[Review] FIRELIGHT by Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan
Genre: historical paranormal romance

Cover Copy:
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.

My Thoughts: The story is set in Victorian London, but I feel comfortable including FIRELIGHT here at Urban Fantasy Land, because of the monsters, mystery and action. The story is, however, historical paranormal romance.

Kristen Callihan’s FIRELIGHT is about a young woman with the unusual ability to spontaneously produce fire who meets a man who must wear a mask to hide the damage he suffered in an accident, set in Victorian London. A fire-and-ice, beauty-and-the-beast, love-hate relationship ensues.

Miranda Ellis is a firestarter. She is an otherwise perfectly normal young woman– she just has this ability to spontaneously light fires. We never do find out how she acquired this ability, nor are we shown how she conjures it, leaving a large void in the world-building.

That aside, Miranda and Archer engage in some witty banter, and if there’s one thing Callihan does really, really well, it’s subtext around the dialogue. Also, Callihan includes a fantastic running gag throughout the novel.

I had to rate this one a B because of the world-building problems, but I heartily look forward to the next in the series.

Rating: B
Series: Darkest London, #1
Publisher: Forever, January 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

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