Mercy's newly mated to Adam and brought into their pack. There are some wolves that aren't at all happy about this, and use Mercy's unawareness of pack magic to make trouble. Maybe they just want Mercy out, maybe they want Adam out too and are using Mercy as a stepping stone.
When Samuel ends up seriously needing Mercy's help, she realizes she needs to take a step back and try to get a handle on everything. A call from Tad to look after that fae thing that was given her (and I just had a flash of the scene from Hackers "It's in that place where I put that thing that one time..."). Now Mercy's the target, along with the pack, of someone who wants it badly.
Lots of things going on in this one. The pack politics, followed closely by Samuel's story-line, were my favorites here. Which is what nearly makes it a five-star read for me. I loved how the pack stuff moved and was resolved (even if I'm a little grumpy at the light punishment some transgressions got).
Samuel nearly broke my heart, and that's pretty much all I can say without spoiling the hell out of it. I also liked that it wasn't dragged out for a long time (more than one book). I really liked that we got the further depth that we did into the wolf psyche in this one though. And that's about as non-spoilery as I can keep it.
Previously I said that the fae "mystery" story-line was probably the weakest. I thought it didn't hold my attention as much as everything else, like Adam&Pack/Pack&Mercy/Mercy&Adam/Samuel&Mercy/etc, dynamics going on with everyone else I cared about. But on this re-read it was made apparent to me that I enjoyed it a great deal more than the first time. It gives a nice counter-point to everything else that's going on, and it really showcases that Mercy can be smart and strong, and not rush into things in a too-stupid-to-live capacity (unlike quite a few heroines I've read).
I love how strong and smart Mercy is, but that's she's not infallible. She does make mistakes, but there are consequences for them. And she pays them without complaint. There is one mistake in particular
that seemed to just be dropped when she was rescued - and I'm still irritated about it. It was irresponsible and dangerous and I can't believe it's never mentioned again. Just because I've come to expect it, I'm sure there was something that was said/happened because of this, but I would have really liked to see it. Otherwise it feels like a dropped thread that was put in there for no real purpose.(show spoiler)
Overall, another great installment in the Mercy Thompson world with some minor things to niggle at me.