I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
The Howling Heart opens with a frequent memory that plagues main character Paige, an event that occurred thirteen years ago at the family cabin in the woods. Soon after she learns her father has died and she is now the owner of said cabin. She feels a strong pull to return, one that she can't rationalize or ignore.
Paige is emotionally fragile when she arrives in the Colorado small town. She just lost her father and also caught her boyfriend in the act of cheating. When she sees Riley in the general store, it's lust at first sight. Paige is a strange woman. One moment she seems so put together and practical. The next she's jumping into a strange situation with both feet. I almost died laughing when she finally began asking the town doctor life altering questions toward the end. I guess better late than never...
Riley fell in love with Paige the moment they met in the forest when he was a pup and she was a girl. When she arrives at the cabin, he wastes no time professing his undying love. He's another strange one. At times he's a dominant alpha-male type, at others a complete pushover. The love Riley has for a woman he doesn't know is sweet in that 'love at first sight' or 'instant soul-mate' sort of way. It was funny how they'd proclaim love for each other, and then Paige would lament how little she knows about him.
By the end of the story, it's obvious that Paige truly does love Riley—all of him body, heart, and soul. It's really rather sweet (in a somewhat creepy kind of way) that she feels this way. The entire time I was reading I kept wondering how a relationship could possibly work when they come from two very different worlds. But sometimes love really can conquer all, so why fight it.
I enjoyed the ending quite a bit. It gave the story closure as well as providing a decent laugh. The Howling Heart is for ages 18+ due to mature content. If you like paranormal stories featuring shapeshifters, add this one to your TBR list.