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Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson hit the #1 spot on the bestseller
list with Iron Kissed...
And she's planning a return trip.
Marsilia, the local vampire queen, has learned that Mercy crossed
her by slaying a member of her clan. Now, she's out for blood. But
since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack-and
her relationship with its sexy Alpha-it's not Mercy's blood Marsilia is
About The Author
Patricia Briggs graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German. She worked for a while as a substitute teacher but now writes full-time. Patricia Briggs lives in the Pacific Northwest.
"The preternatural culture of vampire seethes and wolf pack politics is deeply intriguing. Briggs provides plenty of detail about Mercy's complex world."--Publishers Weekly "Mercy is not just another cookie-cutter tough-chick urban fantasy heroine; she's got a lot of style and substance and an intriguing back-story. Series fans will appreciate the resolution of some ongoing plot lines, and the romantic tension is strong."--Library Journal
More Praise for the Mercy Thompson Novels
"I love these books."--Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"An excellent read with plenty of twists and turns...It left me wanting more."--Kim Harrison, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"The best new urban fantasy series I've read in years."--Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"In the increasingly crowded field of kick-ass supernatural heroines, Mercy stands out as one of the best."--Locus
"Action-packed and with more than a few satisfying emotional payoffs...Patricia Briggs at the top of her game."--The Speculative Herald
"The characters are all realistic and vibrant."--The Independent
"These are fantastic adventures, and Mercy reigns."--SFRevu
"The world building is incredibly lush and subsuming...a fantastic urban fantasy adventure."--Fresh Fiction
"Outstanding."--Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction
I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I wasn’t pretty, but my hair
was thick and brushed my shoulders. My skin was darker on my arms and
face than it was on the rest of my body, but at least, thanks to my
Blackfoot father, I’d never be pasty pale.
There were two stitches Samuel had put in the cut on my chin and the
bruise on my shoulder (not extensive damage considering I’d been
fighting something that liked to eat children and had knocked out a
werewolf). The dark thread looked from some angles like the legs of a
shiny, black spider. Aside from that slight damage, there was nothing
wrong with my body. Karate and mechanicking kept me in good shape.
My soul was a lot more battered than my body, but I couldn’t see it in
the mirror. Hopefully no one else could either. It’s invisible damage
left me afraid to leave the bathroom and face Adam, who waited in my
bedroom. Though I knew with absolute certainty that Adam wouldn’t do
anything I didn’t want him to do -- and had wanted him to do for a long
I could ask him to leave. To give me more time. I stared at the woman
in the mirror, but all she did was stare back.
I’d killed the man who’d raped me. Was I going to let him have this
last victory? Let him destroy me as he’d intended?
'Mercy?' Adam didn’t have to raise his voice. He knew I could hear him.
'Careful,' I told him as I left off mirror-gazing and began pulling on
clean underwear and an old T-shirt. 'I have an ancient walking stick
and I know how to use it.'
'The walking stick is lying across your bed,' he said.
When I came out of the bathroom, Adam was lying across my bed, too.
He wasn’t tall, but he didn’t need height to add to the impression he
made. Wide cheek bones, a full, soft mouth topping a stubborn jaw all
combined to a move-star beauty. When his eyes were open, they were a
dark chocolate only a shade lighter than mine. His body was almost as
pretty as his face -- though I knew he didn’t think of himself that
way. He kept himself in shape because he wa Alpha, and his body was a
tool he used to keep his pack safe. He’d been a soldier before he was
Changed and it was still there to see in the way he moved and the way
he took charge.
'When Samuel gets back from the hospital, he’s going to spend the rest
of the night at my house,' Adam said without opening his eyes. Samuel
was my roommate, a doctor, and a lone wolf. Adam’s house was behind
mine with about ten acres between them -- three were mine and the rest
were Adam’s. 'We have time to talk.'
'You look horrible,' I said, not quite truthfully. He did look tired,
with dark circles under his eyes, but nothing short of mutilation could
make him look terrible. 'Don’t they have beds in D.C.?'
He’d had to go to Washington (the Capitol, we were in the state) this
weekend to clean up a little mess that was sort of my fault. Of course
if he hadn’t ripped Tim’s corpse into bits on camera, and if the
resultant DVD hadn’t landed on a Senator’s desk there wouldn’t have
been a problem. So it was partially his fault, too.
Mostly it was Tim’s fault and whoever had made a copy of the DVD and
mailed it off. I’d taken care of Tim. Bran, the head-honcho werewolf
above all of the other head-honcho werewolves, was apparently taking
care of the other person. Last year, I’d expect to hear about a
funeral. This year, with the werewolves barely having admitted their
existence to the world, Bran would probably be more circumspect.
Whatever that would mean.
Adam opened his eyes and looked at me. In the dimness of the room (he’d
only turned on the small light on the little table by my bed), his eyes
looked black. There was a bleakness in his face that hadn’t been there
before, and I knew it was because of me. Because he hadn’t been able to
keep me safe -- and people like Adam take that pretty seriously.
Personally, I figured it was up to me to keep me safe. Sometimes it
might mean calling in friends, but it was my responsibility. Still, he
saw it as a failure.
'So have you made up your mind?' he asked.
Would I accept him as my mate, he meant. The question had been up in
the air too long, and it was affecting his ability to keep his pack
under control. Ironically, Tim had solved the thing that had kept me
from accepting him for months was no longer an issue. I figured if I
could fight back against the faery magic potion Tim had fed me, a
little Alpha mojo wasn’t going to turn me into a docile slave either.
Maybe I should have thanked him before I hit him with the tire iron.
Adam isn’t Tim, I told myself. I thought of Adam’s rage when he’d
broken down the door to my garage, of his despair when he persuaded me
to drink out of that damned fae goblet again. In addition to robbing me
of my will, it also had the power to heal -- and I’d needed a lot of
healing by that point. It had worked, but he’d felt like he was
betraying me, believed I’d hate him for it. But he’d done it anyway. I
figured it was because he wasn’t lying when he said he loved me. When
I’d hidden in shame -- I put that down to the fairy brew because I knew
. . . I knew I had nothing to be ashamed about -- he’d pulled my coyote
self out from under his bed, bit my nose for being foolish, and then
held me all night long. Then he’d surrounded me with his pack and
safety whether I needed it or not.
Tim was dead. And he’d always been a loser. I’d be damned if I was
going to be the victim of a loser -- or anyone else.
'Mercy?' Adam stayed on his back on my bed, taking the position of
In answer, I pulled the T-shirt over my head and dropped it on the
Adam was off the bed faster than I’d ever seen him move, bringing the
comforter with him. He had it wrapped around me before I could blink .
. . and then I was pressed tightly against him my bare breasts resting
against his chest. He’d tipped his head to the side so my face was
pressed against his jaw and cheek.
'I meant to get the blanket between us,' he said tightly. His heart
pounded against mine and his arms were shaking and rock hard. 'I didn’t
mean you had to sleep with me right now -- a simple ‘yes’ would have
I knew he was aroused -- even a regular person without a coyote nose
would have known it. I slid my hands up from his hips to his hard belly
and up his ribs and listened to his heart-rate pick up even further and
a light sweat broke out on his jaw under my slow caress. I could feel
the muscles in his cheek move as he clenched his teeth, felt the heat
that flushed his skin. I blew in his ear and he jumped away from me as
though I’d stuck him with a cattle prod.
Streaks of amber lit his eyes and his lips were fuller, redder. I
dropped the comforter on top of my shirt.
'Damn it, Mercy.' He didn’t like to swear in front of women. I always
counted it a personal triumph when I could make him do it. 'It hasn’t
even been a week since you were raped. I’m not sleeping with you until
you’ve talked to someone, a counselor, a psychologist.'
'I’m fine,' I said, though in fact, once distance had released me from
the safety he brought with him, I was aware of a sick churning in my
Adam turned so he was facing the window, his back to me. 'No, you’re
not. Remember you can’t lie to a wolf, love.' He let out a breath of
air too forcefully to be a sigh. He rubbed his hair briskly, trying to
get rid of energy. Obligingly it stuck up in wild curls that he usually
kept too short to look anything but neat and well groomed. 'Who am I
talking about?' He asked, though I don’t think the question was
directed at me. 'This is Mercy. Getting you to talk about anything
personal is like pulling teeth at the best of times. Getting you to
talk to a stranger . . .'
I hadn’t thought myself particularly closed-mouthed. Actually, I’d been
accused of having a smart mouth. Samuel had told me more than once that
I’d probably live longer if I learned to bite my tongue occasionally.
So I waited, without saying a word, for Adam to decide what he wanted
The room wasn’t cold but I was shivering a little anyway -- it must be
nerves. If Adam didn’t hurry up and do something, though, I was going
to be throwing-up in the bathroom. I’d spent too much time worshiping
the porcelain goddess since Tim had made me overdose on fairy juice to
view the thought with any equanimity.
He wasn’t watching me, but he didn’t need to be. Emotions have scents.
He swung back to look at me with a frown. He took in my state with one
He swore and strode back to me, wrapping me in his arms. He pulled me
tight against him, making low soothing sounds in the back of his
throat. He rocked me gently.
I took a deep breath of Adam-scented air and tried to think. Normally
this wouldn’t be difficult for me. But normally I wasn’t all but naked
in the arms of the hottest man I knew.
I’d misunderstood what he’d wanted.
To double check, I cleared my throat. 'When you said you needed my
answer to you claim today -- you weren’t actually asking for sex.'
His body jerked involuntarily as he laughed, rubbing his jaw against my
face. 'So, you think I’m the kind of person who’d do something like
that? After what happened just last week?'
'I thought that’s what it took,' I mumbled, feeling my cheeks heat up.
'How1 long did you spend in the Marrok’s pack?'
He knew how long. He was just making me feel stupid. 'Mating wasn’t
something everyone talked to me about,' I told him defensively. 'Just
Samuel . . .'
Adam laughed again, one of his hands was on my shoulder, the other was
on my butt his fingers moving in a light caress that should have
tickled but didn’t. 'I just bet he was telling you the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth right then.'
I tightened my grip on him -- somehow my hands had landed on his lower
back. 'Probably not. So all you needed was my agreement?'
He grunted. 'It won’t help with the pack, not until it’s for real. But
with Samuel out of the way, I thought you’d be able to decide if you
were interested or not. If you weren’t interested I could regroup. If
you agreed to be mine, I can wait until Hell freezes over for you.'
His words sounded reasonable but his scent told me something else. It
told me that my reasonable tones had soothed his worries and his mind
was now on something other than our discussion.
Fair enough. Being this close to him, feeling his heat against me,
feeling his heart beat race because he wanted me . . . someone told me
that knowing someone desires you is the greatest aphrodisiac. It was
certainly true for me.
'Of course,' he said, still in that curiously calm voice, 'waiting is
much easier in abstract than reality. I need you to tell me to back
off, all right?'
'Mmm,' I said. He brought a cleanness with him that washed the feel of
Tim off my skin far better than the shower did -- but only when he
ISBN: 9780441018369 ISBN-10: 044101836X Series: Mercy Thompson Audience:
For Ages: 18+ years old Format:
Number Of Pages: 287 Published: 26th January 2010 Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc Country of Publication: US Dimensions (cm): 17.78 x 11.43
Weight (kg): 0.14
About the Author
Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history.When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher.
Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.