Braden Forster, Earl of Greyburn had devoted his life to restoring the purity of his clan's werewolf blood, as his father did before him. Braden had spent years having agents search America for two cousins. Having failed, he believed the Holt children to be lost forever. Cassidy's father and brother had left home, never to return while she was an extremely young child. Cassidy knew she was "loup-garou". But her mother had died before teaching Cassidy how to Change. All Cassidy wanted was to find her lost kin in London, learn how to do what she knew was within her, and never again be alone. With the help from one of her mother's friends, she made it to London. She fell in love with the dominant male, Braden. However, Braden had plans to marry Cassidy to his brother Quentin. Then there was Rowena, Quentin's twin. She was to marry an American she had never met, while being in love with another. To make matters harder, the Convocation was soon to be held. As loup-garou clans assembled from foreign countries, their wolf part begins to show. ***This is the first of a trilogy. Each book stands alone as a story and it is pretty obvious who the next two books will star - and I can hardly wait! I urge everyone to find this book! It could not have been better! Danger, challenges, romance, plots, twists, and paranormal all rolled into this masterpiece of work. Susan Krinard's writing is so powerful that there is no way I will ever forget her name! I cannot recommend this one highly enough!***
Imagine if the characters of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights were werewolves and you'll get an idea of this book. The setting is the English moors in the 1800's, the plot is a historical saga but with the added complication that the main characters are all werewolves. Cassidy Holt is loup garou she was orphaned after her mother died before she could teach her to Change her only remaining family is her distant cousins in England who take her in. Cassidy is drawn to the mesmerising Earl of Greyburn Braden Foster who as the leader of the werewolf clan must choose between his attraction to Cassidy and his duty to his cause to unite the werewolf families in marriage and maintain the purity of their loup garou bloodlines in order to prevent the demise of their species. However Braden has betrothed Cassidy to his feckless younger brother Quentin, and has denied himself the possibility of love after a disastrous marriage to a Russian werewolf. What follows is a power struggle as Bradon fights against his attraction to the niave and sweet Cassidy, falling in love couldn't have come at a more difficult time, for Braden's life and his leadership of the clan are endangered by the bitter hatred of an evil werewolf. Braden is a man of deep commitments and a tortured past that threatens any hope of a happy future for the two lovers, much like Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, the reader is led to believe that these star crossed lovers may never get together. Braden is at first a fairly unpleasant character even to his family especially his sister Rowena who is furious at her brother for promising her in a werewolf marriage when she would prefer to play human. You will soon warm to Braden as he is softened by Cassidy's influence and realises that the only Cause woth fighting for is love. This is an excellent book for werewolf fans that enjoy sensuality and beauty rather than snapping muzzles and gore. This is where Susan Krinard's Wolf sagas begin, there are two more historical books that directly relate to this novel concerning Braden's brother Quentin and Rowena as well as a handful of werewolf novels relating to the Fosters direct descendents all of which are just as compelling. I myself never having been a fan of historical romances was deeply surprised that I enjoyed this novel so much and I think most people will fel the same.
Touch The Wolf was a really interesting historical novel with a werewolf twist. The characters were intriguing and well developed and the plot line was fascinating and tinted with random surprises, and not forgetting the constant nail-biting `will they, won't they' moments. Braden Forster is a mixture of Rochester and Heathcliff with the usual werewolf elements, but Cassidy Holt is something else altogether. She is an orphan who was abandoned by her father and brother at an early age and soon after suffered her mother's demise, Cassidy was then taken in by her father's brother's family who treat her with nothing but fear and disdain. For Cassidy Holt is loup-garou. After memorising a letter her mother wrote in her childhood about having kin in England that would help her through her transition she heads off in search for them.
The novel begins with a prologue of when the Earl of Greyburn Braden Forster was a mere child, we are instantaneously introduced to the "Cause" - a form of arranged marriages to restore the purity of their loup-garou bloodline. Written in the joint perspectives of Braden Forster and his distant cousin Cassidy Holt provides the perfect insight into two different views on the Cause and being a werewolf in Victorian society. Braden Forster is adamant to uphold his grandfather's wishes and when he stumbles across his long lost cousin, yes stumbles, he instantaneously assumes a position for her amongst his Cause. Braden decides that Cassidy, a beautiful, abrasive American will suit his reckless yet thoughtful brother Quentin. However, things don't go according to plan once Braden begins developing his own feelings for his brothers chosen wife. A subplot within the novel is that of Quentin and Braden's sister Lady Rowena and her own interpretations of what being a werewolf entails. It is an interesting portrayal to see the opinions of a whole array of characters, each with their distinct view on the Cause, whether it be that they despise it or that they tolerate.
The action within the novel arises when secrets from Braden's past come to haunt him in the present in the form of the villainous Russian werewolf hell-bent on wreaking revenge on Braden and his family. I felt however that the action was to late coming, Susan Krinard spends so much time building the tension between Braden and Cassidy and maybe not enough time reflecting the tension between Braden and his enemies. The end was inevitable but I also expected more from Braden, however, the loose ends pave the way towards the other novels in the series. Although as a paranormal romance there isn't much werewolf changing elements except when it comes to Cassidy's own transformation, for she has yet to have her first change. The novel upholds the loup-garou theme as a way of understand the characters and the reason why they do things, more romance then paranormal but still something worth reading. I really did enjoy it. ;)