Book Blurb: These all-new paranormal romances from today’s hottest authors feature a female werewolf who comes into her own; a Lord who crosses paths with a fiery mage; a mixed-blood Child of the Moon who faces an uncertain future; and a woman whose sixth sense proves to be a dangerous talent.
Review: Alpha and Omega is the novella that preceded Patricia Briggs’ Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Book 1). Part of the On The Prowl anthology, A&O; is less its own story and more the introduction to Cry Wolf. It almost feels like someone decided to cut the first few chapters of Cry Wolf and publish them separately. Having read Cry Wolf previously, I already knew the basic plot of this novella as most of it is rehashed in that book. But what makes A&O; worth reading is the character insight revealed through the alternating POV of Anna and Charles. And I actually found Anna to be a much stronger character this time around, despite the ongoing abuse she is enduring in A&O.; She shows some spine and resourcefulness that I was proud to see. In Cry Wolf she almost seemed to take a step backwards in that sense.
As a heads up, there is a lot of romance in this story. I would say the vast majority involves exploring feelings and attraction. So in that sense, A&O; is very much a romance with paranormal elements and not the other way around. But even though the romance is the focus here, because this is Patricia Briggs we’re talking about, the paranormal elements are top notch. The werewolf pack dynamic is fascinating and I particularly enjoyed how the wolves in this world have there own distinct personality that is not always in agreement with their human counterparts. I just wish there was more of them, especially regarding the origin of the Omega wolf. Perhaps Briggs is planning on doling out more of those details in future books. If you are reading this story first, be sure to have Cry Wolf on hand as the story does not conclude in this novella. *Note* I’ll be reviewing the other On The Prowl Novellas in separate posts.
Sexual Content: Sexual abuse and rape is alluded to in the past tense.
Here’s what Patricia Briggs had to say about Alpha and Omega:
One of the coolest things about this anthology turned out to be the other authors in it. I enjoy them all — in fact, I noticed, shortly after my editor told me who they were going to be, that I’ve blurbed for all of them I’m not a short story writer, so this was quite a challenge. I kept having to delete characters and fighting to simplify the plot so it would fit into a story roughly a quarter of the size of most of my books. I thought it would be more like a long short story, but in the end, it feels to me like a short novel. "Alpha and Omega" is Charles’s story. Charles is one of those characters who comes on stage to fill out a scene — or, in this case, to make the Montana pack feel like a "real" pack, one that doesn’t just exist for the sake of a novel. But as I wrote a little about him I found out a lot more — and since he didn’t have a real role in the plot, I had to set him aside once he’d performed his alloted role. It would have bothered me more, but I knew that Moon Called was the first in a series so I figured I could use him later. When my editor called to ask me if I thought I could write a novella in Mercy’s world — I thought about it for a while, and decided to give Charles his chance upon the stage. I already had a plot — he’d been sent to deal with one of the Chicago alphas in Moon Called. Even so, the story took me a little by surprise (which is a good thing). I didn’t expect such a strong romance angle in this story, but I liked how it turned out. I hope you enjoy getting to know Charles as much as I did.