Sunday, February 24, 2013

Early Review - Winterblaze (Darkest London #3) by Kristen Callihan

Once blissfully in love . . .Poppy Lane is keeping secrets. Her powerful gift has earned her membership in the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals, but she must keep both her ability and her alliance with the Society from her husband, Winston. Yet when Winston is brutally attacked by a werewolf, Poppy's secrets are revealed, leaving Winston's trust in her as broken as his body. Now Poppy will do anything to win back his affections . . . Their relationship is now put to the ultimate test.  Winston Lane soon regains his physical strength but his face and heart still bear the scars of the vicious attack. Drawn into the darkest depths of London, Winston must fight an evil demon that wants to take away the last hope of reconciliation with his wife. As a former police inspector, Winston has intelligence and logic on his side. But it will take the strength of Poppy's love for him to defeat the forces that threaten to tear them apart.

Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing
Pages:  400
Genre:  Historical PNR
Purchase at: Amazon or Barnes & Noble 

I have been a fan of Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series from the beginning.  I raved about Firelight to anyone that would listen.  I loved Moonglow, too.  Winterblaze blows them both out of the water.  Poppy and Winston heat up the pages in this story about trust lost and love regained.

As much as I adore Winston Lane, this book is all about Poppy for me.  Poppy is the eldest of the Ellis sisters, and is hiding secrets from everyone.  She has carried the weight of these secrets on her shoulders since she was 18.  At that time, she met a son of a Duke, and although it wasn't love at first sight, he became her reason for breathing.  She is duty bound and likely to put others' well-being above her own.

"What am I - "  He scrubbed a damp hand over his face.  "Infernal woman, you nearly gave me an apoplexy.  They ought to count you among the ten plagues of Egypt!"

Winston Lane has an interesting back story.  He is the son of a very noble family, his father being a cousin to the Queen.  He is the "spare" son, and his father has always been brutally tough on him.  Winston never wanted to play the part that society demanded from a Duke's son - his dream in life was to be an investigator and to marry the daughter of a lowly merchant.  From the moment Winston laid eyes on Poppy, he was captivated by her.  Her red hair, her spirit and her intelligence all caused Winston to immediately fall in love with her.  However,  Win values above all else is honesty and trust.  Poppy shattered that trust in Moonglow, and at the onset of Winterblaze, Win has left Poppy because of it.

Win's greatest talent was making the world believe him harmless.  Like the spider to the fly, he drew people into his confidence before tapping into their secrets.  It was what made him both maddening and thrilling to her in a way no other man had even come close.

Poppy begins her quest to get her marriage back.   She is desperately distraught over the situation with Win.  Although Win is angry with Pop, he is also broken because of the separation.   A demon is on the loose and Poppy feels that she must protect her estranged husband, which only increases Win's resentment - he feels that he's the man and should be protecting his wife.  Poppy and Win slowly begin to come back to one another, neither one brave enough to utter the truth about their feelings.  Poppy and Winston are both stubborn characters that tip toe around one another although they are both irrevocably in love.  No matter how desperate the relationship between Win and Poppy became, one thing that was never in question was the affection and absolute adoration these two have for each other.  We learn that Winston is hiding is own dark secret - way worse, in my opinion, than Poppy's. Both of these characters are flawed, yet strive to do the best they can.

"I want you every thinking moment I have.  I want you near.  I want to hear your voice.  Feel you."  He leaned in, drowning her in his scent and heat.  "I want to take you hard, slow, every way in between.  And the piss of it is, it's always been this way.  From the moment I saw you."

Callihan uses flashbacks sprinkled throughout this story to tell the early life of Winston and Poppy.  I love this method of story telling.  It was an eye-opener to see just exactly how Winston and Poppy came together and were married - I never even once suspected the truth.  The flashbacks show how this couple fell madly in love with one another, and also the dark decisions that both of them made in the past that lead to the current situation.  

There were many surprises in this book, and secrets that should have been told long ago.  For example, due to the circumstances in this book, Poppy must come clean with her sisters. I'll give you one guess about how they reacted!  I was also very interested in the enigmatic Jack Talent, shifter extraordinaire, and Mary Chase, former GIM.  I can just feel the heat of these two burning up the pages!  We see more of Jack and Mary in this book, and I can't wait to read their story.  We also see Archer, Miranda, Ian and Daisy in this book.  Callihan always has a part for these characters that I've learned to love so much.  

"For you see, she finally realized that passion without trust, without compromise, was a useless thing that only served to burn her out."

I feel like Winterblaze is the game changer in this series.  After reading the ending, there are so many possibilities of where Callihan can take her characters in this absolutely fantastic world she has created.  If you are a fan of historical romances or paranormal romances, this is a series that you should not miss.  Callihan is a superbly talented writer that makes all of her characters jump off the page.  I cannot recommend this series enough.  


Shelley Romano said...

Very nice Review Jamie! I agree that this is a 5 star rated novel! Will totally be interested to see where she takes the series from here.

Braine TS said...

Yes I agree, this is the turning point of the series with those revelation bombs she dropped.

I melt everytime Win calls Poppy Boedicia.

Underworld Love Addiction said...

Great review :) I totally agree that this book was definitely the best in the series and a game changer.

fishgirl182 said...

so glad you liked this one. i really loved it and it's my fave of the series, too. i wish i did not have to wait so long for the next book.

fishgirl182 @ nite lite book reviews

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