Title: Hunting Ground
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Series: Alpha and Omega (Book 2)
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback, 304 Pages
ISBN-10: 044101738X (Ace Books)
ISBN-13: 978-0441017386 (Ace Books)
Reviewed by: Sheila
Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son- and enforcer- of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…
Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…
Quick & Dirty: A game of one-upmanship and intrigue with a bunch of top dogs fighting over the ultimate prize; be it women, power, or prestige. But is the prize worth the price?
Opening Sentence: She observed him from her chosen cover, as she’d done twice before.
Charles and Anna are back for more in book two of the Alpha and Omega series, Hunting Ground. Bran, the Marrok and the head of the North American werewolves, wants to bring werewolves out of the closet. He feels that it is only a matter of time before the wolves are found out. This way, he can spin their “reveal” to their advantage; heroes instead of monsters. Bran, being the benevolent alpha he is, has called a meeting with the heads of the European werewolves to listen to their concerns. Representing the North American Pack will be Charles and Anna.
Charles and Anna are getting comfortable in their mating. It’s been a month in the timeline since the last book, Cry Wolf, and Anna is learning to be more relaxed and secure with her new husband. Charles is still adjusting to sharing his feelings with someone else, but he would do anything to make Anna happy. The problem arising in this book for the couple is separating the personal and professional faces of Charles. He must maintain his “bogeyman” status in front of the other Alphas or they will not listen to him. How can he accomplish this and not scare Anna in the process?
New players in this book include a Grey Lord ex-lover, a man-eating werewolf, and the possible reincarnation of King Arthur. Dana is the impartial third-party mediator for the Alpha conference. Her status as a Grey Lord, ruling fae, allows her to keep the werewolves from fighting out their differences instead of talking them out. But, how impartial is she? We learn there is a history between the fae and Charles. Will Anna be okay with that? How about Dana?
Jean Chastel is called the Beast of Gevaudan, and is the unofficial Alpha of the European wolves. Unofficial because he has no desire to protect his wolves like a good Alpha would. Instead of ruling his wolves with patience and wisdom, he rules with fear. That doesn’t endear him to anyone, including Charles and Anna. He also happens to be one of the main bad guys for this book. He enjoys terrorizing women and children before he eats them. So when he meets Anna, who still exhibits fear around too many dominates, he senses his next victim. Can she escape the claws of the Beast? Will Charles have to kill an Alpha to protect his mate?
Arthur, the head of the British werewolves, is among those attending the conference. He is one of Bran’s, and therefore Charles’s, supporters. He is charismatic, good looking, and smart. And believes himself to be the reincarnation of the “Once and Future King,” Arthur of Camelot. Old wolves tend to fixate on things so no one pays any mind to Arthur’s claims. But is their truth to his words? If he really is Arthur reborn, who else could be a reincarnation from King Arthur’s tale?
With all these “big dogs” around, can Anna keep it together? Can being an Omega help Charles with negotiating with the other werewolves? And can the other packs resist the idea of bringing an Omega into their own pack, by invite or force? This installment delivers all I’ve come to expect from Patricia Briggs. The love story of Charles and Anna coupled with the overall tension of werewolf politics is a heady combination.
“Omega,” said Charles formally, “it is the privilege of the dominants to protect our submissive ones, the heart of our packs. Alphas are called upon to protect even more strongly. An Omega calls to us strongest of all.”
Anna gave a puzzled nod. She already knew that, Charles thought. She just couldn’t see what it had to do with the situation. She was too used to looking at the dominant wolves as threats.
“Sweetie,” said the witch, “while you were up here getting the cold shakes from all those nasty wolves staring at you – they were trying to figure out why you were upset and who they had to kill for you.”
“Whoops,” said Anna as she comprehended the scope of the problem.
The Alpha and Omega series:
1. Cry Wolf
3. Fair Game
FTC Advisory: No one gave me a copy of Hunting Ground, I bought it myself. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment I received is hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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