Book: The Howling Heart
Author: April Bostic
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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.
This was my first journey into April Bostic’s work, so I had no clue what to expect, but I’ve been on a shifter kick as of late, so I was determined to give it a shot. I was glad I did! This lady had the wolves down pretty well. It’s not the best shifter book that I’ve ever read, but certainly not the worst either.
Riley and Paige meet as children, she a human and he a pup. She’s escaping a crappy childhood, running from parents that care more about fighting with each other, than the welfare of their daughter. I just have to interject at this point, I hate Paige’s mother. It usually takes a lot for me to hate a character, but April was able to bring about those feelings toward this woman with no effort at all. I don’t want to give away the details of why, but the woman is horrid. A complete miserable excuse of a mother.
So, as Riley runs away, she encounters this strange white pup in the forest that surrounds her family’s cabin in a remote part of Colorado. Little does she know, the “puppy” is actually a young wolf. Solid white, and extremely rare to his kind. They immediately become friends, even though their time is cut short when Paige is “rescued” by her parents and the town sheriff.
Strange things begin to occur during the remainder of their vacation, including when Paige meets a young boy about her age, who seems to be one with the wild. The culmination of these events leads Paige’s mother to declare the cabin and unsafe environment and the family leaves, never to return to the small town of Black River.
Fast forward thirteen years, Paige is grown and living in New York, working as a young associate for Elle magazine- a dream come true. Yet, her dreams are still haunted by the memory of the white pup and the boy that she only briefly met. Her parents are now divorced, and she is still extremely close with her father, luckily not so much her mother. Again, a vile creature that woman.
Then, tragedy strikes. The worst thing that could happen to Paige does.
She’s suddenly presented with the opportunity to return to Black River, and maybe reclaim some of the happiness that she remembers from her time there. Little does she know her life will forever change when she returns.
She reunites with Riley, now a gorgeous man, who instantly lets her know that she is his mate, the one whom he has longed for since they met in the forest all of those years ago. Except she has no idea the secret that he and the rest of the community share. To her, this is only a time of bereavement and vacation until she can return to her life in New York.
I love that things don’t turn out the way she planned. I love that Riley is a persistent man, and I most of all love the way that Paige is eventually assimilated into the wolf culture. They claim her as their own. Riley is ready to move heaven and hell to be with Paige
Their love, however fast it seems to develop, is so pure and strong. These two literally fight to the death for each other. They are determined to let nothing stand in the way of the bond they share.
I loved the entire book, up until the end. Don’t get me wrong here- there is a total HEA, I just wish that it would have taken place elsewhere, differently. I cannot reveal what I mean by that- just that it didn’t feel right the way they began their lives. Maybe there will be future books where we see that there has been a change- at least, that’s what I hope.
All in all, I like the book, and would highly recommend it to paranormal/shifter fans, or even just fans of romance. It was an amazing story and April seems to be a talented lady!
I felt feverish, and I couldn't move. I tried to open my eyes, but something heavy weighed on my eyelids.
Although I couldn't see or move, I heard voices around me. The first one was female, and she had an English accent like Sheriff Gray. "She's still got a fever."
Then, I heard a male voice. "What if she doesn't wake up?" He had the same accent, but he wasn’t the sheriff.
At that moment, I realized they were talking about me. "Don't worry...she will."
"It's my fault. Dad’s going to bloody kill me."
"It's not your fault. Stop saying that. She’ll be okay, and Dad will understand."
"I shouldn't have brought her here."
"You did the right thing by bringing her here. I can take care of her."
There was a momentary pause. "What if she finds out?"
"That's for Dad to decide."
The voices faded in and out. Sleep bore down on me, but the last words I heard from the man stuck in my head. "I'll watch over her."
A severely dry mouth and splitting headache interrupted my peaceful sleep. I couldn’t hear the two voices, but I heard breathing in my left ear like someone was sleeping next to me. I tried to open my eyes so that I could ask them for water and medicine for my headache. The weight on my eyes was gone, so I tried to open them, but they felt sticky this time. I struggled to peel them open, blinking rapidly to loosen my eyelashes.
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".