Patty Briggs kicks off the PNR spinoff to her Mercy Thompson books with this fantastic short story, found in the On the Prowl
anthology. It takes place after the events of Moon Called
and while I think it would still make sense to new readers, it's definitely a richer experience after having read the other series.
It features Anna, a woman changed into a werewolf against her will and badly abused by her pack. She has taken it in silence for years, but she finally calls Bran, the Marrok, for help once she sees an article in the paper about a wolf she had seen in a cage at her Alpha's home. (Fans of the Mercy books will recognize the boy from Moon Called
.) Not only is Bran already aware of the problem, but his son Charles is already on his way to investigate the pack.
When Charles arrives, he is instantly drawn to Anna. He realizes that she is not a submissive, but an Omega. She has the ability to calm a dominant wolf. And his wolf sees her as his mate. I absolutely loved this story. I loved that Charles finally gave Anna a way to feel safe. I loved that she found someone who will cherish her and care for her. The mystery of what was happening in Anna's pack was engaging and unpredictable and the ending sets up the Alpha & Omega series, which continues with the full-length novel, Cry Wolf
. You could start the series with that book, but if you skip this short story, you are really missing out.
I know most people don't agree, but I think I love this spinoff series even more than the Mercy books. 5 stars.