About the book, The Howling Heart
Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when she’s 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 she 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.
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About the author, April Bostic
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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Having spent several of my formative years in small towns in the Colorado Rockies, I had absolutely no trouble accepting that there could be a town that wasn’t easy to find, harboring a community of people who aren’t werewolves, except when they are. Actually, about the only thing that really challenged my willing suspense of disbelief in regard to The Howling Heart was that Paige could be working at Elle and getting a fat promotion so soon after college. (Kudos though, for making it Elle, I love Elle.)
But that’s a small quibble about a book that I otherwise found to be both engaging and enjoyable. As a reader, I might have questioned Paige’s choices, but when you’re young, grieving, and caught up in a combination of attraction and nostalgia, you don’t always make smart choices.
But I’m backing into this review, so let me start over:
April Bostic’s The Howling Heart gives us a new spin on werewolves. These aren’t blood-thirsty creatures out for a quick human-shaped snack, but people who live more in tune with the land, in a culture influenced by Norse mythology and shaped by the modern world. It’s an interesting juxtaposition – as the male lead/love interest Riley Gray points out – they eat spaghetti Bolognese when in human form, and take meals on the hoof when…not.
It’s also an interesting twist on the conventional romance novel tropes. Yes, Paige is young and has a career that doesn’t quite match her age, yes, Riley is hot-hot-hot and super-sensitive, but somehow it all works to create a magical bubble, a sort of wolfy Brigadoon surrounded by aspen and pine trees instead of heather.
The element of mystery – what did Paige’s father know, and when did he know it? – only adds to the story. Romance and mystery have always been compatible, however, so this should not be at all surprising.
Author Bostic write dialogue that doesn’t sound stilted, and puts enough flavor into her foreign-born characters that they don’t sound American but also don’t sound like caricatures. It’s a tough balance for any writer, but she’s nailed it.
Likewise, the supporting characters – Paige’s father, who dies before we really know him, Riley’s sister Quinn, and their father and stepmother – are all given lovely moments to show off their dimensions.
If you enjoy a good romantic romp, with a dash of supernatural spiciness, The Howling Heart is for you.
Goes well with a hearty bowl of venison stew and crusty brown bread, and a glass of hard cider.