Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Title: Firelight

Series: Darkest London #1

Author: Kristen Callihan

Genre: Historical Paranormal (Victorian)

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.

Firelight is Kristen Callihan’s debut, and I feel pretty conflicted about the grade I’m going to give it.

Why? Because on one hand, this book has very solid storytelling. There are a lot of romance authors out there who, it seems, don’t know how to structure a story, and fortunately Ms. Callihan is one who does. For that alone I feel like I should give Firelight an A grade.

But while on the other hand there are a few nit-picky things I could talk about, it all boils down to that I simply didn’t connect with the story or the characters. Because I’ve seen other reviews for this book, I know I am one of the few people who didn’t love it.

There were many things to like apart from the solid story structure: the characters were fascinating and unexpected, the author’s voice was absolutely beautiful, the paranormal elements were very interesting… in the end, though, this is one of the few books where I just have to say that you probably need to read it for yourself because it’s going to come down to each person’s subjective reaction. I didn’t connect to it, but you might. I enjoyed it and am glad I read it and also think Kristen Callihan has great potential for future works, but it just didn’t work for me as well as I’d hoped.

Grade: B


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