Thursday, February 16, 2012

Firelight (Darkest London #1) by Kristen Callihan

(Darkest London #1)
Kristen Callihan

London, 1881
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 am consumed," he whispered against her ear, and she shivered. "By you." Soft lips grazed her jaw in an agonizingly slow trail toward her waiting mouth. Her eyes squeezed tight. She could not bear it. The heat in her was fever bright. No part of him touched her, except that mouth. But oh, that mouth. It destroyed her composure as it moved with steady deliberation toward her lips.

Firelight is an amazingly sexy, mysterious, passion-filled new release. New author, Kristen Callihan, combines paranormal and historical to create one of the best romances I've ever read.

There are three main strengths here. The first is Callihan's writing, which is elegant and beautiful but at the same time realistic. Callihan is extremely talented and I can't wait to continue this series as the other books release.

The second strength are the characters, Archer and Miranda. God, I loved them! Miranda is a tall, beautiful redhead with a feisty personality. Oh, and she can control fire. She has grown up rough and poor with a jerk of a father. Archer is a tortured hero. He has a mysterious past and and hides himself from the world by wearing a mask to cover his secret. He keeps Miranda at a distance even though he wants her more than anything, because he doesn't want her to discover this secret. The chemistry between these two is scorching, but its also more than that.

Which brings me to strength number three, the romance. Callihan gives us a slowly building romance between Archer and Miranda, teasing us with unbelievably sexy interludes between the two, but putting off "the big moment" until the reader is just dying for the two to get it on already! Archer and Miranda are both damaged and both hide their own secrets. Their love grows slowly and their relationship builds throughout the story. The banter between the two, including many sexy quips from Archer, is almost as good as the romantic scenes. But the love the two of these people have for each other is intense and more than just sensual. Their fear of admitting their love is painful and hard to read.  Since we, as the reader, know their thoughts and emotions, it is sometimes excruciating to read their thoughts about each other and sometimes I just wanted to scream "Say it already!!!".

"I love you. For one agonized moment, he feared he had said it out loud. 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?"

Who wouldn't want to be loved for who they really are? Archer's feelings for Miranda start out with lust and intrigue and end with absolute adoration. And Miranda's feelings for Archer are the same. Their love story truly is a Beauty and the Beast tale - which was my favorite Disney movie growing up. That might explain why I loved this story so much.

There were two minor bumps in the road for me. First, there was a bit of an info dump with the revelation of the "bad guy". I was surprised, because Callihan had done an awesome job of doling out the mystery bit by bit previously. Also, the book ended a bit abruptly in my opinion. I could have used a bit more of a tapering off instead of the abrupt ending, although I really loved the story's Epilogue which was in true Beauty and the Beast form. As you can see, these are minor flaws for me and didn't keep me from giving this five stars.

I strongly recommend this romance to anyone who loves: Beauty and the Beast, historical romance, unique paranormal plots, intensely passionate and uncheesy romance.


Interested in checking it out for yourself?
(print, Kindle)



  1. Great review!! I loved it too :)

  2. I just got this off netgalley...I love the concept of it. Great review-very detailed. And judging by your recommending-this-to, I'll love this.

  3. I loved this one as well- it's already made my best of list for 2012. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

  4. Since all of you have been chatting non-stop about this on the book club I have to make time!

    Glad this one lived up to the hype the club has created!

    Thanks for the great review.

  5. I really look forward to reading this one. Thanks for sharing your interview! I love Beauty and the Beast.

  6. I have this book in my TBR pile - moving it to the top - thanks for the review!

  7. I've got this in my TBR pile - now that Kristen's got another release I better get to readin' it.

  8. this one sounds very interesting, will have to check it out. I like these kind of books. Great review.


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