Title: Fair Game
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Series: Alpha and Omega (Book 3)
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
ISBN-10: 0441020038 (Ace Books)
ISBN-13: 978-0441020034 (Ace Books)
Reviewed by: Sheila
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.
Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.
Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…
Quick & Dirty: An intense manhunt for a serial killer. A story about people, or werewolves, who are haunted by their ghosts, sometimes literally.
Opening Sentence: “Go home,” Bran Cornick growled at Anna.
At last! The third installment of the Alpha and Omega series is here. Oh, how I have longed to find out how Charles and Anna are doing. Well folks, let me tell you that not that much has changed. Charles still is trying to protect Anna from himself; not believing in her enough to trust her not to freak out and leave him. Anna is still haunted, though not as much as before, by the events described in the novella “Alpha and Omega” found in the On the Prowl Anthology. Her abuse still shapes her emotional reactions. Given that…
It’s been a few years in the timeline from the last book, Hunting Ground. The wolves are known to the humans now and werewolf rules are strictly enforced. They cannot seem out of control to the humans and no longer allow small transgressions to go without punishment. Charles has been sent on more “enforcer” jobs than ever before, and they are taking a toll on him. Bran, the Marrok and Charles’s father, won’t give Charles a break and Anna is pissed about it. Can no one but Anna see that anymore kills might just break Charles?
A chance arises for Anna to play consultant for the FBI on a serial killer case and Charles goes along to play bodyguard. Their relationship seems to have hit a rough patch and Anna hopes this is an opportunity to reconnect with her husband and mate. She pushes Charles to confide in her throughout the story but he takes his sweet time doing so. She wants him to view her as an equal, and not someone to coddle. Can Charles give Anna what she needs? Can Anna stay strong and not bend to Charles’ will?
Charles is being haunted, literally, by his ghosts. His guilt has allowed the spirits of those he feels he has killed unjustly to follow him around. He worries that these spirits and their doubts will attack Anna through their mate bond and hurt her. He is forced to rely on his inner wolf, aptly named Brother Wolf, for help in controlling the spirits and protecting those around him. Normally, werewolves who let their wolves take over is usually considered a bad idea, but the relationship/bond between Brother Wolf and Charles is anything but. Is it truly a good idea to let the wolf take over in the middle of a manhunt? Is this the only way Charles can take care of business? I think not. In his misguided attempt to protect Anna, he instead alienates her from himself. Oh the tangled webs we weave, Charles. I just want to yell at the book, “Don’t do it, man! You’re gonna lose her that way!” Usually, I only get this worked up with horror movies so in my opinion that means; God Job, Ms. Briggs!!
If Charles and Anna’s relationship woes are not enough for you to go out and read this book, the creepy serial killer should do it. According to the FBI, the man known as the Big Game Hunter, has been on a killing spree since 1975. His latest victims have all been werewolves and the FBI need a little help to catch him. With the help of Anna, and therefore Charles as well, they finally feel like they have a chance to catch this psycho and his possible accomplices. But at every turn, they are foiled. Does that mean there is an insider that’s helping the Big Game Hunter? Which one of their inner circle is a bad guy in disguise?
Interesting new characters of note include Issac Owens, Alpha of the Olde Towne Pack, and Alistair Beauclaire. Issac is rash and impetuous for an Alpha but is a good guy to have around. He tries to do right by his pack and that’s good enough for Charles. Alistair is another fish entirely. His daughter is the latest victim to be taken by the Big Game Hunter and he will do anything to get her back. He has his own secrets, one of which is that he is a powerful fae. Not a bad guy to have on your side when hunting something that can take out werewolves. The alliance of the FBI, fae, and werewolves adds a wonderful dynamic to the book as a whole. I love it when people band together to fight evil; makes me tear up every time. *sniff*
What a worthy sequel to an equally worthy series. If you can’t seem to get enough, I recommend picking up the sister series, Mercy Thompson. A mischievous coyote shifter raised in the Marrok’s werewolf pack that is now mated to an Alpha of another? A woman that constantly challenges men that no one else in their right mind would? Good times.
Then he snarled at her. “You are not leaving me.”
It was an order, and she didn’t have to follow anyone’s orders. That was part of being Omega instead of a regular werewolf – who might have had a snowball’s chance in hell of being a proper mate.
“You need someone stronger,” Anna told him again. “So you wouldn’t have to hide when you’re hurt. So you could trust your mate to take care of herself and help, damn it, instead of having to protect me from whatever you are hiding.” She hated crying. Tears were weaknesses that could be exploited and they never solved a damned thing. Sobs gathered in her chest like a rushing tide and she needed to get away from him before she broke.
Instead of fighting his grip, she tried to slide out of it. “I need to go,” she said to his chest. “I need – “
His mouth closed over hers, hot and hungry, warming her mouth as his body warmed her body.
“Me,” Charles said, his voice dark and gravelly as if it had traveled up from the bottom of the earth, his eyes a bright gold. “You need me.”
The Alpha and Omega Series:
1. Cry Wolf
3. Fair Game
FTC Advisory: Penguin/Ace Books provided me a copy of Fair Game. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment I received were hugs and kisses from my two little boys.
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