Which is part of the reason I loved the hero of this book, Jake. Sort of like the last book, I feel like this one was really all about the emotional journey of the Heroine. Everyone in this book is dealing with how to let go of responsibility, since they're all guardians and feeling responsible for things they can't control is part of almost everyone's make-up.
Another great addition to Brook's Guardian's - I <3 Jake! Brook's latest entry in her Guardian series lands former soldier and novice Guardian Jake, who had a supporting role in both Demon Night (The Guardians, Book 5) and the short in First Blood, in the leading role and introduces the very odd creepy sexy' Guardian Alice as the women who first repels and later fascinates Jake as he moves from the novice who failed his first assignment to a fulfledged Guardian not to be underestimated. On the surface Alice and Jake are a truly mismatched pair, but Alice's straight-laced Victorian exterior hides a sensuous woman and a wicked sense of humor and though Jake has an impulsive enthusiasm and optimism that lends him a youthfulness - and the lack of a social filter that leads truly inappropriate things to pop out of his mouth - he also hides a quick intelligence that makes him insightful and clever. Though Alice and Jake's relationship and the development of the their odd ball pairing is central to the book, it is their search for a way to save Alice that serves to facilitate revelations which add a whole other unexpected layer to the overarching plot of the series.
4 Stars...I really liked it!
Jake Hawkins, a former Vietnam Veteran and current Novice Guardian, is still trying to develop his Gift of Teleportation. After terrifying himself with images of blood and gore in the hopes of teleporting to the archives in Caelum (the Guardian's home), Jake's last minute thought is of his desperation to not run into the Black Widow, a female Guardian and keeper of the archives. With that thought in mind, where does Jake teleport to? In one dome of the temple a huge life like statue of a woman with Guardian wings towers over what was once a kneeling statue that was obviously taken from its position. Either bring him the heart of Michael (Doyen and leader of all Guardians), or spend eternity frozen in Hell while her body is consumed in Chaos. She has two options: one, Teqon simply releases her, which is never going to happen, or two, she must find him something that he wants more than Michael's heart and Alice is hoping that the temples and the female Guardian statue are the key. While in the beginning Jake was scared and creeped out over Alice and her spider Gift, he begins to learn who she truly is and with that knowledge he begins to fall in love. Jake makes the brave decision of helping Alice find a way out of her Bargain and for this Michael promotes him to a full-fledged Guardian. Jake's and Alice's temple discoveries eventually lead them to Hell and into the hands of Beliel. While trying to escape the gruesome realm of Hell, Jake and Alice learn more than they bargained for and their findings have the ability to split the Guardian Corps in two. Never mind that at the time she was mortal and knew nothing of Michael or what he represented, let alone that Teqon was a Demon from Hell. But there is one Guardian who may just be naive and cocksure enough to go after Alice's heart and that's Jake. There was only one thing that dragged this book down for me and I had hoped that with my second time reading the novel I would feel differently but unfortunately my feelings are still the same and that is that I felt there is a lack of sexual chemistry between Jake and Alice. Yes Jake made incredible sacrifices for Alice and they were a true testament of his love for her but I missed the sexual tension that Brook has delivered to pure satisfaction in the past.
DEMON BOUND is the seventh book in Meljean Brooks Guardian series, and again has cemented the fact that Meljean Brook is an author that every reader, romance enthusiast or otherwise should be reading. The world she has invented may be complex, and at times may make your head spin, but DEMON BOUND is the book that is taking the whole series in a different yet exciting direction. We first meet novice Guardian, Jake Hawkins, in DEMON NIGHT, the fifth book in the Guardian Series, where he made quite an impression. DEMON BOUND is were Jake shines as he is tries to come to grips with his abilities, and figure how important he is in the fight against the demons from Hell who want to rule. Over a hundred years ago, when Alice was still human, she made a bargain with the demon Teqon to save her husband. In the case of Demon Bound, I found both Jake and Alice equally worthy of my admiration. The way Jake and Alice try to find a way to break her unholy bargain with Teqon will change the whole outcome of the prophecy that is finally unfolding before our eyes. Not only will Alice be changed forever, we come to find out that Michael has a very interesting past that will shock and astound. DEMON BOUND should not be read as a stand alone novel, and I urge you to go and read the whole backlist of Meljean Brooks books in this series. I also found DEMON BOUND to be a much easier read for those who tend to get lost, and there are some wonderful one-liners and dialogue between Jake and Alice.
The world and the characters in Meljean Brooks Guardian series continue to evolve in this fourth full length installment. We got our first real look at Jake in the last book. Hes got a healthy sex drive and mouth thats not always connected to his brain. But hes charming and hes got a good heart, so its pretty impossible not to like him. She knows other people think her odd, and she even goes out of her way, at times, to encourage them to keep their distance. I like that Brook really goes out of her way to craft unusual characters. It wasnt so much the spider thing though I know that many will find that creepy as her social dysfunction and sexual hangups. And it bothered me that despite the fact that these two had sex on page a few times, I dont think she ever actually got naked.
I both enjoyed learning more about Michael and the Guardians' history, and was kind of bored by it, all at the same time. I know, not even the same genre, but the quality of that writing is just exceptional and made me feel more acutely what I have always felt was a lack of clarity in these Guardian books.
I'd say more, but book hangover yanno?
Book info: I am the author of the Iron Seas steampunk romance series.