27-03-2018

Always enjoyable

I like this author a lot, she is consistent w/ good stories, never dull or filled w/ angst. I know, going in, that I will not be disappointed.

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  • Becky C
  • 16-02-2018

Brilliant book, beautifully narrated

How to Save a Life is the fourth book in my favorite series, Howl at the Moon by Eli Easton. The entire series is brilliant and this book adds or exceeds to the enjoyment of all of them. I do need to advise readers that it is best to read them in order, but that is definitely no hardship. I read the ebook and listened to the audio book. That is my favorite way to enjoy a book – reading while being read to. Especially with an excellent narrator such as we have here.
Sammy is a wonderful character. He’s a chocolate lab who has had some traumatic experiences (brace yourself for a bit of dog abuse, but it’s important to the story). When he becomes one of the quickened (dogs who suddenly find themselves able to transform into a human) he retains the memory of what he did and, more importantly, what he thinks he didn’t do in his life as a dog. Sammy has low self esteem, due primarily to the fact that he wasn’t able to save some of the people who were important to him.
Sammy winds up in a kill shelter but right before his due date with euthanasia he is rescued by Rav and taken to a no-kill shelter. Rav is an interesting character. He’s 100% human, if you’re wondering. He’s also a privileged young man masquerading as a bad boy biker. When he realized how unprincipled his family business is he walked away and tried to make up for the wrongs he and his family have committed by rescuing dogs. There’s a lot more to it than that, but read the book to find out.
Sammy escapes and makes his way to Mad Creek, the town full of quickened dog/humans in the California mountains. The catch is, through the wonders of technology, Rav, who suspects something odd about Sammy, follows him. Lots of characters reappear in the story, so again, it’s best to read this series in order. You’ll love all of the books so don’t think that’s going to be a problem.
This could be the final book in the series but I suspect it is not. So whose story is next?

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  • Morgan A Skye
  • 15-02-2018

I love this series, the author and the narrator!

This is one of my all time favorite series out there! Eli Easton has a gift for blending humor, science fiction and romance all into one package! Her love of dogs is evidenced with every word “Praise to Dog”! You can absolutely see the wagging butts and cocked heads as her characters leap off the page and into your heart. I absolutely bawled when I read Sammy’s story. Talk about hitting you right in the feels! Though we know stories like Sammy’s are a dime a dozen, and we become inured to it over time, it’s always great to have a reminder of how much work we have left.
(Spoiler bit – I was glad to see that although it was sad, Eli didn’t back away from the message that it’s important to spay and neuter – no matter how you look at it, these are tough issues, and I was glad to see she handled it masterfully.)

In any case, this story takes us back to Mad Creek and we get to see all our friends! I thought it was great that Lance gets some help – poor guy! – and that Rav is here to help him with all the new Quickened coming to town. Rav and Sammy’s love story is so, so sweet and like the lab he is, Sammy was easy to love and so earnest!

In addition to giving us a really sweet romance, I love that the author also gave us a “viable” solution to the town’s problems. I really hope we get to see Simon’s story soon – he’s been so patient- ha!



Audio

I’m really glad the near raider has stayed the same for all of the Howell at the moon books. He does really nice job handling all the different voices and getting all of the quick and that sort of vaguely clueless sound without making them sound dumb. He’s also got the sherriff really nailed. And I like his version of rav. This is a super great series with the super great narrator highly recommended.

Highly Recommended!
6 of 5 stars

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  • Kelly McGee
  • 18-01-2018

I loved it and stayed up late to finish listening

I love this series. I've been waiting for this new audiobook , and it doesn't disappoint ! it has just the right mix of heartache and joy. I enjoyed the continuation of the past stories as Rav and Sammy found love. there's a wistful sweetness to the town, and I like to see that Lance and Tim, Roman and Matt, and Milo and Jason all develop in to complex characters that steal your heart. the promise of a growing pack bond to help heal all the hurts of the community is a pleasure to see. I can't wait for the next one! special shout out to Matthew Shaw, who is an outstanding narrator for these stories. he really brings them to life with his reading. Another five star performance.

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  • Neta_BER
  • 21-04-2020

Loved it!

Narration: Matthew Shaw has narrated many of Easton’s books, and I always admire how into the characters he is, the versatility of his voice and emotion. He just made everything come to life, and he had all the side characters to juggle, the doggy personality to capture AND a forien accent of the Alaska Tribe to figure out. He makes it seem effortless, and brings a richness I enjoyed so much while listening. Plot: The world of dog shifters is growing! I adored how this book expanded on the world Eli created in the past 4 books in the series. She takes great care into making the world believable, and the new tribe in Alaska is just that. While this is fantasy, it is still very real and raw, and makes sense! Shifters are such a chewed out genre that it is very hard to bring something new to it, yet Eli succeeded. I liked that this story had a sort of slow burn vibe going on, and that the Quimmig tribe's troubles felt logical and their cultural difference made sense too. Timo and Zeus make a great couple, and though they struggle to understand each other at first they soon bridge the gap and form an unbreakable bond. This book series is unique and I cannot wait for more!

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  • BevS
  • 07-04-2019

Much prefer books 2 & 3...

Well, this was better than actually reading the story, but I still like it the least of the series so far. My thoughts below still apply...I didn't get much of a connection between Rav and Sammy, and there were also repetitious parts where the same thing had been said a few minutes before. Matthew Shaw's narration as usual was really good, but the story?? Not so much for me. 3.5 stars rounded up.