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.”