Okay, so this paranormal romance came out back in November, and I waited anxiously for its arrival. Then it got lost on my TBR (To Be Read) stack, and I just stumbled across it again earlier this week.
Meljean Brook amazes me. She writes these incredibly witty and intelligent characters, full of honor and discipline and purpose. She puts them in untenable situations where there's no good choice they can make, only a series of bad ones that they'll have to live with. And yet, they retain their humanity and are really likable. There aren't dozens of pages of "Woe is me to have been put in this situation! My life is so horrible! No one understands my suffering!" They simply do what needs to be done to the best of their abilities, and they still laugh at themselves and look for a silver lining. They're inspirational in a sense, even though it's not like YOU are ever going to have to get out of a soul-bargain with a demon. Not exactly real-life scenarios, but these books give me that optimistic feeling when I'm done reading them. I don't feel like humanity is a cesspit of evil and that the world is doomed because of man's baser nature. There are good people out there.
I really want to read more about these two characters. Loved them! Jake was in a previous book and seemed far too immature (he was 60 years old) to possibly warrant his own book. But Meljean handled that well. There's a plausible reason for why he's suddenly worthy of his own story. Plus, he's hilarious. He admits that he has no filter on his mouth when he's around women. His mentor has him paying $5 for every crass, unthinking or vulgar thing he says when he's around chicks. At one point in the book, he pays ahead about $50 because he knows he's about to let loose. Some of his sayings were beyond rude, but you can't help but laugh. He doesn't mean to say them. They just blurt out. When he tells the main chick that "A spitter is a quitter," and immediately holds out $5, I just about fell out of my chair laughing while still trying to be offended for all female-kind. The main chick, Alice, is called the Black Widow and has several spider-like mannerisms. I didn't want to like her because, c'mon - she sold her soul to a demon, so it had to be self-serving, right? Wrong. I love her. She's great.
Something else that made this book memorable? The sex. No, it wasn't especially steamy. Actually, it was almost tragic. Alice has been around since Victorian times, I think. As a human, her husband had her diagnosed with "feminine hysteria" when she couldn't seem to settle down in England (her parents raised her in Egypt at archaeology sites and England was extremely constricting for her). Feminie hysteria was thought to be a detrimental build-up of hormones or whatever that could only be released through orgasm. So the doctors would actually show/force women to masturbate as a treatment. For 100+ years, that's all this chick has been able to do. It's clinical and not about pleasure at all, but simply release. So when Jake comes along, she literally can't orgasm. Her body and mind can't figure out how to go about it when a real guy is in the picture. It was painfully poignant watching these two characters try to learn what to do (because none of Jake's usual stuff is working) and unlearn other things that have become part of their nature.
Anyways, the book was super and Meljean is a tricksey, tricksey woman. I have no idea how she keeps coming up with all these crazy twists and turns for her books, while still having them make sense in the overall series arc. She's an incredible author. You can read an excerpt of Demon Bound here.
Now, I'm off to run errands.