Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review, Giveaway, Blog Tour: The Howling Heart by April Bostic

The Howling Heart
Giveaway: April is giving away a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner's choice) and a copy of her book! Enter through Rafflecopter. The giveaway is the same dates as the tour!


Title: The Howling Heart by April Bostic
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Published August 8th 2013 by Eternal Press
Length: 220 pages

Rating: 4 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Author

Blurb:

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.

Purchase Link: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, iTunes
-------------------------------------------------------------
Review:
3.5 Stars rounded up

Paige gets a promotion at work, dumps a cheating boyfriend, and inherits a cabin after her father died. So much happened to her that she needs to take a vacation and decides to check out the cabin in the woods. Then she meets Riley and is scared shitless about wolves.

I like how the "werewolves" reject this human label and consider themselves as wolves. Their DNA is only 1% different from wild wolves. They act like wolves and the book really emphasize that they are more wolves than humans. Nevertheless, Paige still tries to adapt to their culture and find ways to finally be together with Riley.

I really like Riley's voice and dominant attitude in the book. That is what attracted me to read this story. Riley is the beta male and his father is the alpha of the pack. He's expected to be dominant and he knows his standing. He is also considerate to Paige and tries to curb his wolf instinct, although he does exert his dominance when Paige is slighted. Paige definitely does not approve his method of retribution but that's another part of wolf culture.

Back in "human society," Paige is regarded as a "wildwoman" by her mother. More secrets are revealed. It's a little disconcerting how easily Riley incorporates himself into human society. It is hinted in the book that wolves need their pack unless they have a mate. So this may explain why but it's still not clear. I expect more culture shock from him. It is also unclear how he knows so much about human society but is still clueless at the end.

I really appreciate the HEA ending, even though it's very fairy tale-like. Any long-lasting damage is healed by a mighty God even though it would have been more realistic to show how Paige and Riley will cope to accept their physical limitations. The loose end regarding Paige's mother is never explained. I don't like her and it's intended for the reader to not like the meddling mother. Her meddling and know-it-all mentality really disrupts the werewolf community and Paige and Riley's relationship.

Overall, the story flows smoothly and is a fast read. I really enjoy learning how the werewolves adapt to human culture and the characters. I would recommend this book for fans of shifter romances looking for a little something different than the usual.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Excerpt: 
Riley walked away and took a few steps toward the river. With his back facing me, he stood while looking at the waterfall. It was a beautiful scene—his tall, shirtless body with his blonde hair tousled and gently blowing in the wind. He took another step and surprised me by kicking off his boots. Then, he leaned down and rolled up his pant legs. He jogged over to a cluster of large rocks, his footing quick and poised, and sat with his bare feet dangling in the water.

I yelled out, "Is it safe to do that?"

He looked at me and laughed lightly. "Yeah, it’s safe. Do you think there are piranhas or crocodiles in the river?" He continued to chuckle, and a toothy smile broke free on my face. "Don't worry. There isn't anything deadly in these waters—just harmless fish, frogs, and Northern Water snakes. They won't hurt you." He beckoned to me. "Come over here and join me. The water is nice and cool." He kicked his feet, making splashes in the water.

I was hesitant to join him, but the water intrigued me. I decided to trust him, so I walked over to the rocks. They were flat, smooth, and slick. My steps were wobbly as I tried to avoid getting a foot stuck in the cracks or slipping on the moss. Once I stood next to him, he looked up at me with a wide smile. I removed my sneakers, peeled off my socks, and rolled up my sweatpants. Riley was right. The water was pleasantly cool and refreshing.

He kicked his feet again, this time making a bigger splash. I tried to outdo him, but my smaller feet were no match for his large ones. We laughed together, but the rushing water overpowered the harmonious sound.

I stole a glance at him while he looked at the river. He leaned back casually on his elbows, and I couldn't help but admire his six-pack abs and toned chest. Little, brown moles spotted his torso, and I imagined playing connect-the-dots with my tongue. His skin enticed me, and I wanted to run my hands all over it. A lustful feeling washed over me, and I swallowed thickly, averting my gaze.

Riley chuckled low in his throat, and I knew he caught me staring. His hand touched my lower back, and I looked at him over my shoulder. A grin spread across his lips as he tugged the shirt hem.

"This is my shirt, isn't it?" My eyes widened, and I whipped my head around. In less than two seconds, my face flushed with heat.

"Um, yes," I mumbled. "Sorry. I borrowed it, because Quinn's clothes were too small for me, and I didn't feel comfortable browsing through Celia's wardrobe." The latter reason was a lie. I was just determined to cover myself with his clothes.

"No worries. I don't mind," he soothed. "You can borrow whatever you want. What's mine is yours, love."

I turned my head slightly to peek at him, grateful his focus was still on the shirt. I recalled the words he spoke earlier. "Let's say hypothetically I did stay here with you. How would we be together when I'm human and you're a wolf?"

"If you're referring to us being biologically compatible, Máni and Freya blessed us, so we can breed with humans."

His foot brushed against mine under the water. It came back a second time and then a third. He sat up and scooted closer to me, until our thighs were touching. I looked over at him and almost fell into his seafoam pools. I had to regain control before I did something I would regret...like lean over and kiss those bee-stung lips.
-----------------------------------------------------------
About the Author: 
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".

Social Media: Website, Goodreads
-------------------------------------------------------------
Giveaway:

The Howling Heart a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbgfa-n2xZo
You should follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! The tour dates and stops can be found here: http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/

1 comment: