For Anna being a werewolf was about pain, torment and submission. Even after she was rescued by Charles, the Marrok’s enforcer, and claimed as his mate, she expected more of the same. Finding it hard to believe not all werewolves were as sick and brutal as the ones she left behind, she reluctantly journeys to Montana with the wounded Charles and learns she is a special type of wolf – an Omega. Neither submissive nor Alpha, she has the power to soothe the savage beast within others and as such should have been a much valued member of the pack. Her wolf side was all for the mating with Charles but the human side is too scared to let go and trust another person, even the one she was meant to be with.
Anna and Charles first appeared as minor characters in the Mercy Thompson books and then had their own short story told in the ‘On the Prowl’ Anthology. I’d read those and thought they were interesting characters and was happy to hear they had been built on and now had their own book. I didn’t really have many expectations as it doesn’t always work and sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone.
Having just finished the book my impression is of having read a very touching story of survival and cost, and learning to trust again. Familiar themes within urban fantasy but as with the Mercy Thompson books, Patricia Briggs has a fluid and easy to read way of writing that drags you into the story. I loved the characters of Anna and Charles, Anna being very sweet and likeable, Charles being an Alpha and dominant wolf but tempered with intelligence, his position within the pack and his obvious love for Anna.
From the start the empathy with them returned, pretty much picking up where the short story ended and I liked that. The original tale was quite brutal and I needed to know that for Anna it was starting to work out – and this book delivers on that front. The plot was good, not very complex but since the book is character driven, it didn’t need to be and by the end I was firmly in love with these characters.