"Two thumbs up for this highly recommended werewolf tale!"
ONCE A WOLF is the second book in a trilogy begun
TOUCH OF THE WOLF last year. As TOW told the story
Braden Greyburn, so this book tells the story of his cousin
Rowena. It's as much a western romance as it is a werewolf
paranormal, yet is not a far cry away from a historical.
Rowena is a loups garou who denies her heritage. She fled
her brother and England in the previous book Touch of the
Wolf to escape his forcing her to marry an American
werewolf she never met, solely to purify the werewolf line.
And now, she finds herself about to wed the selfsame man,
of her own free will. Rowena has toned down since she fled
from England. Where once there was a smart-mouthed hellion,
now there is only a woman halfway to being broken, trying
desperately to subdue her werewolf heritage and be a
perfect lady. She knows she will never be accepted by
society, or by anyone in general, if she gives in to her
passionate werewolf side, so she heeds the cold words of
her betrothed who tells her he agrees with her wanting to
conquer her animalistic side. One man, however, has another
idea in mind and kidnaps her to keep her out of the
marriage. Tomas Randall, aka El Lobo, lured Rowena to the
West then takes her prisoner to take his revenge on her
betrothed. He has his own personal reasons for hating Cole
McLean, one of which includes a family feud that migrated
with the families from Scotland.
Rowena, trying desperately to stay the perfect lady, finds
herself succumbing to her passionate nature and to Tomas.
And Tomas, whose plan initially started out just kidnapping
the woman whom he believed to be a shallow society lady and
seducing her, finds himself succumbing to an awakening
Rowena. In the midst of all this remains Cole McLean, who
does not take kindly to having his possessions stolen from
him, especially from a Randall, and is hot on their trail.
I really, really enjoyed this book, more so than the first
of the trilogy. The heroine and the hero went through a
normal process of falling in love; it wasn't necessarily
love (or lust) at first site. Oh, there was an animal
attraction in the beginning (pardon the pun) that steadily
grew stronger as the book progressed, but it grew at a
believable rate, not in spurts nor suddenly at the
beginning or the ending. Both the hero and the heroine had
problems they desperately needed to work out. Rowena had
built a shell around herself against her werewolf nature,
refusing to acknowledge it and therefore losing many of the
inherent powers and abilities that should have come
naturally, yet still remained strong. Tomas battled with
past actions he believes make him unredeamable, and
therefore unworthy of a woman such as Rowena. Unlike many
tortured heroes, I could understand why Tomas chose to be
like he was; it wasn't wholly unreasonable, nor overdone.
He was who he was, and I sympathized.
One of my absolute favorite parts of the book were the side
characters. There were many smaller characters, but three
major ones stand out particularly. Weylin McLean, the
brother of Cole, has to get a book for himself. Sim
Kavanaugh is the epitome of a tortured hero; if Susan
Krinard can do a story for him and not weaken him in any
way, she will truly have a masterpiece in her hands. And
Esperanza, a young girl with a powerful gift, needs her own
story as much as the previous two. Susan Krinard has said
she will probably be writing about the two male characters
in this book, and I REALLY hope so.
All in all, I highly recommend this book. Two thumbs up,
ten out of ten, five stars, etc. etc. etc. It won't be
coming out until July of 2000, and I'd recommend you read
book one (TOUCH OF THE WOLF) to get a thorough
the background, but I definitely think that if you like
tortured heroes who just happen to be powerful werewolves,
this is a must read.
Sarah Pearson - February 2000
Copyright © 2000 for PNR as written for SFFP Romance
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted November 9, 2006
His love was wild... his soul untamed... his touch forbidden....
From acclaimed author Susan Krinard comes the second novel in a magnificent trilogy of a powerful clan whose sensual legacy is cloaked in secrecy-and a beautiful woman kidnapped by an outlaw whose forbidden embrace could reveal her true identity.... Once a Wolf
In the unspoiled expanses of the American West, Tomás Alejandro Randall was called El Lobo, the desperado and sworn enemy of powerful financier Cole MacLean. Few humans knew his true identity: heir to a wolf bloodline that made him as much an exotic beast as a devastatingly attractive man. It was Tomás's plan to lure Cole MacLean's elegant fiancée, Lady Rowena Forster, from her New York mansion to the wild frontier. There he planned to seduce the golden-haired beauty as revenge for the destruction of his family at MacLean's hands. But once she was in his possession, El Lobo found himself unable to resist the call of his own untamed passion-a passion that would claim the beauty for his own. As for Lady Rowena, she desperately hid her own wolf heritage behind an icy, controlled exterior. Yet the famous "Lady Ice" found her inhibitions melting and her true nature emerging in the presence of this handsome desperado. Both knew the danger of their pairing, but their wild hearts would risk everything-even death-for a chance at everlasting love.