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Dead Heat

Cover of Dead Heat

Dead Heat

Alpha and Omega Series, Book 4
Praised for having "the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense, and paranormal"*, #1 New York Times bestselling author Patrica Briggs's Alpha and Omega series now takes readers into the middle of some bad supernatural business...
For once, mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Lantham are not traveling because of Charles's role as his father's enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal. Or at least their visit 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 have started a cold war with humanity that's about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the crossfire.
*Rex Robot Reviews
Praised for having "the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense, and paranormal"*, #1 New York Times bestselling author Patrica Briggs's Alpha and Omega series now takes readers into the middle of some bad supernatural business...
For once, mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Lantham are not traveling because of Charles's role as his father's enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal. Or at least their visit 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 have started a cold war with humanity that's about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the crossfire.
*Rex Robot Reviews
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    ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    PROLOGUE

    DECEMBER

    The fae lord stalked back and forth in his cell of gray stone. Three steps, turn, four steps, turn, three steps. He could do it all day. Had, in fact, done it for two weeks.

    His boots were soft and he made no sound as he paced. Sound distracted him unduly from his purpose—which was to bore himself to the point where he no longer thought about anything.

    His clothes, like his boots, were practical, but still representative of his position as High Court Lord—though he no longer remembered much about that part of his life. Even so, his long red hair was confined in a complicated series of braids that trailed on the floor behind him, a court fashion of at least a millennium ago. Doubtless if there were still courts, still High Courts, he would be considered out of fashion entirely.

    He'd worn High Court dress for the first week he was here, but there was no one to impress, so he'd left them off and exchanged them for the more comfortable clothing. He could have put on jeans, he supposed, but he was losing that long-ago lord a day at a time, and the clothes served as a reminder of what he had once been—though some days, some years, he could not remember why it was that remembering what he had once been was so important.

    There was a knock on his door, and he hissed in irritation because he'd nearly succeeded in numbing himself to the imprisonment. Immortality was a curse because no matter how powerful you were, there was always someone more powerful. Someone to obey. Someone who stole what was yours and left you with the dregs of what you once had. Then they took that, too, and here he was in this prison while his gut ached with need and his body missed magic like meat missed salt. Without magic, he had no savor.

    The knock sounded again. He'd pissed off whoever it was because his whole prison shook with a noise that hurt his ears and his heart. Wonderful. One of the Powers had come to call upon him. He almost didn't answer—what more could they do to him than they had already done?

    He stopped in the middle of the room, because, of course, there was always something worse they could do. It didn't do any good to speculate upon what. He said, "Come in, then."

    The woman who stepped in was neat and small. She almost stirred that beast inside him. But then she spoke and the illusion was gone.

    She was the spiritual archetype of the evil queen in the fairy tales, partially because she'd participated in quite a few of the actual events that had spawned the tales. She adored causing misery and pain to the short-lived humans. All those centuries of power lived in her voice, even if she liked to hold the appearance of helplessness.

    "Underhill will become anything for you," she said, her lip curling as she looked around his current home, "and you chose a prison."

    He straightened warily. "Yes, lady."

    She shook her head. "And they want you?"

    She didn't say who "they" were, or what they wanted him for. He didn't ask because he still had some sense of self-preservation.

    She walked around the small room. "They say you have imagination."

    She folded her arms as she walked, twisting her torso first so as to see the ceiling stones and then turning until she got the proper angle to see the subtle bend in the wall that made his hiding place less noticeable. She loosened the granite block, the only one without mortar. "They say you know how to hide from humans, from fae, from other creatures who might hunt you because your glamour is so very good."

    He wanted to stop her, to keep her from finding his treasure. He...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 23, 2015
    Briggs’s Alpha & Omega novels are more episodic than those in the Mercy Thompson series, allowing for a more intimate focus. In her new A&O book, werewolves Charles and Anna Cornick investigate a gruesome supernatural mystery, visit a terminally ill old friend at his Arizona horse farm, and mostly avoid discussing Anna’s desire to have children. Their planned quiet trip to Arizona is anything but; they must break a spell that nearly results in the murder-suicide of a mother and her children, and when a little girl literally dissolves before their eyes, the twosome realize they are fighting a very dangerous fae. Charles and Anna’s lively interactions with helpful federal law enforcement add some spark. Anna’s Omega “wolf whisperer” qualities shine, and the couple’s scenes with the dying man are hauntingly beautiful. The Cornicks work seamlessly together but sweep their interpersonal messiness under the rug, even though Briggs shows those around them tackling their issues head-on. Agent: Lynn Prentis, Lynn Prentis Literary.

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Alpha and Omega Series, Book 4
Patricia Briggs
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