Tag Archives: The Guardians

Thicker Than Blood by Meljean Brook

Overview
First Blood

Title: Thicker Than Blood
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Guardians #3.5
In: First Blood (Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, Chris Marie Green & Meljean Brook)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: AngelsDemons, Paranormal romance, Vampires
Dates read: 30th September 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: All the while, telling me that I had to drink the vampire’s blood, that I had to willingly accept the change for the transformation to work.

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Synopsis

Six years ago, Jack Harrington was in love with Annie Gallagher, until her sudden death turned his world upside down. But when an intruder breaks into his home one night, the former FBI agent can barely believe his eyes – Annie’s alive… and a vampire.

After her sudden transition, Annie couldn’t bear to let Jack see all that she had become. One night she gives into temptation and decides to feed off a man who resembled Jack, only to find herself face to face with the man himself. Now that they’re together again, Jack’s not about to let Annie go, vampire or no. And Annie needs Jack’s help to find a missing girl named Cricket. Danger swirls around the pair as they search for Cricket while a demon bent on destroying all vampires closes in on the pair. Will love lost and found be able to overcome supernatural odds?

Thoughts

I found this story a little bit sad. Alright, there’s a happy ending… but the fact that a couple who so obviously loves one another is kept apart by a series of mistakes and misunderstandings… it was more than a little sad. I did like that the relationship was restored because of her constant need to be near him, and desire to find a little girl collide beautifully.

There are three tales which run through this story. Firstly, there’s the race to find Cricket with a mad man (or demon) on their trail. Secondly, a renegotiation of old relationships and sharing of the past as they try to find a future together. And, lastly, the thread which holds this novella to the rest of the Guardians series, the epic battle between light and dark that happens behind the scenes of our every day lives. Not many novellas would be able to include all of these storylines so seamlessly, but Meljean Brook managed to do this fantastically.

Thicker than Blood was a great novella with just the amount of angst and drama to keep me hooked, but not so much that I found it tedious. It made me want to run to my shelves and pick up the next book in the Guardians series, and just sink my nose into another day of fun and romance, forgetting the world and all of my responsibilities.

 <- Double the Bite ReviewFirst Blood 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