Book Review: The Howling Heart by: April Bostic

Rating: 3/5

Publisher: Eternal Press

Publication Date: August 1, 2013

Origins:  From Tribute Books Blog Tours for Review

Format:  E-book

Book Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kindle / iBookstore / Books-A-Million

Synopsis: 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.

Review: Paige Donovan is a hard working young woman who grew up a daddy’s girl and had an adversarial (at best) relationship with her mother. Paige just received a promotion and discovered she had a cheating boyfriend when she receives news of her father’s death. After the funeral, she finds out she was left her family’s cabin in the mountains of Colorado, in a town called Black River. She decides to take some vacation time to check out the cabin and gather her thoughts. Paige is quick to realize there is something very different about the inhabitants of Black River. In addition, there’s a childhood playmate who now wants to do more than play and someone out to get their revenge...


‘The Howling Heart’ left me with some very mixed feelings. On the one hand, it drew me in quickly and was an engaging read. I was fascinated by the Varulv and how different they are from “normal” werewolves. Their origin story was intriguing and I’d love to read a story just about their beginning sometime.

To me, Paige was inconsistent in her personality and her actions. She’s working at a famous fashion magazine, gets a great promotion, and then when she’s out in Colorado doesn’t call in to work once. She doesn’t let them know how long she’s going to be gone or even if she’s going back. Yet then at the end, she waltzes right in and still has her position. It would seem to me in that industry (or any), she wouldn't have a job waiting for her. She also never let her mother know she was okay or what her decision was about staying. Sure, her mother is a grade-A pain, but you’d think she’d give her a heads up as an FYI. Paige also is scared of wolves, but then when she finds out Riley is Varulv (as are most in Black River), she’s okay with it – mostly. Then there is the push me-pull me of ‘I love Riley, but I have to go back to NYC’. Also, she pushes him into having sex when he wants to wait for the induction and mating ceremony. She wants Riley to respect her feelings and thoughts, but doesn’t give the same in return. There are times when Paige seems to be strong, but then she has no backbone in other situations. It just seemed like she didn’t know who she was or what she really wanted.

I wasn’t a big fan of some of the rules of the Varulv either, especially when it came to the treatment of females. Yet for all their rigid rules, Riley’s father (the Black River alpha) seems to change some of them on a whim. Also, the blatantly literal deus ex machina at the end of the book rubbed me a bit wrong. Although, Paige’s other option to stay with Riley also sits wrong, so the deus ex machina is actually the lesser of two evils in a sense.

I liked Riley and Quinn the best and became attached to them easily. ‘The Howling Heart’ is well-written overall, and some of the characters are solid and stay consistent throughout the entirety. I was drawn to finish the story and enjoyed it despite of the issues I personally had with some of its' aspects.

Author Bio: 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 will release her fourth short story in December 2013, an 18th century paranormal romance entitled "A Dark Scandal".

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