Howling on Hold

Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
Categories: Romance, Paranormal
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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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!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kp
  • 04-27-20

Enjoyed!

I enjoyed this coming of age story. Having not read Fae Out of Water Series or the Supernatural Selection Series I had no problem following this story. I was still able to enjoy Tanner and Chase's story.
They are very sweet together. There's plenty of humor and mystery here.
As always Greg Boudreaux does a wonderful job of givings voice to these characters. I really enjoyed listening to this story.

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Sweet shifter romance

The shifter characters in this book are so sweet. I enjoyed the characterization of both leads, as well as their impromptu pack. This was a fun continuation of the world from Fae out of Water and Supernatural Selection. I like that it can stand alone, but also included glimpses of previous characters and how their world is continuing to change as supes step into the modern era. Fun read!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining Story, Great Narration

I enjoyed this story very much. It is an interesting look at shifters way of passage from turbulent 18 to legal drinking age of 21 under the supervision of young and sexy Alpha RA and what happens when one of young charges develops a crush on his slightly older teacher. Narrator did a great job and made this book a very entertaining listening experience. Highly recommend for readers who enjoy paranormal romance stories.

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Great book...

Howling on Hold by  EJ Russell is a paranormal shifter romance (no mpreg) that delivers an entertaining and fascinating story with fantastic characters. I was drawn into the shifter universe created here and would love it if more books come out involving this world. I am so intrigued by all the paranormal beings and their interaction. As for this story, it had me smiling, laughing and loving every moment. This is sweet, sexy, suspenseful... a wonderful story.

Narration is by Greg Boudreau. Fantastic voicework and recording. Great entertainment

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  • Emma Burbidge
  • 05-02-20

Young wolves & a coming-of-age thriller/adventure

This was a fun story with a bit of mystery and some thrilling action narrated by Greg Boudreaux who is a favourite of mine. The two young adult wolf shifters and their friends get up to mischief, hijinks and find more trouble than they bargained for, including a nefarious relative or two.
Highly recommended shifter paranormal thriller with MM romance included.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Belinda Zamora
  • 04-30-20

Unique twist on the shifter world

I absolutely enjoyed this story.
This was fast paced and action packed while in turns quirky and light hearted.
It was filled with mysterious twists and turns that kept me thoroughly engaged and intrigued.
Greg brought these characters to life with his excellent narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Allison's Book Corner
  • 04-30-20

Great

I really enjoyed this audiobook.
It was so entertaining.
I read the book and really enjoyed it; the audiobook increased my love of this book.
I would definitely recommend it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather Rawlins
  • 04-30-20

I loved it!!

Howling on Hold was a great new take on shapeshifters. Tanner and Chase are an adorable couple and I loved how their story played out. I found the secondary characters and rules and structures and what might happen to be fascinating. I loved the narrator’s pace and voice. It was enjoyable to listen to. I would definitely recommend this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • choccygrl
  • 04-30-20

Great narration

This ties in with the author's other supernatural stories with loved up couples popping up all over the place. Not having read them all I found this sudden influx of characters I felt I should know confusing.
The actual plot was okay although certain points felt forced to move it in a certain direction (Chase not being allowed to return to the house to get his stuff).
I liked the relationship and the overall story though. And the writing is solid.
I'm not sure if this is the start of a new series.
I feel readers of the previous books will enjoy this more than the uninitiated.
But having read this already, I found this much easier with the influx of characters the second times around. And the narrator is great.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 04-23-20

so good!

Such a great story! Funny and sweet with so many endearly awesome characters. I liked the approach to shifters and the world of magic created. I loved the Doghouse pack and Jordan is hilarious. Add in a curse, some twists and turns and you've got the start of what I hope become a a series. I need more of Tanner and Chace, demon Zeke, Mal, Rusty, Hugh Mann and so many more. I loved it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cassi
  • 04-23-20

AMAZING NARRATION AND GREAT STORY

Greg could make my taxes sound good I swear so when you pair him with such a great story you really hit the nail on the head!.

The world building and unique story line in this book was fantastic and there were so many laugh out loud moments. I need more!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Meph666
  • 04-21-20

Enjoyable new adult supernatural romance

Howling on hold is a wonderful coming of age, supernatural, action romance with a host of great characters, several known from the Supernatural Selection series.
Tanner is coming of age as his Howling nears its end. This is where young wolves go to a residence to learn to, basically, hide from humans. At 21, he’s graduating and will be able to go back to his pack at the end of the school year. His crush on Chase, his RA, will carry on forever even though he’s never made a move and romance between students and staff is prohibited. At least until they are of age. Chase has definitely noticed Tanner, ever since he arrived, but he’s refused to act on it as it would compromise his position. A series of events, however, lead to them spending three months apart with a lot of thinking done on both sides.
There is a lot more that goes on in this story than the blurb suggests and it gets really interesting! Family drama, relationships both old and new, misunderstandings, and a few mysteries to solve. Chase and Tanner are instantly likable characters. Tanner is struggling with not wanting to return to his pack, enjoying being in the Wider World and learning all he can. Chase is a great RA, really caring about the people he’s in charge of, taking their welfare and his responsibilities seriously. The group of students at “The Doghouse” are such fun to read, especially Jordan who is new to his Howling and finding it harder than most to act less like a wolf. I loved getting to hear from several of the cast from the Supernatural Selections series. Because of the turn that the story takes, help is needed to search for someone and many become involved in that and what follows as danger rises up to meet them and the safety of Tanner and Chase becomes paramount.
I loved the couple and the plot of the story that Howling on Hold gives the readers. I was engaged right from the start and enjoyed it all the way through. Definitely another recommended read from E.J. Russell and I’m hoping we get to hear more from these characters again in the future.
Greg does an amazing job in narrating this story. He provides a great array of voices for all of the characters whilst also portraying the emotions that both MC's are experiencing through the highs and lows of the story. Jordan is one of my favourites in the story and Greg's really brings out his quirks, made me smile.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 04-20-20

Tanner and Chase

Very enjoyable and I loved the way the Shifter world was portrayed in this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Edga
  • 04-17-20

<br />Decent start to a new series. Excellent narration


I love the humour in Ms Russell's books. Most of her stories make me smile. That's always a plus in my mind. The antics of the Doghouse Pack, especially Jordan, cheered me up no end.

I really don't want to go into any detail about the story, other than to say that this is one of those tales where you just need to sit back and enjoy the ride. This is most certainly a romance, but also contains lies and betrayals, as well as friendship, love and humour.

Chase and Tanner are our leading men in this one, their romance is a slow burn, with some complications, but it does open up the possibility of more straightforward romances in future stories.

I also enjoyed the inclusion of characters from previous books, especially those from The Supernatural Selection series. A good book to set up what I hope is going to be a new series from Ms Russell, can't wait for Jordan's story.

As usual Greg Boudreaux was excellent. His narration really brought the characters to life. Listening to the story really added to my enjoyment. Highly recommended.