Tag Archives: Meljean Brook

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for the iron duke meljean brook book cover

Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 26th – 29th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: And he wished to hell that he’d realized earlier why the red giant always followed her.

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Synopsis

After freeing England from Horde control, Rhys Trahaearn, the Iron Duke, has built a merchant empire on the power – and fear – of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

With Horde blood running through Mina’s veins, becoming Rhys’s lvoer would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents Mina from avoiding him… and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

When Mina discovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. Now, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans – as Mina is tempted to give up everything for the Iron Duke.

Thoughts

To start with I was a bit maybe not about this story. the lead male was just so damn possessive… and well, quite frankly irritating. He couldn’t even begin to imagine being told no. By anyone. Let alone the woman he’s fixated on. I love a lover who is a little possessive and protective… but not one that is so possessive that his partner is a possession rather than, well, a partner. In the first few chapters, Rhys actually made me want to put this book down. But, as the story developed, I steadily fell more and more in lust with him. Found him more and more enthralling and wanted to read the story far more keenly than I had anticipated.

Although Rhys bothered me from the very beginning, Mina made me fall completely in love. She was a strong, independent woman. With a lot of vulnerability. Especially when her history is bought up. It made the tough, cop exterior far more gooey and sweet on the inside. Actually, it was Mina’s plight and willingness to walk away from true love to save others that made me unwilling to put this book down. Incredibly unwilling, I wanted to know who the villain behind the murder was, but mostly I wanted Mina to have her happily-ever-after. Especially after she takes on a kraken…

Other than the great love story in this novel, I absolutely adore the genre. I already have a rapidly growing steampunk collection. Adding in romance just makes me want to read it even more passionately. And making the characters into steampunk pirates… well, that is a series absolutely made in heaven. Actually, I’m really disappointed that there aren’t many more novels in this series… I want a whole heap more steampunk pirates running riot through my bookshelves.

 <- Here There Be Monsters ReviewMina Wentworth and the Invisible City Review ->
Image source: Meljean Brook

Burning Up by Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra & Meljean Brook

Overview
burning-up

Title: Burning Up
Author: Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra & Meljean Brook
In: Burning Up (Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 30th January – 4th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Ria opened her mouth to reply but something made her turn to the doorway.

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Synopsis

Passion runs as hot as a fever dream in these all-new stories by four New York Times bestselling provocateurs of the paranormal…

In Angela Knight’s Blood and Roses, a vampire warrior and his seductive captor join forces to stop a traitor from unleashing an army of demonic predators on their kingdom.

New in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series is Whisper of Sin, in which a woman in lethal danger finds an unlikely protector – and lover – in a volatile member of the DarkRiver pack.

Virginia Kantra continues the haunting tales of the Children of the Sea in Shifting Sea, the story of a wounded soldier rescued by a strange and enigmatic young woman.

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series with Here There Be Monsters, as a desperate woman strikes a provocative – and terrifying – bargain to gain overseas passage.

Thoughts

I’ve had this collection sitting on my shelf for ages. I just haven’t gotten around to reading it… until now. And now I’m wondering why I took so long to sink my literary teeth in… I already had the Psy-Changeling series, but now I have another three paranormal romance series to obsess over… when they eventually arrive on my doorstep.

The themes and paranormal characters in this collection of four novellas run the gambit. There’s a steampunk tale with pirates, a romance with a leopard shapeshifter and one with vampires and their battles. The romances are instantaneous and involve a lot of running away… the only thing that these four novellas really have in common is the fact that they are all intense, fun and have a good ending. Although, maybe not good stories to read when you have to sleep alone….

 <- Here There Be Monsters ReviewWhisper of Sin Review ->
Image source: Nalini Singh

Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for here there be monsters meljean brook book cover

Title: Here There Be Monsters
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #0.5
In: Burning Up (Angela Knight, Nalini Singh, Virginia Kantra & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 31st March – 4th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Her laugh left him as full and light as an airship.

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Synopsis

Meljean Brook launches a bold new steampunk series with BB Here There Be Monsters BB, as a desperate woman strikes a provocative – and terrifying – bargain to gain overseas passage.

Thoughts

I can’t stop thinking about this novella! It combines steampunk, pirates and romance. There is so much passion, humour and grit to the tale. Not only is it impossible to put down, it is also impossible to forget. I might have ordered most of the books in the series when I was only halfway through, but I still have to wait for the dang things…

I have a slight fascination with pirates, have since I was a kid – it always seemed so free. But, as I grew up, I realised that they weren’t that romantic, and women had pretty much no rights. So I kind of love the fact that I get to read a series about pirates that is based in a steampunk world. A world where women have their own places and the ability to work. It’s not to say that there isn’t a fight to gain respect, but at least there’s more of a chance to be something beyond a mistress in the steampunk world.

Ivy and Mad Machen are a fun mix. But, what I love the most about this storyline is that Ivy is able to grow. She starts off timid and unsure, unable to truly understand her worth and value. It isn’t until the end that she is fully grown into herself, but this all happens around Machen. Alright, a little bit because of him, but mostly Ivy’s growth is Ivy’s journey, he just gets to go along for the ride…

 <- The Blushing Bounder ReviewThe Iron Duke Review ->
Image source: Amazon

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for the blushing bounder meljean brook book cover

Title: The Blushing Bounder
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #0.4
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 25th April 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Ahead of them, she saw the springing machine, bounding, bounding, bounding beneath the roof of the striped tent.

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Synopsis

While the search for a killer puts Constable Newberry’s life in danger, he faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Thoughts

This is a fun little short story, and it provides a great background into the idea of bounders in the realm of The Iron Seas. Constable Newberry seems to be kind of a bastard at the beginning. One that tricked a woman into marrying him for the worst possible reasons. And one that you kind of want his come-uppance to happen to.

But then you start to get glimpses of the man (all told from the point of view of his wife, Temperance). And you start to realise that he’s actually not the douche you thought he was. Rather, he’s kind of a giant, loveable red head with the tendency to blush whenever he’s uncomfortable.

I love that in the beginning I viewed Constable Newberry as a villain, but by the end of the story, he was an incredibly sweet man and one that I can’t wait to know more about. Which is perfect, because he features in The Iron Duke alongside Mina, the female lead.

 <- The Blacksmith ReviewHere There Be Monsters Review ->
Image source: Meljean Brook

Wild Thing by Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook

Overview
Wild Thing

Title: Wild Thing
Author: Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook
In: Wild Thing (Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Plump, ripe, sweet.

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Synopsis

Four extraordinary talents bring the most uncommon desires to life in a bold new anthology of romance on the edge.

Enter the forbidden and recklessly exciting world of the demon horde and their willing victims…

Listen to the secrets of a beautiful animal whisperer who’s drawn intimately closer to danger, and to the most suspect of all male animals – man…

Get swept away by the passions that rise out of the unfathomable depths of the lost city of Atlantis…

Follow the dark shadows that stalk both the living and the undead in a world of restless vampires and guardian angels…

Thoughts

I tend to buy these small collections of novellas to contribute to one of the series on my shelf. And then when I read them, I get to discover new authors and series that just continue to expand on my collection…

I loved this collection of novellas. I was expecting a very mushy gushy collection judging by the fact that it is classified as paranormal romance. However, it wasn’t like that at all. Each of the stories did feature sex and some form of romance, but it wasn’t incredibly intense. The sexual tension helped to add an extra layer to the storyline, without taking over it.

And don’t get me wrong… I love the stories that are all about the romance, but sometimes it’s nice to have a set of stories which have a sexual tension component, without it just being about that.

 <- Animal Magnetism ReviewWild Hearts in Atlantis Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Paradise by Meljean Brook

Overview

Wild ThingTitle: Wild Thing
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #1.5
In: Wild Thing (Marjorie M. Liu, Maggie Shayne, Alyssa Day & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemonsParanormal romance, Vampires
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: His hands were falling in love with her.

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Synopsis

Follow the dark shadows that stalk both the living and the undead in a world of restless vampries and guardian angels…

Thoughts

I loved the end of Demon Angel, or at least, I loved the happy ending that the characters got. But to me it felt a little too off-into-the-sunset. Which is nice, but I felt like something was left slightly unfinished. Paradise helped to stop that lingering “but-what-happened-next” feeling. It also gave Selah her own story and that in and of itself was enjoyable.

Selah and Lucas were not quite the couple that I was expecting. Mostly because neither character was what they quite seemed on the outset. And I loved the surprises lent by their histories and personalities. From Lilith’s perspective, I expected Selah to be the Guardian who had died young and was kind of prissy… until I read her story. She is so much more relatable! And, because of that, far more loveable.

Demon Angel mostly outlines the worlds of Caelum and Hell (Hugh and Lilith’s worlds). Finally, Paradise introduces the reality of the vampries. And also highlights that this series is based in a time of drastic change… for everyone in the world.

 <- Demon Angel Review Demon Moon Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Demon Angel by Meljean Brook

Overview

Demon AngelTitle: Demon Angel
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Angels, DemonsParanormal romance, Vampires
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: He lowered to his heels next to her.

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Synopsis

For two thousand years, Lilith wrought vengeance upon the evil and the damned, gathering souls for her father’s armies Below and proving her fealty to her Underworld liege. Half-demon, half-human, bound by a bargain with the devil, and forbidden to feel pleasure, she draws upon her dark powers and serpentine grace to lead men into temptation – Heaven’s own Sir Hugh Castleford…

Once a knight and now a Guardian, Hugh spent centuries battling demons – and the cursed, blood-drinking nosferatu. His purpose has always been to thwart the demon Lilith, even as he battles his treacherous hunger for her. But when a deadly alliance unleashes a threat to both humans and Guardians in modern-day San Francisco, angel and demon must fight together against unholy evil – and against a desire that has been too long denied…

Thoughts

The play on demons, angels and much of the Christian faith worked so well. The use of Lilith, Lucifer and Michael to create a great paranormal world over top of our own gave the strength of millennia to the battles and moments which help to form Lilith and Hugh’s relationship in the first part of this novel. The second part of this slightly builds upon the mythos used to create this world, but also furthers the relationship to and great understanding of the characters throughout.

I loved the complexity of the storyline and world that The Guardians is built in. Brook has managed to create a world in which there are layers upon layers of complexity that will (I’m sure) slowly be peeled back throughout the rest of the novels in this series. Yet, it’s not so intensely complex that I’m constantly feeling confused by the details and minutiae of the world that the characters live in. Most of my brain power is reserved for the characterisation and the race to save Lilith and Hugh (from each other, or their fates, I’m still not 100% sure).

As cliché as it seems, I found the idea of a demon and an angel falling in love stupidly fun. The idea that the “perfect” angel would fall for a demon ensures a fun story in the least. But the great characterisation of both, and the vulnerabilities that help them to rub up against one another makes it seem a whole lot less cliché. And made the entire thing so enjoyable that I almost took an extra long lunch break so that I could finish this really fun story…

 <- Falling for Anthony Review Paradise Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Blind Spot by Meljean Brook

Overview

Must Love HellhoundsTitle: Blind Spot
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #5.5
In: Must Love Hellhounds (Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemonsParanormal romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: But it was the knees that made Maggie want to sink whimpering to the floor and curl into a ball.

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Synopsis

Embark on a perilous search for the kidnapped niece of a powerful vampire alongside her blind – and damn sexy – companion and a hellhound in Blind Spot.

Thoughts

So this didn’t turn out the way I expected. I expected the love interest of course… everything in the Must Love Hellhounds collection has a romantic entanglement of some kind (actually, almost everything you read does). But the guy wasn’t anything like what I expected. The journey they go on didn’t have the usual push and pull – they were both instantly attracted, but rather than having hang ups on getting together, they just couldn’t act on it.

A hellhound, a blind guy and an ex-CIA agent sounds like the beginning of a really, really bad joke. Or a weird, convoluted tale. Luckily, it was neither. This turned into a fun and engaging cast that lured me in from the very first moment. And one that has made me buy the first two books of the series as soon as I got to a good internet connection.

Blind Spot is beautifully named – there is a blind guy and they have a blind spot in their dealings with each other. The fact that this feeds into a bigger conspiracy against a powerful family, a kidnapping and Maggie’s chance at her own happily-ever-after just makes it all the more enjoyable. Really, I just can’t wait to get the first book in the series. I also can’t seem to get the final scene out of my head, which is… interesting.

 <- Magic Mourns Review Must Love Hellhounds Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Falling for Anthony by Meljean Brook

Overview

Hot SpellTitle: Falling for Anthony
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #0.5
In: Hot Spell (Lora Leigh, Emma Holly, Shiloh Walker & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemonsParanormal romance
Pace: Slow
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: Mrs. Kremble was not the softest of women, but she had served the family faithfully for years.

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Synopsis

Disillusioned and hurt, Emily Ames-Beaumont makes a decision that she can’t take back. 88 Anthony has grown up with the Ames-Beaumont twins, but he is of a different class. His decision to become a physician in the war and face down a nosferata has unforseen consequences.

Thoughts

This was nothing like what I expected. The first The Guardians story that I read was the novella Blind Spot and I absolutely loved the intersection of angels, vampires, romance and hellhounds. So I decided that this was a series that I just had to have. And I’m so glad that I made that decision. Even though Falling for Anthony wasn’t what I was expecting, more Victorian romance than contemporary as I was expecting, it was still so very, very good.

I’ve always found the notion that a woman’s virginity should be protected – but when you are writing a tale featuring Victorian England and sex is involved, it’s a huge part of the plot. Brook handled this really well, but didn’t make it an overbearing and difficult aspect of the tale. Emily and Anthony’s moment of passion has far reaching consequences and is incredibly serious, but it’s used as a great plot driver.

I always know that a tale is really good when I can’t get scenes and emotions out of my head. And that is the case with Falling for Anthony. There is something haunting about this story, and it introduces the leads in Demon Angel perfectly. Now I just have to find a way to squirrel myself away and read this in peace.

 <- Guardian Demon Review Demon Angel Review ->
Image source: Meljean Brook

Must Love Hellhounds by Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews & Meljean Brook

Overview

Must Love HellhoundsTitle: Must Love Hellhounds
Author: Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews & Meljean Brook
In: Must Love Hellhounds (Charlaine Harris, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Paranormal fantasy, Short story collections
Pace: Fast
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Books
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: She might control his cock, but nothing else.

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Synopsis

Follow paranormal bodyguards Clovache and Batanya into Lucifer’s realm, where they encounter his fearsome four-legged pets in The Britlingens Go to Hell.

Seek out a traitor in the midst of a guild of nonlethal vampire trackers, one intent on eradicating members of the species of bloodsuckers, in Angels’ Judgment.

Find out why the giant three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades has left the underworld for the real world – and whose scent he’s following – in Magic Mourns.

Embark on a perilous search for the kidnapped niece of a powerful vampire alongside her blind – and damn sexy – companion and a hellhound in Blind Spot.

Thoughts

I feel so much love for this collection. Not only does it feature two of my already loved series, but it has introduced me to two more that I just have to get my hands on. The fact that all four novellas also feature a hellhound of some description… well, it just made me all the happier. And giddier. And just in general thoroughly enjoying this collection.

Although there was a great common thread throughout these four novellas, the styles and tales were completely different. I liked that they might all be paranormal fantasy, and they all had something to do with hell and demons, but they didn’t actually have all that much else in common with each other. I both loved and hated the fact that each of these tales is also part of a greater series – loved it because I have more books to fill my shelves now. Hated it because I can’t really afford to be purchasing said books.

 <- The Britlingens Go to Hell Review Blind Spot Review ->
Image source: Goodreads