Frost Burned By Patricia Briggs
The Greed After Thankfulness
It was just as Mercy suspected, her husbands ex wife had bailed on her mothering duties and abandoned Mercy's new teenage stepdaughter, Jesse for the holiday. The werewolf pack had just finished their holiday meal and Mercy decided to take Jesse to some Black Friday sales although the two were quickly overwhelmed by the crowded parking lots and the shoving matches of people coming in the front doors of retail stores.
After leaving Walmart, then deciding against Target, Mercy and Jesse decided to go to the mall. The next thing Mercy knew she was sitting on the sidewalk and her beloved VW Rabbit had been destroyed, in Patricia Briggs' seventh book in the Mercy Thompson series, Frost Burned.
When trying to reach her husband, Adam, the Alpha of his local werewolf pack, Mercy began to go down the list of the second and third, then other pack members only to find everyone's phone was going directly to voicemail as if turned off. With no way to reach anyone, the tow truck driver agrees to take Mercy and Jesse back to the local automotive garage that Mercy's owns when suddenly they are ambushed.
Creeping up from the darkness, two arms wrap about Mercy's waist pulling her to the ground. The air smells of mint and a musk that she knew too well as wolf. Using her coyote nose that came with being a skin walker, Mercy noted that she knew the smell of the two men that were in the garage with her and Jesse.
In The Dark
All that Ben, a lower ranking pack member, could tell Mercy is that he was attacked by someone that had claimed to be from the government. It hadn't been long since the supernatural creatures had come out to the world around them, the Fae had been put on reservations but the werewolves had actually gotten a more favorable fate.
Since Adam was a well known business man as well as an Alpha wolf, local law enforcement still believed in the backing of Adam's name and that gave Mercy and those associated with him a certain level of respect. Ben had been taken in by the pack when he was a lone wolf trying to get away from a reputation he swears he didn't deserve back in England which involved the assault of some women. Given a chance to redeem himself, it still didn't mean that Mercy trusted Ben so much.
Ben had said that the pack had been warned by the leader of the Marrok pack where Mercy had grown up the lone coyote among wolves when her young mother had sent her off to find someone of her father's Native American people to teach her about her skin walking powers.
Mercy saw she had her own text from Bran, the Alpha that had warned her to keep off her phone.
Now putting the pieces together that whoever had abducted the pack was using the GPS in the cell phones to track them, she quickly took the phones aside and broke them all.
Ben, worse for the wear as he had been shot with what they assumed to be silver bullets as he kept from healing and drugged with some sort of animal tranquilizer , he spent much of his time in his wolf form trying to heal himself.
Without the guidance of the pack, Mercy would have to hit up other supernatural friends for help.
They say never trust a vampire. Mercy knew that after taking the car she was changing to the oil of had belonged to a local vampire who had hardly had any alliance with the locals but it was the only running car that was back at the shop. Throwing Ben in his wolf form in the back, and the others in the seats, Mercy hoped that she wouldn't be drained alive for the blood stains that now sunk into the perfect leather of the vampire's Mercedes.
Gabriel didn't have much of a relationship with his mother and sisters' anymore since he had been tossed out and had moved into Mercy's old trailer along the fence line of her current home with Adam.
The trailer once ripped apart by supernatural enemies now stood just as good as new and it was a fine home for the young man who spent most of the year away at college.
He was a great kid and a fine employee at the garage but he was also Jesse's on and off again boyfriend and that sort of thing didn't always sit well with a new stepmother.
Knowing that Jesse needed to be hid away somewhere that she wouldn't be expected, Gabriel's house may not be the best. They tried with Gabriel's mother but even though Jesse was fully human like her mother, they didn't want to take the chance among the family of keeping her there.
Tad, the half Fae son of the first owner of the garage, Zee, was among the few Fae allies that Mercy had and he was sure that he knew of a safe place to hide Jesse until the pack was recovered and the danger was over.
Mercy assured her it would be fine but she hoped that she wasn't lying to herself.
She through her mate bond could see the torture that Adam was undergoing, he unwilling to give up any information and surrender any of the pack.
Adam grew weaker, Mercy was seeing and she wasn't sure how much longer he could hold on.
Stefan was the least intimidating vampire in his Scooby Doo tee shirt and ragged jeans. Among the most civil to his collection of thralls that lived in his home, Stefan genuinely cared for those around him, including his werewolf friends. After finding that Kyle, the boyfriend of Adam's third in command, Warren was being held as a hostage, Stefan flew into action killing one kidnapper and tying up another until the police could arrive on the scene.
Through the mated bond, Mercy and Adam could hold conversations and she could see through his eyes to know how the wolves were being treated, only there was not enough information to figure out where they were being held.
Through Adam's defiance one of their more submissive wolves, Peter had been killed and Adam blamed himself for the actions. Mercy could feel the pain that vibrated through Adam as she connected with him.
She could taste the silver in his blood as she imagined them kissing.
Adam was beginning to say his goodbyes to her and she begged him to not give up but the old wolf was convinced that he had to die for the good of his pack even if it allowed for just one of them to live.
About to give into defeat as the tears rolled down her cheeks, Mercy was visited by another voice.
Mercy was always quick to tell people that Coyote was not her father.
Not in the actual sense.
As a skin walker the flesh suit that Coyote had worn for awhile as Joe Old Coyote was Mercy's father and the man that her teen mother had a quick romance with. It was this man that Mercy mourned after the body had been killed.
Still being a daughter of Coyote gave her a power that put her above the wolfs and possibly other skin walkers although the few she had met were all distant members of her family.
Coyote spoke into her head interrupting the thoughts of Adam and convinced her that she had the power to save him from a distance and suck the silver from his body. Although it made her terribly sick, it made Adam better.
Coyote convinced her there was another way to fight and the appearance of the actual government sent with the help of Bran will help unravel a plot that will not only save the pact but a local senator.
Patricia Briggs never fails to tell a great story and though Frost Burned isn't as action packed as some of the other novels in the series, it is a great story playing off the events of previous books and really showcases a new talent of Mercy not only being able to tap into her Coyote powers but how she had evolved into a pack member since her marriage to Adam.