Author: Patricia Briggs
Date of Publication: September 2, 2014
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Number of Pages: 44
Synopsis: "Kara never appeared in any of the Mercy books, but her father's appeal to Mercy for help in Blood Bound struck a chord in readers. I never go to a book-signing event where someone doesn't ask about her. I knew that she went to Aspen Creek with the Marrok's pack, and I expected her to show up in the Alpha and Omega novels. That's what I told people. But she didn't come to Aspen Creek until after the events in Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground. And then Fair Game jumped ahead because I needed events at the end of the book to happen between River Marked and Frost Burned. Which meant that if I was going to tell Kara's story, I'd have to do it in a short story." - Patricia Briggs, Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson
Roses in Winter was, hands down, my absolute favorite of the collection, and ironically enough, the one I was least excited for. I've always liked Asil well enough but I was never particularly excited by his character. Likewise, while I do remember Kara a bit, I was never really interested to see what happened to her. However, this story absolutely blew me away and by the end I found I cared way more about both of them than I ever thought I would.
The friendship between Asil and Kara was heartwarming and adorable. Asil always tries to play himself off as being dangerous and insane but this story proved that he is anything but. Despite his claims Asil has one of the kindest hearts out of any of the werewolves in the series, not only does he help Kara but he also helps one of the older wolves, Devon, by letting both of them into his greenhouse. Asil's had a hard past and we really get a peek into how much he misses his mate and the effect her death had on him.
Since this story was from Asil's point of view I loved seeing Bran, Charles, Leah, and other various characters from a new set of eyes. Plus we got to see a soft side of Asil that we don't normally see in the main Mercy series. He did things to help Kara (I don't want to give away too much!) that I never pictured him doing for anybody and it made me absolutely fall in love with him. I really hope we get to see even more of Asil in the future and I hope Briggs has a happy ending for him planned somewhere down the line!
Roses in Winter was most definitely one of the best stories in this anthology. With a mix of new and old characters, and a friendship that will warm your heart this story has it all. If you only have time for one story I whole hardheartedly suggest you make it this one.