This series centers on Charles Cornick, son to Bran Cornick (The Marrok/leader of the American werewolves), and Anna Latham. This story is introduced as a short story titled ‘Alpha & Omega’ in the On the Prowl anthology. The short story, or novella, was a great read and was only about 60 pages but really felt like a full-fledged book! Anna’s story has a bit of a rough start, she is turned against her will, and abused and tortured by her Chicago pack. After she recognizes a missing boy in a newspaper article, which is tied to her pack, she decides that she must report this to The Marrok. After learning that the Chicago pack may be involved in some serious wrong-doing, Bran sends Charles, his son, and his enforcer/assassin to clean up the mess. This is when Charles first encounters Anna Latham.
As soon as they meet, Charles has a serious urge to protect her, his wolf is right at the forefront of this and insists this Anna is special and must be protected at ANY cost. He senses that Anna has been mistreated, and makes Charles and Brother Wolf (his wolf side) see RED. Anna is completely taken aback by Charles, he is obviously of Native American descent, is tall, muscular and has a fierce demeanor. There seems to always be a permanent scowl on his face. She knows that Charles is dangerous, but for some reason, she feels safe with him. This is all new to Anna, since she was turned, she has felt anything but safe around werewolves. Charles starts to realize how special this Anna is, she is an Omega wolf. Extremely rare, and is beyond sacred among werewolves… and she has been mistreated by her pack, by her Alpha, who should have protected her and her amazing gift. Omegas are not submissive wolves, but they also aren’t really dominant either. They have a special effect on dominant werewolves and bring peace and serenity to a pack. Learning about Anna and her Omega “superpowers” was one of my favorite things about this series. In this world, there are only two Omegas that are known to exist, and Anna is one of them.
Brother Wolf has claimed Anna as his mate, to Charles’ surprise, but so has Charles (though his realization and acceptance is a lot slower than Brother Wolf’s). What evolves is a very sweet and powerful romance. Anna has been obligated to play submissive, but Anna is a force in her own right. She also has a strong reaction to Charles, and in so-many-words, he saves her from her horrible situation. I wouldn’t call it a meet-cute, but their romance is slow-building and sweet and it didn’t feel rushed.
As the series progresses, we start to learn more about Anna’s abilities as an Omega and also her and Charles’ relationship. Charles is special in his own sense since he is the only werewolf-born on record and has magical abilities. Charles has been alone for a very long time and didn’t deem himself worthy of love, he was an assassin and a monster, but Anna changed it all. Anna comes back with Charles to Montana and starts to learn more about herself and how to control her wolf, and her Omega abilities. They get married, and she starts to travel with Charles as he does his duty of enforcing the Marrok’s rules. They have very interesting action-packed adventures together, as they encounter some really foul baddies, and you start to see just how strong, independent and influential Anna really is. In some ways, Anna is a lot like Mercy Thompson, she is different and independent and doesn’t take shit from anyone, but is loyal, loving and protective. Charles and Anna’s relationship is always evolving, they learn new things about each other and this keeps you enthralled and captivated by their on-going story.
This series takes place in the Mercyworld, and along the same timeline. Patricia Briggs is a wonderful world-builder and has seamlessly tied both of these series together but also made them different. The storytelling is fantastic and magical. I love werewolf stories, but this has quickly and most definitely become one of my favorites. The way the werewolf hierarchy is designed and described by Patricia really is amazing. I have yet to find a plot-hole in any of her books, she captures every detail flawlessly. I cannot stop doting on how great Patricia Briggs’ writing is. If you are a fan of the Mercy Thompson series, or maybe just an urban fantasy junkie, you will most definitely enjoy this series! I urge you to start reading this series immediately! Do it!
Note: Full review of DEAD HEAT up on the blog tomorrow!
On the Prowl, Cry Wolf, Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega,
Published by Ace Books
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Buy the book! | Goodreads
Series synopsis from Patricia Briggs’ website:
This series is set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson Series, but on a slightly earlier time line. It begins with a novella titled Alpha and Omegapublished in the On the Prowl anthology. The decision to continue the story was made after the anthology had already been published, which has caused some confusion, since “book 1” is actually a continuation of the short story. The series has plenty of action, but there’s more emphasis on the romantic attraction between the hero and heroine. On a romance-readers scale, this series is sweet rather than steamy.