March 18, 2012

Review: Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Series: Darkest London 1
Format: Digital ARC
Read an Excerpt
Release Date: January 21, 2012
Publisher: Forever
Source: NetGalley c/o Forever
Genre: Paranormal - Steampunk
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.
The prologue instantly captured by imagination. It took me back 20 years where I would gorge on swooning heroines and swash buckling heroes featured in those cheesy historical romances. I would stay up late at night with Julie Garwood, Katherine Woodwiss and Judith Macnaught as my bedside companions. Needless to say I was already loving the story.

A very good variation from the classic Beauty and the Beast complete with the magical rose, three sisters and a witch of sorts. Although the "supernatural" elements are hardly present, it's nonetheless implied. Miranda Rose Ellis was sold by her father to Lord Benjamin Aldo Fitzwilliam Wallace Archer, Fifth Baron Archer of Umberslade, to save the former from further financial ruin. Archer is rich and charming but he hides behind a mask which adds to the mystery.
"I think you got the short end of the stick in this venture"
He threw his head back and laughed. "And you are quite wrong."
Miri is your quintessential Victorian rebel. Stubborn, unconventional and a firestarter, which she is both literally and figuratively. She is loyal to a fault and a bit of a tomboy which makes her even more endearing to Archer. The mask wearing Archer holds a lot of secrets, not just the face behind the mask but his personal dealings as well. He is the current suspect in a string of murders happening in his circle and Miri is determined to get to the bottom of the story.

I fell in love with the lovebirds' story and here I thought that the historical romance genre is dead, KCallihan might just revive it singlehandedly with this series. I also love the myth she employed as well as picking Beauty and the Beast as the base for her story. Like I previously mentioned, the supernatural elements are not as prominent as my usual reads but I hardly noticed it. This is more like a love story and Miri and Archer's special powers just added fiery color to the background. Callihan focused on the attraction and their love-hate relationship than their powers which worked well for me.

I just found it hard to follow some of the events because it would shift from one scene to another without breaks or much preamble. I'm not sure if this has been corrected in the final book because the one I have is an ARC but I'm hoping that it has been rectified. 

Here are some snippets that might help me convince you that Firelight is a must-read if you're a sucker for these types of romances:

"because everyday that I am with you, I am more convinced that God made you just for me. For in ninety years on this earth, no one has made me feel the way you do, as if every day is an adventure. You make me laugh. And i never laugh. I go around smiling like a witless fool. So yes, I kept it from you, because I am so desperately in love with you that the knowledge that you might love me too was irresistible. And I was afraid it would turn to dust should I take off that mask." - Archer

"It didn't matter that I hadn't seen your face. I knew --- I knew I would love you until I died." - Miri

"I need to hear your voice every day or I despair. You are the balance of my sould I canot lose you Ben. I would not live through it." - Miri


  1. Sold! I've been wanting to read this for a while. Jealous of all the bloggers who have! Love your review and I will definitely get it this week.

    Happy Reading!

  2. Great review Braine!:)
    Glad you lived it, so did I!!


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