Anna and Charles have been married for around a month in this book, and are growing slowly closer together. There are still issues she has with closeness and such due to the abuse she received at the hands of her former pack. She lets her wolf take the lead when she is uncomfortable, which is both good and bad. Charles, having been alone for so long, is still dealing with all these feelings he’s having - he’s not used to getting close to people. At all. Despite their problems, they do love each other, and she and Charles are turning into a cohesive unit. I enjoyed seeing Anna becoming more comfortable both with herself and with Charles as a mate. She’s learning she does have power; both over herself and over her mate, and it’s a heady experience, to know that you can affect a man as experienced and well, this sounds bad, but old, as Charles. She is constantly surprised that he feels as strongly for her as he does. I found that kind of sweet, and it made me like them both more. In this novel Bran is on the verge of bringing the wolves out to the public, as the fae had years before. The conference that Charles convinces him to send them to in his place is a meeting of all the Alphas. Bran may be top dog in the US, but there is Europe and the rest of the world to consider as well. They are all ruled by their own version of a Marrock. So this meeting is sort of like a UN summit for weres.
I have to admit a mistake in my review of Cry Wolf when I called Omega wolves submissive. In this book we learn more about Omegas, and meet another Omega brought to the summit. They are described in this book as “Zen Alphas” which is probably a more accurate term than submissive. Anna is learning more about her Omega-ness, the same as we are. There is a scene that I found amusing: Anna is in the first meeting, and all the alphas in the room are making her nervous. A normal Omega would feel safe and protected surrounded by alphas, but due to her former pack treating her horribly she had the complete opposite reaction. Have you ever had a day where it felt like absolutely everyone was staring at you? It makes you jumpy--and the jumpier she got, the more agitated the Alphas in the room became, because their instinct was to destroy whatever was making her upset, not knowing it was themselves.
The summit itself is best described as an explosion waiting to happen. All of these Alphas in a room together, talking about things they may or may not agree to….it’s just asking for trouble. There are personality conflicts, ego problems, I’m-more-dominant-than-you issues; the list goes on and on. The biggest problem in this group is Jean Chastel, the French alpha, who is known by the ever so accurate name of the Beast of Gevaudan . He lives up to it. After the scene I mentioned above Anna and the people she is with are attacked while shopping by a group of vampires, who mysteriously use a magic to conceal themselves that she recognizes as pack magic. Is someone just trying to derail the summit, or is the attack specifically targeting her? And why does the Fae mediator set Anna’s teeth on edge so? Is it just because she is a former lover of Charles’ or does Anna’s instinct about her go deeper? And what is up with the UK Alpha thinking he is King Arthur reincarnated?
We get an -I say unexpectedly - sexy scene in this book. Patricia Briggs has pretty much a closed door policy on sex in both of her series. You get told, yes this happened, but you’re not gonna get all the details. Which is refreshing when you’re used to reading hardcore stuff; but she works the tease so well on this particular scene that I was left stomping my foot and screaming “MORE!!! You can’t stop there!! WTF MAN???” Ung, just go read it, join me in my frustration.
Maybe I’m just dense, but I had the bad guy totally wrong--up to a point. When it was revealed I was just as surprised as the characters were. I just didn’t see this guy killing the people that he killed, but I should have suspected him from the start. Goes to show you shouldn’t judge by first impression. That doesn't happen to me often, so it was a tribute to the authors skill with a plot. As I read, I was seeing the novel played out in my head like a movie. (It would make a really great movie!) I usually only get that with really good novels. I was even more impressed with this installment in the series than I was with the first. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series, which is called Fair Game.
PS) Coming up soon -- The Eternal Guardians, Book 3; Tempted