Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) – by Patricia Briggs
Mercy is a auto mechanic that also happens to be a shapeshifter. She can can change shape at will, but she always has to become a coyote. Once her mother found out, she shipped her off to be raised by a pack of werewolves. At 16 she left that pack, but she still knows alot about the werewolf community. She lives in a town where there is a werewolf pack (not the one she grew up in), but she doesn’t have all that much contact with them. Her neighbour, Adam, is the Alpha (lead male werewolf) of that pack, and she knows the other members of the pack, but they don’t really hang out. That all changes when a boy comes into her auto shop looking for work. She can tell that he is a werewolf, and a new on at that, but lets it go since he doesn’t seem to want to talk about it. Until she stumbles across someone trying to kidnap him. She saves him, and she quickly calls Adam to help him out and protect him. But during the night something happens at Adam’s house and she runs over to find several werewolves hurt and dead, and Adam is involved in a very dangerous fight with another werewolf, and Adam isn’t winning. Mercy kills the other werewolf, but Adam is near death and she needs help. She ends up taking him to her old pack leader, and once Adam is better, they go back home to find out who set them up.
~~~~ This is an AWESOME book. The characters are explained in such a way that you feel like you’ve known them forever. And I love the werewolves. They are alot more “normal” then most of the stuff you see about werewolves. It reminds me of the character of Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in that Oz was just a normal human who just happened to have special abilities and could change into a werewolf. Mercy is a great character, she is strong and stubborn, and I so can’t wait to get the rest of this series so I can read more about her!
Blue Smoke – by Nora Robers
This book happens over a 20 year period. It starts in 1985 when Reena is 11 and her family pizzeria is gutted by a fire. A fire that was set on purpose to hurt her and her family. But while she stands there and watches the fire consume their shop she is strangely drawn to the fire. She sees how beautiful the fire is and she wants to go in where the firefighters are.
We next meet Reena in the early ’90s (’92 I think). She is now in college, working hard to get a good education, and she volunteers at the fire station whenever she can. Her dream is to be a arson investigator. She meets a boy, Josh, and starts to fall in love with him. But one night he dies in a fire that is ruled accidental.
We meet her again in ’95 (I think), where she is now a cop on her way to that dream job of arson detective. She takes the test that all firefighters have to take to be certified. She doesn’t need this to be an arson investigator, but if she has it she can go into the buildings while they are still on fire and hopefully get more information on who what when were and why. She still volunteers at the local fire station, and starts a relationship with a guy there. The plan to have a weekend away to find out how they really feel about each other. Because they get off work at different times, he heads out the night before to get the place set up. But on the way he is shot on the side of the road, and then both he and his vehicle are set on fire. The investigators believe that it was a robbery gone bad, and that the killer just set him on fire to cover his tracks.
The story continues in ’99. Reena is now a rookie arson detective. She is good at her job, and she loves it. She is dating a very successful investment broker, but he is starting to take her for granted. One night he takes her to a fancy restaurant and tells her that he has gotten a big promotion, but that he has to move to New York. Reena was starting to think they should end the relationship anyway, so she isn’t all that sad. But then he proposes, and before she knows it she has a ring on her finger and the waiter is congratulating her. She waits until they get back home to tell him that her answer is no. He blows up and ends up hitting her. She makes him leave her apartment. But the next morning she is woken by her captain telling her that her (now ex) boyfriend’s car was torched in the wee hours of the morning. And, nice person that he is, he blames her.
We conclude in 2005 where Reena is now a seasoned investigator. She doesn’t have much time for men. She uses them when she needs them, but she doesn’t have relationships. Until she moves into a house with a neighbor who claims to love her. Bowen Goodnight has seen her several times over the years, but can never seem to get close enough to talk to her. The first time was a party she was at with Josh in ’92, then he sees her again in a shopping mall in ’95, and then they stop at the same stoplight in ’99. Every time he sees her he feels like the music stops, and the whole world fades away. She is known as “Dream Girl” to his friends. Even though Reena finds this really weird, she is drawn to him. But then she starts getting calls from a guy who starts fires just for her. It is obvious that he is stalking her, as well as leaving little clues at the fires so she knows it’s him. As this guy escalates her relationship with Bo gets closer. But as her stalker gets closer, and much more dangerous, she needs to find out who he is before someone she loves gets hurt.
~~~~ I really like this book. While it is not fantastic, it is a very good story. Most stories start at one point and then have “flashbacks” to stuff that happend before. Where as this story takes you through the important stuff so you have a real idea about who Reena is, because you aren’t just “told” the story you live it. There is also a Lifetime Movie based on this book. I recommend both the movie and the book.
I’m now reading another Nora Roberts book: Montana Sky. After that I’ll start on the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse series (I have book 2 and 4-7, but I’m still waiting on book 3).