Title: The Howling Heart
Author: April Bostic
Publisher: Eternal Press
Release Date: August 8, 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: My Family's Heart
Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.
Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv---wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.
Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.
Hmm... So, I'm not sure where I am with this story. I liked it, enjoyed it. It wasn't what I was expecting.
But I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
This story has what not a lot of paranormal romances I read do: mythology. Ancient tales of gods and goddesses fascinates me but not enough to truly learn them and know more about them. But the inclusion of it in this story made it more... I don't know. Just...more.
Paige and Riley knew each other as children. Riley hasn't forgotten her but she doesn't really remember him. This story centers around their relationship as well as Riley's ability to shift from wolf to human. At its core, it's about finding where you belong and making a choice that will change your life. While I admired Riley's devotion to Paige, I admired her resolve to follow her heart even more. Because, seriously, bedroom abilities and physical appearances should never be enough of a reason to stay.
Now, as a word of caution, this story does come across to me as "told" rather than "shown". In other books, I think I would've felt like an observer yet I didn't. Not really. At times, that is how I felt. But, honestly, most of the time I didn't. Which is weird, I think. Telling doesn't usually pull me in like showing does.
Despite my uncertainty and lack of mythology knowledge, I did like this story. I did enjoy it. I hope others read it. I think I need to read it again to really appreciate its uniqueness, because it really is a unique take on wolf shifter romance I haven't come across before.
When I finally opened my eyes, they felt swollen. The pain in my head spread throughout my entire body. Dim light surrounded me in this strange room. I lay on a bed and looked up at the ceiling. I tried to speak, but my throat was dry. Only a quiet wheeze escaped. A low groan followed as my headache pounded against my temples. I still felt hot and sweaty. Layers of blankets covered me, and I wanted to yank them off. When I touched my abdomen, I wore nothing but my bra and panties.
My eyes darted around the unfamiliar room. On the wall, I noticed a shadow of something next to me. What the hell is that? I turned my head and saw a candle in the window, but what cast the shadow scared me to death. A large, white wolf lay on the floor beside me. There was no mistaking it for a dog. The bed was low to the floor, and its head was close to mine. I opened my mouth wide, prepared to scream, but wheezes and weak gasps escaped, instead. I thrashed my head against the pillow, as if the motions would turn up the volume in my voice. Finally, a shriek pushed through my sandpaper throat. It was a high-pitched squeal at first, but then, it burst forth and filled the room. I sat up quickly. Aching pain tore through my body, and I heard my bones crack.
The wolf awoke with a start. It jerked its head up, and glowing, yellow eyes blinked until they settled on me. I shrank away from it, nearly falling off the bed, screaming until I went hoarse and gasped for breath. The wolf stood on all fours, its size definitely that of a Great Dane. Our gazes locked for a brief moment before the animal ran out the room. I sat against the headboard, clutching the blankets against my chest. I was alone and terrified. Within seconds, tears trickled down my cheeks.
April Bostic is a New Jersey-based, Adult Romance author who enjoys unleashing her creativity and letting her imagination run wild. Her love of romance books inspired her to become not just a reader, but also a writer. In December 2008, she self-published her first novel, a contemporary romance with a supernatural twist entitled "A Rose to the Fallen".
Her first short story, "Right Here, Right Now", released in January 2012, is an erotic romance with a dash of S&M. The following year, she released two more short stories: a romantic urban fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche entitled "Eros, My Love", and a sexy romantic comedy entitled "Love Addiction".
After five years, she released her second novel, "The Howling Heart" in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods. To end her busiest year in publishing, April also released her fourth short story in December 2013, a historical paranormal romance entitled "A Dark Scandal".