A Few Words on the Alpha and Omega Series, by Patricia Briggs
This is a werewolf romance series. There is basically no new ground to cover in a werewolf romance series, but Patricia Briggs does a pretty good job of refreshing the genre enough to make this worth reading. I waited for probably a year for the third book in the series to come out, if that says anything. You probably know Ms. Briggs from her Mercy Thompson series, who if I remember correctly is a coyote shifter somewhere in the Pacific Northwest and I read the first book of that series and was like, yeah okay whatever, and I didn’t feel the need to continue (though the Alpha and Omega books have a bit of overlap and the latest book indicated that Mercy hooked up with someone verrry interesting).
The Alpha and Omega series is a lot more appealing to me personally, since I’m a sucker for alpha heroes, and the dude in this series, Charles, is basically one of the highest alphas to ever alpha. He’s half Native American and half Welsh, and his father is the leader of all North American werewolves. Charles himself is the pack’s executioner and justice dealer. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, and he’s almost unbeatable.
So, as it always goes in these kinds of books, he’s paired with his opposite. Charles finds Anna, a newly-changed werewolf, after she calls for help. Her pack alpha has gone insane, the rest of the pack has not fared much better. Anna, considered the most submissive wolf of the pack, has been horribly abused by her leaders. So she’s mistrustful of all people, not to mention men, double not to mention scary men like Charles.
Charles meets Anna, and he pretty quickly figures out that she’s not a submissive wolf, she’s actually something called an Omega wolf. In Briggs’ universe, Omega wolves are the counterpoint to the Alpha wolves. They are neither dominant nor submissive and they’re a sort of soothing emotional presence for all other wolves. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not doing a very good job, but it makes sense the way Briggs presents it.
Series that follow one couple through multiple books obviously hinge on the strength of that couple, and in my mind, Anna and Charles get a solid A. They’re very different (… obviously), but their pairing is very sweet and steamy enough to keep it interesting but slow enough that it’s believable, particularly given Anna’s past.
The books all involve a standalone mystery of some kind, and this is another aspect that I really enjoy. I looove a good procedural, and the fact that there’s a romance involved makes these books a rich treat for me.
The third book, Fair Game, came out last week, and admittedly it was not as strong as the first two. I’m starting to wonder if one SHOULD read the Mercy Thompson series to fully appreciate the Alpha and Omega series, and the ending was rather rushed and was sort of clumsily paving the way for another book.
That said, I guess I’ll be waiting however long it takes to read the next one.