Firelight by Kristen Callihan (VO)

Darkest London, Book 1


Synopsis:
London,1881
Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gif
t, 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.

Melliane’s Review: As soon as I saw the cover I loved it, so I was very curious to learn a little more about this novel. I confess I’m very difficult with Paranormal Romance story for a while,therefore I was a little afraid to get into the story. But finally, it was worth it, and I’m glad for the opportunity to read this book because I really enjoyed it.
After reading the first chapter, I thought I got into one of this Paranormal Romance book where the heroes fall in love at the first sight and where the plot is left in a second plan. But what a pleasant surprise, I was wrong. Indeed, I was immediately intrigued by Lord Archer, this man everyone fears about, and who always hides his face behind a mask. We try to learn his secrets all along the story with Miranda, his young fiancé.
I’ve always been attracted by books which take place during this period. It’s, I think, often very interesting to discover a new period and mainly to see how the characters live in it. I immediately like Miranda, who is very different from other women, and who imposes her choices and will, like no one else. Strong, determined, beautiful but also tough, Miranda is a character we can only enjoy in this world where men can do everything. And when her new husband decides to hide himself from her too, she doesn’t need more to start to investigate about him. But when, in addition, Archer is charged with murders, she is decided to find the culprit to clear him despite his husband isn’t as enthusiastic as her about her implication in this entire story.
So we get into an investigation mixing conspiracy, love, betrayal and which will lead us all along the book. I confess I didn’t know who the culprit about these murders was, and I was very surprise when we learn his identity. But it’s true that finally it’s very logical too.
Kristen Callihan has succeeded her challenge to create a complex story featuring this couple like no one else, adding too some Egyptian notions, things I didn’t expect at all, and which was a pleasant surprise.

To conclude this first novel was a nice read, and I will read the sequel with curiosity.
Inessa’s review : It’s been a while since I hadn’t read paranormal romance. I decided to take a break, because I was getting tired of this kind of reads. So I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by Firelight. It’s a great paranormal romance and even more, it’s original, that’s what I needed to reconnect with this kind of book.
The action takes place in London in the 19th century, in full Victorian era. Miranda Ellis isn’t a young woman like any other: she has a gift, a gift she sometimes has difficulties to control and which has already made some troubles. Following the bankruptcy of her father she found herself forced to steal from others and be like other pickpockets to survive. One day, her father offers her to marry Lord Benjamin Archer, one of the richest nobles of the kingdom but also the most eccentric as he always wears a mask. Nobody can see his face. Moreover, infamous rumors are circulating about him in town. The announcement of this marriage doesn’t enchant her at first but soon she realizes that this union is the best way for her to escape from paternal authority and to stop stealing. But most of all, it’s the best way to learn more about Lord Archer because she feeled at once fascinated and intrigued by the strange masked man.

Everything seems mysterious. The author has succeeded brilliantly to make a mix of historical and paranormal romance, all in a police investigation background. There is a young woman who has a strange power, a man quite large, muscular physically but constantly hiding himself behind a mask, then murders. Immediately we wonder why Archer never leaves this horrible mask. What happened to him? He’s secret and very intriguing, we ask ourselves lots of questions about him, about his past and about this strange club he belongs. What I particularly liked in this book is that we don’t know what we’re dealing with. Indeed, we must read the novel for ¾ to finally discover what mysteries surrounds Lord Archer and his old friends!

Regarding the characters, I really liked Miranda: she’s a strong heroine, who hasn’t her tongue in her pocket and that can’t be pushed around in a world where men decide everything. When atrocious murders occur and that her husband becomes the prime suspect, she decides to conduct her own investigation, determined to understand what is happening and to exonerate her husband. This leads naturally her to want to discover what he hides. I confess concerning Archer’s secret, I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting that at all! I found it very original and successful. However we would have liked to know more about the origins of Miranda’s powers. Some questions remain unanswered regarding her. As for the character of Lord McKinnon, I was also very intrigued by him.

About the investigation, I was also surprised by the identity of the culprit. The clues were there but I was so obsessed with Archer’s secret and his relationship with Miranda that I didn’t notice them. There is a lot of suspense, and the references to Egyptian mythology were also very interesting.

To conclude I really enjoyed this novel! I look forward to book 2 to dive back into this fascinating Victorian world.

22 thoughts on “Firelight by Kristen Callihan (VO)

  1. Yes, I so need this one! Looks like a Beauty and the Beast variation. Love those. Plus, I agree the cover is so pretty!

    I love the surprise at who did it and since it had you wanting the sequel I will have to make sure I have that one handy when I read it too!

  2. @ Melissa (Books and Things): I’m curious about the sequel because this one was very interesting, but I hope it won’t change my feelings about the book, because the caracters are different.

    @ Wendy Darling: It’s what I enjoy too. I hope you’ll like it.

  3. I hadn’t heard of this one but it sounds like my kind of thing. I don’t always like paranormal romance cause the romance kind of drives me nuts (I love him/her, I hate him/her) but if this one is a bit different that’s good! And I love the setting and time period, I’ll have to give it a try!

  4. @ Missie: It’s true it’s not a heavy romance, but it’s nice too like that.

    @ Candace: It’s quite the same for me, but this one surprised me.

    @ Melissa (Books and Things): Now I’m curious to know your opinion.

    @ Melissa (My world…in words and pages): thanks to you.

  5. Oooh, I really enjoyed this one. I was surprised by the emotional intensity of it, and I loved the romance between the two. And you were so right about the ‘love at first sight’ thing. I was expecting exactly the same and I was really pleasantly surprised by the slow build of it… and even after they’re both madly in love, there’s this restraint and aching, beautiful slowness to it. Loved it 😀

  6. I totally agree with you, Mel!! It’s always so cool to read about a new period and how the characters live in it — it’s one of the reasons why I love books that are set in settings like this one! And I LOVE how the way you describe it makes it feel so mysterious, Inessa! It definitely makes me want to read it more. 🙂

    Awesome dual review, you two! This is so cool how you decided to write this one with both of your inputs in — that’s like double the awesome review! Two great honest opinions at once! 😉 <3

    • Thank you very much Mimi for these kind words! Yes, I really enjoyed this historical/paranormal romance. For now it’s for me the pleasant surprise of the beginning of the year but I still have so many books to read!

      And yes, I confirm, it’s very mysterious, intriguing and Lord Archer… so cute! Miam, miam lol!

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