Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs


Alpha and Omega #4
Charles and Anna go to Arizona to buy a new horse for Anna. Charles also wants to visit an old friend who is dying. But they get drawn into something bad. The old friend's son's wife has been attacked by some kind of Fae. Charles changes Chelsea to save her life. The Marrok orders Charles to find the fae that attacked Chelsea. They get help from the FBI and CANTRIP and figure out where the problems started. Other people had died recently. They do some digging into old records and it gives them a lead.  Will they figure out what is going on?

It took me a bit to get into this story but once I did I was enthralled!

From goodreads:
For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire. 


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

“Okay,” said Charles Cornick, younger son of the Marrok who ruled the werewolves in North America and also, Anna had come to believe, the rest of the world. De facto if not officially. If Bran Cornick said, “Sit up and go there,” there was not a werewolf in the world, Alpha or not, who wouldn’t obey.
Charles had inherited a lot of the dirty work that allowed his father to keep their people, their werewolves, safe. The fallout when a good man was forced to commit heinous and necessary acts was that Charles’s emotions could be mysterious even to himself.
For instance, he’d just said “Okay” when Anna could tell he was anything but okay with the topic at hand. She knew that from the way her husband got up abruptly from the stool where he’d been playing and put his battered old guitar up on the wall hook. Restless, he wandered across the hardwood floor to the big window and looked out at the February snow falling down. There was a lot of it: it was winter in the mountains of Montana.
If he had been a little less self-disciplined,she was pretty sure he would have hunched his shoulders.
“You said I should look into it,” Anna told him, feeling her way. She knew Charles better than anyone, and still he was sometimes impossible to read, this wonderful and complex man of hers. “So I did, starting with your brother. Samuel tells me he’s been working on the problem of werewolf babies for a long time, though not quite from our angle. Children apparently were something of an obsession of his before he found Ariana again. Did you know that werewolf DNA is just like human DNA? You can’t tell the difference unless the sample is taken when we are in our werewolf form—then it’s different.”
“I did, yes,” said Charles, apparently happy to talk about something, anything else. “Samuel told me when he figured it out a couple of decades ago. Not the first time having a doctor in the family has been useful. I think that a human scientist published that data last month in an obscure journal; doubtless it’ll make the newspapers sooner or later.”
The alternative subject allowed him to relax enough to give her a wry smile over his shoulder before looking back out at the snow. “My da was overjoyed. Because of that, there is no way to use a blood test to see if someone is a werewolf or not—unless you’re testing the actual wolf, in which case the point is moot. I’m not sure he’d have ever brought us out into the open if it were so easy to identify us.”
“Okay,” Anna nodded. “It’s a good thing. Mostly. Except that there’s no way to tell if an embryo is human, genetically, or werewolf, if we want to go with a surrogate.”
“A surrogate,” he said.
She had hopes for the surrogate card. Charles’s mother had died giving birth to him. She knew that part of his objection, maybe his whole objection to having children, was the risk to her. “If I can’t carry a baby to term because I have to change every full moon, then a surrogate is the obvious option. No one has done it before—so far as we know, anyway.”
He didn’t say anything, so she continued, laying out the issues for him. “Because there’s apparently no way to tell which embryo is werewolf, human, or some combination of the two, there’s still a good chance of spontaneous abortion, the same problem human mates of werewolves have. And then there’s the issue of what happens to a human woman who carries a werewolf baby for nine months. Will she become a werewolf? Samuel said we ought to consider a surrogate who wants to be a werewolf. That would eliminate the risk of catching . . . um . . . being infected . . .”
He said, very dryly, “Feeling diseased, Anna?”
No. But she wasn’t going to let him distract her.
“It would eliminate problems if such a pregnancy does make her Change, if our child is a werewolf instead of human,” she said with dignity. This wasn’t going at all well. “We don’t know if carrying a werewolf baby and giving birth would infect the mother—or if so, when. No one but your mother has ever carried a werewolf baby to term. If the surrogate wanted to Change in the first place, that would eliminate one part of that problem. The other being if the surrogate is Changed before the baby is viable.”

Read more here.

Pages: 249
Published: 2015

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