“You are a remarkable man, Charles Cornick.”
He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and put his chin on top of her head. “I know,” he confided lightly. “And often underappreciated by those who don’t know any better.”
The long anticipated release of Fair Game is fast approaching, so it’s time for me to brush up on the latest happenings of Charles and Anna’s world with a reread. I need to be back in the know when I crack open the new release. And I have to say, it is just so good to be back in this world. I enjoy the Mercy Thompson series, but this series resonates with me so much more than that one does.
On the author’s website the Alpha and Omega series is listed as an Urban Fantasy, but that is one label I cannot agree with—which is an amusing point of disagreement, really, since the author declares it as such. But to me, it is Romance, plain and simple. If you removed the relationship and left only the straight UF bits, the series would fail (for me). It would feel like a shell of itself. Most likely a boring shell, at that.
The same cannot be said for most other UF’s out there. The romance in this series is as important as any other plot or storyline we see, so I declare it a wonderfully fleshed out PNR. It’s actually why I love this series more than the original one. The third person allows the reader to get into the head of both the hero and the heroine, and we get to watch them dance around each other and slowly settle into being mates. It’s easier for me to connect with the characters and invest in the relationship than it would be in a typical UF. I love it and I wish I could find more PNR’s with such a nice balance of strength in the relationship and world-building.
In this book Anna has become a little more comfortable with her mate. She can’t keep herself from shying away, but she is doing much better at deciphering Charles’s reasons for certain actions and not overreacting. It was lovely to see the growth in their relationship. When I think about how far they’ve come… well, it’s wonderful that they have found each other and are opening themselves up to happiness. The author does an excellent job of making the reader fall for both the hero and heroine. Anna continues to struggle to overcome her past abuse, but her love for Charles and her desire to make things easier on him lead her walk tall faster than she would have otherwise. Charles doesn’t have the same blatant issues that Anna does, but he still struggles with his desire to close himself off to make his job easier and his desire to protect Anna.
Charles does a fabulous job of balancing love and caring with his need to protect. Charles is quite dominant and alpha, but he’s the sort of alpha I like. He is secure enough in himself to encourage, rather than hinder, independence in his mate. He wants to keep her safe and protect her from any harm, but he knows that wouldn’t be good for her or make her happy. He encourages her to spread her wings and deals with his own fears about the danger to her on his own so as not to limit her. Because of her past, he is always on alert, watching to make sure that he doesn’t do anything to scare her. He’s a frightening man, but with Anna he opens himself up and becomes vulnerable. *sigh* I love them together.
I am not typically a huge fan of werewolf romances because I find the dominance games tedious and usually feel sympathetically claustrophobic for the poor heroine, stuck with such a controlling mate. But Briggs has created such a detailed and well thought out world that I am helpless to resist. The hierarchy of it all fascinates me, and my dislike of dominance games in the relationships doesn’t come into play because alpha does not mean the same thing in this series as it does in most other werewolf romances. They are alpha because they are dominant, not because they run around dominating and controlling everyone around them. I’ve got to say, it’s refreshing.
I have no complaints about this book. You read that right. Not a one. I loved the relationship growth and the exploration of some of the other packs. I even found myself quite surprised by the reveal of the villain. I suspected part of it, but I was not prepared for the reveal of the whole picture.
If you are thinking of trying this series out, do yourself a favor and read them in order. The relationship is a huge part of the series and it has built slowly throughout each book. And DO NOT forget to start with the novella prequel. It is vitally important to start there, as it sets up the whole series. It should have been part of the first book, but it’s not, so DON’T FORGET!
“So it’s true?” Ian glanced at Charles, then quickly away. “I had heard that.”
“Shocking, I know,” murmured Charles.
The other wolf stiffened and gave Charles a worried look, too wary of Charles to hear the humor.
“He’s a terrible tease,” she told Ian, trying to help.
The Emerald City wolf’s face loosened in utter disbelief.
Stop back later today for Catherine’s review of the next book in the series, Fair Game and a giveaway.