The fault for my current addiction to the Mercy Thompson series by Patrica Briggs lies with Susan and Kailana I believe, though I think I'd probably read about them elsewhere before I took the plunge and bought the first one a month or so ago. Anyway, this is book two of the series, Blood Bound.
Mercy is not best pleased when she's woken in the middle of the night by Stefan, her vampire friend, her *only* vampire friend as a matter of fact, because rule number one when dealing with vampires is that you should never trust them. Not ever. He reminds her that she owes him a favour and she reminds him what time it is. It makes no impression and, next thing you know, Mercy finds herself outside a hotel, with Stefan, in her guise as a coyote to bear witness to Stefan's dealings with the dangerous being in one of the rooms. It's Stefan's hope that it won't realise that Mercy is any more than a pet. Inside and face to face with a vampire/sorcerer that's being ridden by a demon, Mercy has the worse experiences of her life and the rogue vampire escapes unscathed, unlike her and Stefan.
Back at home with her two werewolf suitors, Adam and Samuel, furious at the danger she exposed herself to, the decision is made that the pack will hunt this being and bring him down. But the local vampire seethe has other ideas of course and things become confused and downright life threatening for all concerned. Mercy simply cannot work out what is going on and who is really responsible for the mess they find themselves in. But solve the riddle she must before... well... I'm not saying. :-)
I can't get enough of these books at the moment. I love Briggs' writing and the wonderful characters she's created in Mercy, Adam and Samuel. And she spends no less time in making secondary characters compelling as well, imo. I like Bran, the Marrok of the US and Samuel's father, Stefan because he's *good* but with a real edge to him, Warren the gay werewolf and his boyfriend, Kyle, Jesse, Adam's human daughter, even Marsilia, the Mistress of the vampires. She's so clearly evil but with weaknesses that mean she's not at all two dimensional as a character, but has real depth. Briggs makes you trust her when you really shouldn't and, to my mind, that shows real skill as an author.
And I love, love, love the edginess and the ambivilence to Mercy's relationships with Adam and Samuel. Despite being a Coyote herself, she knows there is real danger in hooking up with either of these two and has to be permanently on her guard, especially with the Alpha male, Adam, who seems to have the ability to mesmerise her in some peculiar way. It's very erotic without being terribly explicit, and how nice to find an author who can achieve that!
I'm banging on about these books, I realise it. *g* But for me they're a perfect read with their mix of horror, romance and whodunnit, or *why*dunnit sometimes; pageturners extraordinaire. I have two left to read, so will not go straight on to book three because otherwise I'll be finished and have none left! And then I'll be in a situation which I don't often find myself in, that of waiting anxiously for new books in a series to come out. I can hear Deslily laughing already...