Monday, March 11, 2013

REVIEW: "Moonglow" by Kristen Callihan

Moonglow (Darkest London, #2) Moonglow by Kristen Callihan
(Darkest London #2)

For Ages 18+
Paranormal/Historical Romance
Forever -- July 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 382 pages
Borrowed from library

SUMMARY
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.

FIRST LINE
Lord above, was there a better sight than a woman flush with passion, her skin dewy and pink, her breasts bouncing from the force of his thrusts?

MY THOUGHTS
My all-time favorite genres are historical romance and paranormal romance so I am really enjoying Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series which mixes these two almost effortlessly.  I liked the first in the series, Firelight, but not as much as I was hoping to.  Thankfully, I stuck with the author and tried the second installment which I'm so glad I did.  Moonglow is a complex and entertaining story full of unique characters, sexy romance, and amazing worldbuilding that has me eagerly anticipating the rest of the series.

The Darkest London series takes place in an alternate version of Victorian England where most humans live unaware of a deep underworld of supernatural creatures.  These creatures are diverse and range from werewolves to elemental witches.  Specifically, the series focuses on a trio of sisters who are discovering their own supernatural heritage with differing results.
This book focuses on Daisy Ellis Craigmore, sister of Firelight's heroine Miranda, who is recently widowed and free from her verbally abusive husband.  I found Daisy to be a very refreshing heroine for the historical setting.  Her husband belittled her whenever he could and Daisy took this to be a challenge and figured out ways to maintain her independence even after his death.  She did have moments of insecurity, as would be expected from someone in her situation, but she rarely let it affect her overall outlook on life.  She was very strong-minded and confident which made her an easy heroine to like.

Daisy's hero is Ian Ranulf, a mysterious nobleman that readers met in Firelight.  He was a bit of a bad boy in that book even striving to seduce Daisy's sister, Miranda, away from her husband.  I love reformed villain stories and was excited to see how Callihan handled his character even though he wasn't nearly as villainous as some others in the series.  This book allowed readers to see the true man behind the aloof mask that Ian used in society.  I thought he was a great hero who is truly worthy of being one of my many book boyfriends.  He was protective of Daisy without smothering her and had a real sense of morality especially when it came to handling the rest of his werewolf pack relatives.

The romance between Ian and Daisy was full of chemistry and sexual tension.  They began as strangers, but quickly transitioned to friends and eventually lovers.  The development of their relationship was nicely paced and rarely frustrating.  Both of them have vulnerable moments that helped increase the intimacy and really showed how close they were getting.  I really was rooting for them to get their HEA which is always a good sign for me.

I also liked getting to see the return of Miranda and Archer from Firelight especially after all the drama at the end of that book.  It was nice to get to know Daisy's older sister, Poppy, and her inspector husband Winston who I believe will be featured in the next Darkest London book.  I love reading about the sisterly relationship between Miranda, Poppy, and Daisy and look forward to more scenes between them.

I am really finding the worldbuilding of this series to be fascinating and complex.  Callihan is slowly showing us bits and pieces of the world which are starting to come together into a solid whole.  In the first book, readers were introduced to the existence of demons and elementals in this historical world while this one focuses more on werewolves/lycans.  I especially loved learning about the complicated history of the weres (through Ian's recollections and explanations) and how they acclimated themselves to English society.  I also liked the return of the elemental magic with Daisy's new powers though I do wish that there had been more time spent on her developing this awesome ability.

Overall, I was impressed with Moonglow and how it furthered the overarching plot of the series.  Kristen Callihan has an intriguing voice and a real talent for mixing the historical and paranormal genres.  I am really excited to read the third installment, Winterblaze, especially because of the events at the conclusion of this one.

***4 Stars***

FAVORITE QUOTES
"We are all imperfect creatures, love. I don't want perfect. I just want you." --Ian

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Firelight
Moonglow
Winterblaze
Shadowdance (Coming 2013) 

LINKS


2 comments:

  1. Great review! I just finished Winterblaze this week. It was my least favorite of this series, but I still liked it a lot. I love this series and how unique it is. I can't wait until book four. It is about Jack Talent. Something happens to him in Winterblaze that has me dying to make sure he gets a happy ending somehow.

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    Replies
    1. I was hoping Talent would get his own story! I wanted to mention him, but my review was already too long. The trials of being a former English major! Thanks for commenting.

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