20 March 2012

Review: Kristen Callihan - Firelight

Format: Paperback, 372 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 1455508594 (ISBN13: 9781455508594)
Language: English
Title: Firelight
Series: Darkest London #1
Sharacters: Miranda Ellis, Lord Benjamin Archer
Read a copy from my personal library

Cover summary:
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

I think it is over a year ago that I've read a historical romance but I bless my curiosity right now for it has led me to read Firelight. Labeled as a Gothic Historical Romance with a Beauty And The Beast trope my curiosity was fired. When I read the RT review in the magazine it fueled my curiosity further. What I found surpassed everything I thought to find. Firelight gives a romance of sheer excellence that whisked me away to find adventure, curses, mystery, violence and characters whom rocked me to me core.

Callihan masterfully introduces Miranda and Archer with mystery, snappy dialogues and a 'cope a feel moment' that was rife with sensuality. The prologue was a mere appetizer for what was to come. Even with the basic storyline of Miranda forced to wed Archer out of financial gain for her father, nothing is ordinary after that. The plot begins with murder and didn’t let me go. I got tantalizing pieces of the puzzle regarding the reasons behind it all but also of the secrets regarding a few significant characters. The mystery courted my curiosity. It engaged me to think about the whodunit, the why of it all and how it would affect Archer and Miranda. Because even though I was entranced by the high-octane mystery it was the romance that swept me off my feet and kept me in a perpetual state of an emotional high.

Miranda Rose Ellis is a woman with a secret, a fiery secret, but she learned to deal with it and the way life turned out. I liked, Miranda from the get-go. The prologue already told me she was going to be a fighter, that she was a resilient woman, a passionate woman. Miranda only gained depth of character, she showed me her pain, her joy, her love and everything in between. She was a reason why I was so engaged because I wanted her to find it all in life she wanted. The way she dealt with Archer showed backbone and the high-spirited woman she is. Their interaction hummed of sexual attraction and a blooming love and respect for one another.

Lord Benjamin Archer was a troubled man with a past shrouded in mystery. In this the author engaged my curiosity like nothing else. Gradually I got to peel off the layers of mystery and the man I found made my romantic heart beat so very fast. The depth of his emotions, his intellect, his honor, it all blended in to a kind of sexy that is so addictive for me.

The author made the main and secondary characters come alive for me, made their adventures and the dangers it encompassed feel real to me and in doing so I read the book cover to cover in one day. It also made the romance something to gobble up. The romantic tension rocketed from the get-go and kept building until it erupted in an ending that made me cry and smile and feel every bit of the love! Getting off that emotional high, the ending did leave me in want of an explanation how certain things worked in the end to solve the problem. It felt like the author missed to dot an I there in an otherwise flawless story.

I absolutely adored the lyrical writing style that evoked images in the mind’s eye of atmospheric backdrops in Victorian London and the glitter and glamour of the society. It also enriched the dialogues and I absorbed it all eagerly. I loved how the time period, the paranormal elements and the secondary characters added its own layers and fleshed out the story to give me a more than satisfying read!

Kristin Callahan’s poignant writing voice makes the reader a part of the story. FIRELIGHT contains a memorable romance steeped in an ever present sensual chemistry and a fascinating mystery! I couldn’t get enough and eagerly await the second full-length story in the Darkest London series.

4.5 stars


I love you. For one agonized moment, he feared he had said it aloud. His
soul fairly shouted it. Three long years and not a day had passed when he hadn’t thought about her. She’d filled his mind until she’d become the quintessence of womanly perfection, so much so that when he had come for her, he feared she might not live up to his impossible expectations. And she didn’t. Yes, the real Miranda was brave, loyal, and pragmatic. She was also meddling, quarrelsome, and opinionated. The real Miranda was human, and by God, she took his breath away. He knew he would love her until the end of time. What was he to do?

Kristen Callihan on the www:
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  1. It sounds really good but I usually have issues with the historical/paranormal (except for one series I read). IDK I may have to check this out anyway. :)

    BTW - I mailed something to you yesterday! :)

  2. Great review Leontine, I have been drawn to this cover before, and it is on the wishlist.


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