Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Demon Bound by Meljean Brook

Meljean Brook has offered 20 copies of her books to random commenters to this post. This giveaway will stay open until November 7, 2008, at 11:59 PM EST.

Dear Readers:

Book CoverI first “met” Meljean Brook via her blog back in 2006. Maybe it was 2005. I found her blog to be wry and self deprecating. I didn’t realize she was an author because at that time her first book had yet to be released. Demon Angel, her first book, would not be published until January of 2007. After months of visiting Meljean’s blog, I became comfortable in her online “voice” and once I learned she was an author, I built up expectations about what her book would read like.

Reading Demon Angel was expectation dashing, but in a surprisingly good way. Meljean’s online voice (which is much like her true personality, I think) is full of sly humor and self mockery. Her authorial voice is quite different. Her books are dark with tortured characters dealing with life and death conflicts. The stakes are high and so is the drama.

Demon Bound is not my favorite Brook book. I told Meljean that right after I had read the advanced copy (she asked, I did not offer it unsolicited). I worried that it would be too confusing for readers who were not familiar with the series because Meljean places her readers in such high regard that she does not engage in any info dumping. I think her books could use a little info dumping because of their complexity. My biggest complaint in this book, and in others, is that her storytelling is so dense at times that I don’t truly gather the import of all the details until a second read through. Perhaps that is more of a mark against my impatience as a reader.

So how can I recommend this and support a giveaway here at Dear Author? It’s because Meljean’s books, even when they are marked as “least” favorite are really marvels and I hope more people read her.

Demon Bound is the story about a young Guardian in training, Jake Hawkins, whose gift is one of the rare ones of teleportation. He’s been trained by Ethan but he’s much like the puppy that Lilith calls him. He’s awkward on the one hand, powerful and magnetic on the other. He’s often loose with his mouth, stumbling over his words and causing offense where none is intended, but his youthfulness is also an asset because, not knowing his limits allows him to test himself in ways that an older, more jaded person would not.

Speaking of older, jaded people, meet Alice Grey. Alice is an older Guardian, from the Victorian time. She’s not quite shaken off the mores of her human time and she is in a devil of a conundrum. Alice must either kill the leader of the Guardians, Michael, or damn herself to eternal torture in hell. She’s been seeking a way to save her soul for decades but hasn’t found one and the time to fulfill her bargain to a demon is coming due. Her years living under the Sword of Damocles has leached out the color in her life. She’s called the Black Widow and not just for her penchant for wearing unrelieved black clothing. Jake, the irreverent, foul mouthed, beyond sexy young man can’t seem to get enough of her.

Meljean does such a great job of portraying the characters in the smallest of details such as the clothing that Alice wears as symbolic of her gift, her time in history, and her outlook on life. There is the youthful hopefulness that believes that nothing is ever so dire that a solution cannot be find and there is also the aging cynic who believes that years of searching means that the only solution is a bad one. Those are two eternal conflicts that wrestle within ourselves. Hope and despair. Heaven and hell. Love and loss. Alice and Jake serve as perfect foils for each other. Alice tempering Jake’s impetuosity and Jake infusing a new joie de vivre that had been eaten away in Alice’s life by her dreadful bargain.

The story is full of wonderful imagery from mountain caves in Tunisia to the fairytale structures in Caelum, a heaven like structure (although it has no electricity and can heaven really be heaven without the internet?). Where the story struggles is in its complicated plotting. I don’t know that I have always been able to follow the bargains, lies and ultimate triumphs of the characters. I know that it happens, but I don’t always have it worked out in my mind how. I wish I could have had greater clarity from time to time on certain issues. That said, the character study in this story is wonderful and different. B

I want to end the review with a caveat. It is true that I consider Meljean a friend. I have met her once and probably engage in a round of emails with her once or twice a month. I try to be as unbaised as possible in my reviews, but given that some people do take our recommendations to heart, I wanted you all to know that. I suggest reading the excerpt on Meljean’s site to see if her work is for you. Otherwise, leave a comment below to win a free copy. You might just become a fan of Meljean’s writing too.

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells or ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Antonella
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:06:39

    Sounds like an intriguing read. Sign me up!

  2. rebyj
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:16:44

    Me too! Will it help my chances if I mention tommorow’s my b’day and I’m gonna be locked in my bedroom boohooing that I’m kissin my mid 40’s?

  3. S.W. Vaughn
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:21:54

    Dark? Torture?

    I’m so there! :-)

  4. Marsha
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:28:48

    I’ve had these books on my TBR list forever and a day and I think it’s fear of being overwhelmed (in the good way) by Ms. Brook’s world that keeps me from them.

    I think I might be ready now. If I don’t win, I’ll surely be getting my hands on them another way.

  5. STP
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:29:13

    I’d love a copy!

  6. Susan G
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:34:46

    Yes! Please!

  7. Nadia
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:35:27

    I’d love a copy if you don’t mind an international reader. :)

  8. azteclady
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:37:52

    What Jane said–except that I love the fact that important bits are sneaked into the narrative.

  9. Jenica
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:46:59

    Sign me up!

  10. Greta
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:51:36

    Please consider me for the drawing. I would love to win a copy of her book.

  11. karen
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 13:58:49

    I’d love a copy, sign me up.

  12. Stephanie
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:00:43

    :) I’d love a copy too. Thanks for the review Jane! This book looks really interesting.

  13. Meljean
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:01:14

    Nadia: I’ll mail international, so it’s open to everyone.

  14. SusanL
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:11:43

    I haven’t yet read MB, so this would be a nice way to start ;)

    rebyj: my mid 40s and I are in a firm lip-lock !

  15. LauraB
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:15:07

    I, too, like all on this list would enjoy the privilege of a free copy of this book. It sounds interesting and I like the spin where it’s the man who’s the naif/ingenue. Nice twist.

  16. Victoria Janssen
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:15:12

    Sure, why not?

  17. Cat Grant
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:15:24

    *raises hand* Sign me up too!

  18. CrystalGB
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:17:01

    I would love to read Demon Bound. Thank you for the giveaway. :)

  19. Gina
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:19:10

    Sign me up – you guys turned me on to Meljean and I’ve been enjoying her books ever since!

  20. Natasja
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:21:50

    Long time lurker coming out to raise her hand for a copy, too! I just adore the Demon series, great characters and beautiful writing.

  21. Brandy W
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:22:03

    I’d give it a try. I’m curious to see who the book would play out in my head without the info drop.

  22. Kris J
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:23:38

    I’d love a copy

  23. Cheryl McInnis
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:28:53

    I love Meljean’s books! I read her first after picking up the Hot Spell antho because I’m a huge fan of Emma Holly ( That’s the antho where I discovered Lora Leigh too!) Anyway, I picked up Demon Angel next and loved it, and I have Demon Night, but haven’t read it yet because I’m waiting to pick up the Wild Thing anthology and Demon Moon so I can read everything in order. I do think that’s the best way to enjoy the Guardian books so that all the characters are fresh in your mind. Can’t wait to catch up and finally get to Demon Bound!

  24. Janicu
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:30:08

    I bet there’s going to be a bamillion responses for this book! :) I am one among many throwing in my name!

  25. Tabitha C
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:32:53

    I am interested too. I have not read any of MB books!

  26. The Discriminating Fangirl
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:41:17

    Ooh, I’ve been wanting to read her books for ages. Sign me up!

  27. Kristal
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:45:45

    I’m always on the look-out for her new books. Sign me up!

  28. KCfla
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:47:38

    Heck, I was just searching for her books in my local store, and could not find one.
    So yeah- sign me up!

  29. Julia M
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:52:43

    Jane – I too love Meljean’s blog, so much funny stuff. And she says dorkiness with a straight face.
    Wanted to jump in and tell everyone to read her books RIGHT NOW – they will just suck you in and spit you back out, happy for the ride.
    Oh, and please don’t enter me in the contest. :)

  30. Maered
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 14:57:37

    I love this series so enter me, please. I love Meljean’s blog and who doesn’t love Missy? :) We want more Missy, Meljean!

  31. Sasha
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:02:00

    I have a review posting for her story in First Blood coming up on my blog tomorrow. I loved that story and would love to read more of her work.

  32. Marcia
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:18:37

    I love Meljean’s books. I found out about this fantastic author from reading a post by Jaci Burton and I am sooo glad I decided to check out MB’s books. The fact that Meljean is from around my neck of the woods is a big plus for me. I gotta support the local talent, ya know! I love this series!

  33. Karin
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:20:52

    The excerpt was really good. I’m looking forward to reading the book.

  34. katiebabs
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:26:36

    Alice is my second favorite heroine of Meljean’s behind Lillith. She continues to amaze me with every single book she pens.
    No need to enter me.

  35. joanne
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:48:33

    I’m not a good traveler so Meljean often gets ahead of me in her stories …. but when I catch up to her and all her characters and all the places they travel to (all in one book) I always feel very glad that I stayed with it and more then satisfied with the trip.

    I admit that my favorites in the series are Ethan and Charlie from DEMON NIGHT … a cowboy guardian and a female lead that is … er, it starts with a …. well, she’s got a quirk or two.

    I Love this series and the review was just great, thank you!

  36. Ocy
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:51:42

    Definitely put me in for this!

  37. Maya M.
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:54:40

    I’m not much of a paranormal person, and definitely not a vampire one, yet the Guardian universe has drawn me in. Skill of writing, complex world, non-predictable characters and events are all part of the lure. I can highly recommend the series even for those readers who might not usually read in this subgenre.

  38. Valarie P
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:59:54

    I’m just now getting into Meljean and would love a copy of her latest book. That is so cool, and very generous, that she is giving away so many copies.

  39. Stacie Mc
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 15:59:59

    Me, please.

  40. Megan
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:00:53

    Count me in, please!

  41. Mandy Clatterbaugh
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:07:40

    I’ve been wanting to read Meljean Brooks for a while so count me in for this contest.

  42. RachaelfromNJ
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:09:21

    Count me in!! :)

  43. Jill Myles
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:09:33

    Do not enter me – I just wanted to say that while this wasn’t Jane’s favorite in the series, it was MINE. Jake is sooooo flippin’ cute. ;) I was very skeptical of the whole ‘younger hero’ thing but I loved him!!

    Fangirling done now. :)

  44. lil
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:14:35

    I love how dense her books are. I am a re-reader and Meljean’s books are perfect for that. I am also impressed by the complexity of her characters, her plots, and her world building. It is not a fast read but it is an extremely satisfying one.
    Don’t count me in on the contest though. I bought mine Tuesday. Had to ask for it because it wasn’t on the shelf yet.

  45. cyclops8
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:28:56

    I’m looking forward to reading Meljean’s book.

  46. flip
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:43:02

    Please include me in the giveaway. I love a good read.

  47. Keilexandra
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:51:47

    I love political books. In fact, my own writing tends to be dense and in need of infodumping. I would love to give Brook a try!

  48. Kaetrin
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 16:56:04

    Please count me in!

  49. Janell Cleveland
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:11:03

    I’m in. thanks for the generous offer!

  50. Joy
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:19:57

    Meljean’s books are on my keeper shelf! Sign me up! (otherwise, it’s more money i have to spend this weekend.)

  51. emmy
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:27:59

    Ohohoh pick mii!!! I haventread anything bythis author yet, and this seems as good a place to start as any.

  52. Allison
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:29:25

    complexity. depth. marvel: Jane’s words are perfect descriptors of Meljean’s stories (and of the author herself:). don’t enter me. i’ve been more than lucky with recent giveaways/contests. I do believe meljean’s writing is worth the extra time/re-read to savor them properly.

  53. Lissa
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:34:21

    I have been debating a Meljean book based on the recommend of a friend of mine, but have so far not picked up a copy. This might just be the push I need to take the plunge!

  54. Blanche
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:44:45

    Count me in too please!! :)

  55. Bev Stephans
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 17:49:31

    I would like to be entered in the contest. Thank you.

  56. Cindy W
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 18:09:27

    ohhhhhhhh…. Would I like to win one!

  57. Leslie
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 18:18:19

    I’m new to Meljean, having only read Falling for Anthony. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this series and would love to win this book. Thanks!

  58. orannia
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 18:25:47

    Yes please (and thank you Meljean for posting internationally :)

    I only disovered the Guardian series two weeks and have decided to start at the beginning – I’m picking up Falling For Anthony from the library tonight!

  59. Jody W.
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 18:37:15

    I like the sound of this. I need to get caught up!

  60. HeatherK
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 18:42:06

    Sounds like a very interesting book. I’ll have to look up the previous one to familiarize myself with this author and series. :)

  61. Diane
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:00:34

    Sounds very interesting.

  62. LINDA B
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:05:42

    very nice!!

  63. Michelle
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:15:29

    Sounds really good. I like books with great world building. You often pick up things on the second read that were missed on the first read through.

  64. Pam P
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:16:10

    Count me in, please, great series. I just finished Thicker than Blood in the First Blood anthology, loved Annie and Jack,and Jake makes an appearance, too. Great job on this short, Meljean, a favorite for me.

  65. ReadingIsSoMuchFun
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:19:13

    I would love to be entered please, thank you. I have Demon Bound on my wishlist. It should like a great read.


  66. Rylie
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:23:06

    Enter me, please!

  67. K. Z. Snow
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:25:48

    Man, I’ve been meaning to read one of Meljean’s books for SO long . . .

  68. Debra Date
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:45:21

    *Waves her arms wildly*
    OOooo Pick Me Please :)

  69. Fionn J.
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 19:46:12

    Ack! Anything by Meljean Brook is awesome! :P

  70. Michele Lee
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 20:34:48

    Ooo, sign me up!

  71. Dagny
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 20:45:01

    My love of these books is quickly taking over my will to work and study.

  72. Lillie A
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 20:53:17

    The excerpt sounds great!

  73. Midknyt
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:31:09

    Ooh, pick me, pick me! :)

  74. Collette
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:31:41

    Thanks for the caveat but it’s far too late for that. I’m already a really big fan. (Did I sound like Ed Sullivan? Wait, did I also just totally date myself? Yikes. Stopping now.)

  75. Michelle CR
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:36:22

    Enter me, please! Sounds great!

  76. cs
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:47:17

    Sounds interesting! Love to be considered. Thank you!

  77. Rhianon
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:57:55

    Enter me, please! I’m always interested in reading new authors and this book had already caught my attention.

  78. Lori S.
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 22:02:25

    Count me in!

  79. Liz C
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 22:32:35

    I really like Meljean’s books and would love to win this one

  80. Amy S.
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 22:33:43

    Demon Bound sounds great! Count me in!

  81. Terri
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 22:42:42

    I would like to try this one . Please enter me.

  82. Carolyn
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 22:55:20

    Followed the link, loved what I read, joining the line. :-)

  83. DeeCee
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 23:07:38

    Sign me up too please! :))

  84. SaraC
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 23:56:32

    Would love to win this book!

  85. Lori T
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 00:13:15

    I would love to win a copy of this book!

    Keeping my fingers crossed.

  86. ms bookjunkie
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 00:15:03

    Would love to give this a try!

  87. Sonya
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 00:22:27

    I’ve been wanting to check out this series.

    I enjoyed your review!

  88. Renee
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 01:10:01

    Throwing my name in the ring!


  89. Oyce
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 01:34:00

    Oh, this looks great! I skipped her last two after Demon Angel because the set ups sounded more standard romance-y, but this premise is very promising…

  90. Caffey
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 02:38:33

    It would be a thrill to read and post after about it! Do include me! Thanks

  91. LesleyW
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 02:54:40

    Adding my name to the list. :)

  92. Estara
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 04:23:28

    Don’t add me to the list, I already preordered from

    I just wanted to say that I think Meljean writes her books half as (urban? paranormal?) fantasy and half as romance. You get the powerful heroines a la Kate Daniels or Mercy Thompson and the dark dangers, but you always have a new heroine and a major pairing off. The world is consistent and complex and I love that she DOESN’T do huge amounts of “As you know, Bob” in her books.
    Then again I’m also an avid fantasy reader, and only rarely do you get previous book summaries for epic series there – and I don’t want them. I like being challenged to remember things (or to reread a previous book before the next one comes – especially when a series is finished and I can then read all the way through and not be thrown out of the setting because of infodumps), and I want people to buy the first book and then follow along.

    My two cents ^^.

  93. Marg
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 05:45:16

    Thanks so much for including international readers in this giveaway!

    I would love to be in the draw.

  94. Kammie
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 06:24:18

    Commenting, commenting, commenting…I’d love to be entered in the giveaway.

  95. Sandy (strlady)
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 06:39:36

    Me, Me, Me! I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while!

  96. Michelle W.
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 08:39:21

    I am a Meljean Brooks fan too and am anticipating reading Demon Bound! I fell in love with Colin in Demon Angel and was so glad to read his HEA in Demon Moon!

  97. Bonnie Ferguson
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 08:52:40

    Meljean’s books are fabulous! Count me in :)

  98. Kathryn
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 08:57:29

    I really enjoyed the first 3 books of this series, and am pleased to hear that there are so many more! I’d love to get a copy, although I’ll have to do some catch-up reading first!

  99. RStewie
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 09:50:38

    Want. One. Please.

    Love her books and her storytelling!

  100. Dalia
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 10:17:30

    Me me me please? Pretty?

  101. Raonaid Luckwell
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 10:41:45

    Throw me into the drawing too. Don’t really have extra money to buy books for a while, every spare change goes into our place to fix it up (basically fix as you go)

  102. Lisa W
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 10:47:04

    I would love to win a copy. I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I love the excerpts that I have read.

  103. Darlynne
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 11:08:18

    A new Meljean Brooks’ title to look forward to! Count me in, please.

  104. Zee
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 11:13:06

    Count me in too, please. I’ve wanted to read her work for awhile based on the buzz about her and her website, but, frankly, have been put off by some of the covers.

  105. Diane V
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 11:33:01

    Hope I win…maybe it will encourage me to finish the first Demon book that I DNF.

  106. Heather
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 11:52:22

    Oooh, I’ve been eyeing these in the store for a while…sign me up.

  107. hanne
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 11:59:35

    I’m in :)

  108. Lori Ann
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 13:07:51

    I would like to enter. I have not read anything by Meljean Brook’s, but I am always interested in trying authors new to me. Her books sound interesting.

  109. Jezebel
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 13:29:07

    Pick me! I’d love a copy.

  110. Barbara B.
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 14:12:03

    This sounds pretty good. I’d love to read it.

  111. Alyssa
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 14:46:01

    Meljean’s great. Sign me up. :)

  112. Anya
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 18:21:59

    Ooh, sounds fabulous. You keep on hooking me with these reviews of her books and now she’s shot up to the top of my TBR pile. Sign me up!

  113. freecia
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 19:56:18

    Entering. I already bought the book on the kindle but was telling my boyfriend how much I enjoyed rare heroines like Alice, where their sense of humor is rather “evil-cute-sexy”. Can you tell I like to play with people’s heads from time to time?

    So if I won, this copy would go to him and I’m pretty sure he’d enjoy it.

  114. SciFiGuy [Doug Knipe]
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 21:28:27

    I have followed the series since the beginning and love them especially because of their density and complexity. Demon Moon is my personal favourite so far. Would love to win a copy.

  115. Sherry
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 23:40:00

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Sign me up too! :)

  116. Review: Demon Bound, Meljean Brook « Racy Romance Reviews
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 08:20:29

    […] Dear Author, Jane, B […]

  117. Sambangs
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 22:07:31

    Good review! Love a copy

  118. an
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 19:41:20

    I really like Meljean’s books, and would totally love a copy of her new one. Her characters and worlds are interesting and skip all the irritating stereotypes I’m beginning to see in Urban Fantasy, plus I read the preview ages ago and have been waiting anxiously for it to come out.

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