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4.1 out of 5 stars
Secret Of The Wolf
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on August 2, 2002
"Secret of the Wolf" is the final chapter in Susan Krinard's captivating trilogy that started with "Touch of the Wolf" and "Once a Wolf" and in my opinion it is much the best. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy, but "Secret of the Wolf" is something really special. Krinard has created an amazingly insightful, touching, and thought-provoking novel that I could not put down (I was even reading it at stoplights in my car!).
Amidst the lush vineyards and rolling hills of the picturesque Napa Valley is Dr. Johanna Schell's Der Haven, a place where those who know the pain of being different can come to live in peace. Well ahead of her time, Johanna uses hypnotism as one of her main tools to treat her patients' mental illnesses. The patients at Der Haven are a diverse bunch: Lewis, the obsessive compulsive former Reverend, Harper, the catatonic ex-soldier, Irene, a middle-aged ex-theatre actress who thinks she's still a star, May, an incredibly shy and nervous young girl who rarely shows her face, and Oscar, whose mind will forever be child-like. Krinard paints all of these characters with compassion and realism, and as a result they become almost as intriguing as the primary characters.
The story begins when on her way home after a trip, Johanna finds a man unconscious on the path leading to Der Haven, reeking of liquor. Unable to ignore anyone in need, Johanna brings the man to Der Haven, where she goes about treating his condition.
When Quentin Forster finally wakes, he doesn't have a clue where he is or how he got there. But that is nothing new to Quentin, who has been suffering from terrifying spells of amnesia that leave him with nothing more than a impression of violence. But Quentin is no ordinary man; he is one of the last survivors of a race of werewolves or loups-garous, noble and majestic creatures that have kept their existence hidden from the human world. Quentin has been running from his personal demons for years, but he finally may have found a place where he can stop running and begin to heal, if only he can find the courage to face the shadows that haunt him.
As time passes and Quentin settles in at Der Haven, Johanna is amazed at his ability to draw out the other patients, especially May. But the biggest issue Johanna must face is her intense attraction to Quentin, which becomes harder and harder to deny, and threatens to interfere with Quentin's treatment. Though afraid of what he may discover within himself, Quentin has great faith and trust in Johanna and her ability to make him whole again. And it doesn't take long for Quentin's trust to become something deeper and more permanent - love.
But Quentin has many demons to face before he can even start to think about building a life with Johanna. While hypnotized, Johanna is shocked to discover that Quentin becomes violent and evil, and also suffers from delusions that he is a werewolf. But worst of all is the emergence of an entirely separate personality, Fenris, the embodiment of all of Quentin's fear and hatred, created during his years of childhood abuse and torture. Realizing she is in over her head and allowing her emotions to cloud her judgement, Johanna begins to doubt her ability to help Quentin.
But trouble is heading Johanna and Quentin's way. Dr. Feodor Bolkonsky arrives in Silverado Springs under the guise of wanting to discuss hypnotism with a fellow doctor. But it isn't long before Johanna discovers that Bolkonsky is really there to return May to her sexually abusive father. Determined to keep May away from her father Johanna begins to construct a plan, and when Quentin finds out what's happening, he is determined to protect May at all costs. However, Bolkonsky has another and much more sinister hidden agenda, and Johanna must find the courage within herself to trust, heal, and love Quentin in order to save him!
"Secret of the Wolf" is an affecting tale of love, self-discovery, and redemption. Krinard shows amazing insight into the inner workings of the minds and hearts of her rich and vivid characters and these fascinating characters kept me utterly absorbed in the story because I cared so much about them. Susan Krinard is one of the best paranormal romance authors out there, and "Secret of the Wolf" is a terrific read that does the genre proud. So don't miss out on this exceptional read, buy it right away and enjoy!
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on January 19, 2002
An asylum sheltered in the midst of the vineyard of Napa Valley is the haven for disturbed souls haunted by acts of violence, war and misery. Dr. Joanna Schell is the psychiatrist for the inhabitants and she is tenacious to make hypnotism flourish as a healing tool. She carries on from where her apoplexy-strickened father Wilheim has left off. An unexpected encounter with the injured and inebriated Quentin Foster brings him to The Haven to receive treatment for his wounded body and soul. Quentin's secret as a werewolf is concealed. Joanna is intrigued by him - and even more so for his dimensions and magentism in interacting with the inhabitants here. Harper, a veteran scarred by the war carnage shares the same fate with the war-tormented Quentin; May shrugs off her repulsion towards the opposite gender.
Soon their doctor-relationship explodes into a deeper attachment and the peace of the Haven is threatened by a doctor called Feouder Bolvonsky who is here to reclaim May to her sexually abusive father. Quentin is determined to stop this and his aggression may once again lead him into killing. A deadly deception lies ahead and The Haven will depend on Joanna's love to tame Quentin and rekindle his hope in humanity....
Susan Krinard's SECRET OF THE WOLF forms the trilogy in her paranormal series after ONCE A WOLF and TOUCH OF THE WOLF. This effort is to date her most dazzling showcase in spinning a romantic tale that is emotionally gripping and detailed with medical researches. It explores the savage side of humankind with Quentin's multiple personality disorder and engages sympathy for the discriminated Oscar with his mental illness. The complication of science and humanity makes an interesting stage; the ficitional romance and adventure is soaring. Yet what makes SECRET OF THE WOLF her most accomplished so far is the savage tenderness in Quentin and his struggle with his childhood abuse by his grandfather. A race threatened by extinction, Quentin is programmed to be a primitive killing machine to sustain the power of the wolf population. How Joanna manages to exonerate his guilt and tragedy with her power of love is poignantly touching.
Susan Krinard's latest is beyond categorization. The complexity of the story is handled with finesse and spiced up by her absorbing style of narration and description. Her talents in crafting an exciting werewolf read should be no secret by now.
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on November 24, 2001
Step into the dark mystical world created in Susan Krinard's SECRET OF THE WOLF. Be carried away by the rich colorful descriptive language, which transports you far into California's picturesque Napa Valley.
Johanna Schell is an Angel of Mercy, whose main purpose is to help those in need. With the assistance of her father they founded Def Hafer, a haven where the mentally challenged could seek shelter from the cruel prying eyes of the world. Upon discovering a unconscious mysterious man, she quickly takes him back to Def Hafer to try to heal him. Little does she know what evil consumes the inner soul of Quentin Forster. Nor does she realize the chilling tortures life has inflicted on him. Will she have the power to save him - accept him - love him?
Quentin Forster suffers from terrifying spells of amnesia. Seeking out hypnotist Johanna Schell he hopes to discover if these frightening mental lapses are associated with his legendary werewolf blood heritage. Will he have the courage to face and conquer what ails him? Or will he destroy Johanna and everything else he loves in the process?
SECRET OF THE WOLF is an exceptional human drama of the highest magnitude. Readers will find themselves lured into this mesmerizing tale of dark obsessions as Johanna and Quentin fight the dark forces for the chance to live in peace and harmony.
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on November 2, 2001
SECRET OF THE WOLF is not only a conceptually brilliant book--- it is well-executed and terribly enjoyable to read with its lush descriptions of California's natural surroundings, and realistic depictions of fallible humans battling their own personal demons at the Der Haven Sanctuary. Also, I find Susan Krinard's depiction of her werewolf Quentin Forster in this 2001 novel, totally credible and sympathetic. Forster is the semi-human, tortured loup-garou caught between constantly vacillating states of mind and body... If all Romance novels had been written by Ms. Krinard, I would have faithfully begun to read this genre long ago! (Heretofore I have been primarily a reader and lay-writer of horror fiction .) Quentin Forster proves to be a sexy rogue; wildly sensuous, provocative, intriguing and an a-typical rusty-haired leading creature (man)!
Krinard has taken a courageous departure here from the perceived mainstream Romance novels. In SECRET she weaves the fallibility of humans into her work exhibited through the unique frailties of the small handful of Der Haven's "mental patients". This book just might destabilize the intellectually enfeebled because Krinard takes genre-crossing risks. She mates romance and the supernatural apparently she was born to write about sexy beast/s and slightly lonely but self-reliant ladies. One message shining through in SECRET is how sometimes frailties and neuroses found in the human species can be secret strengths as well.
Far from 'grandstanding' on the topic of mental illness, Krinard seems to embrace the human uniqueness and fascination of the mentally afflicted; both severely neurotic and the delusional. She makes such characters somehow a little bit relatable to all of us. Her characters are compelling to read about in SECRET and rusty-haired Quentin is damn alluring; dripping with animal magnetism! Who wants to read about cookie-cutter lovers when the human soul is much deeper, varied and tortured? Are we not merely housed by the husks of our bodies? Susan Krinard's sophisticated readers will look deeply into the enigmatic eyes of her werewolve/s and certainly fall into the depth of her character/s. Readers will be sucked into the paranormal pages comprising this novel. Indeed, it will be hard to break the spell... Definitely not for cliche'-seekers or intellectual midgets.
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on October 17, 2001
A need to heal has led Johanna Schell to create a sanctuary aptly named Der Haven, a safe home for those who understand the anguish of being different because their souls are tormented by grief and denial. At one time she and her father worked side by side in healing these individuals with a treatment known as hypnosis. After suffering an apoplexy though, his mind and body became feeble and Johanna was left to care not only for their patients, but also for her father. Now a man has come into her life who claims to be a loup-garou...a werewolf.
Quentin Forster has no recollection of how he ended up in Der Haven. For years spells of amnesia have plagued him and he has found that alcohol dulls the pain of not remembering certain parts of his life. Now Quentin wants nothing more than to ease his suffering and find out if he has gone mad. But Johanna soon discovers that while under hypnosis, this gentle man who has touched the lives of her patients, and her heart, turns into a violent, evil stranger. A stranger who will stop at nothing to make Johanna his own.
SECRET OF THE WOLF is Susan Krinard at her best! A master of the paranormal, Ms. Krinard combines complex characters and nail-biting suspense to create a unique and compelling story about a man haunted by what he really is and the woman who feels drawn to help and protect him. Rich descriptions of the Napa Valley's orchards and valleys provide an almost surreal background to this powerful story. The author adds a unique plot twist near the end of the book that intensifies the love story.
SECRET OF THE WOLF, the last book in the trilogy about the enigmatic Forster family and the men and women who love them, is a fitting end to this wonderful series. I highly recommend this book which is a strong contender for best paranormal of the year!
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on October 11, 2001
Set in 1880, Dr. Wilhelm Schell rehabilitated patients be use of hypnotism. When an attack made him mentally disabled, his daughter took over. Dr. Johanna Schell took care of around six mental patients, and her father, at their farm called The Haven in the Napa Valley. Johanna found Quentin Forster unconscious near her farm, stinking of alcohol. She nursed him to health while, with his permission, tried to cure him of his need to drink alcohol through hypnotism. Quentin also had several lapses of memories that Johanna hoped to help him with as well.
Quentin Forster was loup-garou. During his childhood he suffered much abuse from his grandfather. Quentin existed by instinct, emotion, and whim while in wolf form. While in human form he played the rouge dandy as a type of defense from something unknown to even himself. The Shadow seemed to follow him everywhere. He constantly moved from place to place until he met Johanna, his Valkyrie. With her help he hoped to find out and face the horrors locked away in his mind.
***** I have left out the sub-plot above. There are two or three and they are fascinating! A perfect end to the Wolf trilogy! The action began in the first paragraph and held my attention tightly until the very end. An exciting story that I highly recommend! The name Susan Krinard means Romance! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch
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on October 10, 2001
Near her family's vineyards in Napa Valley, Dr. Johanna Schell provides a haven for those plagued with mental anguish. Suffering Quentin Forster stumbles into Johanna's sanctuary, but suffers from amnesia with some glimpses of his past. Quentin knows he is on the run, but why and from whom remains blank. She offers the tormented yet compassionate man refuge and he grasps at her overture.

Joanna and Quentin begin to fall in love even as she tries to help him with whatever hidden tortures wrack his mind. However, his past arrives in her shelter causing perilous havoc for everyone there and under her hypnotic spell THE SECRET OF THE WOLF is released. If Johanna and Quentin somehow survive his past, can two extraordinary individuals cross specie lines find a lifetime of happiness even as love flows freely between them?

The third Susan Krinard werewolf romance (see TOUCH OF THE WOLF and ONCE A WOLF) is an exciting supernatural tale that will haunt readers long after the novel is done. The story line is loaded with plenty of otherworldly action that will thrill horror fans yet finds room for a strong ardent relationship between Johanna and Quentin. Ms. Krinard has another howling success that will send her back to her normal spot on the bestseller lists.

Harriet Klausner
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on October 10, 2001
Near her family's vineyards in Napa Valley, Dr. Johanna Schell provides a haven for those plagued with mental anguish. Suffering Quentin Forster stumbles into Johanna's sanctuary, but suffers from amnesia with some glimpses of his past. Quentin knows he is on the run, but why and from whom remains blank. She offers the tormented yet compassionate man refuge and he grasps at her overture.

Joanna and Quentin begin to fall in love even as she tries to help him with whatever hidden tortures wrack his mind. However, his past arrives in her shelter causing perilous havoc for everyone there and under her hypnotic spell THE SECRET OF THE WOLF is released. If Johanna and Quentin somehow survive his past, can two extraordinary individuals cross specie lines find a lifetime of happiness even as love flows freely between them?

The third Susan Krinard werewolf romance (see TOUCH OF THE WOLF and ONCE A WOLF) is an exciting supernatural tale that will haunt readers long after the novel is done. The story line is loaded with plenty of otherworldly action that will thrill horror fans yet finds room for a strong ardent relationship between Johanna and Quentin. Ms. Krinard has another howling success that will send her back to her normal spot on the bestseller lists.

Harriet Klausner
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on October 21, 2001
Sue Krinard never fails to amaze me. I have enjoyed all of her books and this one "Secret of the Wolf" is no exception. It held my interest the entire time, and I didn't want to put it down until it was finished. The book is a blend of two people finding strength to help each other and others in an unforgetable romance that brings a healthy mind back to Quentin Forster (and her other patients) due to Johanna Schell's 'early day science' of hypnosis. This book has romance, caring, violence and evil. What a story! Keep it up Sue.... I can't wait until your next book.
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on November 12, 2001
I have read many of Susan books and I loved each and every one of them. This one especially, bringing back Breadan and Rowena..To find out what happen to the missing brother and why he left..
The story itself is exciting with action packed scenes. Dr.Schnell is there to help him with his drinking problem..Though in doing this also helps him to except who he is with all his special gifts..
I just love this series.. I can't wait to see what Susan has for us next!!
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