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.
Darkest London Series:
Ember (Prequel Novella)
Visit Kristen Callihan's website for more information
Miranda has the ability to control fire but it is a power that has caused problems for her family in the past so she keeps it a secret and tries not to use it. Archer has a disfigurement that causes him to hide his appearance behind a mask, he has only recently returned from abroad but all of polite London society is terrified of him because of his fearsome reputation. He first saw Miranda several years ago and hasn't been able to stop thinking about her since, he knows it would be selfish to marry her but he is unable to resist the temptation.
Miranda may have been reluctant to marry Archer but she soon realises that he is completely different from what she expected and she becomes determined to get to know the real man who is hidden behind the mask. As a series of gruesome murders begin and since each victim can be linked back to Archer he becomes the prime suspect. Miranda refuses to believe that her husband is behind the deaths and she sets out to prove his innocence - even if she has to put herself into harms way to do it.
It is hard to categorise Firelight since it touches on so many genres, it is definitely a historical paranormal romance but it also has a dark and Gothic feel to it and is full of mystery and suspense. At the same time it is also a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with enough elements from the original story to make it recognisable but unique enough to stand out on it's own merits. Kristen Callihan's debut novel is beautifully written and had me captivated from the very first page, she is definitely an author to watch out for in the future!
Archer and Miranda are one of the best couples I've read about in ages, their relationship builds slowly so you get to really see them fall for each other. They become friends first and I loved watching Miranda gradually peeling back the hard shell that Archer puts on in front of the world and uncovering the lonely, tortured man underneath. Theirs really is a relationship to savour and the building tension between them is delicious to watch. You have to wait a long time just for their first kiss but it is worth the wait as the author treats us to some of the hottest kissing scenes I've come across in a long time!
As a couple this pair is dynamite but as individuals they are equally strong characters and I enjoyed getting to know them both. Archer is currently my top book hottie, he is such a complex character and I dare anyone to try to resist his charms. Miranda is also a worthy heroine and she was certainly able to stand up for herself when Archer tried to keep his distance from her emotionally. She was able to break through his barriers with her smart mouth and attitude. I loved the fact that Miranda has to save the day, it is so nice to see the woman rescue the man for a change rather than the other way around.
I really can't recommend Firelight highly enough and considering this is a debut novel I can't wait to see what Kristen Callihan comes up with next. I received an ebook ARC of this from netgalley for review but I loved it so much that I have already ordered a print copy to take pride of place on my bookshelves. I have also pre-ordered the second book in the series Moonglow which will be released in the summer. I only pre-order books from my favourite authors so that should tell you how much I loved this book. Whatever you do you don't want to miss this one - if you love strong romance with a historical setting, a hint of the supernatural and a Gothic edge to it you have to read Firelight!
Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Between Dreams and Reality
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