This story is a hugely enjoyable historical romance with a paranormal touch set in the Black Forest in Germany in the early 1800s. Woven through with references to fairy tales and with evocative writing about the surroundings of Castle of Wolfenbach, this is different from the usual historical romance of gowns, balls and peerages.
Celia Fussell's father Baron Hailstone has died and her life is going badly downhill. Her father was a noted academic and shared his interests with his daughter, but now that he is dead Celia looks likely to become a spinster sister to her brother and his awful wife. But then her father's Will is read and Celia discovers that she is now the owner of the Castle of Wolfenbach in the Black Forest - but only if she weds the former master of the castle within four months.
Celia, although initially seeming rather quiet and mousy, has an intrepid side and decides to go and claim her inheritance. After all, her father was good friends with the Graf von Wolfenbach, father of the man she is supposed to marry, and he's a very good man; surely his son will also be a worthy male? Celia has a long journey to her Castle, accompanied by a kindly widow Mrs Chisholm, but as she arrives she discovers that the castle has a bad reputation. It's falling into disrepair and her welcome is hardly warm. When she meets her intended, Fenris von Wolfenbach, he is a rude, dark and mysterious man and he does his best to drive her and Mrs Chisholm away. Why is he so bad-tempered and what caused the injury to give him a wooden leg?
When Fenris's brother Leo arrives things seem considerably brighter. He's a charming, friendly, open man, the complete opposite of his brother. But Celia is learning that things aren't always what they seem, that there is more going on in this family relationship than she originally thought, and that her life and the life of Fenris might be in danger. But can she help Fenris to thaw enough to work out how they can live together?
"Castle Of The Wolf" was an excellent read from start to finish. It was a real change to read a historical romance set in Germany rather than England and with such a shadowy hero - Fenris spends large parts of the book avoiding Celia. Celia is an excellent heroine as she finds her niche in life, becomes courageous and tries her best to help those around her. She has spent her youth reading fairy stories and some of these are woven into the story in a charming way. As in most good novels the characters learn more about themselves and each other and help each other to grow and put behind them bad experiences from the past; this is mainly happening to Fenris with Celia's help - Celia herself seems to have made the decision to grow up and take charge of her life at the beginning of the story and she then works at it with great success. She's a charming heroine who will appeal to most readers.
I do not care for historicals. This is an Historical, paranormal (sort of) romance. I really liked it. Her Dad was an archealogist, who died broke. But, he left her an estate in the Black Forest. Of course, she is sweet, innocent, naive. But she has to marry one of the sons of the Lord of the Estate to claim it. So, should she marry the reclusive, bitter, angry, disabled son who lives there, and just wants her to go away? Or should she marry the very charming, handsome, man-about-town son? This is a sweet, pretty well written tale. It is worth a credit.
Sandra Schwab never disappoints. If you love a brooding, tortured hero, this is the book for you.
Loved It!! Couldn't put it down. This is better than her first.
I have to say I absolutely loved this book! It is a very different type of paranormal romance, not what you would expect. Fenris is a very tortured soul and believes he does not deserve to be loved because of his past and what happened to him physically so, he pushes people away by being mean and cold-hearted. Celia believes in fairytales and believes that she can break through Fenris's stone-cold heart and bring out the true man inside. This book shows you that you don't have to be perfect or "whole" to be loved and accepted. I would recommend this book to anyone who believes that true love can conquer all and that anyone can find happiness.
I have to say that I really liked how Germany was the main setting in the story. Hearing someone talk about the Rhein River and talking a bit of german in the story brought back great memories of when I went to Germany in 2005 (I also saw the Rhein River).