I'm absurdly excited today to be a part of a very special tour celebrating all things Mercy Thompson as we inch closer to the release of book 9, Fire Touched. Each participating blog is highlighting one book in the series, recapping juicy tidbits from each story and talking about why that particular story is our favorite.
I have the pleasure of chatting (or fangirl rambling, whichever) about Bone Crossed, book four in this series and the one that has the distinct honor of being re-read the most. Today just happens to be my birthday as well, and really, what better way to spend it than with Mercy and Adam?
Since this tour is re-read based, there are spoilers for book 3, Iron Kissed, below.
It's no secret that I love romance. Love. It. It's rare for me to pick up a book, adult or YA, that doesn't feature any kind of romantic relationship because I love to obsess over swoon-worthy couples. It's because of my love of romance that Bone Crossed tops my list of Mercy Thompson books, as it's where the relationship between Alpha werewolf Adam and coyote shifter Mercy really takes center stage.
We're left at the end of book three with a romantic cliffhanger, the last page a painful tease for romantics like myself as we find ourselves (finally!) approaching an intimate moment between Adam and Mercy. He's asked her to give him an answer to whether or not she'll be his mate, and these two little lines are what greet us on the very last page:
In answer, I pulled the t-shirt over my head and dropped it on the floor.
WHAT? We finally get a glimpse of physical intimacy between Adam and Mercy and then it's cruelly yanked away from us! But. BUT. Bone Crossed picks up at the exact moment Iron Kissed leaves off, and we get the above truncated scene in full. *flails*
Mercy is brutally raped in Iron Kissed, so Bone Crossed gives us our beloved heroine at her most vulnerable, struggling with the aftermath of her attack:
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 was that invisible damage that left me afraid to leave the bathroom and face Adam, who waited in my bedroom.
Mercy has been skittish when it comes to Adam since book one, so fiercely independent that she fears the hold he'll have on her if she agrees to be his mate. This fear has kept the two of them dancing around one another for three books, but Mercy's rape grants her a kind of clarity when it comes to Adam, and the fact that he's quite possibly the most amazing man ever helps her get a handle on her fear of anyone else exerting control over her.
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."
Aside from being a pivotal book in terms of Adam and Mercy's relationship, it also gives us the event that acts as a catalyst for all kinds of inter-pack problems that grow with each subsequent book. In a moment of panic and desperation to keep Mercy's vampire friend Stefan from inadvertently taking control of her, Adam makes Mercy Pack, bonding her to not only him but also to all the members of his pack as well.
This creates an enormous ripple effect given a number of Adam's pack members view Mercy as less-than since she's a coyote shifter and not a werewolf, and marks the beginning of Mercy having to weigh the personal against what's best for the pack. Despite the challenges the two of them have to face concerning the pack as a result of Adam's split-second decision, we get to bask in the tender moments that result from the giant leaps forward in their relationship:
"Thank you, Adam," I told him. "Thank you for tearing Tim into small Tim bits. Thank you for forcing me to drink one last cup of fairy bug-juice so I could have use of both of my arms. Thank you for being there, for putting up with me." By that point I wasn't laughing anymore. "Thank you for keeping me from being another of Stefan's sheep–I'll take pack over that any day. Thank you for making the tough calls, for giving me time." I stood up and walked to him, leaning against him and pressing my face against his shoulder. "Thank you for loving me."
While Bone Crossed is perhaps more relationship-focused than the previous books, it's still Urban Fantasy at its finest and has Mercy darting off to help an old college friend with a pesky ghost problem. Of course one problem is never enough for our Mercy, so Bone Crossed also treats us to the escalation of tensions between Mercy and the local seethe of vampires. As a result of Mercy's actions in the previous book, Vampire Queen Marsilia seeks revenge on Mercy and isn't afraid to drag those closest to her into the mix.
Mercy is bitten by a number of different vampires, threatened by a ghost and a Vampire Queen, and generally disliked by Adam's disgruntled pack members, but through it all she's as strong as ever, even as she battles the demons her rape left behind.
Overall, Bone Crossed is a turning point both for Mercy and Adam personally as well as for the Columbia Basin Pack as a whole, and though this entire series has my highest recommendation, this particular installment will always be my all-time favorite.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Fire Touched releases in exactly one week, so I hope any of you who haven't had the chance to meet Mercy and Adam yet decide to binge read the first 8 books this week in time for book 9! Be sure and visit all the participating blogs (full list at the bottom of this post) for a chance to win a copy of each book.
Thanks to the team at Penguin, two lucky winners will each receive a copy of Bone Crossed (LUCKY YOU!!!). To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Don't forget to follow the entire tour for more chances to win!
February 26 BLOOD BOUND with The Book Binge
February 29 IRON KISSED with Bea’s Book Nook
March 1 BONE CROSSED with Supernatural Snark
March 2 SILVER BORNE with Vampire Book Club
March 3 RIVER MARKED with Bibliosanctum
March 4 FROST BURNED with Fang-tastic Books
March 7 NIGHT BROKEN with Caffeinated Book Reviewer