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Firelight (Darkest London) by Kristen…

Firelight (Darkest London) (edition 2012)

by Kristen Callihan

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3084336,210 (3.76)4
Title:Firelight (Darkest London)
Authors:Kristen Callihan
Info:Forever (2012), Edition: 1 Original, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Have Read, Don't Buy, Romance, Paranormal, Victorian

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Firelight by Kristen Callihan



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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Egalley thanks to Grand Central Publishing
The words that come to mind after reading this book are... succulent, rich, vibrant. Yes, I loved it, but it could have been so much more.

London in the end of 19th century is a dark ugly place, where paranormals hide in plain sight. There are plenty of bad rumours and an atmosphere of fear surrounding a tortured hero - Benjamin Archer, an aristocrat and a self-made millionaire in best traditions of Gothic novels, . He is rumoured to be involved in gruesome killings, but nothing has been proved. He wears a black masque, nobody knows what he looks like, and he is always alone.

Until he pays an impoverished baron/pirate a fortune to have his daughter as his young and beautiful wife.

Miranda is no innocent Society Miss. She was raised on the streets of London, can put up a vicious sword fight, changes her accents with an ease and supports her dad by stealing jewelry in various pawn shops. She's got her own dark secrets, enjoys danger and tired of being lonely, so mysterious Lord Archer pushes all the right buttons for her to agree to their marriage.

However, she is not satisfied with the life of luxury Archer provides. Someone tries to frame him for recent brutal killings of members of a club, and Miranda is determined to help her husband to catch the killer and prove his innocence, she is also dying to know what he hides behind his masque...

The plot is full of action and beautifully descriptive. The mythology and a range of paranormals is very refreshing. You would never guess what Lord Archer is, and Miranda's power was something I haven't seen in many books. Their pairing works really well.

However, the book was lacking depth. I wanted to know more, I wanted the confrontation not to be left to the very end, the mythology should have been described better as well. The villain was very one dimensional and too simple while you wanted him to be more devious. The secondary characters haven't had the opportunity to develop...

Despite all this I've enjoyed the book immensely, and can't wait for the second instalment in the series which has an absolutely gorgeous cover as well! ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
I found this in steampunk recommendations. This is not steampunk. It's a historical romance with paranormal elements (demons, werewolves, a pyrokinetic).

In the novel we are told how Archer's friends shunned him, that he is someone to be feared and that he is disgusting to other people. However, the only one whose reason is explained is Rossberry. Next, I honestly didn't see any reason why people feared the man since he really gave his best not to be anywhere near them. I don't find him wearing a mask reason enough to be feared. What I didn't like was that we are told that.
And the villain? Or, should I say a pathetic attempt of one? I won't say who, but there too we are told how that person is dangerous, evil, etc. I only saw petty jealousy. Nothing more, nothing less.
( )
  Irena. | Nov 3, 2015 |
Miranda Ellis has the ability to start a fire out of anything that will burn. It's a gift that allows her to navigate the dark alleys of London without concern and at the same time it's also the curse which destroyed her family's wealth. Miranda is forced to steal to put food on the table. Her life changes forever with a chance meeting with Lord Benjamin Archer. Years later, when Miranda is informed that her father has arranged her marriage to the mysterious masked man, Miranda is indignant but with no other options, Miranda is forced down the aisle. She didn't expect to come to love Archer in spite of his secrets. It this love which inspires Miranda to fight with all she has to save Archer's soul.

Firelight is a historical romance with elements of the fantastic thrown in. In The beginning of the novel, Callihan's work is so purple that it would make Barney weep. Not to worry, she quickly moves beyond this as she finds her voice; however, that voice is just as irritating. We are treated to a long scene in which Archer watches Miranda eat. Why? Miranda's father already made it clear that they were living on deprivations and so having her wonder at the food didn't exactly establish anything. The only thing it made me wonder is what the hell the servants are going to get? Then there's the trip to the museum, and Miranda's shopping trip with her sisters. These incidents added absolutely nothing to the plot.

Archer quickly falls in love (read: lust) with Miranda. He does the whole, I'm bad but I have to have you routine. On her part, Miranda takes a little bit of time for the same declaration. The two characters do actually get to know each other a little. From the beginning we get to hear all about how Miranda gives Archer wood and makes him feel like a man. I quickly got tired of erection descriptions. There is a massive build up to their first kiss but before that we get treated to a scene where they touch tongues and of course breathlessness, sighs and heaving bosoms ensue. Who exactly lies in bed with their lover not kissing but touching tongues and moaning? Am I really supposed to find this hot?

So, Archer has some big secret for which he wears a mask to cover the left side of his face. After much hinting about the fact that he could be disfigured, it turns out that Archer actually is a half light demon and has been trying to look for a cure. Okay, kudos to Miranda for not running away from the man she loves but taking his marble demon penis inside her? Really? I just wanted to scream, lady, there are limits. I do however have a question, if Archer's penis is like marble wouldn't that mean he is always erect, thereby making the scenes in which we are given descriptions of how Miranda gives him an erection redundant?

Okay, what's Miranda's deal? Well as I mentioned earlier, Miranda can create fire. The problem? We don't know why because it's never explained. Somehow she learns to control her power and we never learn how. Miranda can also provide heat to cold people, something she learns on the fly but yeah, no idea why. If you're going to give a character a super power, it's important to give the reader some kind of explanation, particularly when it's going to be used for the dramatic conclusion.

Read More ( )
  FangsfortheFantasy | May 20, 2015 |
4 ½ Stars

Firelight is the first book in the Darkest London series by Kristen Callihan.

When a friend told me “you have to read Firelight, I know you are going to love it.” I say ok, I’m gonna add it to my TBR and I did, but then another friend said the same thing, and later another one, by then I knew I have to read Firelight ASAP and not leave it waiting in my TBR with so many other books ‘I’m gonna read someday’. Being honest I’m very glad I let my friends bullied me into reading Firelight sooner rather than later.

The blurb is pretty explicit, I won’t add more to it, I think in this case you need to read Firelight and discover the rest of the story for yourself.

I really love Miranda, she is not a lady in distress or anything like that, she is strong, smart, determined and loyal but at the same time she is a bit susceptible because she is different from others, she uses her beauty in a manner to distract others for her real self but if you really know her you will see that under the facade of strong and in control woman she wears there is also a vulnerable person that blames herself for things out of her control.

Lord Archer is not your typical tortured hero, he’s a lot more. He suffers from a curse and has dedicated his life unsuccessfully in finding a cure. Because of his curse he is forced to hide behind a mask, that mask also marks him as different and makes him feel undesired and undeserving. Despite his mask and his sometimes gloomy attitude Lord Archer is charming and caring, and the more we know him the easier is to see the real man under the mask and what a man he is.

The romance between Miranda and Lord Archer felt completely real and possible; they are two characters that complement each other perfectly and it’s easy to understand why they fell in love with each other. The chemistry between them is clear since their first encounter and their romance builds page after page, same with the sexual tension, getting to a point that you will be eagerly turning pages faster and faster waiting for their next encounter, next sweet words and dying for a simple touch between them. When we finally get what we been waiting for the feeling of rightness and satisfaction we are left with is completely worth the wait.

The secondary characters are also well written and interesting and you can’t help yourself but want to learn more about them. Miranda’s sisters are very unique characters, I’m sure there is more to them that the few glimpses we see. Lord Archer’s friends and not so good friends are also very intriguing. I’m glad next installment of this series will be Lord Ian and Daisy’s book.

Firelight was a very nice and entertaining book, it has a good pace, even though it stalls a bit in the middle but not for long, soon after it picks up the pace again grabbing you and entangling you anew in its story. The well-written and smartly developed plot with the help of a gothic setting makes of this debut book an even more enthralling read.
As I said before I’m very happy my friends bullied me into reading this book, now it’s my turn to tell you this is a book you must read. Firelight is a book that will appeal to historical, paranormal, and urban fantasy lovers, that means all of you.
I’m planing to read in the following days the prequel of this series called Ember and needless to say I’m looking forward to August 1st to the release of the next installment of this series, Moonglow. ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
Excellent first installment. I had been holding off on reading this book, despite hearing all the hype about it, because I'm not all that big into historical romances anymore. However, Firelight managed to stay away from most of the tropes that annoy the shit out of me in historicals. This, in large part, is due to the book being primarily a paranormal.

The story starts off with your average Beauty and the Beast set-up of: woman is forced to marry/live with the Beast due to her father being an idiot of one kind or another. But I give Callihan kudos for not making Miranda a misty eyed doormat or the Beast, Archer, a giant ass-hat. In fact, Callihan gives Miranda one hell of a backbone and some kick ass powers to go with it. I loved how pro-active Miranda was about her relationship with Archer and the mystery of who is going around killing people. I also adored that Miranda isn't a virgin. That was so freaking refreshing to see.

I'll definitely be reading the rest of this series.
( )
  Book_Minx | Jan 24, 2015 |
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For my husband, Juan. Your unwavering faith gave me wings. Without you, none of this would be.

For Rachel You know what you did. A better friend I could not have.

And for Maya and Alex. Always.
First words
London, November 1878

The knowledge that Archer would soon end the life of another cut at his soul with every step he took.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
London, 1881
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.

-back cover
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After she is forced to wed Lord Benjamin Archer, London's most nefarious nobleman, Miranda Ellis, who is gifted with exceptional abilities, comes to love her new husband, but his dark curse soon leads them both into deadly danger.

(summary from another edition)

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