He was her sunrise, sunset, and everything in between.
Usually, I can devour two 400-page books in a single day. However it took me 2 whole days to finish up Firelight probably because the book was just too beautifully written and I wanted to read each and every line. I kept turning the pages back and forth to reread the scenes. The descriptions were so vivid, I actually felt like I was inside the book, living the story!
* Spoilers *
PLOT- Benjamin Archer is cursed. His entire right side of the body is ‘deformed’ and so he hides behind a mask. His quest for a cure is foiled by Hector Ellis & thus Archer sets out to kill him. But on the way, he is confronted by 19 year old Miranda, Ellis’s youngest daughter who at once recognizes Archer as a threat to her father. She challenges and surprises him at every turn. Moreover Archer feels an attraction and spark which had been missing in his life for years. So archer changes tactics ; he won’t kill Ellis, but will have Miranda as his bride instead.
“Turn around.” Her voice was forged iron. “Your hands to the wall.”
When he simply stood there amused, she flushed. “I don’t care who you are as long as you go. But I will check you for weapons before I send you on your way.”
Slowly, her slim hand smoothed over the swell of his buttock, lingering there. A shocked laugh choked his throat, the sound muddled by a stifled groan that her intrigued touch elicited. The saucy little sneak thief was copping a feel. He felt inclined to turn around and let her get a handful. Christ, this was madness.
3 years later, Ellis forces Miranda to marry Archer. She is unaware that Archer was the same man she had met in the alleyway. They have pleasant yet witty conversations, but Archer refuses to show her the real side of him-claiming it is the only way to protect her. But Miranda isn’t without defenses- she can magically create and start fires-of course not many people know about her skill.
“He took a quick breath, and his voice dropped. “You’ve no notion of the effect you have on me”
The words gave a hard tug to her belly. She closed her eyes and swallowed. “If by effect, you mean finding yourself in unchartered waters, wondering whether you are coming or going….” She stared at his shirt, watching his breath hitch. “Then I fear you have the same effect on me, my lord.”
When Archer’s friends begin to get murdered, both their lives are thrown into danger and Miranda realizes she has to go much deeper and try to uncover the secrets her husband hides behind the mask.
“And are you happy?” he asked softly.
Happy? Perhaps. Satisfied? No. Tears burned behind her eyes, and she took an unsteady breath. “Why now, Archer?”
Need tightened his mouth and left his expression raw. “Because today I truly realized that I could lose you in an instant.” He took a small step toward her. “That life was not a long road that stretched before me, but here and now. And the thought of spending one more day, one more breath without knowing the feel of you in my arms has become too much to bear.”
It has been so long since a story after Poison Study & Tairen soul has gripped me so hard and got me day dreaming for more. Miranda is feisty, courageous, determined, perceptive and extremely loyal. She used to be a street thief for her father and is extremely intelligent.
“Leave now,” she demanded, unmoved, “or I’ll turn you both to cheese on toast.”
I can’t stop gushing that I love Archer. He has entered my list of favourite heroes. He is tortured thanks to the curse- he is a half light demon-a devourer of souls but he refuses to let that side of him come into play. He tries so hard to rein in his emotions. He knows that marrying Miranda was selfish and is even ready for an annulment- (thankfully Miranda kicks some sense into him.) His love for Miranda just makes sigh.
You are my wife, not an acquaintance. Husbands and wives are partners in life, are they not? The one person who will support you when all hope seems lost.”
In most romance novels, the heroine cries and the hero comforts. But it was the opposite here ! Archer actually lets his emotions loose, he sobs and I was just touched to see Miranda comfort him. To sum it up- he is awesome!
“You have no choice in the matter, BenjaminArcher. I love you. Nothing you say will change that.”
Something in him broke. Miranda felt the tremor against her arms before a great sob tore from him. His arms curled round her as he began to cry, and his strength gave out. She fell with him, landing upon his lap to cradle his head on her shoulder. He clutched her tightly as though she might slip away, sobs wracking his body as the loneliness he’d held within unleashed in a torrent. The sound of his anguish pulled tears to her eyes. He cried like a babe unbidden as she murmured unintelligible words of comfort, stroking his soft hair.
The sexual tension was sizzling. Every time you thought they finally kissed, they get interrupted.
1st kiss : Someone tries to murder Miranda
2nd kiss : Overcome by passion, Miranda accidentally burns a table
3rd kiss : Argument
4th kiss : Miranda accidentally creates fire
5th kiss : Finally- an uninterrupted kiss ! :-]
“You’re collecting pieces of me, aren’t you?” His voice turned thick as warm toffee, rolling over her skin, heating it. “A bit here. A bit there. Soon you’ll set me out on the table, to try and fit me back together.”
Ignoring the flurries plaguing her belly, she affected blandness. “I’ve only got the corners. But it is a start.”
A warm breath touched her neck. “I believe you have the centerpiece as well.”
They consummated their marriage only at the end of the story and the love scenes were so beautiful, made me blush. I loved how they came to love each other slowly and how sex was not the driving force of their relationship but rather their mutual understanding and respect.
“For in ninety years on this earth, no one has made me feel the way you do, as if every day is an adventure. You make me laugh. And I never laugh. I go around smiling like a witless fool. So yes, I kept it from you, because I am so desperately in love with you that the knowledge that you might love me too was irresistible. And I was afraid it would turn to dust should I take off that mask.”
Kristen Callihan reveals the secrets bit by bit. The book combined everything I loved- fantasy, romance and suspense. Lots of suspense. From the start of the book, there is so much of foreshadowing- something is going to happen, it got me rooted to the sofa, book in my hands.
The side characters were great-Kristen Callihan makes you realise that your first impression of the characters are wrong-she peels the real character of a person slowly. The epilogue was pretty short-I wanted so much more-anyway good thing there are more books in the series. :-] So at then end, I was cheering – Yay ! Finally found a new favourite author.
“Know this, there is only one truth left to me.” His trembling fingertips caressed her jaw. “That I love you.” He said it again, his voice broken, his arms pulling her tightly against him. “I love you. The rest is darkness.”
Her fingers curled around the smooth swells of his biceps.
“Then let me be your light.”
Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.
A DANGEROUS WOMAN . . .
Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.
A PASSION NEITHER COULD DENY
During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel . . . and his life
When you’ve exposed a weakness in battle, attack, don’t retreat.
While I really like the hero, I wish I could say the same about the story. I felt that the romance was quite rushed up and there was just too much sex, too explicit for my taste. And they fell in love too fast. Personally, I felt that the characters could have been given much more depth and characterisation because the story had a great beginning. And Isabel found out Winter’s secrets too fast..not much development there.
“Every gentleman you meet must voice his admiration, his wish to make love to you. And those are only the ones who may voice such thoughts. All about you are men who cannot speak their admiration, who must remain mute from lack of social standing or fear of offending you. Only their thoughts light the air about you, following you like a trail of perfume, heady but invisible.”
Anyway, here is why I liked the hero-Winter. He does not believe in casual sex and is in fact a virgin.And once he falls in love, he does not mind that Isabel can’t have children, he values her more than dreams which never existed.
I’m not like your society rogues, Isabel. I regard physical lovemaking as something sacrosanct to love. And if I loved a woman enough to take her to my bed, then I would love her enough to marry her. I don’t intend ever to marry, ergo, I do not intend to ever get close enough to a woman—physically or emotionally—to make love to her.”
Plus he takes tasks in his own hand-he does not depend on anyone else to do work. For instance, how he rescues kidnapped children and sets up a home for them even though he may risk losing his life in the process. He’s protective, patient and can rein in his anger very well. And he’s awfully blunt – something I like a lot !
“Wear you social mask at your balls and parties and when you visit your friends out there, but when we are alone, just the two of us in here, promise me this: that you’ll show me only your real face, no matter how ugly you might think it. That’s our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together.
First things first- I absolutely LOVED this book ! Not for the characters but rather the lessons learnt from the mistakes made by the characters.
PLOT – Sam Leclaire is a shallow and superficial hockey star. He drinks and dates a new model every week. On a trip to Vegas, he is enamored by a redhead named Autumn Haven, spends a few nights of passion with her and on the spur marries her. Only to leave her the next day all alone- pregnant divorced and confused.
Sam LeClaire was a good-looking son of a bitch. Everyone thought so. Everyone from sports writers to soccer moms.The girl wrapped up in his sheets thought so, too. Although she really wasn’t a girl. She was a woman.”
It has taken 5 years for Autumn to let go of the deep burning hatred she has for Sam. Being a single working mother is no easy task, but hard work is her best quality. Forgiveness is definitely not her thing.
And when Sam slowly realizes that fame and gorgeous girls are all momentary pleasure and suddenly family is his priority, will she be able to open her heart again?
“I want you to always be here when I get home. I want to hear about your day. I love you and I will love you for the rest of my life.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He didn’t want to choke up. He didn’t want the woman he loved to see him cry like a girl. “You and Conner, that’s all I’ll ever need.”
Autumn’s mom had told her not to go to Vegas- for anything can happen there. But of course, human tendency is to rebel & find out things for themselves. Most of us young people feel, “Oh, we’re adults now, we know what we are doing, our parents are just getting intrusive.” But the things is that they have seen life better than us & sometimes they do get protective. I loved how Autumn realized her mistakes of the past and moved on.
“You never learn the first time. You always have to get hit twice before you see it coming.” He was seeing now what he’d seen that first night at Pure. A bright shiny light he wanted to catch in his hands and hold forever. If she let him.”
I don’t believe in sex before marriage, especially sex with stranger, no matter how much they are drenched in sex appeal. What if you get pregnant and the other guy runs off? Sure you’ve got protective measure,s but a single mistake can change the course of your life. And reading this story further supported my idea. Autumn just got lucky that Sam came come back. In real life, there are hardly any rosy endings.
He pointed at her white Jersey. “What the hell are you wearing?”
“A hockey jersey.” She looked down and pointed at the penguin on the front. “Hockey is our Halloween theme this year.”
His voice was quiet. Deadly. “It’s Pittsburgh.”
“I like it. The penguin has little skates on his feet.” She looked back up. “It’s cute.”
“Jerseys aren’t supposed to be cute.” He frowned and pointed an accusing finger at her. “You’re wearing Crosby’s number.”
She looked at the 87 on her sleeve. “Who?”
“Jesus. The bastard just scored on me with a hinky puck. He should have been embarrassed instead of skating around like a prom queen.”
“I like this jersey.”…“He’s cute.”
“Are you serious?”
She actually didn’t really know what Crosby looked like, but Sam looked annoyed. Which, she admitted, amused her. “Yes. I don’t want my guy to be ugly.”
“Your guy? You pick a guy’s number because you think he’s cute?”
Autumn was all alone during her delivery. Her mother had just dies of cancer, her father had run off with his girlfriend a decade ago, and brother fighting a war in Afghanistan, And then her ‘husband’ dumps her – it was an extremely tough situation. She was so scared and lonely.I could actually feel her emotions throughout the book.
Sam has 2 sides. While he sips beer and roll off women, he loves his son Conner very much. Except he just doesn’t know how to be a good father and realizes that he worse then his own dead. After his sister was killed, he became reckless. I loved his transition in the story.
“See the dragon?” Conner pointed to what looked like a snake with a big head slithering through the sand toward the castle. “He protects the boy in the castle.”
He looked up at his dad and squinted against the sun. “From what, Dad?”
Sam wrapped his arms around her and lifted her off her heels. He pressed his dirty sweatshirt against her and laughed. “You’re too clean. I like you better when you’re dirty, too.”
“Sam!” She pushed at his shoulders and tried to squirm out of his hold. But Sam was bigger and taller, and she didn’t stand a chance.
He tightened his grasp and lifted her until her toes dangled above the sand. His heated breath whispered across her chilled cheek, “Wanna get real dirty with me?”
I guess I loved the book so much cause I connected with them, their feelings and the flashback, well written.
“You seem to have lost your panties again.”
“Oops. I bet that happens around you a lot.”
“Not anymore.” He slid his hands up her smooth back. “You’re the only woman I want around. The only woman I want to see drop her panties. The only woman I’ve ever really wanted.”
She leaned back and looked up at him. Her green eyes smiling with laughter. “Up until a few months ago, I wasn’t even the kind of woman you dated.”
“No.” He pressed his forehead into hers and brushed his mouth across her lips. “But you’re the kind of woman I marry. If I’m really lucky, you’re the kind of woman who will marry me twice.”
Starting of, Scent of Magic reminded me so much of World of Warcraft – the undead, inns, scenery, healers guilds, random tribes..so I suppose that’s why Maria V Snyder’s books hook me on so quickly.
Plot : As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she has diead of the plague. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.
Under the guise of Sergeant Irina, she begins to train the soldiers of Estrid’s camp to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.It takes quite some time for the others to accept her..but within no time, she and others are drawing out war stratergies.
On the other side, Kerrick and Danny have been kidnapped by a tribe and everyone believes that Kerrick is dead, including Avry.
Lot of new characters are introduced. The story has got its occasional twists,betrayal and sarcastic humour. It’s quite fast paced initially but slows down slightly towards the end. I usually like a lot of romance in my fantasy, but in this story, Kerrick and Avry are only together in the first and last chapter. Still, I loved the action and adventure. It made their far away relationship more special. There are double PoVs- Kerrick & Avry (1st person narrative)
I loved the fact that Kerrick trusts Avry and gives her space. He knows his duty lies with his country first. And when Avry learns of his death, she is devastated and heartbroken..but she moves on to save her living friends.
Tohon was a well rounded villain- he had a motive (childhood jealousy)- he is a psycho and maniac and in spite of his anger toward Avry for she foiled all his plans- he is attracted to her : In fact at one point, he wants her to fall in love with him and actually attempts to woo her (Lol) The fact that Avry can’t resist Tohon’s touches makes the conflict all the more interesting. Of Course, killing Noelle (Avry’s sister) was the last straw : so woo hoo ! Avry finally learns to resist the desire Tohon plants in her.
Remember Flea ? He’s ALIVE .. and NAKED !! With a whole new magic power in his a hand. Sadly, there are lots of deaths in the story. I guess..that makes the war all the more realistic. But I hated it when Ursuan (a seargent) died. I found him quite intriguing..the way he suspects and figures things out and always covers Avry back. I wanted to know who he really was but poof : he just died.
Ryne is quite the strategist. Danny is quite intelligent. Maria V Snyder has lot of creative expressions using fear and anger. Go ahead and pick up the book. But let me warn you..there is quite an ending (cliffhanger) – Kerrick is poisoned and he might die..but I am not too worried..after all the hero can’t die right ? Or can he ?
P.S. Happy New Year !!
Julie James is a master at writing witty banter and sarcastic dialogues ! This was an amazing read, I must have read this book more than 10 times by now.
Plot – Our hero, Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. He is to act as a lawyer in his new movie, for which he seeks help from a law firm who sends in Taylor Donovan to train him .When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match. Throw in a jealous actor as a villain and your all ready to go.
Sam eyed them both suspiciously. “What kind of issues?”
Taylor didn’t bat an eye.
“Well . . . it appears that Mr. Andrews has some problems determining what is and is not appropriate behavior in the workplace.”
“Unfortunately, it seems that Mr. Andrews has a fondness for telling dirty jokes around the office.” She leaned in toward Sam, whispering. “And not even good ones—juvenile stuff. Fifth-grade humor, really.” Seeing Sam’s eyes dart over toward him, Jason shifted uncomfortably. Normally he was all for ad-libbing, but this was going a little far off script.
“Umm . . . Ms. Donovan, perhaps we should discuss this in—”
“And another thing,” she immediately cut him off, “he apparently demands that the women in his office address him only as ‘Your Hotness.’ And when speaking about him in the third person, he wants them to refer to him only as ‘TheHotness.”
The Derek guy, who still sat over at the conference table, snorted loudly at this.
Jason threw Taylor a look of warning. “I really don’t think—”
“—And of course there was the incident last week,” she said, cutting him off once again.
“The incident?” Sam asked, looking slightly uncomfortable.
With a coy glance clearly thrown in for Jason’s benefit, Taylor turned to Sam to explain.
“Last week, Mr. Andrews thought it would be amusing to sound the fire alarm and yell over the intercom that it was—quote—‘Time for all the cute girls to run around naked.’ ”
I loved the fact that it wasn’t attraction at first sight. In fact Taylor detests Jason’s arrogance. Taylor is level headed and in no way want to be involved with a womanizer who is used to having his every whim and fancy.
“Condescending, too—you should’ve see the way he waved off the mountain of work on my desk with his little ‘Oh, pooh-pooh, but I’m a movie star.’ ”
My favourite part was when Jason realised that Taylor met with an accident, he left the filming immediately & also the part where Jason bursts into Taylor’s house and starts rambling about his problems without realising she had guests . I adored the way Jason ran around trying some or another way to get Taylor’s attention. The only thing I didn’t like was the whole making love thing at last..c’mon they waited so long, couldn’t they wait until they were married, it would make way more special.
Anyway , the characters develop gradually and both start to understand each other for who they really are Opposites, but they make a wonderful couple. If you like light hearted,funny, feel-good romance to give your brain some vacation, go ahead and pick up this book
Note : ( 4 Aug 2013 )
This book is awesome awesome awesome !!! I’ve read this book more than 50 times by now. No joke ! I don’t know why I wrote such a small review !
Jason’s jealousy is so adorable.. and when he helps Taylor after the accident-I just sighed… =)
And I loved the fact that they did NOT jump into bed and the love scene was not super graphic..which made the book just right and super fun to read. As in the focus was more on their witty banter rather than the crazy I love you at first sight romance. Love that !
My friend who hates all the books I read cause of the ‘dirty scenes’ loved this book ! And coming from her..that counts a lot !
Again..Jason was so cute.. it was quite fairytale-ish