Darkest London Series:
Firelight: Lord Benjamin Archer and Miranda Ellis
*Release Date February 1st, 2012
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’m sitting here trying to think of a way to do a quick summary without giving anything away. This is one of those books where it is important to not give away the details, because the fun is discovering them for yourself as you read.
In a chance meeting in a back alley 3 years ago two people who should never have met come across each other in dire circumstances; one with her back up against the wall, being threatened by common street thugs; the other a masked man with murder on his mind. When Archer first see Miranda he thinks her a young lad and he admires “his” spirit and determination but when he finds “he” is actually a “she” that same spirit beckons to him like nothing else ever has. Miranda is surprised that this unknown man was willing to put his life on the line for an unknown woman, it is this chivalry that keeps the unknown man who gave her a gold coin on her mind for the next three years.
Due to a lost fortune, Miranda’s dad decides to sell her off to a wealthy husband, the notorious Lord Benjamin Archer, the man in the mask. Where ever Lord Archer goes stares and gossip follows and now Miranda is to be tied to this mysterious possibly dangerous murderous man for the rest of her life. It’s a good thing she has the means of protecting herself. When murders start happening and all signs point to Archer, it becomes clear Miranda’s life is on the line. The question is who is the murderer?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; I’d have to say it is one of the best new release books that I have read this year. Granted it’s not technically out until next year (Feb 2012), but I read it in 2011 lol. I immediately got caught up in the story and the characters, from the first couple of pages, I was all in. The story itself was refreshing, not quite like anything else I have read in a long time. I think the closest comparison would be Jayne Anne Krentz Arcane Society novels, but still not quite. It is unique in its own right. The writing is detailed and pulls you in, Kristen Callihan, knows just how to divvy up details to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat. She has a few twists and turns up her sleeve to keep you coming back for more. I was reading this book when Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan came out (I had been waiting for it for months) I do love my Russian Spys and I started reading that one while in still in the middle of Firelight, but Firelight called to me even as I was reading Spirit Bound so I abandoned Spirit Bound to go back to Firelight. That’s how much I was into this story it pulled me away from Russian spies. I do have to admit there were some gaps in the story, but as soon as I noticed the thought was gone, I was too engaged to really care.
Miranda is my favorite type of heroine. Well able to take care of herself, stubborn, passionate and intelligent. She’s the type to protect herself and her man anyway possible and she has the means to do so. Not caring so much about what she should be doing as a young lady she is an expert fencer, is an excellent shoot and due to a short stint as a petty thief she can blend into a crowd. And maybe the most important is she is exceedingly loyal to those she chooses to be loyal to, such as her beloved sisters, will Archer be able to earn her loyalty and trust with all things. Including her secrets? Now on to Archer, oh Archer, Archer, Archer, how to describe you? Lonely, vulnerable, tortured soul, exceedingly strong in mind, body and will, just as stubborn as Miranda, protective as any good Alpha male should be, and highly intelligent. He is a man that you will not be able to help falling in love with, I know I did. There is just something about his loneliness and vulnerability that just pulls at your heart strings, but at the same time he is such a strong determined man you never feel sorry for him. He tries to make the best of his situation and never throws himself a pity party. Miranda and Archer together is combustible! The sexual tension just oozes off the pages, fireworks in all directions all while they are engaging in a battle of wills. These two are pretty much perfect for each other and one of the more memorable couples. One does not overpower the other, but are equals. There is a bit of insta-love going on here but it is in no way nauseating like insta-love can so often be. Their wills are clashing too often and too strong for that sickening lovey dovey nauseating we just met 24 hours ago but are already in love feeling that insta-lova provokes.
I think any lover of a romance novel will enjoy this book, even those who are paranornal skeptics. All in all, I have to say WELL DONE Kristen Callihan. You are a new author to watch out for. I’m already mad that I have to wait until August for the second book to come out. Patience is not a virtue I or Miranda has.
*Provided by NetGalley for an honest review