Ember by Kristen Callihan (VO)

Darkest London, Book 0.5
Synopsis: Prequel to Firelight. After a fire consumes the Ellis family fortune, the beautiful and resourceful Miranda finds herself faced with an impossible dilemma: enter a life of petty crime or watch her family succumb to poverty. But once her fiancé learns of her descent into danger—and of the strange, new powers she’s discovered—saving her family may come at the high price of her heart.

When Lord Benjamin Archer’s one chance for redemption is destroyed by corrupt London antiquarian Hector Ellis, he vows to take what Ellis values most—his daughter Miranda. Forced to hide his face behind masks, Archer travels the world hoping to escape the curse that plagues him so that he can finally claim his prize.

But once Archer returns home to London, will it be revenge he seeks? Or will the flame-haired beauty ignite new, undeniable desires?

Review: What a pleasure to find Archer and Miranda, my favorite couple of the moment in paranormal romance! This prequel backs on many things already mentioned in Firelight, some elements which hadn’t been detailed in the novel. The story takes place chronologically before the events of Firelight, ie just after the brief and unexpected encounter between Benjamin Archer and Miranda Ellis that famous night when he saved her while she was about to be assaulted by two men. But they don’t meet again. We follow each other leading their lives separately.
Concerning Miranda the origin of her power remains a mystery. However we understand better how the warehouse burned down and how her father forced her in response to this incident to become a pick pocket. We also learn quite a bit about her romance with her ​​former childhood friend, Martin. Archer on his side undertook a long trip to find a cure that would end his curse. From Egypt to the United States, through Mexico, we follow him in his quest. There are also some details of his banishment by the members of the West Moon Club.
It was very interesting to discover all that. There are some pieces of the puzzle that fall into place here. The mystery surrounding Archer is kept (thankfully) however I think it’s better to read this prequel after Firelight rather than before because what makes the charm of this novel is precisely all these mysteries around our two heroes. This novella is a good supplement for those who loved this couple and want to find some more information about them before moving on to two other heroes that will appear in Volume 2, Moonglow whose release is planned in the United States in August 2012.

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