Thursday, May 3, 2012
Review: Firelight (Darkest London #1)
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.
My Review: This may be my new favorite genre if I could figure out where the hell it falls. Part Gothic Romance, Part Historical, Part Paranormal, Part Mystery, Part Fairy Tale Retelling. It all adds up to = Pure Awesome.
Seriously, I've never seen elements of so many of my favorite things in one place, except for maybe if you include the breakfast I like at IHOP with the stuffed French toast and the bacon and the hash browns (great, now I'm hungry). Firelight is like that breakfast for me. Only instead of feeding my hunger, it's fed my soul. Ha. So corny. You'd never know I was a writer. This book has turned me into a babbling idiot. I'm practically tripping over myself in the bookstore to shove it into people's hands. And I don't work at the bookstore. I'm assaulting strangers.
Kristen Callihan started with a simple premise, a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Then she set it at the end of the 1800's in London with an incredibly masculine, enigmatic, and swoon-worthy Beast. Then she gave us a kick-ass Beauty with some sort of fire-controlling superpower. And then to top it off, like the whipped cream tops my French toast, she added a murder mystery. Viola! Just like that, I'm sated and couldn't be happier. I feel like this book (or at least my poorly executed food metaphor) has caused me to gain five pounds.
As with any novel I love, Firelight has a smoldering hero in Lord Archer. He's charming and witty, bruised but not broken, challenging, and amazing and awesome and—see, incoherent babbling. Let me summarize and simply tell you that I adore Archer. Of course, I also adored Beast in the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. He's my favorite prince. I was rather distressed when he changed back into a human at the end. I liked him better large, hairy, and a bit surly.
Firelight is a spellbinding debut that will light a fire within you, burning you and leaving you begging for more. Callihan is a master of sexual tension. My lip still hurts from biting it the entire time I was reading. It was pure torture. And the funny thing is, I'm not really a big romance reader, but she's made me think I've been missing out all these years. Highly recommended. Not just to romance readers, but to readers like myself who love to mix our genres.