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.
©2012 Kristin Callihan (P)2012 Hachette Audio
"Evocative and deeply romantic, Firelight was fascinating from the very first page." (Nalini Singh)
"Callihan has a great talent for sexual tension and jaw-dropping plots." (Diana Gabaldon)
I wanted a light, easy to listen to, yet entertaining book (to listen to in bed when my brain has already gone to sleep), preferably with a supernatural or 'different' slant. However, I wanted it to have a great story, be intelligently and well written and be without any of the cheesy, explicit and frankly unsexy sex scenes often found in this type of book. I had given up hope when I found this in the sale! It is entertaining and sexy and I am already on the next in the series - which also seems great !
The Raven Queen
Like a previous reviewer, I too stuck this out until the end. The story started well, and had me gripped but quickly descended into overly graphic nearly-sex scenes in what seemed like every other chapter. Love and lust are not the same thing; the first interaction between the main characters was marred by Archer's lewd imagination. Not exactly romantic.
I also have to agree that the writing wasn't particularly inspiring either. The same lack lustre descriptions were used over and over until I had to question whether I had already listened to the chapter that was playing. There were so many more expressions or interactions that the author could have used.
Having said that, I thought the supernatural element of the story was interesting and some of the characters were likeable. I also thought the narration was very good, and was pleasant to listen to. I would just have preferred more substance to the storyline and less of the unnecessary, and slightly cringe-worthy, erotica.
Out of all the audiobooks I have, this one was by far the best. I loved the narrator, she didn't fall into the trap of trying to imitate a male voice which is both unachievable and unrealistic. Her voice was hypnotic. I will keep her in mind for future purchases.
Really enjoyed the story too, it was an original storyline and had me hooked up until the last. I will enjoy listening to this again.
Overall, this book has a reasonable story, and that is what stopped me sacking it off part way through. However, the whole plot is totally overshadowed by the incessant 'will they shag or won't they', sideline. The author has got the balance completely wrong and has hugely over-focussed on this, instead of making it a subtle sub-plot. Then there is the writing. I found myself at times pondering the age of the author. It all goes a tad Barbara Cartland far too regularly. The sex scenes are graphic, overly descriptive and somewhat amateur. It makes one cringe. I hung on in there, wincing regularly, hoping for a good ending. It was reasonable. My advice, don't read. It would probably win first prize in the village competition, but should stay there.
I'd like to thank Lee from She-Wolf Reads for recommending this to me! I really enjoyed it and adored Lord and Lady Archer! I loved the story of Archer being cursed and being saved by Miranda, it definetly sampled the Beauty and the Beast story line but with a complete revamp and a little mixing of myths as it drew from Egyptian stories to explain how he came to be cursed.
I loved Miranda's ability and how she struggled to accept it. Archer and Miranda had great chemistry and truly accepted each other completely for all the other was. They were a perfect match for each other.
The villian for me was a mystery for much of the book, I suspected many differnt people but only really came to realise who the villian was for sure not long before Miranda figured it out. I'd suspected at an early syage but then with other characters I dismissed them as a suspect for the killings til near the end again!
I loved the main supporting characters as well, Euala, Gilford and Miranda's sisters. I was mixed about Ian, I didn't like him trying to steal Miranda and hurt Archer but it seemed conflicted in his actions himself and he had moments where I thought I could really like this character. I suspect he's getting the next book and I have to admit, it was hinted that he and Archer were friends as students before his father turned him against Archer and I'd like to see a reconciliation there.
I look forward to the rest of the series and would recommend this book!
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