Friday, September 15, 2017

Review Tour: How To Save A Life by Eli Easton (Review, Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway)

Exclusive Excerpt

That night after they ate, Rav didn't turn on the TV. Instead, he opened his arms and invited Sammy onto his lap. He'd been waiting all day to have this conversation.

Best Boy was conked out, oblivious, at their feet.

"What?" Sammy asked Rav suspiciously.

"You went out last night?"

Sammy nodded. "Yes. I talked to Milo. About mates and getting hard."

Rav barked a laugh at Sammy's bluntness. God, that would never get old. "You did? About getting hard, huh?"

"Yes. Why is that so funny?" Sammy's nose wrinkled with confusion.

"It's not funny. I think it was a good idea. What did Milo say?"

Sammy looked pensive, a frown between his brows. "He said mates both get hard and have sex together. But my body doesn't do that. Milo said I should give it time. He said Doc McGurver can give me shots to help."

Rav nodded, grateful Milo had mentioned it. "Yeah, I heard he offers testosterone therapy to some of the others in the, um, town. Is that something you're interested in?"

"Yes. Can I get shots soon?" Sammy's face was anxious.

"Sure. Bill will be here tomorrow. You can ask him then."

"Okay. But…." Sammy bit his lip. "But what if not? What if I stay stuck forever?"

Sammy's voice hitched, and Rav's throat got hot and tight. He fucking loved the frankness of this discussion. It beat the hell out of the human tendency to be passive-aggressive or avoid issues for months on end. But it was also terrifying. He didn't want to hurt Sammy. Or lie to him either. Sammy's honesty challenged Rav to be honest in return.

He'd given it a lot of thought. He'd even done some googling on men who had lost their testicles or were born without them. It didn't preclude erections or sex. Hell, Rav knew damn well from his shelter work that neutered dogs could have sex. Missing testicles mostly translated to a lowered sex drive, but with testosterone, that could change. Then again, there was the whole quickened thing, and that complicated the equation, so who knew?

But even if Sammy never got an erection, that didn't equate to a nonexistent sex life. There were other ways they could be intimate. Sammy was such a fiend for touch, and he'd seemed to really like the kiss they'd shared at the river. Rav just needed to be extra vigilant that Sammy was cool with whatever they did, that he didn't feel pressured.

He laced his fingers through Sammy's, rubbed his thumb over the back of Sammy's hand. "If you never get 'unstuck,' that's okay. I like being with you just like this."

Sammy looked doubtful. "But mates have sex and you are the best hu—the best man. You should have the best mate. Simon probably—"

Rav growled. "Stop!"

It was the sharpest voice Rav had ever used with Sammy. Sammy looked at Rav warily. He didn't say anything more.

Rav took a deep breath. "I don't want to ever discuss me having another mate, not Simon or anyone else. Because that—" He tried to think of a good analogy. "That would be like taking your dog to the shelter. That's not love. And nothing would ever make me want to just swap Sammy for someone else. Do you understand that?"

Sammy blinked rapidly, his eyes shiny. Then he hugged Rav hard, burying his face in Rav's neck. Rav stroked his back.

"I didn't mean to yell," Rav said guiltily.

"Okay. So we are mates?"

Rav's heart thudded. He stood on the precipice and jumped. "Yes. If you want to be. I want to be. Um. Your mate."

"Me too" came Sammy's muffled voice. "Can we kiss now?"

Rav gave a sharp laugh. "Yes." He hesitated. "But I want to try something else."

"What?" Sammy sat up to look into Rav's face.

"Can you take your shirt off? Sit here, between my legs, and lie back."

Rav tried not to second-guess himself as Sammy took off his shirt. Rav took off his too and arranged Sammy the way he wanted. Rav's thighs were wide on the couch, still in his jeans, and Sammy, wearing his shorts, sat between them, relaxed back onto Rav's bare chest.

The skin-on-skin contact felt so sweet it ached, and Rav had to take a few deep breaths to keep himself from getting carried away immediately. Sammy's skin was soft—softer than a normal man his age. His nipples were large, slightly pouty, and chocolate brown. They were hot.

Chill, he reminded himself. This isn't about getting off.

"Hold out your arms," Rav said, his voice gruff.

Sammy did, letting them go limp on either side, palms up.

"I just wanna touch you. Is that okay?"

Sammy nodded, his hair raspy on Rav's shoulder. "I like it when you touch me."

Rav took another shaky breath. It was a relief now that they'd actually talked about it, talked about being mates, raised the issue of sex. It no longer felt like Rav had a locked-up perv in his head while Sammy was a total innocent on his lap. The playing field was a little more even now—or, at least, they were on the same damned one.

Rav trailed his fingertips over Sammy's skin, from his wrists to his shoulders, across his chest, down his stomach, and back up again. Sammy shivered, not once, but often. He arched his head back, exposing his throat, so Rav included that sensitive skin in his administrations too.

He drew invisible shapes against Sammy's chest and stomach, the insides of his arms. He brushed his callused fingertips over Sammy's nipples. This made Sammy gasp and suck in his stomach hard.

Sammy was very vocal in his approval. "I like this," he would say. And "This is perfect!" and "Touch right there again!"

Rav nuzzled Sammy's neck, sucking lightly while still touching him. And when Sammy turned his head in demand, Rav kissed him, keeping it slow and sensual and without any end goal or urgency.

As far as Rav could tell—and he had a pretty good line of sight down Sammy's body—Sammy never got hard. But that wasn't to say Sammy didn't respond. He smiled up at Rav when he found a particularly sensitive spot. He laughed out loud when it tickled. He sighed and pressed up into Rav's hand like—not to be insulting—but like a cat. He made happy noises.

Rav got hard. Of course he did. But he was content to leave it alone.

Eventually, Sammy grew heavier and heavier and fell asleep. Rav carefully extracted himself, rearranged Sammy on the couch with a blanket and pillow, and went to take care of business in the shower.

Dear God, he came so violently.

Before he went to bed, Rav tiptoed back into the living room. Best Boy thumped his tail but didn't bother to get up. Rav stared down at Sammy, asleep on the couch. Even in his sleep, Sammy's face was open and honest. Beautiful. Good.

Well, Rav thought, that was that. He'd never been the guy who was going to have a normal relationship, if such a thing even existed. This thing with Sammy—it was more than he'd ever hoped for. One ounce of Sammy's genuine, gushing-heart-blood type of love was worth a thousand meaningless hookups. And Rav should know, he'd practically had that many.

Rav was content. No, he was blessed.

He considered inviting Sammy to sleep in his bed, but decided to take things slow for now. There were days, weeks, months, years to come.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 80,000 words

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Howl At The Moon Series

How To Howl At The Moon (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
How To Walk Like A Man (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
How To Wish Upon A Star (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK


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?

4 Stars!

How to Save a Life is book 4 in the Howl at the Moon series and while it can technically be read as a standalone, the series is awesome and you'll be missing out if you don't read the other books. 

Rav doesn't like people, which is why he left his family and a very high-paid job at the family firm to move to Arizona and open a dog shelter. He finds Sammy at a shelter and even if Sammy recoils away from him, Rav rescues him. 

Sammy was abused by a very bad man when he was a pup, and when he ends up back in a shelter after his first owner died and the next one is forced to give him up, he's too scared to trust anyone else, especially the tall man that looks like the bad man who hurt him. Sammy is special, though, and the first chance Sammy gets, he escapes towards Mad Creek. 

Rav follows the signal of Sammy's microchip to Mad Creek, and he ends up deciding to stay, especially once he deciphers the mystery of the people in Mad Creek. He starts up a new shelter and hires Sammy as his assistant manager and from then Sammy learns to trust Rav and Rav falls for Sammy.

However, not everything is alright with their world, since Sheriff Lance Beaufort isn't too happy about the new stranger in his town.

I loved Sammy! He was so adorable and sweet and goofy. It was lovely seeing him learn to trust again and fall for Rav. I liked Rav, too, he was really patient and loving with Sammy, but I wanted to strangle him a bit at how he antagonized Lance, not that Lance didn't make it easy for him. Heehee. 

Sammy and Rav were really good for each other, but there were moments in which their connection felt a bit forced. 

Eli Easton did a fantastic job with the quickened and dogs' behaviors, I was in awe at how well she captured them. 

Overall, the book was a fantastic read, a slow burn romance that was sweet, cute, funny, just a bit angsty and with a fabulous cast of characters that I'd met already in other books in the series and loved catching up with. Very recommendable!  

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. *** 

August 30 - OMG Reads, RJ Scott
September 4 - Hoards Jumble
September 8 - V's Reads

Author Bio

Eli Easton has been at various times and under different names a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a long-distance walker. She began writing m/m romance in 2013 and has published 27 books since then. She hopes to write many more.

As an avid reader of such, she is tickled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, two bulldogs, several cows, and a cat. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.


Twitter: @EliEaston

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