Friday, April 17, 2015

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

 This must be a lucky post...I have previously written thirteen reviews of Briggs' novels, so this breaks that unlucky total...phew!

As an effectively immortal shape shifter, Charles is cautious in the attachments he forms with mortal humans; it's painful to see friends die while you remain young. Come to think of it, it's painful to watch friends die when you age right along with them, too. But that's beside the point. Charles has formed few mortal friendships in his lifetime, but his longest lasting friend, a Navajo horse breeder named Joseph, is dying, so he and Anna take a trip to Arizona to, in effect, say "goodbye" to his old friend, while Anna is meeting Joseph and his family for the first time.

It's a "blended" family. Joseph's father, Hosteen, is a werewolf, who is angry that his son has never let Charles or himself "turn" him, so he would live longer. And it turns out that Joseph's daughter-in-law, Chelsea, is a witch, at least by blood, though she has never studied the art to become a practitioner. Anna and Charles' trip also serves a second purpose. Charles wants to buy Anna something special for her birthday, and hopes to buy one of the Arabians which the family breed, show and sell. So, the "meat" of the plot gets seasoned with little interludes of them trying out riding horses, discussing horse breeding and the market for show horses.

Shortly after they arrive, Chelsea is attacked by a fae spell which forces her to attack her children. She resists in the only way possible, by attacking herself instead, and by the time help arrives in the form of our favorite couple, she is so close to death that the only way to save her is to "turn" her into a werewolf, as well. This causes all kinds of fun new challenges within the family dynamics, and some opportunity for Anna to shine with her calming Omega powers.

When the immediate danger is over, Charles and Anna team up with a pair of Cantrip investigators, plus their old friend, FBI agent Leslie Fisher, to hunt down the fae who attacked Chelsea, and who has been abducting children and killing them since nearly the beginning of recorded history. Lots of good action and adventure. Another worthy episode in the Alpha and Omega books.

This one kept me up past my bedtime several nights in a row. Had to force myself to put it down to accommodate an early morning work schedule the first two, but finally succumbed to temptation and finished it off late last night.

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