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Publisher's Summary

Sometimes it’s harder to teach a young dog new tricks.

That’s why werewolves embark on a Howling: a three-year rite of passage in which they’re sent to a group residence to wrestle with their wolfy instincts and assimilate into the Wider World. But Tanner Araya’s Howling is almost over, and he could be called back to his remote pack at any moment. His 21st birthday might be his last chance to act on his strongest instinct and finally kiss Chase Denney.

Chase is RA at the Howling residence affectionately dubbed "the Doghouse", and he takes his job seriously. So seriously that when he realized he was developing feelings for a resident, he forced himself to keep Tanner at a distance. But now that Tanner’s 21, he’s not Chase’s charge any longer. They could be friends or - if Chase is lucky - something more. At least until they both return to their home packs for good, as tradition demands.

It would take a miracle for them to get together - especially when the other Doghouse werewolves insist on "helping".

Warning: Many frisbees are harmed in this story, forgiveness is not always easier than permission, and the five-second rule does not apply.

©2020 E. J. Russell (P)2020 Riptide Publishing

What listeners say about Howling on Hold

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Daisycat68
  • 2020-05-24

DNF about a third of the way through.

The good: Greg Boudreaux. He has considerable skill in voicing a multitude of different characters with distinction, including various ethnicities and genders. His pacing and acting out the scenes could not be classified as mere narration. Definitely check out his extensive work (he also goes by Greg Tremblay).

The bad: this story is a hot mess. MILD SPOILERS below.

Firstly, this book might be classified as a stand alone, but it relies on an extensive range of characters and world building that was established in like six previous books. They aren't just random cameos like "we saw ... at a cafe" but these people have major roles in the story that had already been established. There is also quite a bit of their society and various supernatural beings and customs that we are presumed to already know about and understand. If like me, you picked this up (it's the author's first audio recording even though the book has MANY earlier books in the same universe), you will be lost. Full stop. There are simply too many different people and situations that already occurred.

As an aside, I thought that perhaps I would pause the audio and go back and read the previous books, but they don't get the greatest reviews. Also, a major character, Mal, has quite a lot of non-con/rape in his story, so I am not going to read that. FYI.

Next, I can't stand one of the mains and several of the supporting cast. Chase (the RA and presumptive alpha) is SO whiny! He doesn't give off leadership vibes at all. He self flagelates about everything: it's my fault Jordan went into the fight room, it's my fault Gage drank alcohol as a minor, it's my fault Tanner ran off after the kiss, it's my fault he's missing even though the council removed me from the residence immediately, on and on. Ugh. And the council's (whatever they're called) reaction is so over the top, yet they replace Chase with an RA who DOESN'T NOTICE that one of his charges is MISSING for THREE MONTHS! How is that guy better than Chase? Also, aren't the other guys friends with Tanner? Why is it that NOT ONE OF THEM noticed that Tanner just disappeared for months, used his room for all their clandestine stuff, and then when Chase questioned why they didn't notice he was missing, claimed "Tanner isn't our responsibility." Wow. Seriously nice friends.

Then Chase goes on this quest to find Tanner, and we get this involved lesson into the way things work, and I was just irritated and bored at that point. I have no idea what happens next, nor do I care.

This novel reads like an amateur attempt, which I generally have more empathy for, except the author has a bunch of previous books published, so I guess her writing is just not that good. I won't be reading this or anything else from her. I love this genre but this book fell far short.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • RACHEL REED
  • 2020-12-08

A sweet coming of age shifter romance!

This was a sweet coming of age shifter romance.
The characters were likeable, engaging and well fleshed out and I liked the overall setting of the story.
Chase and Tannet were so adorable together and I loved the chemistry between them.

Greg Boudreaux's narration and impeccable audio delivery really brought the characters to life.

Overall a fun and enjoyable listen.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mari Cardenas
  • 2020-04-30

Good start to the series!

4.25 Stars!

So, first thing first, while Howling on Hold is book 1 in the series, it can't be read as a standalone. There are a lot of recurring characters from E.J. Russell's Fae out of Water and Supernatural Selection series and you'll be lost and/or confused over who is who if you haven't read those before. I've read all the books in both series and even I found it difficult to keep up a couple of times, and frankly, they're so good, that you don't want to miss out on them.

I really liked Tanner and even if I wasn't sure about Chase at first, he grew on me as the book progressed. They were sweet and had tons of chemistry.

However, the romance portion of the story fell a bit to the background with everything that was happening with Tanner's cousin and uncle and his reticence to become his pack's Alpha and all the problems Chase had as their Doghouse pack's RA. Still, there's action, some angst, a few twists and turns I frankly didn't see coming —especially one regarding Tanner— and it gave me the chance to catch up with some of my favorite E.J. Russell characters and meet a few new ones. I adored the juniors, especially Jordan, who was too adorbs for words, and I'm looking forward to getting to know them better in the next book(s).

Regarding the narration, you simply can't go wrong with Greg Boudreaux, he's amazing and his performance is top-notch as always, especially considering there are a lot of characters in the story, so it's easy to get confused. However, Greg gave them all a distinctive voice and brought them to life for me. Definitely recommendable!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bennett
  • 2021-02-20

Recommend!

I love both this writer and narrator, but there’s something about this book that keeps me from 100% joy. I think it’s because of the insecurity and self-doubt both MCs have with each other. It’s understandable in the plot circumstances, and well written, just kind of personally annoying to me. I think perhaps the combination of text and narration kind of keeps that (mild) irritation at the forefront of my listening experience.

Having said that, it’s a great story and I’ve read AND listened to it more than once, so take my complaint for what it’s worth. Ms. Russell writes a wonderful and complex paranormal tale, which both stands alone AND fits into an existing universe, and Mr. Boudreaux is one of the most talented narrators I’ve listened to, so definitely recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 2020-09-23

great performance, fun story

one of my favorite authors and narrators together! the story was fun and exciting though I would suggest reading EJ Russell's books in publication order to better understand the characters as many of them are reoccurring. Greg Boudreaux did a phenomenal job with many different characters and accents easily distinguishable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Natalie Nicole
  • 2020-09-05

A pure delight especially for fun-loving people!

I just wanted to dive into my audio system right into this world. E. J. Russell added a very special spin to the shifter genre with this wonderful story. We have so many incredible elements going on that worked together beautifully. We have a tradition of wolf shifters sending wolves off from there 18th to 21st birthdays to get experience and learn control in a mostly human world. Inherited positions within a pack being tested on all sides and in many ways. And, most importantly, other shifters types and supernatural beings such as vampires and witches. There was so very much to love about this story and the audiobook version is narrated by Greg Boudreaux/Tremblay-one of the very best readers in the business! Well done, EJ Russell! Very well done!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ryuhi
  • 2020-05-26

Decent Story with Endearing Characters, but..

What I liked best overall was the dynamic with the Main Character and his friends.
It was cute and a bit silly in a slightly over the top fashion.
It did work well enough and it actually felt "wolfy".
And with all the werewolf books that seem to mostly want "alpha and omega" and chosen mates, it is nice to have characters who have some endearing wolf pup like quirks and at least enough shifting to make it fun.

...but with certain aspects like talking about consent, toxic relationship and gas lighting, things kinda felt a bit heavy handed and sometimes even botched in execution.
You cannot first make a big thing about how important consent is and then build up some side character as being great for giving you what you need, not what you asked for.
Sorry, but decide whether consent is important or whether it is okay to just push ahead.



  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Violet Marshall
  • 2020-05-05

A Wonderful Book

A wonderful book with good writing. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters charming. The characters were developed and thought out. Tanner and Chase are the MC’s of this book. My only problem with this book was that I felt like there was background that I was missing. I looked to see if there were any previous books, but I didn’t find any. Although I did read a couple reviews that mentioned the following series and that they might help with background and secondary characters. Supernatural Selection and the Fae Out Of Water series. The narration was great and more enjoyable because of it. I can recommend this book as a good read/listen. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharonica
  • 2020-05-01

Howling Good! 💖🐺💖


Oh, my goddess! This was so cute! I know it sounds silly and maybe even a bit crazy, but I think I may have raised four shifters instead of boys and never really realized it. The antics the goofy escapades junior Weres get up to are so much like how life was in my house a few years ago... Minus the butt-sniffing, of course. 😂

Chance and Tanner were sweet together, and I appreciated that there was just enough angst to keep me reading and not eye-rolling. I loved Greg Boudreaux's narration and I hope that EJ Russell goes back and creates audiobooks for the books that had the characters who cameoed in Howling. So many unique characters that I know Greg would do a smashing job.

The Story focuses on the discovery of the true meaning of pack and family for Tanner and Chase. History and legend that had been hidden for generations are uncovered and while the story has a wonderful HEA for the MCs, Russell did leave it open for the journey to continue.
'
If you need your spirit lifted, and maybe have a good tussle and ramble around with a pack of supes to help you feel young again, look no further.

The Story: 5.00🌟
The Narration: 4.50🌟
Sharonica Stars: 4.75🌟

I received a complimentary audio copy of this book from Gay Romance Reviews in exchange for an honest review.☔

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susie Umphers
  • 2020-04-30

An unexpected delight

I must admit up front that I chose this book for the narrator, not the story. I am not familiar with any other books in this series or related to this one, but I adore Greg Boudreaux/Tremblay as a narrator and wanted to try a book by him that seemed more lighthearted and fun than the others I have listened to by him. Explore his more comic work, if you will. As expected the narration was 10 starts out of 5, but what was unexpected was how much I enjoyed the story and the characters. Wolf, frat boys did not sound really appealing, but boy was I wrong! The guys are so perfectly described you can see them doing all the wolf/doggy things just like watching a film and their personalities are so endearing. Their decision to "help" our two MCs get together is rom com at its best. I enjoyed the romance, it felt right for young men of their age. If you need some fun romance during this trying time, don't hesitate, grab this one up for a listen!