Author: Kristen Callihan
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Series: Darkest London (Book 1)
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Format: Paperback, 400 Pages
ISBN-10: 1455508594 (Grand Central Publishing)
ISBN-13: 978-1455508594 (Grand Central Publishing)
Reviewed by: Kristie
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.
Quick & Dirty: This gothic retelling of Beauty and the Beast is sensually moving. The plot is an intriguing mix between action and mystery that will help keep the pages turning. An excellent read.
Opening Sentence: The knowledge that Archer would soon end the life of another cut at his soul with every step he took.
First of all, I just have to say I absolutely loved Firelight. I don’t know if it was the retelling of Beauty and the Beast that really made me fall for this book or the fact that Miranda is one of the strongest female characters that I have read in a long time or that Archer is mysteriously sexy.
Firelight begins with Archer and Miranda meeting in a dark alley. Archer wants to kill Miranda’s father for sins against him but after he meets Miranda his plans change. Miranda stirs something within him that he hasn’t felt for a while and he decides that he must marry her. Three years pass before Archer comes back to London and makes good on his plans to marry Miranda.
Miranda has only one day to accept Archer’s marriage proposal. She must accept with her own free will, but her father tells her if she doesn’t accept she will no longer be welcome in his home. Since Miranda blames herself for her father’s downfall she accepts the proposal. Miranda stands up to Archer, she doesn’t let him scare her and it doesn’t take her long to figure out that Archer was the mysterious stranger from the alley three years before.
Archer wants nothing more than to have Miranda marry him. After their marriage, someone is killing Archer’s old associates, framing him for the murders. He manages to avoid being arrested for these crimes. Miranda does believe he isn’t the one causing these murders, especially after they are confronted by the perpetrator. Archer goes out by himself a lot looking for the murderer as Miranda tries to find out about his past.
Miranda and Archer are both hiding secrets from each other. Archer hides himself behind masks and clothing, not allowing Miranda to see what he is hiding. She tries very hard to uncover his secrets. Although, Archer doesn’t realize that she is hiding something from him.
Archer is a selfish beast, he wants Miranda for his own. Okay, he really isn’t that selfish. He treats her with respect and he looks forward to her well-being even after he knows someone is out to kill them. He hides himself from her because he believes that if she knew what he was that she would be disgusted by him. Like all men, he believes that if he leaves her in the dark that she will not be hurt by what is haunting him. Unfortunately that is not the case when she is framed for a murder and almost killed herself.
I can’t really get into a lot about why I think Miranda is such a strong heroine. A lot of it has to do with the terrific ending to Firelight. She doesn’t put up with anyone’s crap. She stands up for herself and Archer when she feels people are being unfair to him.
Firelight is an excellent novel. The world building was brilliant with a villain I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. The pacing kept me so engaged with the plot that I never wanted to put the book down. I absolutely cannot wait until the next book in the series, Moonlight. Kristen Callihan is definitely going on my must-buy list.
A choked cry broke from her, the silken wet tip of his tongue sending a bolt of heat to her core. Archer made a sound close to pain. For a moment, their tongues retreated. And then.
She flicked her tongue, a small lick. And found his again. The sound of their breathing filled her ears as their tongues caressed, retreated, and met again, learning each other. Every flick, each wet slide of his tongue felt like a direct touch to the center of her sex, until she throbbed there, grew so hot she feared she might combust.
Their lips never melded, only danced with the possibility of it. It was not a kiss. It was something infinitely worse. It was torture. And God help her if she didn’t want more.
Their breathing became pants. Her fingers fisted her skirts with near violence. His tongue slipped deeper, lighting across her lips, invading her mouth for one hot moment. Miranda moaned, her knees buckling. Archer’s big hand clasped her nape, hard and impatient. Now he would kiss her, take her. Now. Her body screamed for that sweet release.
He wrenched his mouth away even as his arm crushed her against his hard chest. Her heart leapt to her throat, her senses jumbled and confused until she heard the strange thump of something hitting the wall behind her. She froze, panting softly, her nose buried in the black folds of his suit coat for what felt like an eternity but was at most a moment in time.
Archer swore sharply and then moved, leaving her teetering on her feet. She righted quickly and found him glaring around, his frame held tight as a spring. But the long hall behind them was empty. Slowly he turned his attention to the wall before them. The silver hilt of a dagger embedded deep in the plaster still quivered from the impact.
Archer’s breath hitched visibly, his eyes narrowing to slits. The force of the throw was unmistakable. Had he not acted quickly, the wicked dagger would have now rested deep within Miranda’s back.
“What the devil?” she hissed, disbelief and sheer terror making her voice unsteady and her heart pound.
The Darkest London Series:
FTC Advisory: Grand Central Publishing provided me with a copy of Firelight. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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