Book Review: Kristen Callihan’s Firelight

Posted August 7, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kristen Callihan’s Firelight


on January 31, 2012 and has 372 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Darkest London paranormal romance series based in late nineteenth century London. The couple focus is on the Dread Lord Archer and Miranda Ellis.

In 2012, Firelight won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Historical Fantasy/Paranormal and the Library Journal: Librarian’s Best Romance Books of the Year for Best Romance Books.

My Take

Give. Me. A. Break. The “Dread” Lord Archer??

Firelight is a mixture of Beauty and the Beast with a heavy dose of Bluebeard. I do like how Callihan teases us with the mystery of why Archer was banished from England and there do seem to be a multitude of reasons. Layers on layers of them which lead us down various and sundry paths before she explodes several truths in our faces.

I agree with Archer. Rossberry has been freed, but all his old friends believe that Archer should have remained in exile?? Even as they enjoy their lives and families? Oh, I do like Miranda’s character, her honesty.

Hmmmm, loose thread with Martin. All those years and he says that to her on their wedding day??

On the whole, Callihan does well with painting the London and its society of the 1880s, although, I can’t really forgive the satin. In the daytime??

The Story

Only by the grace of young Pan does Hector Ellis survive. At least until Archer claims his last treasure. It’s his decency, his consideration, that moves Miranda. What decides her is the adventure this opportunity offers.

The days — and nights — pass and still Miranda has not experienced what she expects while Archer intrigues her more and more each day. His kindness, his consideration, his loneliness pull at her. His integrity shines and she wants desperately to help prove his innocence.

Miranda calls on all her resources — her sisters, Billy. Then her life is threatened. Again and again. And that, Archer will not tolerate. Having found the message Daoud sent, Archer enrolls Leland in deciphering it. Desperate to save Miranda and his own soul.

The Character

The Dread Lord Benjamin Archer is the fifth Baron Archer of Umberslade and he terrifies most of London. His immense riches do not make up for the mask few in living memory have ever seen him without. Events in his distant past have caused him to train as a surgeon. Eula is Archer’s housekeeper and she doesn’t much like Miranda. Gilroy is his butler. Daoud was his valet. Trusted. He found the cure and sent it, but it was lost along the way.

Miranda Ellis, a.k.a., the sword-fighting Pan, wields the power of fire. And was a little too curious as a child. Her oldest sister Poppy operates a bookstore she and her husband Winston purchased with the dowry Hector gave her; now, Winston is Inspector Lane of the Criminal Investigation Division and is in charge of the murder that starts this story. Daisy is the middle sister. She was the sacrifice to a marriage with Mr. Cyril “Craggy” Craigmore, a Member of Parliament. Hector Ellis is a merchant who will sell or steal anything, anyone.

Old friends of Archer’s who were also members of the West Moon Club include Sir Percival Andrew; Maurus Lea, the Earl of Leland; Lords Marcus Cheltenhan and Merryweather; and, Alasdair Ranulf, the Earl of Rossberry, and his son Ian, Viscount McKinnon, who wants Miranda.

Victoria Archer Allernon introduces herself as Archer’s third cousin. Just one of many lies and hurts she inflicts. Lord Marvel was having an affair with Victoria until Archer stopped it.

Billy Finger almost raped Miranda three years ago, but taught her the trade. Black Tom runs the Dial and forces Miranda’s secret. Dover Rye was Ellis’ captain. A thieving pirate. Tucker is his son.

The West Moon Club is an organization whose members were scholars experimenting with science and medicine, looking for a way to cure men of disease, enhance them, end death itself. What happened to Archer, caused its members to flee.

The Cover and Title

The cover is London ablaze in flames, Big Ben in the background, and a tightly corseted Miranda in a tea-length gown, her own red hair a flame and swirling in the fire’s draft. There’s calculation in her eyes and she looks quite t’home amidst the Firelight.