Alpha and Omega by Patricia BriggsThe werewolf Anna finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack- and inspires a power in Anna that she's never felt before.Inhuman by Eileen WilksKai has a secret gift of sensing thoughts and desires. What she senses in her neighbor Nathan could be dangerous. Because he has a secret gift, too, and it's about to be let loose.Buying Trouble by Karen ChanceIn a New York auction house, a Lord of the Fey crosses paths with a fiery redheaded mage named Claire. But in this strange underground society, the rarity up for sale is Claire herself.Mona Lisa Betwining by SunnyAmong the children of the moon, Mona Lisa is of Mixed Blood- part Monere, part human, and destined to be alone. Then she meets a man who could be her salvation- or her downfall.
I've always been a huge fan of Patricia Briggs, ever since I picked up the first Mercy Thompson novel (Moon Called) at my good friend, Smash @ Smash Attack Reads, request. This short story in the On the Prowl anthology is the prerequisite story to the Alpha & Omega series. I've already read and fell in love with the Alpha & Omega series, so starting in on a short story where that series began was a sure win for my affection.
If you've never read anything by Patricia Briggs, taking a look at this short story would be a good test drive to see whether you, dear reader, would enjoy pursuing her work. For patrons of the Alpha & Omega series, this short story really set up the series nicely. Though the events were alluded to in the first book, Cry Wolf, it was merely given as background information to provide a foundation for the story.
The one thing I absolutely love about Patricia Briggs' writing is how she can pack so much character into a few paragraphs. There's an immediate sense of both Anna and Charles's characters as the POV switches between them and this skill, though very helpful for writing an appealing short story, carries over into her full length novels as well.
Even though I've read the entire Alpha & Omega series, reading this short story makes me want to read it all over again. (Which, as a matter of fact, I'll be doing since I read them before but never reviewed them.) Patricia Briggs created a well-balanced, well-rounded story with nothing forced or sloppily done.
So, dear reader, try this out for a test ride and see how far you can get without completely falling in love with the story.
Kara reached way up and patted his cheek in a motherly gesture. "Thank you." She gave Anna a quick hug and pulled an envelope out of her pocket and set it on the table next to the bagels. "You take this for watching the cat so I don't have to take him to the kennels with all those dogs he hates and pay them four times this amount. I find it in my cookie jar again, and I'll take him to the kennels just for spite because it will make you feel guilty." (p. 21)
"Why the rolling pin and not a knife?" he asked, his voice raspy with the need for action.She looked at him for the first time since she'd seen his face on the stairs. "A knife wouldn't even slow him down, but bones take time to heal."He liked that. Who'd have though he'd get turned on by a woman with a rolling pin? (p. 27-8)