Firelight
Darkest London #1
Kristen Callihan
Forever, Jan 2012
Ebook, 289 pages, also in paperback
Genre(s) Debut novel, Magical Historical Romance
Source Author's newsletter

Other books in this series: Ember, Moonglow, Winterblaze, Entwined, Shadowdance, Evernight, Soulbound, Forevermore

Synopsis
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.


About the Author:  
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 book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher's Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

My Disclaimer:  I was provided a free copy of this book by joining the author's newsletter. I am providing an honest review for which I am receiving no compensation of any kind. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  ✰✰✰⭒
I read this without realizing it was a debut album. But now I know that and that explains some of the things I noted in the book. I'll get into that as I go.

The pace was fast. Maybe just a bit too fast sometimes. There were parts that I wanted to be able to slow down and take things in a bit. The characters were pretty well defined and we learned more about them as the story went along. Miranda was rather fearless because she relied on her magical ability to protect her. It also allowed her to become very confident in other ways in addition to the fact that she had unusual and very striking looks.

Archer had become a super powerful being since the "curse" had advanced so far and his body had become so strong and so fast. He was also a nobleman, a baron, and was very rich, so he had the confidence that gave him along with what he got from the other. He was almost unstoppable. There was only one other person he couldn't best, but his condition was supposed to be some sort of "genetic" condition. I suspect we'll see him in another book and get his story.

Archer's aging retainers were amusing. The butler was a sweetie. The housekeeper had a strange way about her. She was so flippant to Miranda. This was one of those areas I would have liked to have seen developed a bit more. Perhaps a more experienced writer would have done so. We were given a peek into the situation, but the door was shut before we really got to see it well. I was disappointed.

The love between Miranda and Archer, her "Ben", was very sweet. That's not to say it wasn't hot, but they were both looking for someone who would just love them. And against all odds, they found each other and survived the solution to the "curse".

This first book of this series was written in 2012 and there are 7 novels in the series with a couple of novellas as well. Book #7 came out last year, so the author is keeping it going. I am very much hoping that she has grown with her series because I liked her style. Her characters were really good and I liked the storyline she created. I'm hoping the rest of the series is as good. If you have read this series or her other books, please share with me your thoughts.