Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack...and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member - and as his mate.
If you haven't read the prequel story 'Alpha & Omega' I suggest you read that first or you are going to be a bit lost at the start of this novel! You can get it in the anthologies 'On the Prowl' or 'Shifting Shadows'.
Anna is afraid that her Pack will want revenge on her for what happened to their Alpha so she accepts the chance of a new life with the Montana Pack run by Bran, father of her rescuer Charles. Anna knows little about werewolves and is finding the learning process difficult, especially dealing with being an Omega wolf and a potential mate to Charles. However personal problems have to be put aside when a rogue werewolf is attacking people and must be tracked down and stopped. It sounds like a simple enough task but it is going to be a lot more dangerous than they think.
Anna is very fragile and damaged by her experiences with her brutal pack and is finding it hard to adjust to life in a new Pack. She feels as if she is always saying or doing the wrong thing and that she isn't really fit to be with Charles, and with Charles being unable and unused to communicating his thoughts and feelings, every interaction between them seems to lead to confusion and misunderstanding. In a way it was logical to have two loners struggling to connect with each other on any level but at times you did want to smack their heads together in frustration and scream at them to just tell each other what they are thinking! I liked Anna as a character but dealing with her emotions and hang ups do get the book off to a bit of a slower start than I like in my urban fantasy. I did however, find the inter-relationships and characters interesting enough to want to keep reading, especially exploring the Omega gift that Anna can use to soothe Pack members-and that she can disobey orders from more senior members.
I liked meeting the Montana Pack that we see the odd time in the Mercy Thompson series, which I love. Asil the suicidal wolf fascinates me. He is very dangerous and when he loses himself people die, so he has come to Bran's Pack looking for a peaceful end to his life, though Bran is not ready to get rid of him yet. Anna's Omega gift brings Asil a bit of relief from his emotional pain and he likes her. Sage is determined to be a new friend for Anna and I liked her immediately so I hope we see plenty of her in the books. Samuel is going to leave Montana to live with Mercy and try to find some meaning in his life again, a story that continues in the other series. I also liked seeing Bran having difficulty in controlling elements of his Pack who are unhappy about him killing a popular but out of control Pack member recently, as well as his problems with bitch from hell wife Leah. It was fun to see new werewolves and how different this Pack is from Adam's in the other series.
The main plot for this book is that a rogue wolf is attacking hikers near Bran's territory and he has to find out who is doing it and why. He is considering bringing werewolves out and admitting they exist, an idea that not every Pack supports. Are the attacks being carried out to stop Bran's plans or are they just an out of control werewolf? With the latest victim being a local Forest Ranger, Bran decides to send Charles and Anna to investigate, giving them some time to sort their relationship out away from the Pack. This is where the book starts to really find its feet and I started to get into the story.
The second half of the book has Anna and Charles camping out in the wild and trying to track the rogue werewolf while it is tracking them. However, there is more than one enemy out in the woods to fear, a powerful old enemy of Asil is determined to find him and is luring the Pack out to get to him. Asil is having nightmares about his past and fears that it means his enemy is near-can he convince Bran of the danger and warn Anna and Charles in time? This forest hunt is quite tense and exciting, and I really enjoyed the story as it developed.
Comparing this series to the Mercy Thompson series is difficult because they are certainly different. Mercy is part of a big group of supernaturals all living in an area and allying with or fighting other similar creatures and there is a bit more action in it because of that. This series is about a self contained Pack out in the middle of nowhere, with more emphasis on Pack politics and their relationships, and Charles doing the job as Pack enforcer, sending him around the country to deal with werewolf related issues. While both Packs are in the same world, each have their good points and provide totally different stories.
So what is good about this series? I love Anna and Charles as individuals and as a couple. I love the relationship that Charles has with his wolf self who is like a seperate entity that Anna can speak to. I just LOVE Brother Wolf! I love the character of Asil and the whole plot of having a tired wolf who is feeling suicidal yet still enjoys stirring things up. I enjoy seeing the Montana Pack and the issues that they have, with Bran and Charles being responsible for policing every Pack around them and solving their problems. Getting to see the enforcer wolf going out on different missions in this series is going to be a whole new side to the werewolves that I think I'm going to enjoy. The whole Omega wolf thing is also interesting. Plenty to enjoy!
I would recommend that you start with the Mercy Thompson series first to get the background to both packs and then grab this series and enjoy. But remember, read the prequel to this book before you start this series!
Read December 2016.