Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family’s fortune decimated and forced her to wed London’s most nefarious nobleman.
They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it’s selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can’t help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn’t felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
A few years ago, I was a big fan of paranormal and urban fantasy stories. Over the time, I’ve been reading less and less, even if I always keep an eye in the new releases and have a couple of auto-buy authors. When I saw the opinions of this book at Goodreads, I knew I had to read it. Not only the story was set in Victorian London, but there was a kind of Phantom of the Opera thing going on. This was a combination hard to resist !
Miranda Ellis is a feisty young woman who has a few secrets well kept and an attitude that unsettles many men around her. It’s been quite a long time I read about such an interesting female character. Miranda reminds me of Kate Daniels and Mercedes Thompson in an historical setting. She can kick ass, but there’s a sensibility and a sense of humor that really makes you wish she was your friend.
Now, let’s talk about the brooding, mysterious and incredibly captivating man (aka Benjamin Archer) who is fascinated by Miranda since the first time he sees her. That first scene together is quite powerful and transforms you immediately in a Miranda-Benjamin scenes addict. Each time they are together sparks fly ! There’s a great chemistry going on between these two during the entire story.
Kristen Callihan creates really intriguing characters and I’m also talking about all the secondary ones that will certainly have their own books very soon, I suppose. And let’s not forget about the dark and foggy Victorian settings which are done well and fit perfectly with the intrigue. My only complain would be the villain. It is really predictable and after so many good things, I was expecting something more.
This is one of my best PNR reads this year. Going to pre-order Callihan’s next book right away !
Grade: 4.5 / 5 stars