cover image Wolf's Cross

Wolf's Cross

S.A. Swann, Spectra, $15 paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-553-80739-4

Swann's considerable writing skill isn't matched by originality in this historical supernatural romance, the sequel to 2009's Wolfbreed. The opening scenes are gripping enough, as Brother Josef, a probationer in a "convent of warrior monks" in 14th-century Prussia, encounters evidence of a massacre carried out by a werewolf. When the beast attacks his group, Josef manages to strike the creature in the eye with a silver crossbow bolt and to survive his serious injuries. As he's tended by Maria, an attractive servant, he develops strong feelings for her, but Maria is drawn to Darien, a hunky stranger with a scar on one of his eyes. As those two grow closer, Darien reveals that Maria herself is a wolfbreed, setting up a predictable love triangle and the usual struggles between human loyalty and animal nature. This is nothing new for fans of paranormal romance, horror, or historical fantasy. (Aug.)