This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Ace
Released on March 3, 2015
I have such an ongoing love fest with Patricia Briggs’ writing. Charles and Anna are one of the best Urban Fantasy couples out there and their story is compelling. They have grown as individuals, as a romantic couple and a working partnership. Their story is told in such a way that though they are supernaturals and go up against other supernaturals, their humanity is what draws me in close to understand them. I feel Charles’ issues with his greater age and with the weariness of his work and with unworthiness of his good mate and also Anna’s ongoing struggle against the darkness of her past and accepting what she has become as a werewolf and what she is as an Omega. By this book, they have come into their own as a couple and the story was just a flavorful thing to devour and enjoy.
[quote]He would never take the gift of her presence in his life for granted. He’d been alone so long, so certain that there would be no one for him. And a part of him- of Charles, not Brother Wolf- hadn’t wanted to find anyone. He’d understood that caring for another person the way he cared for Anna would leave him vulnerable…
“You’re growling,” she said, a smile in her voice. “What are you thinking?”
“That I love you,” he said. “That I am grateful every day that you decided to let me keep you.”
She laughed and rolled over on top of him with hard-won confidence. “Good,” she said. “Gratitude is good. Love is better.” She paused, her mouth almost touching his. “I love you, too.”
He smiled at her. “The day I met you was the first day I ever felt joy.”
Loc. 2233 Charles and Anne from Dead Heat[/quote]
This is a series that is best enjoyed in order because even though the main action plot doesn’t carry over, the series arc and character story development does.
The story begins some time after the events of Fair Game (bk 3) and as is the general way of things starts with a simple thing. Charles decides that he needs to see his human friend, Joseph, because Joseph is old and it has been a long time. In the process of visiting Joseph down in Arizona, he will take Anna and let her choose one of Joseph’s prize Arabian horses as a birthday present. Not long after they arrive, they are met with a fae problem. A powerful fae has been unleashed in the area with a taste for children and the creature’s appetite has led it close to home for Joseph’s family and the local werewolves.
Charles’ participation in the hunt as a lethal alpha wolf with Native magic is understood, but the locals soon learn the power and strength of an Omega too when Anna wades in right beside her mate to save the latest of the children taken and prevent another from being grabbed. She is there to strengthen and help Joseph’s family and stand beside Charles as he is with his old friend in his last days. The mated pair also quietly embrace the comfort and love of each other while considering an important private matter. But where fae are involved, things get dark, dangerous and startling so that it takes everyone working together to save the day.
I have only praise for this book. Oh granted, its not as intense as others have been in the series when it comes to the action and suspense sequences, but its not lacking in those things either. I found it balanced and well rounded in its storytelling. It has a smooth quality that scintillating and mature writing can bring.
There are descriptive moments when it comes to the social moors, legends, and myths of the Navaho culture, to the gaps filled in from Charles’ past, the fantastic descriptions of the horse breeding, showing and training world and of course to further character and relationship development for Charles and Anna. They love and are in love. They are pondering a change in their relationship, but it is handled as adults who know and love each other- who trust and are giving. So refreshing, that.
I think another fascinating scene was when Charles was put into the tight spot of having to change a human to werewolf when she is dying and all the ramifications of that. For the first time there is an up close and personal of a person made a werewolf and holy snikies that is not something done lightly on both the part of the werewolf doing the change and the human undergoing it. Charles isn’t easy in his choice and others definitely aren’t so it was a moving thing.
Anna is aware that Charles considers himself a monster and a person that people recoil from in fright, but she tries to make him see himself as she sees him, as others who have been victims see him- a valiant protector.
[quote]”We know,” she whispered to him. “We who have been hurt, we know what evil looks like. We know you make us safe.”
He didn’t say anything, but his arms came around her and she knew that she had told him something he didn’t know- and that mattered. Loc 2279 Anna from Dead Heat[/quote]
All in all, this latest installment in the series was a treasure that I savored and was disappointed when I had to close the last page. I always try to pace myself so it’s not over too quickly and yet, the hot intensity of Charles and the sunny delight that is Anna involved in a new adventure makes me devour their story in one gulp. Urban Fantasy fans really can’t claim the name of fan until they’ve read at least one Charles and Anna (okay, or a Mercy Thompson) story. I’m kidding about that last part- sorta, but I do strongly urge people try these.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.
This series is about a mated pair of protagonists and they are one of my favorite Urban Fantasy couples. What is your favorite UF couple or couples?
Literary Pickers #95 Lawyer
Romance Roundabout #93 UF
Cliché Klatch #29 ‘to the ends of the earth’
Interracial Romance #13
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