Archive | paranormal romance RSS feed for this section

Firelight – Book Review

2 Mar


firelight

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.”

THOUGHTS-

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.”

KCallihan_Firelight.card1.back

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.”

Book Review – Immortals after Dark #2 : A hunger like no other

2 Nov

What do you do if some random guy appears out of nowhere and pounces on you, drags you of to a hotel and then demands that you guide him to his palace in the next country. If that’s not enough, he attends to his expensive tastes by burning the money from your credit cars and and tries to do stuff of sexual nature with you.

Meet Emmaline ‘Emma’ Troy, a half vampire & half valkyrie. Her mother, a stunning valkyrie died when Emma was a baby. After turning 70 ( which is young for an immortal? ), she leaves her valkyrie coven and embarks on a quest to find out her vampire dad’s identity.

Meanwhile Lachalain MacRieve, the king of the Lykae clan has been imprisoned & tortured for an agonizing 150 years at the hands of the ruthless vampire king Demestriu. The gruesome pain inflicted on him causes him to die everyday only to be revived again by his immortality. After scenting his destined mate, he manages to escape the fiery catacombs, maiming his leg in the process.

 

But oof ! Fate had different plans for him. Lachlain is horrified to find his mate Emma, a vampire. (He doesn’t realise that she’s half valkyrie too) As tradition, the lykaes and vampires do not mix. They were enemies, are enemies and will always be enemies. Moreover, Emma’s weakness and fear disgusts him.

Anyway, he still tags along. After all, He’s waited 1200 years for his true mate and plans to confirm it. He demands that Emma help him reach his home in Scotland after which he’ll let her go. Of course we know that is  an outright lie, for he plans to keep her for a long long time.

The only reason Emma’s willing to put up with Lachalain is because she is in danger of being discovered. After Demestriu’s accession to the vampire throne, all female vampires were slaughtered making Emma the last female left. Her halfling status requires her to be more vigilant. Staying with the intimidating Lachlain assures her temporary protection.

 

Kresley Cole has done an amazing job of weaving her characters. Each character has a unique personality, their emotions changing rapidly making the story more interesting at every turn.

 

Emma is everything opposite to what a vampire should be. She’s gentle and has not even hurt a fly. She has never killed for food and drinks only from blood banks. All the more reason, why I should like her, indirectly she’s vegetarian. ( Vegans have my respect )

Due to her upbringing and mix species, she has always felt like an outsider. In the beginning of the story , one usually perceives her as a weak coward who cowers in fear at every threat. But she grows throughout the story and learns to fight for herself. In spite of the sexual tension , she does not succumb to lust. She stands up fore self and refusing to be taken advantaged of by a stranger.

And yes ! She’s a virgin ! That’s not very common for the current generation for Emma is a 70 years old with an ethereal drop-dead gorgeous face.

 

Lahclain-Lachlain-Lachlain : Considering the fact, that he’s been tortured and locked up for a century, you’d expect the typical brooding hero who needs the warmth of a heroine to awake his broken soul. SKIP THAT CRAP ! Our hero, is quick to let go of his past and move on.

He’s intelligent but the way modern day gadgets especially telephones initially scares the wits out of him, cracks me up! Did I mention his outdated accent ? Realistic. But I think I’d better give him a ‘ speak modern english DVD ‘ as a wedding gift.

 

To Emma’s chagrin, he’s possessive and overwhelming too. Lachlain assumes that Emma is a ‘blood sucking leech’ and dominates and bosses her at every go. Yet his infuriated mind seems to soothe in her presence. Every now and then I felt like slapping him and giving him a lecture on “free will”. 

So when Lachlain realises that he’s been totally wrong and that Emma isn’t the predator, I literally did the ‘ IN YOUR FACE ‘ dance in my bedroom ! Score 100 points for Emma when she kicks and dislocates Lachlain’s jaw.

He softens up as the story progresses and realises that he’s the one at folly and ought to adapt to improve their relationship. When Lachlain realises that Emma is his torturer’s Demestriu’s daughter, he doesn’t scream or burst into rage. By then, his love for Emma allows him to think rationally & act like a mature adult.

 

Kresley Cole has built a fantastic world, brilliant world building, every character has a role to play in the future books. Inspite of the colourful additions, you don’t get confused. I really cared for each one of them.

 

What’s better than a bunch of loyal and kick-ass valkyrie aunts who enjoy gaming on their xbox & munching on electricity every weekend. They love Emma and fiercely protect her . My favourite is Regina the Radiant. She’s one crazy gal whose sarcastic wit got me hooked with her story in Book 11. And Nix the soothsayer, she’s supposed to act wise and regal, but hey ! She wakes up from her nap after her sisters have almost died fighting a horde of bloodthirsty vampires & complains that she just missed the drama!

 

Take Annika : Emma’s foster mother. She reminds me of Lauriana Baristani from C.L.Wilson’s Tairen Soul series. Both mother’s want the best for their daughters, but they both are too stubborn to overcome any prejudices and acknowledge change. I often felt like shaking some sense into her.

Lucia & Garreth (Lachlain’s brother) : So Lachlain isn’t the only one to find a mate. It is funny how Garreth saves Lucia, only to be later captured by her and held ransom. I’m looking forward to reading their book.

Demestriu– This is probably the forest time I actually pity the villain. He’s one of those hormonally imbalanced and messed up people. He knows good from bad but is addicted to evil. He’s mad and confused but is happy to embrace death. But it rather hurt to know that Demestriu always knew about his daughter Emma’s existence but didn’t bother too search for her cause of rumours of her weakness.

 

This book taught me to never underestimate one’s ability.

The events pace perfectly however I felt that Emma & Lachlain’s relationship progressed too fast. Just 2 weeks, and they are heads over heels with each other ? It’s amazing how quickly Emma overlooked Lachlain’s misgiving but seriously, his initial nature would piss any normal human being off. ‘ Of course, we’re not talking about humans here. ‘ But still 2 weeks was too quick. I was hoping they’d understand each other over a long period. For what I have learnt, any strong relationship requires time and patience. And the fact that he hardly gives Emma her space is quite a reason for divorce nowadays.

The book highlights that politics whether among humans or mythical creatures, its all the same. Friends and foes trying to overthrow you to gain ultimate power.

 

This is a paranormal romance with a perfect blend of different cultures with couple of action-packed scenes. It reminded me of G.A. Aiken’s Dragon Kin Series.

I understood this book without reading book1 and then directly skipped to book 11 about Regina & book 12 about Lothaire . ( He has a minor appearance in this books & is definitely WICKED PERSONIFIED ) The best part is that everything is crafted so well that you needn’t read the books in order, it just flows.

%d bloggers like this: