ARC Review: The Howling by Erin McCarthy

ARC Featured Image - The Howling by Erin McCarthy

Flora Reviews… The Howling by Erin McCarthy. My thanks to the publisher, Kensington Books (via Netgalley) for the advanced eBook.

What’s The Howling about?

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ARC Review: The Howling by Erin McCarthyMy Rating:
Title: The Howling by Erin McCarthy
Series: Standalone Novella
Published by Kensington Publishing on 26 June, 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance (PNR), Erotic
No. of Pages: 99

Beneath the silver moon . . .

For six months the nightmares have been chasing Liv Lugaru out of her sleep. The same terrifying dream, the same fevered wolves panting after her, their hot breath getting closer and closer as a full moon hangs heavy in the night sky—until she wakes up drenched in sweat, with her fiancé, the brother of the man who broke her heart, gazing down at her . . .

Six months ago, Sebastian was almost killed by his brother in a power struggle within their werewolf pack. His disappearance opened the way for his brother to console Liv, win her trust . . . without ever telling her of their true heritage. Now Sebastian is ready to reclaim his rightful place—to rise up with the moon and claim the only woman he’s ever loved . . .

Source: ARC

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the book or influence the content of my review.

Review Format: eBook
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal eBook Link ¦ Amazon*

Read: 4th – 7th June 2018

The Howling is a standalone novella that has been previously published in the anthology The Beast Within. The story is set in modern-day Wisconsin and is an adult paranormal romance featuring werewolves.

What did I like about The Howling?

I requested The Howling through NetGalley for a number of reasons. Firstly, the front cover caught my eye – you’ve got to agree, a half-naked man is eye-catching. 😉 The story description piqued my interest; recurring nightmares, secrets and a lethal sibling rivalry. Yes please. 😉 Plus of course, I love finding authors that I haven’t read before.

Unfortunately, The Howling didn’t turn out to be quite what I expected.

This story is only ten chapters and it wasn’t long before I felt that if you removed the explicit sex scenes it could easily be a YA novella. The way the characters thought and reacted to situations. How the plot evolved. The stereotypes; the good hard-done-by brother versus the evil power grabbing brother. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of either YA or New Adult stories and books from these genres are never my preferred choice of reading material.

Having said that, I absolutely loved the first chapter. It gripped me completely. I was on the edge of my seat, heart pounding with tension. The action was fast-paced and emotive. The relationship between Liv and Scarborough had thoughts and questions whirring around my head. Plus, the mystery aspect was very intriguing.

I really liked Liv’s best friend and confidant, Mary Fran.

Mary Fran’s support and advice was perfect and I enjoyed the scenes that she was in. If you’ve read any of my reviews before you’ll know that I also enjoy a HEA ending. I wasn’t disappointed here. The baddie is bested and the girl gets her guy.

Was there anything I didn’t like?

Ok, I’ve already said that YA/New Adult stories are not my cup of tea. Therefore putting that aside, you can tell by my low rating there are lots of other niggles for me while reading this novella.

Let’s start with some inconsistencies with my understanding of what abilities a human would possess if they were part wolf.

As wolves have superior senses to humans, I assume that werewolves’ senses would be partially heightened too. Sebastian didn’t seem to have any heightened senses. He wasn’t able to tell that Liv hadn’t had sex since he’d “died” or that she didn’t smell like Scarborough. He also didn’t seem to care that Scar would smell Sebastian on Liv once they’d had sex which would surely put her in danger! And while we’re on the subject of sex, yes the sex scenes are quite hot. However, I found our couple’s first encounter totally unbelievable. Liv doesn’t wake up while having an orgasm and thinks she’s dreaming. Really?!.

Actually, our heroine, Liv, exhibited lots of traits throughout this story that annoyed me. I don’t mind a character starting off weak, oblivious or reliant on others. However, I expect them to develop and gain strength. I’m not just talking physically but emotionally and intellectually too. Fainting females are my least favourite.

I feel that the name an author gives their characters plays an important role in my ability to engage. Not only is Scarborough a British seaside town with certain connotations in my mind but in this novella it’s also shortened to Scar. Lion King association were continually present in my head. I was never gonna take a character seriously with that name (sorry).

And finally, the general writing style throughout the book and the way some of the backstory was explained just didn’t make sense or flow smoothly for me. I found it a little confusing at times. So much had already happened between Sebastian, Scarborough and the pack but we just got quick recaps of past events through memories, dreams and dialogue rather than experiencing them with any sense of depth through the story.

Basically, what I’m saying is…

I think that Ms McCarthy has written a novella that could happily be classed as erotic young adult. Is there such a genre? It wasn’t the book for me but I am sure plenty of readers will love the mix.

Due to the explicit sexual content – it’s definitely very steamy at times – I’d rate this novella 18+. I’d recommend The Howling to adults who aren’t offended by scenes of this nature but are fans relationship/romance tales within the paranormal YA genre and looking for a quick, short read.

Reviews are always subjective, so I hope you check out THE HOWLING for yourself. Click on any of the links in this post. Keep reading to find out more about the author.

About Erin McCarthy

Author - Erin McCarthy

USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written over seventy-five novels and novellas in the romance and mystery genres. Erin has a special weakness for high-heeled boots, martinis, and Frank Sinatra. She lives with her renovation-addicted husband (he built her a bar, so it’s all good!) and their blended family of kids and rescue dogs.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this review. Have you read The Howling or any of Erin McCarthy’s other book? Drop me a comment below.

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

Bye for now,

Flora x

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog -

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