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(Darkest London #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  12,050 Ratings  ·  1,600 Reviews
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 . . .

Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Forever (first published January 1st 2012)
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Popular Answered Questions
Elizabeth Why would it be "old english style"? it's not Beowulf. This is old english:

"HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum,
þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon,
hu ða…more
Why would it be "old english style"? it's not Beowulf. This is old english:

"HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum,
þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon! "(less)
Jessica This is not clean. I ended up skipping quite a few pages because the sex writing was too graphic for me. Because of those, I won't be reading any more…moreThis is not clean. I ended up skipping quite a few pages because the sex writing was too graphic for me. Because of those, I won't be reading any more of this series.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it

Well, well, well. That was all sorts of awesome.

Expectations. They're everything. I fully believe that they can make or break a reading experience.

This book might have a lot of paranormal elements, but make no mistake, this is not an urban fantasy set in the late 1800s, and nor is this is a steampunk (seriously? Who even shelved it that way?).

This book is a historical romance. Straight up. With a shot of pyrokinetics, demons, and what I’m pretty sure might be a werewolf thrown in for good meas
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Unique, exciting, poignant, thrilling, sexy, funny, romantic… these are the words I’d use to describe Firelight, and yet, it’s so much more! I can’t really compare it to anything else I’ve read and it can’t be lumped into a single genre because in this first installment of the Darkest London series, author Kristen Callihan gives us the beauty of historical romance along with the dark, edginess of paranormal and the magic of fantasy. All of these elements combined have made this one of the best s
Val Shameless ⚓️ Steamy Reads ⚓️
I found this to be a somewhat frustrating read. I don't like being "kept in the dark" in regard to certain things for so much of the story - only to have them all info dumped at 90% - especially when those things are intrinsic to the storyline.

Also, the connection between Archer and Miranda was slow in coming and I wanted more than I got when it finally came to fruition.

Don't get me wrong, the writing was great and the story line was ok...just a little too convoluted for me.

You can definitely
♡Karlyn P♡
4.5 stars. Not what I expected, but a great read all the same! I first heard of this debut book a few months ago and was instantly intrigued that it is a PNR series set in historical London 1880's. So when I noticed Netgalley had it I immediately requested it.

This book paints a vivid picture of a darker Gothic London, one plagued with cut throats and thieves, fathers who sell their daughters for a tidy sum, and cunning men willing to risk damnation of their very souls.

In this version of a 'bea
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jill by: UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Lord Benjamin Archer is considered an aristocratic freak, his face covered by a mask to hide his deformity. He has travelled the world searching for a cure. When word comes from Egypt that there may be at last a solution, his assistant despatches the clue in a small box and sends it to England on Archer's fastest ship. Before reaching England's shores the ship is raided by pirates working for Hector Ellis, the small box lost along with Archer's hope of a cure.

With revenge on his mind, Archer det
Jen Davis
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book doesn't fit in one simple category. It's historical... with elements of the paranormal. It's gothic, dark, dangerous and romantic. It was completely enthralling and I absolutely could not put it down.

It's been three years since the mysterious Lord Archer first met Miranda. She captivated him with her fearlessness and fiery disposition. Now he has made arrangements with her father to marry her. Miranda doesn't realize that Archer is the same man she encountered that night in the alley a
Jan 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of A Rose in Winter
Recommended to new_user by: AH
Despite rough beginnings, Firelight by Kristen Callihan ends as a fun debut.

Callihan worried me when Firelight opened with one cliché stumbling over another cliché, smoking another cliché. The opening revealed some of Callihan's weaknesses, i.e. a tendency to wax purple when attempting flowery scenery, a bit of exaggerated insta-love, a beautiful-but-not heroine, and some self-conscious references to English culture by English characters. When I saw the girl in trousers, I groaned.

However, Fire
Blacky *Romance Addict*
This was great :) Paranormal wrapped in a historical setting, with a gothic feel to it :) A new combination for me, and I really liked it :)

The beginning reminded me of "A Rose in winter", it's very similar, both heroes wear masks and are rumored to be vicious murderers. In both novels they pretty much force the heroine to marry them, there was actually an identical scene where they eat at his house after the wedding, actually she eats and he doesn't because of his mask, it was like, identical.
 ⚔ Sh3lly - Grumpy Book Grrrl ⚔
Unpopular Opinion time

(Well, there actually appears to be a few of us who didn't like this, but the vast majority of my friends did, so it's probably just me.)

Things were going great for more than half the book and then I just started getting annoyed.

The mystery of who/what Archer is was just infuriating and never-ending. I can handle some secrets and having to wait, but this went overboard, in my view.

I was also tired of the slow burn romance. I can handle a slow burn romance when it's done ri
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like the stuff I just described
Recommended to Anzu by: destiny!
So check this out. One day I was just browsing through netGalley. As you know, most of the books there are cheesy, weird or sucky. Usually I go through the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category because from time to time it gets some cool stuff. Anyway, so I’m going through this, and I see a wonderful fiery cover. And I say what the hell, request the b*tch! So yeah, my main reason for reading this is the damn cover. Congrats cover artist! You managed to trick me!

It could have been worse. At least I enjoyed the
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Who is the Beauty, and who is the Beast? Sometimes, it is not so easy to figure out.

The writing was simply outstanding.

Hard cobble bruised her soles, her boot heels clicking loudly with every step. Mud and muck splashed her shins, the smell of sewage clogging her nostrils. Pain pinched her side, the boning in her bodice restricting her breath, but she could not falter. Grunts and thuds of fighting sounded beyond the net corner. She rounded the corner, her heels skidding on the wet stones.

I lo
Rachel (BAVR)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
4.5 Stars

This book is compelling, poignant, edge of my seat thrilling, gritty, extremely romantic.... I can go on and on. The poetic style to the writing and feel of the book had me enthralled right from the beginning of the book to the last page.

I fell instantly in love with Miranda and Archer (Benjamin). Miranda is this sassy firecracker (literally!) who is fiercely independent. Despite this, there is this soft vulnerability and sweetness about her that just drew me in. And Archer, oh Archer..
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Jen (Red Hot Books)
Huge 5 stars!

Wow! This book is superbly written, with jaw dropping plots, that will have you turning the pages to get answers. It's evocative, romantic and the sexual tension is off the charts, guaranteed to leave you breathless and weak at the knees.

Here's a little teaser:

Archer's finger grazed hers. "I feel you. As if you were connected to me by an invisible string." He touched his chest. "I feel you here. In my heart."

She couldn't think past the mad pounding of her blood. She swallowed painfu
Isabella - Madly in Love with Books
Buddy read with Sam, Bubu and Joanna from Romance Book Buddy reading.

Almost 4,5 stars.

This was absolutely great. I read Ember, the novella before this one and was really glad about it, because otherwise the beginning wouldn‘t have been quite as enjoyable as I found it to be. Also some of the character behaviors are way more understandable with Ember, so before you dive into this one, I highly recommend to read the Prequel novella first.

The book starts with the wedding day of these two and both
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of any of the following genres: HR, UF, PNR, and Sci-Fi. It's all here, and more.
Recommended to Dija by: Anzu The Great Destroyer
Thanks so very much to my dearest friend, Anzu, for lending me her ARC. Because you're so sweet, and I'm so generous, you may have Barrons all to yourself next weekend.

Have you ever read a book and felt as if it was written solely for you, keeping everything you love and want when it comes to novels in mind? I hadn't either, not before Firelight.

Firstly, allow me to gush about the exceptionally well-written historical aspect of this book. The entire book is filled with precise details and the s
Sarah Mac
Curse you, Firelight. I begged for a reprieve, & you granted no quarter. But the time has come. This battle of titans has reached a breaking point. Crank up the AC/DC & slip into your peril-sensitive sunglasses, because IT'S ON.

That's right. Consider the gauntlet thrown.

(Content warning: spoilers, swearing, & gifs.)

When I oh-so-innocently suggested a buddy read to GR pal Rachel, we had no clue what we'd agreed to finish. While the plethora of glowing reviews made me somewhat wary (th
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me ha encantado esa mezcla de historia de amor, temas sobrenaturales y misterio!!!

Me ha enganchado desde el primer momento, tanto por los personajes principales ( ya que ninguno de los dos son los tipicos y habituales de la novela romantica historica ) como por la historia en si...

Me ha gustado mucho sentir los sentimientos de los dos personajes ( el amor , los celos, la soledad) cada uno por sus circunstancias personales ... y el tema de tension sexual no resuelta ,ufffff, ha sido muy muy creib
Laura the Highland Hussy
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura the Highland Hussy by: Jen Davis
review posted at Demon Lover's Books & More

Spoiler Free

This book has compelling writing, although right off the bat you are bombarded with clichés. That may not bother some readers, but if it is a pet peeve of yours, then I promise that by the third chapter, the author really hits her stride, and the clichés are gone.

I have had a few of my friends telling me to read this one for weeks, since our tastes are similar, I downloaded from netgalley and was completely underwhelmed by the blurb. If
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it

[Edit: Oh, and I forgot to say that it's -- not really "based on" but I'll say influenced by the tale "East of the Sun & West of the Moon" in ways that become more explicit as the story progresses.]

When I started this book, which I picked up at random from the library without any advance knowledge, it seemed like it was going to be a fairly standard historical romance with a dollop of fantasy for color.

However, as it progressed Callihan skillfully dropped hints of a larger and more complex
Wow. Captivating. Compelling. I could not put this book down.

Firelight by Kristen Callihan was a pleasant surprise. I’m not usually a historical romance reader, but I was enthralled by the rich detail and the beautiful writing style. Firelight combines historical romance with a touch of the paranormal and adds in just the right amount of mythological lore.

In a way, Firelight reminded me of The Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast. This is not a retelling of those tales – instead the aut
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars I liked this one. It has an intriguing premise, it's set in Victorian London (which I love!), and it's overall very well-written. I would like to have seen a bit more of the supernatural elements as well as character development, however, and for some reason I was never really as drawn in by the romance or the sex as many of my fellow readers have been. Still, I *loved* the part when we finally find out the fascinating thing under Lord Archer's mask--if the story had concentrated more ...more
Joanna Loves Reading
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining read. There were a few quibbles with the plot, but it was a fun, fast read. I dug the attraction between the leads, and the paranormal aspect was unusual and not overwhelming. Different from my usual fare, and I will be continuing with this series.
Nov 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pnr, 3-stars
Update 03/18: b-r with Joanna, Sam and Isabella. Thanks again, ladies. I know I'm crazy about this series, but it's so, so much fun doing this with you.

Nothing to add to my previous comments concerning the book.


Update 22/02/17

I enjoyed Firelight a lot more the second time I read it than I did the first time around. The characters were familiar; I knew what would happen to the characters, including the secondary characters - at least the sisters and their prospective partners. Consequ
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Seeing as this is a rather well-loved novel (even among my GR friends), I'm pretty sure that a lot of people won't agree with me, but I'll write this review in my usual brutally honest fashion nonetheless. So if you're a super fan of Firelight and can't tolerate criticism of your favourite book, by all means skip this.

If, however, you're open to a different perspective of the novel, which may even be food for thought later, I welcome you to read on.

Before anything else, I'd like to clarify my cr
Miranda Ellis' life is not what she dreamed of. Instead of going to balls, falling in love, she has to steal so that she could support herself and her father.

She is so tired of it all, but when the opportunity comes to change it, she's not delighted. You see, her way out includes marriage to a man most people are terrified of. After all, no innocent man wanders around town masked.

Marries him she does, but all the while she feels that there's something good about her husband, or so she tries
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delectable MCs? Yes.
Strong heroine? Yes.
Mystery? Yes.
Well-paced? Yes.

Miri and Archer entered a marriage with fractured trust for their own reasons, and it took a long while to see them invest full trusts in their relationship. Finding out Archer’s secret and figuring out exactly what he looked like have kept me turning pages despite the author’s prolix style in some part of the story. The world was loosely built in a disorganized fashion, but it didn’t bother me much because both Archer and Miri
Ann Aguirre
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First off, ignore the blurb. This heroine isn't forced to do anything. She's one of the most empowered heroines I've ever read. Second, this is a kick-ass retelling of Beauty and the Beast without the imbalance of power issues. So if that's your thing, then just get it. No need to read on.

This book has splendid writing, a riveting story, beautifully drawn characters, a compelling premise, smoldering sexual tension, and an unforgettable ending. Really, what more do you need to know? Go buy it, r
Sam (AMNReader)
Reread March 2018 for a BR with Bubu, Isabella, & Joanna....enjoyed it just as much...or more bc as usual b-r enhance my enjoyment.

More please!

This was deeply romantic and powerful. The mystery and suspense elements were engaging and well done. I'm glad I read Ember first, because this on its own may not have made me care about the hero enough. I did, however, and found this to be a fantastic book to binge on
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm totally loving this author! After reading The Hook Up, I knew she was someone I needed to read more of, and this first book in her Darkest London series was very cool and very different. This is pnr/UF, but not what you're probably thinking, it's refreshing getting a surprise in genres that are hard to supply something different and creative.

Miranda Ellis has a secret ability that she desperately tries to hide. The ability to start fires. Not faring well in life due to an accident that left
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Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she'd rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer's Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine's Seal of Excellence, was named a best boo ...more

Other books in the series

Darkest London (7 books)
  • Moonglow (Darkest London, #2)
  • Winterblaze (Darkest London, #3)
  • Shadowdance (Darkest London, #4)
  • Evernight (Darkest London, #5)
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“Slowly, her slim hand smoothed over the swell of his buttock, lingering there. A shocked laugh choked his throat, the sound muddled by a stifled groan that her intrigued touch elicited. The saucy little sneak thief was copping a feel. He felt inclined to turn around and let her get a handful.” 53 likes
“He took a quick breath, and his voice dropped. "You've no notion of the effect you have on me"

The words gave a hard tug to her belly. She closed her eyes and swallowed. "If by effect, you mean finding yourself in unchartered waters, wondering whether you are coming or going...." She stared at his shirt, watching his breath hitch. "Then I fear you have the same effect on me, my lord.”
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