Title: How to Walk Like a Man (Howl at the Moon #2)
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Pinkerton Road
Release Date: November 13, 2015
Genre(s): Military/Law Enforcement/Shifters
Page Count: 241
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
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?
I am happy to report the sequel to the uber-fabulous How to Howl at the Moon lived up to every one of my expectations, and more! If I had to choose between the two, How to Walk Like a Man actually wins! And that is because of our dear, sweet Roman.
Deputy Roman Charsguard is a dog shifter. (I know, weird, right? Well, it absolutely works in this series, 100%. When I started the first book, I was cautiously optimistic but pleasantly surprised. I am a crazy dog-person and I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around my own dogs being in romantic situations. Gross! But believe me. It is glorious.) There are two types of dog shifters. Those born as human with dog-shifting abilities (like Lance is in book 1) and those born dogs without human-shifting abilities (Roman) that develop human-shifting abilities when they form a close bond with a human. When the bond happens, they become “quickened” and can shift into human form. When that happens, they need to learn everything a human infant has to learn. How to crawl, walk, talk, eat, sleep, pee and poop, etc.
Roman’s inner dialogue: He’d walked and walked, falling down a lot as he stumbled on his over-long feet. He’d slept under bridges in the cold and wet. He’d drank water from a stream on all fours. The water was bad and it made his stomach explode. You had to find a place to hide when you pooped too. People got very mad if you did it where they could see.
Roman’s human that fulfilled his strong bond was his K-9 handler in Afghanistan, James. When James died, Roman shifted for the first time. Since Roman was an adult when he first shifted into a human, he was extremely naive about what it actually meant to be human. He had only been human two years when he met Matt Barclay, a DEA agent who is assigned to Roman’s office.
Matt is a former Marine who had big military shoes to fill because of his successful father, a general, and brother who also excelled in the military. Matt eventually decides he can’t fill those shoes and takes a job in law enforcement. He is a gay man living in the closet with his beard girlfriend Luci. When he starts working with Roman, he finds Roman odd but endearing and sex-on-legs.
Roman’s human sexually has not kicked in yet, which is completely normal for a quickened. Matt turns his crank and for the first time ever, Roman gets an erection. It scares and excites him and prompts him to explore a sexual relationship with Matt.
Roman’s inner dialogue: He’d treated Roman as an equal and, more than that, had liked him and wanted him as a sex partner. The longer Roman was with Matt, the more he wanted to be with him, not as his dog, but as himself.
Sex partner! How flippin’ cute is that? Roman and Matt’s sexual journey is beautiful and I loved the way Matt was so patient with Roman’s innocence. They were great together!
This was such a sweet, delightful read! It has military men, virgins, humor, sex, drama, excitement and passion. And dogs! DOGS! So many bonus points for the dogs.
Highly, highly recommended.
OK, time for me to fess-up. There is another reason this book touched my heart so much. My husband is a K9 handler and just as dog-crazy as I am. He is pictured below with his Belgian Malinois K9 Nikki who lived a long and healthy 16 years. In her illustrious 11 year career, she seized thousands of pounds of illegal drugs and over $1 million in cash. She will always be in our heart.
Now go read this book!