Title: Dead Heat
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #4, Mercy-Verse #22
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Werewolves
Dates read: 19th – 30th September 2021
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: Unable to resist, she lent her song to his.
Transporting readers into the realm of mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham, Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega novels have been praised for being “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense, and paranormal.” Now a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…
For once, 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. Or at least their visit 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 have started a cold war with humanity that’s about to heat up – and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.
This is one of those series that I always wonder if it’s actually not quite as good as I remember. It is WAY better. Each and every time. I mean, the hype in my mind is nowhere near equivalent to the hype and the amazingness of reading one of these books. And, I’m finally at that point in my reread when I’m up to the books that I haven’t actually read yet. Which of course meant that even though I read the prologue and then put this aside, I ended up reading pretty much the whole book cover to cover in one night. It is THAT amazing.
Charles is a beautiful enigma – and I like that this book explores some more of his past. Particularly the fact that it brings forwards some of his past friendships and relationships. Ones that are rare and far between. Friendships are so important, and it always breaks my heart that Charles really doesn’t have any in the Mercyverse. There were moments of tragedy throughout that did pluck at your heartstrings (which is always good in a book), but it was also really sweet and endearing to see the past and some joy in Charles’ life.
It was incredibly interesting that this story starts with Anna trying to figure out why Charles is resistant to the idea of children. I happen to be pregnant while reading this, and they’re discussions that are somewhat familiar. I love that throughout all of the mayhem and magic in this story, Anna slowly starts to untangle his resistance and his feelings. Feelings that even Charles doesn’t know that he has. It’s such a familiar discussion and wonder. Such a familiar untangling of emotions that I was driven by this alongside the actual action to find out the resolution.
The stories I’ve always loved of the fae are those which feature the… less kindly… of the fae. I’ve never really enjoyed tales which try and portray them as benevolent. That’s never really happened in the Mercyverse, but it’s now been taken one step further – with the purposeful release of all the not-so-kindly things that go bump in the night. It perfectly describes and portrays the fae in the ways that I think of them. And, more than that, it is perfectly setting up the next looming war on the horizon.
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