|Praised as “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense and paranormal,"* the Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now, a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…|
For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.
What starts as a trip to find a horse for Anna’s birthday and spend time with an old friend who Charles has been avoiding, turns into a hunt for a Fae who’s stealing kids and replacing them with look-alikes who are spelled to cause devastation and even murder. It’s a case that brings in many supporting characters from Charles and Anna, to the FBI and Cantrip agents, to the local werewolf pack, and Charles’s long time friends. It takes all of them, including a few humans to try and figure out how to stop a being that’s been unstoppable for way too many years.
There is just something about Charles and Anna and the way Patricia Briggs paints their story that sucks me right in. The storytelling really stood out for me, because we have the journey and growth of Charles and Anna’s relationship, but what’s captivating are the numerous pictures that Briggs brings to life, whether it’s details about horses and showing them, details about Charles changing a human and the brutal reality of the aftermath for the new wolf, or setting the scene for a bloody fight with a Fae who can best any supernatural creature. There’s something almost mesmerizing about the way these scenes read. Honestly, I’m not a horse person, I’ve never ridden, couldn’t tell you one type of horse from another, but I found myself not only interested in the detail that’s given to the various horse scenes, but drawn into it and not only in the moments we have with Anna trying to find the right horse for her, but in how all of this detail will play a larger role in the bigger picture, which is absolutely does. There’s a flow to the story that makes it nearly impossible to put the book down.
Charles and Anna, now married, are still settling into their lives. Charles and his demons are the major relationship topic in Dead Heat. First, he’s been avoiding his human best friend for years, only to now find that his friend Joseph is dying. Joseph refuses to be turned and it’s caused tension between Charles and Joseph’s family, namely his father who is a wolf and Joseph’s wife who once rejected Charles before turning to Joseph and marrying him instead. As if this wasn’t enough emotionally for him to go through, there’s Anna’s desire to have children and trying to find viable ways to make this happen. Charles is against it for many reasons, he’s worried for Anna’s life as his own mother died giving birth to him, he’s worried about the target that will be put on his children because of his place in the pack and werewolves being more and more known throughout the world. He’s got the weight of a lot of worries on his shoulders and in very Charles-like fashion, he keeps much of it inside; which is hard to do now that he and Anna are so tightly connected. She eventually works through what he’s thinking but it’s just one of many examples of how much things weigh on him and how he sees himself. Anna, in her own way of being the Omega but really of just being his mate, helps him in many ways.
Anna has grown so much from the scared, beaten down woman we first met to the Omega that she is now. She’s still learning every day about herself and the world she’s living in and more than anything else, I love seeing her effect on Charles. She makes sure he knows what he means to not only her but the safety that others feel around him. It’s little moments like that between them that have them being one of my favorite couples on page.
Charles and Anna spend the entire book travelling so we don’t have but a few lines from the Marrok, and other members of their pack are absent as well. But the new characters we do meet are interesting and engaging and I never felt like anything was missing from the story. Charles does turn a human fairly early on and we do get to see some of the effects of that. I’d love to get a short story update on this person and how they and their family are adapting to this huge change. Plus, the family was so interesting it’d be nice to revisit them at some point.
The Fae that Charles and Anna are hunting is a nasty piece of work and made for a compelling suspense storyline. There are some gruesome findings, made even more so because we’re dealing with stolen children. With a few twists and turns at the end, the culmination of how things are resolved is both sad but perfectly done. And yes, I may have shed a tear or two with how things played out.
Brigg’s storytelling comes alive in her Alpha and Omega series. Sure, at the heart of the series are Charles and Anna, who’s relationship I love seeing progress with each new book. But the series picture Briggs paints is wide and she makes every detail count. Dead Heat will draw you in with the Fae mystery but the overall story from the complex characters, whether they be part of a pack or human, to Charles and Anna and their moments both together and their interactions with others will keep you captivated and turning the pages faster and faster. If you’re new to this series, do yourself a huge favor and start at the beginning. It’s one of my favorite series and you’ll find Charles and Anna and their complex world to be very hard to forget.
Release Date: March 3, 2015
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*eARC provided by publisher for review*