Reviewette: HERE THERE BE MONSTERS by Meljean Brook

Reviewette: BURNING UP Anthology, "Here There Be Monsters" by Meljean Brook

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 leathal 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 provactive - and terrifying - bargain to gain overseas passage.
Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Single Title/Series: HERE THERE BE MONSTERS is the prequel to Meljean Brook's upcoming Steampunk series, The Iron Seas.

Cover Thoughts: Attractive and eye-catching.

Why I Read It: Brook's new Steampunk series is one that I've been DYING to read. And let me tell you, its been so worth the wait as she starts off her new romance adventures with an awesome bang!

My Review:

The Plot:

Ivy needs to leave London. Now. And the only person that she can turn to is Mad Machen.

All of England knows Mad Machen. Once forced to join Rhys Trahaearn's infamous pirate crew, Machen later stayed willingly with the pirate captain as he brought down the Horde ending their two century tyrannical choke hold on London's citizens. While he may be notoriously mad, Ivy's witnessed a soft side of Mad Machen that makes her think she can trust safe passage aboard his ship. But when her appeal to ply her trade as a blacksmith in payment is met with denial, Ivy's desperation has her handing over her virginity. Large, fierce and intimidating, nothing terrifies Ivy more than joining Mad Machen in his bed but vacating London is paramount. Despite knowing that reneging on their bargain will result in Ivy being hunted for the rest of her days, when another opportunity to vacate the city presents itself that doesn't involve her giving up her virtue, Ivy seizes it and quickly makes tracks.

Eben wants Ivy desperately. Intending originally to court the beautiful red head honorably, Ivy's determination to run rips his sweet plans to shreds. Wouldn't have worked anyway. Eben has built his terrifying reputation as Mad Machen with purpose in order to do the right thing disguised as the wrong in order to keep him and his crew protected. Courting a woman would surely lead to a death sentence but when Ivy offers her lush and untouched body as payment, Eben can't refuse. And when she runs from their bargain, he hunts the New World in search of her.

When an underground slave trade erupts upon the seas utilizing Horde technology, Eben recognizes the threat and works to ruthlessly crush what is becoming known as the Black Guard. As their advanced tech calls for advanced weapons, the search is on for a blacksmith that can create a horrifying mechanical sea monster that can cripple the upstart trade to the four winds. When Eben's search leads him straight to Ivy, this time he'll not let her out of his sight or out of his bed.

The Heroine:

Loyal, caring, and hard working, Ivy does what she can with the lot she's been given. Gifted with an endless imagination and unparalleled engineering skills, Ivy brings a miraculous fluidity to her metal working. Truly her craft is an art, one that both the reader and Mad Machen become enamored with.

Ivy's fear of Mad Machen springs mostly from rumor but it's significant enough to make the thought of him terrifying. However, while trapped within the confines of his ship and the strength of his arms, she finds a startling but welcome feeling of safety and in that safety she finds release. Its more than beautiful to read as Ivy's inner carefree and playful nature blossoms in the face of Mad Machen.

The Hero:

Eben is so completely and totally besotted with Ivy that he can't control the need that erupts within him while in her presence. Knowing that his overwhelming passion frightens Ivy, his heart breaks at her fear and he ruthlessly resists his body's demands in an opportunity to slowly gain Ivy's trust. 

Disguised by his pirate name and reputation, Mad Machen is really just a big ole softy. Sure he's killed and yes he'll kill again but he's not just a ruthless vigilante. He has a purpose, one that saves lives and if he has to act mad in order to continue on his mission, so be it. It's when his mad reputation collides with his need to love Ivy that Eben finds himself torn in two conflicting directions where choosing one will cost him the other.

My Thoughts:

Funny. When I told a dear friend that I finished and loved Brook's novella, her response was to laugh and claim that there's nothing by Brook I don't love. This made me pause. Am I so enamored with this author's stories that my reviewing capabilities are blinded by my bias? Suddenly I remembered that I haven't loved everything she's written and in fact this is the first novella of hers that I've given an A rating. Ha! Vindication.

I've always been a fan of sea faring stories where the hero and heroine are forced into such tension inducing confines that the heated awareness they share of the other is incredibly palpable. Soon you become addicted to every scene within the pirate captain's quarters as your hands grip the book with baited breath when you read that the sun has slipped below the horizon. Love it!

Rich with abundant detail, HERE THERE BE MONSTERS opens the window upon the mysterious new subgenre of Steampunk. Decidedly historical with an alternate reality twist, these technologically advanced Victorians will capture your undivided attention as they embark upon wild adventures. For romance readers that what something new, something that doesn't involve a new variety of shifters, but rather a novel that appeals to your inner damsel in distress, look no farther than Meljean Brook's new Steampunk series. And why not start it off with a bang in HERE THERE BE MONSTERS. Enjoy!


Coming Soon:

THE IRON DUKE by Meljean Brook

Book One in The Iron Seas series

Releases October 5, 2010

First in an all-new series where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn 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.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.


Blodeuedd said...

I totally want to read this one, my friend is all for the Singh one, pretty sure one of us will buy it :)

Charlotte Featherstone said...

I haven't read any steampunk yet and I'm saving my virginal state for Brook's series. I can't wait.
And it's your enthusiasm for her writing that has gotten me so excited!

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Blodeuedd!

The Singh novella is definitely next in my reading of the anthology.

And seriously, loved this novella by Brook. THE IRON DUKE can't arrive soon enough!

Hugs, VFG

VampFanGirl said...

Charlotte!! You gotta read it!!! Get ready to be addicted to this author.

You know, we should read THE IRON DUKE together. Compare thoughts.

Hugs, VFG

Scorpio M. said...

I haven't tried any steampunk either but you are an awesome pitch person. =) I am definitely going to check out Meljean's new one. I love the premise already!

Tanya said...

First of all... OMG!! Your header!! Me LOVES it!! Have I really been gone so long that this is not new info?? My excuse this time is I got sick. Really.

Now... YAY! I've been waiting for one of my lovely stalking sites to review this one! It's been on the wish list for a while now. I have yet to read any steampunk, but this sounds really good. And, I'll admit that the other stories of the anthology sound great, too. This is one of the few anthologies I wouldn't mind throwin' money down on!

Thanks for the lovely review! *hugs*

Lizzielvr said...

Oh my! I almost missed this post today! I loved novella! It was my first Meljean Brook story (sigh...that's right, I haven't read her Guardian series....but now I will) I am sooo looking forward to the Iron Duke!

Barbara said...

I have to read this. An "A" rating for a novella from you is rare. I still can't grasp this whole Steampunk bit, but I'll definitely give it a shot ;)

Leontine said...

I actually had to checkly about your friends comment as i wondered this myself just this morning. I'm reading Kresley Cole's DftD and absolutely loving each page again. I'm already contemplating my review of DftD and I know it's going to be one where I'm spreading the love for this book and series once more. I don't think I'm bias but KC definitely knows how to push my hot buttons LOL

But back to your review *grin* Of course you had to trigger my intrigue. I thought steampunk would go by my door but this sounds very good and I've been wanting to try something from this author for a year now. Courtesy of more of your pimping VFG LOL It's off to Book Depo then....:D

Leontine said...

checkly...*shakes head* It's chuckle *sigh* Me and typo's!

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Scorpio M!

Yay! So happy to have turned you on to Steampunk! You're going to love Meljean Brook. Promise.

Hugs, VFG


Hi Tanya!! Thanks for the header love girl! And glad to read that you're feeling better.

I have plans to dive into Singh's novella next. I'm familiar with the other two authors but one I'm not really a fan of and I haven't read any books by the other. Should make for some interesting reads.

Thanks for lovin' my review!

Hugs, VFG


Yay Lizzielvr!! You loved Meljean Brook! I can't wait for you to try her Guardian series. So freakin' good!!

Hugs, VFG


Barbara, I think you'd like Steampunk. You love historicals and steampunk is distinctly historical. Give it a shot.

Hugs, VFG


Hey Leontine!

Yeah, the comment definitely threw me through a loop but actually I think my love for Meljean's work makes me look that much harder for inconsistencies. The truth of the matter is that she is unfailingly consistent and I'm addicted.

I really hope that this new series by Meljean is one that you grab and fall in love with because I would love to read your thoughts on the Guardians.

Hugs, VFG

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