Wednesday, August 6, 2014

NYOBG Member Review-Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Miranda Ellis, the heroine, has a secret ability to create fire, and as a child she unwittingly destroyed her family’s fortune.  Her guilt haunts her as much as her ability frightens her.  Years later, destitute and turning to thievery to survive, her father unkindly persuades her to accept a marriage offer from an infamous nobleman.  Lord Archer, the hero, also hides a terrible secret, wearing masks to cover his disfigurement from a curse that has plagued him for almost a century.   Dramatic mystery abounds, and these two lonely souls fight an attraction that becomes an undeniable love as secrets unravel and curses are revealed.    

I’m recommending this simply because it’s unusual.  Firelight is the first book in Callihan’s Darkest London series.  I’ve been hearing quite a few raves about this series, and each book has received top reviews, so I finally picked it up when Shadowdance, the fourth in the series, became a finalist for a RITA.

  It’s being pushed as a paranormal romance, and I do think that is where this series belongs, because the core of this story is a genre romance with a happy ending.  However, it does have a steampunk edge.  In many ways, it reminded me of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, set in the late 1800’s as if some humans have supernatural abilities/afflictions that they need to hide from the general population, sort of X-men meets Phantom of the Opera, and it does have its melodramatic moments—the hero hiding behind a mask for starters.

I tend to think of steampunk as the past, present, and/or future that never was.  At certain points, this book fell into that category.   With that said, I found it a fun read.  Again, it’s unusual.  The author has a wonderful voice and great imagination, and the romance was spectacular.  If you read paranormal/historical/steampunk romances, you’ll enjoy this book.  There were a few segments where I wanted the hero and heroine to just communicate instead of going off on their own, but it did heighten the tension and kept those pages turning.  I’m hooked.  I just downloaded the second book, and I’m thrilled to have found a new series to devour over the summer.

Chili Pepper Rating: 

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