[Review] MOONGLOW by Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan
Genre: historical paranormal romance

Cover Copy:
Once the seeds of desire are sown . . .
Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy’s door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors . . .

Their growing passion knows no bounds . . .
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret, and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.

My Thoughts:  Although it’s set in Victorian London and a paranormal romance, I think MOONGLOW will appeal to lovers of historical urban fantasy. The historical elements are accurate, the city is vivid, and there’s plenty of action. I figure the happily ever after is just a nice bonus.

MOONGLOW tells the story of Daisy Craigmore a recent widow with an extraordinary sense of smell, and Ian Ranulf, the shunned werewolf who should be the leader of the pack. A rogue werewolf starts attacking and eating people, and it seems to be targeting Daisy. Ian, wanting to catch the culprit, takes Daisy under his protection to keep her safe, but also to use her for bait. This is where other historicals might leave the heroine helpless and dependant on the hero. But not Callihan. Daisy soon discovers she has a magical power– she can move the earth and rapidly grow plants. It may not seem like much of a power, but in the moment Daisy discovers it, she impales some bad guys with tree roots. (Like I said, the action is great!)

A romance blossoms between Daisy and Ian over the course of these trials and tribulations, and Callihan develops it really well.

The plot does get a little twisted with its improbable “secret baby” subplot towards the end, but there’s enough adrenaline-infused action and other character development that this convoluted bit is relatively minor.

MOONGLOW is sure to be easily enjoyed by readers of romance, urban fantasy and historicals.

Rating: A-
Series: Darkest London, #2
Publisher: Forever, July 2012
Acquired: NetGalley

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[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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