Blood Bound By Patricia Briggs
The Ride Along
Working with the supernatural hardly comes with regular hours, Mercedes Thompson finds as her phone rings yet again at three am. This time the caller is her friend, Stefan the vampire- if friend was the right term. Needing her ability as a skin walker to bear witness, he begs her along to a stop at a hotel to see a man that troubles him, in Patricia Briggs' second novel in the Mercy Thompson series Blood Bound.
Raised by a werewolf pack, Mercy is not one of them as a coyote, but it has its advantages as it gained her affiliation and respect of her local Alpha, Adam. Proclaimed as his mate although the pair has done little more than go for a few dates, Mercy should have reported her strange mission with Stefan but went along anyway never expecting trouble.
It sounded so easy as Stefan explained. He would walk into the hotel with Mercy in her coyote form on a leash propped as a pet so she could listen in on his conversation with the rouge vampire that Stefan thought was also a witch.
What they found in that hotel room was nothing like what they expected and as Stefan was overcome and spelled into false memories and blood lust, Mercy was unable to change back due to the silver on the buckles of the leash and harness.
She fought and whined but was unable to rouse Stefan as the creature lunged at her. Then she remembers nothing.
Awaken back in her trailer, Mercy realizes she is terribly hurt by that thing at the hotel. Stefan has had his memories tampered with and believes that he is to blame for the incident and remembers attacking a young woman that was a hotel maid and draining her to the point of death, although Mercy tells him he never touched the woman only watched the incident. Realizing the thing at the hotel was some sort of demon inside a sorcerer turned vampire, no one had ever seen anything like this.
The Monster Within
Word spread among the supernatural community and Adam quickly sent out his wolves to guard Mercy at her home and work.
Things had become complicated for her in the last few months after the kidnapping of Jesse, Adam's daughter and one of the wolves on the case, an old boyfriend of Mercy's had come back to stay at her house. What started as a few weeks between homes had turned into months of being a roommate.
Sometimes Mercy swore that Samuel still wanted more from her, even after she knew the truth of why he had turned to her in the first place looking for only a mate that would be able to have viable offspring for the pack rather than out of love.
Mercy sometimes thought that she loved Adam but it was too complicated as he was the leader of his own pack and she wanted more privacy that the complicated life he had, although Adam was always known to put family before anything else in his life.
While the two wolves had to deal with each other for the good of the werewolf community and were friendly as neighbors, the jealousy over who wanted to be with Mercy more often played out.
Now both had a common enemy, the thing that had attacked Mercy and Stefan.
Finding out that it was a person with magical ability intentionally turned to a vampire to create chaos, it made this mission all the more dangerous and soon supernaturals began to be hurt in the fray.
She saw that way that Samuel was starting to look at her again after the night he revealed his secret from college. Mercy had held him close to bring comfort but something was changing as Samuel became jealous when he smelled Adam's scent on her from working out at his house. But she didn't belong to either of them and wasn't truly part of the pack she often protested, yet it mattered little to the men.
Mysterious Mr Black
Spending much time around the mechanic shop she owned, a customer named Mr Black was spending more and more time finding a reason to bother Mercy. After picking up his car one night he returned again saying that he had some personal business for her before he was diverted.
With nothing to lose one night, he said that he was a reporter and he needed all the information she had on Adam, whom had recently become public after the werewolves had revealed themselves to the humans among them.
Mr Black, which turns out to not be his real name, claims a wolf named Joef had turned his young daughter and as result for the last few years they had been forced to keep his daughter chained and caged in the basement as she could not control the wolf inside and Mr Black feared that she may kill someone.
Taking sympathy as Mercy's own mother had found help for her after learning that her daughter had been a skin walker and found a place for her in the local pack, Mercy had called the Alpha that had found a family to raise her to see if there could be a similar arrangement for the girl.
After finding a place for the girl to go, Mercy had one more assignment for Mr Black and begged that he look up all he could on the demon vampire's human name. Coming back with research saying the fiend was wanted from Chicago, he had a website claiming he was a magician.
This was how the vampire that he changed him had found and selected his particular victim,hoping the powers that he claimed to have in his advertising could be beneficial in the vampire world.
After a patrol one night, Samuel, Adam, and a few lower ranking wolves had vanished after Mercy had talked to the thralls living in Stefan's home. The thralls worried that the thing that had come after Stefan would get them next if the vampire community hadn't wiped them out first, as they were unguarded without their master home.
Keeping Up Appearances
While Adam's third ranking wolf was being watched around the clock as he lay on what could be his death bed, all feared that he would not be able to heal properly as silver knives had caused his wounds.
With Stefan missing now as well, the vampires feared that he was also dead and planned to war with the creature, sending in Mercy and Stefan's occasional friend and enemy Andre.
The vampires hadn't known that Andre and Stefan were at odds again mostly over the fate of a young thrall that had been changed and had gone into blood lust and killed a group of migrant workers nearby.
Andre, though at fault, was still jealous of their makers favoritism towards Stefan and as a second thrall became a vampire against her will due to Andre, he was quickly becoming a suspect in what had happened to all the missing supernaturals.
With no choice but to trust that he would lead her to where she needed to be to save everyone, Mercy let Andre have the lead on the investigation. He seemed to want to kill this sorcerer vampire too, or so she hoped.
Caged And Spelled
Finding the missing in the ruins of an old church where the sorcerer vampire had been hiding out, Mercy was again in a terrible situation.
With her friends caged and spelled, the wolves were not able to transform back to their human forms and Stefan wasn't able to do much other than use his own blood to divert the demon ridding shotgun in the vampire's body away from Mercy for long.
After taking another critical hit, she was nearly as broken as the hospital and fearing the end of it all when somehow she found the power to fight.
The second novel in the Mercy Thompson series draws more emphases on the world building between the supernatural communities and continues to ignite the love triangle that forms around Mercy's affections.
This installment, focuses a bit more on the vampire world than the first. Fast paced, and sarcastic as ever, the second installment is just as great as the first glimpse into the series setting up many more novels.