K. Bird's Reviews > Firelight

Firelight by Kristen Callihan
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May 13, 12

Read from May 08 to 13, 2012

Take a paranormal romance/urban fantasy with a kick-ass heroine, a brooding, doomed hero, and a curse to be researched and lifted while an unknown murderer haunts London...and then set it in Victorian London and you'll get the mysterious Lord Archer and fiery Miranda Ellis crossing swords (and other interesting bits) in Firelight.

I have to admit, I went back and forth between 4 and 5 stars for this one. There were parts I had to really suspend a lot of disbelief for the sake of some over-used devices from romance and urban fantasies (Miranda really is going to try to keep her paranormal ability a secret from Lord "mysterious-mask-wearing-suspected-murderer" himself? Why? Obviously he isn't going to be shocked by outlandish things and he's made his desire clear...but I digress).

But the thing is, the book never lost me. It satisfied all my major hankerings in a way that is rare: interesting magical origins, dark romance, mystery, and action. I eagerly gobbled it down even when, or perhaps despite, the way these tropes were used in Firelight. Yes we have the plucky-too-feminist-to-be-believed heroine in Miranda; but the reason she can use a sword and protect herself is actually well developed, especially after we meet her pick-pocket connection more than halfway through the book. Lord Archer's insistence on not revealing the flesh behind the mask is so utterly not original, and yet so utterly tantalizing. The scenes where Miranda comes close to glimpsing his secret really kept me on the edge of my seat, caught between wanting it to be revealed and not wanting the delicious tension to ease.

This is a very passionate book from the get-go, definitely for adults, with the slow build up of a physical relationship tearing down secrets between the two in a real and meaningful way that has many repercussions on the plot.

So while I sometimes had trouble with Miranda's submission to Archer's overbearingly arrogant "reading" of her emotions, I really enjoyed every scene they interacted. And while the Egyptian magic, no wait it's a Druid cult, no wait it was really a Roman soldier background to Lord Archer's curse got a little complicated to follow, it was a cool twist on Vampires (and in a supporting character, obvious signs of werewolf).

Despite some minor annoyances, I enjoyed Firelight immensely and will definitely get my hands on the sequel, Moonglow.

This Book's Snack Rating: Garlic parmesan kettle chips for the absolutely addictive garlicky cheese taste of the complicated romance between Lord Archer and Miranda
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