Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Early Review - Moonglow (Darkest London # 2) - Kristen Callihan

Once the seeds of desire are sown . . .
Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy's door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors . .
Their growing passion knows no bounds . . .
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret, and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.

Publication Date:  July 31, 2012 

ARC provided by NetGalley

Review:  As much as I adored the story of Archer and Miranda from Firelight, I was equally as taken with Ian and Daisy in Moonglow.  Even though Ian had the propensity to act like a cad in Firelight, there was something about him that I was very intrigued with.  Ian has a lot of dark secrets, and a lot of charm and personality, too.  He was a character I liked in Firelight, and a character I grew to love in Moonglow.

The book opens with Daisy at some sort of party.  She leaves to get some "fresh air"  with a young man when she hears a growling noise.  She notices that a friend that she had been looking for is dead, while a werewolf is attacking her.  When she makes a noise, the were charges at the young man she is with, effectively killing the man, and knocking Daisy out, where she falls beneath the dead man.  Lord Ian Ranulf, Marquis of Northrup arrives on the scene.  Why?  Because Ian is a shifter.  He is a loner, and the shifter clan in London is doing nothing to stop this wild were and Ian takes it upon himself to spearhead the investigation.    Ian takes Daisy back to his manor, and has his servants clean her up.  He is immediately drawn to her curves and her beauty.  Daisy is distraught when she learns that she is attracted to him, too.

Her breath gave a little catch as she moved closer.  Good, God, but this man was beautiful.  Distractingly so.  His was a masculine beauty that artists often replicated.  Lean of face, saved from femininity by the sharp V of his jaw and the strength of his chin, with high cheekbones so defined that they might have been cut from marble.  Only his mouth was soft.  However there was nothing soft about his eyes...A chuff of air escaped her.  "Azure."
Daisy has a stubborn streak and is happy to leave his house for the comfort of her own, against his protestations.  Daisy and Ian begin working together to solve the mystery of the were but after another human is attacked, Ian insists that Daisy live under his roof until the were is taken care off.  Daisy begins to grown fond of Ian, and Ian is trying to not fall in love with Daisy.  Ian is an immortal shifter who was once married to a human.  Unfortunately, he had to watch her grow old and eventually die while he remained young and vigorous.  He knows he shouldn't fall in love with a mortal, but can't seem to stop himself.  Daisy is a year out from the death of her abusive husband and has some self-worth issues.

She'd twisted him around her finger without effort, and all he wanted now was for her to twist harder.  Christ, he was in a bad way.  He did like her.  Too much.
Complicating matters are Daisy's sister and brother-in-law, Lord Archer and Miranda.  In Firelight, Ian attempted to come in between Miranda and Archer.  He didn't think it was smart for Archer to fall in love with a mortal.  Miranda feels that Ian still has an attraction to her and tells this to Daisy in more or less words.

"I need to know.  I won't be a substitute for what you cannot have.  Especially not if it is my sister's shadow you mean to place me in.  I will not be that woman, Ian."  Brave, proud lass.  Something inside his chest shifted.  "And if I should tell you that you are more than what I craved before"  That you are not a substitute, or distraction, but a balm, would you believe me?"
Ian and Daisy make a great investigative team.  They follow leads together, which lead them into danger several times.  Ian even faces the local shifter clan in the midst of a power struggle and manages to put himself in great danger.  Daisy grows more and more fond of Ian, and against her better judgment, lets herself fall in love with the shifter.  Not only does Daisy fall in love with Ian, but she will do anything to keep him safe.

One complaint I had with this story is that I figured out one of the major story arcs early on involving the wild were.  It was a bit too easy, but I enjoyed the story, anyways.  This story is truly about Daisy and Ian, and these two characters deliver on many levels.  Another problem I had with this book was the situation that develops between Daisy's sister Poppy and Poppy's husband, office Winston Lane.  I understand why he is angry with Poppy, but the book ended with what I think is a knee jerk reaction from him.  I don't think Poppy truly deserves what happens with her husband.  As quickly as I figured out the wild were plot line, I was completely surprised by the ending which involved a mysterious GIM - Ghost in Machine.  I won't spoil this story line for you, but I really enjoyed it.  Another thing I enjoyed about the ending is that it was left a bit open ended.  It is made apparent that Daisy's story is not complete.  Her relationship status is not in question, but her actions at the end of this book mean that her story will continue in the future.  

If you are a fan of historical paranormal romance as I have come to be (there are just not enough historical PNRs out there in my opinion) then you will enjoy the slow building fire between Ian and Daisy.  I love the setting of this series - 1880s London.  Callihan makes London come alive with her descriptions and character dialogue.  I look very forward to Winterblaze and learning what will happen between Poppy and Lane.  


Amanda P said...

I very much loved this book! Great review.

-Amanda P
Paranormal Romance

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