Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Howling Heart Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway!

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Welcome to my post for The Howling Heart blog tour, organized by Itching for Books! I have a review of this lovely book coming up, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway for a wolf artwork. But, before we get to all that, allow me to introduce the book:

The Howling Heart
Release date: August 8, 2013
Publisher: Eternal Press
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Series: N/A

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 12th 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.

My Rating: 4 Roses

I'm not sure what to say about this book. It was rather unusual. But, in a way that kind of worked. So, part of me is slightly bewildered, but the rest of me really enjoyed this book. And that's how I feel about every part of it. Strange, yet oddly amazing. The Howling Heart was a lovely paranormal romance. I really liked this book.

Paige was a nice heroine. She's just been offered the promotion of a lifetime, when her father's death takes her away and she ends up in Black River. And, once there, she meets the love of her life and is forced to choose if she wants her career or her chance at true love. Like this book as a whole, I kind of don't know what to say about her. On one hand, I questioned her decisions a lot. On the other, I still really liked her character. She was thrown into a difficult situation and she handled it as best she could. And, when it came down to it, she showed herself to be a selfless heroine. In the end, I really liked her.

Riley was so sweet. He's utterly devoted to Paige and had been since they met as children. Almost to the point of obsession. But, again, he still made it work. I thought he was a sweetheart and I really liked him.

The romance was intense, both emotionally and physically. Emotionally because Riley had loved Paige so long and that kind of intense devotion draws out intense devotion. Physically because, even while Riley and Paige couldn't fully be together until they were mated due to pack law, the chemistry was always burning and, when they finally did get together, it was downright explosive. Yet, it was almost insta-love, but in a way that still allowed me to like the romance. I thought they were a lovely couple.

I liked how the werewolf mythology was done, with the Norse gods and all that. In this variation, the Varulv are wolves with the ability to shapeshift into humans. Rather than being humans who turn into wolves, these creatures are essentially wolves. It was kind of odd, but it was so interesting that I really liked it.

Are you noticing a pattern here?

The plot was nice. There wasn't much tension from conflict because, as conflict arose, it were dealt with swiftly. So, while I wasn't riveted, I was still drawn to the story. There were twists along the way that I never saw coming, especially with how it ended. Most of the book, I thought it would turn out one way, and it ended up turning out another. And I really liked how the story concluded.

As I said before, this book is odd, but in a way that really works. If you can tell with what I've said, that applied to everything in the book. It was different, but I still really liked it. The Howling Heart was a lovely paranormal romance that I really enjoyed. Loves of the genre, you definitely need to give this book a try.

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Just to set you up for the scene, this is when Paige and Riley first reunite, having not seen each other since they were children. But, while Riley recognizes her, she doesn't recognize him.

I stood in the hardware section looking at flashlights, when suddenly, I felt someone staring at me. I tried to remain inconspicuous as I glanced to my left without turning my head. At the end of the aisle, stood a slender young man at least six feet tall, wearing a read and black plaid flannel shirt with cut-off sleeves. Lean muscles flexed on his bicep as he grabbed something off the shelf.
His bare arms revealed a tattoo on his right shoulder, but I wasn't' close enough to read it.
He must've felt my gaze on him because he looked over at me. The sun gently kissed his skin with a golden tan and his full lips spread into a charming grin. He had a clean-shaven jaw, but sharp cheekbones that would make any woman envious. His sandy blond hair flowed like waves and curled softly on the ends, brushing his ears and collar. A few untamed strands fell in his eyes, making his hair appear disheveled. There was no doubt in my mind he was handsome.

Immediately, a heat wave crashed beneath my skin...and I knew it wasn't due to the summer weather. I blushed under his steady gaze and looked away in an attempt to ignore him. For some reason, I couldn't control myself because my gaze kept finding his. A smirk played on his lips, the color of a summer peach, and I wondered if they tasted as sweet.

Does he enjoy making me hot and bothered?

My hand trembled as I reached for a flashlight and placed it in my basket. Another glance toward this sexy stranger and I swallowed hard nervously. He casually browsed the aisle but I noticed he had moved closer to me. His shirt hung open, exposing his muscular torso and a patch of wispy hair on his sternum. My gaze strayed downward and I admired his tight, ripped abs. I bit my knuckles as I followed the dark blond happy trail beneath this navel. Army green carpenter pants hung low on his narrow hips, revealing a tapered V-line that was every man's erotic road map to the treasure between their legs.

My naughty eyes traveled further south and saw no sign of a waistband from his underwear or boxers. Despite wearing loose pants, the prominent bulge suggested the man was well-endowed. I knew he wore nothing beneath his pants, and suddenly, my lips felt dry. I darted my tongue out to moisten them and averted my gaze once again.

I moved own the aisle, but didn't know what I wanted to pick up next. He captivated me and wrapped my mind in a cloudy haze of arousal.
I stopped in front of some tools, and heard his footsteps alongside me. Looking down at the floor, I saw his black heavy boots with dried mud on the bottoms. He faced my direction, and I broke out in a nervous sweat. I can't speak to the male models that occasionally strutted their hotness around at Elle, let alone this guy. I moved swiftly down the aisle, trying my best to avoid any verbal communication. Luckily, I didn't hear his footsteps following me.

I stood at the end of the next aisle and took deep breaths to cool the burning fire flowing through me from our encounter. I stepped to the edge of the aisle and peeked cautiously around the corner. I sighed in relief when I didn't see him standing there. I grabbed a few household cleaners, but when I heard footsteps nearby, I walked in the opposite direction until I was back at the front counter.

Bobby stood there with a bright smile. "Are you all set, kiddo?"

Not really. I can't remember what I need thanks to Blondie over there. 

I smiled back and lied casually. "Yeah, I think I'm good."

As Bobby rang up my order and placed my items in plastic bags, I felt the young man's stare again.

Why is he the only other shopper in the store and why is he so interested in me? 

Even when Bobby told me my order total, I still felt the blond guy watching me. I had a sudden urge to run away, so I overpaid him and made a hasty exit toward the front door.

"Keep the change!" I dashed out of the store without a second glance at the mysterious stranger or the kind storeowner. 

I got in my Jeep, but when I looked over at the store, Blondie stood outside and stared at me. What is his deal? I held his gaze for a few moments with suspicion in my eyes. He had my nerves to rattled that I fumbled with the key in the ignition before I started the engine and sped off, leaving a cloud of dust in my wake. 

When I was about to turn the corner toward my cabin, I glanced in the rear-view mirror. There he stood again-in the middle of the dirt road-his gaze following me until I could no longer see him.

Up for grabs is a Nala Wolf Artwork by Sandi Baker, shown below. US only. Ends August 20.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

April Bostic is a New Jersey-based 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 will release her second novel "The Howling Heart" in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods.

1 comment:

  1. Great review & cool excerpt. Glad you liked it :)