"Triumphant Conclusion to a Werewolf Trilogy!"

SECRET OF THE WOLF is the third book in a historical werewolf trilogy set in the Victorian era. Like the previous installment, ONCE A WOLF, this story takes place in the American West. However there all similarity ends.

I will admit to not being terribly sympathetic toward Quentin when he appeared in book one, TOUCH OF THE WOLF. Though he had suffered the same traumatic childhood as his siblings, Braden and Rowena maintained their dignity and kept up appearances, while Quentin had drown himself in useless indulgences. He seemed weak, self centered and self destructive, not at all the stuff of a romantic hero.

Ah but little do we know that Quentin has a secret, and the fact that he?s held it together at all is a testament to his fortitude, as we will soon learn. It is a testament to Ms. Krinard?s talent as a writer that she has taken this seemingly ne?er do well character and not only made him sympathetic, but heroic and loveable as well. Bravo, here is a tortured hero one can sink their teeth into (no pun intended).

Dr. Johanna Schell had followed in her father?s footsteps as a pioneer in mental health. Together they had practiced the new science of hypnosis with the hope of curing their more difficult cases. Old age had incapacitated her father, and they had worn out their welcome in the last town where they?d established a clinic. Folks developed odd notions about mental patients ? and women doctors.

Now solely responsible for the care of her father and their patients, Johanna had moved them all to an inherited vineyard in Northern California, where she?d established The Haven. Returning from a conference one evening, she is rescued from attackers by a rather feral stranger. She does not learn his identity.

Later, traveling the last few miles to the clinic on foot, she stumbles over a deeply inebriated gentleman whom she does not recognize as the man who had rescued her earlier. He has no memory of their encounter either. Never one to abandon a person in need, Johanna brings him home in hopes that she can cure his insobriety. Quentin has no memory of how he got there, his blackouts have been increasing in their frequency. He is deeply afraid. He knows that danger is stalking him, and realizes that Johanna?s treatment may provide his only hope for survival. Dare he allow her to help him? Will she want to if she learns his secret? How do you tell your doctor that you are a werewolf without her thinking it?s just another delusion?

In spite of his illness and his weaknesses, Quentin is a caring and compassionate man. He shows great kindness to both Johanna?s father and the other patients, working his way deep into Johanna?s heart.

Unknown to either of them, Quentin?s ills go far beyond his tendency to drink and forget. He knows he has two personas, but who exactly is it that appears when he is backed into a corner, when he comes face to face with evil? What has he done during those lapses in memory? Rumors have followed him from town to town and he is truly fearful of knowing the answer to that particular question. Little does he know that those lapses are a defense, begun years ago to protect a small child from cruelty too terrible to bear, or that buried past is about to catch up with him.

This is the first of Ms. Krinard's historical werewolf novels in which one half of the love relationship is a normal mortal rather than a shape shifter. It seems fitting that Quentin's salvation comes at the hands of a woman who's species he had been groomed to destroy. SECRET OF THE WOLF takes a poignant look at the lengths a human mind will go to, to protect the soul from damage.

SECRET OF THE WOLF is a triumphant conclusion to this werewolf trilogy. This story's wealth lies in the richness of its characterizations. Johanna is without a doubt one of the strongest and most compassionate heroines ever. She is the glue that holds her world together. She stands strong even when her patients' behavior, especially Quentin's, baffle or even frighten her. She refuses to give in to despair, and her love is unconditional. Quentin is marvelous. For perhaps the first time since his beleaguered childhood, his focus is centered on someone other than himself, and he is willing to give up on his last hope of saving his sanity and perhaps his life in order to keep this special woman safe. In this he proves to be the man that he?d always feared he?d never become. Ms. Krinard even manages to evoke sympathy for Fenris, the feral personality that had emerged from the young Quentin - to fight when flight was not an option, and for the story's villain who was a much a victim as Quentin, but whose twisted mind could not be saved.

I highly recommend this book and hope the Ms. Krinard will revisit their world again in the very near future.

Copyright 2001

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted December 12, 2001


2002 PRISM AWARD Finalist:

2001 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Winner - Best Historical New Reality

Amid the lush vineyards and majestic hills of Napa Valley, hypnotist Johanna Schell has founded Der Hafen--a sanctuary for those who know the pain of being "different." For desperate, frightened people whose souls are lost to grief. For lonely, tortured men like Quentin Forster....

Frightening spells of amnesia have plagued Quentin for years, and Johanna wants nothing more than to ease his unspeakable pain--and find out if his claim to werewolf blood is just a delusion. But she is horrified to discover that, under hypnosis, this tender, thoughtful man becomes violent, vengeful ...evil. And now--caught in the balance between reality and illusion, truth and deception, simple desire and absolute destruction--she must find the courage to trust him. To love him. To save him...

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Secret of the Wolf
(Forster: Book 3)
by Susan Krinard

Berkley Pub Group
October 1, 2001
Available: October 1, 2001
ISBN #0425181995
EAN #9780425181997
416 pages
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Other Books by
Susan Krinard

Luck of the Wolf
Bespelling Jane Austen
Bride of the Wolf
Heart of Darkness
Lord of Sin
Lord Of Legends
Come the Night
Dark Of The Moon
Chasing Midnight
Hammer Of The Earth
To Tame a Wolf
Shield of the Sky
Kinsman's Oath
When Darkness Falls
To Catch A Wolf
The Forest Lord
Out Of This World
Once A Wolf
Touch Of The Wolf
Body and Soul
Prince of Dreams
Prince of Shadows
Prince of Wolves

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