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.
This review will contain small spoilers for Firelight and Moonglow.
Six months ago--has it really been that long?--I read and reviewed the first of Kristen Callihan's Darkest London novels, Firelight. I might have complained a lot in my review, but the truth is that her story left an indelible mark. That's why when I saw Moonglow on NetGally I clicked the little request button and sat on my crossed fingers until I was accepted.
Well, not literally, but you get the sentiment.
It's turn for the second Ellis sister, Daisy, to find her freedom and happiness after a year of widowhood. She's making do with her own special gift after her late husband left her destitute and embracing her basic desires when she stumbles on a dead body and is attacked. That's when Lord Ian Ranulf, Marquis of Northrup, picks her up and whisks her to the safety of his home. There are many obstacles on their way to happiness not least of which is his fascination with her sister, Miranda.
I liked the demons and the fire starter in the first book, and in this one we get to see the some of lore explored further. Daisy and her sisters are elementals. This made my poor physicist heart ache because, although, I could accept earth and fire as the elements worshipped in the past, mixing it with ice made no sense to me. Poppy controlling water in all four of its states--ice=solid, water=liquid, steam=vapour, plasma--would have been more logical.
Truth is I'm jealous of Callihan's imagination. She's taking these known myths and legends and making them hers with an unexpected twist. She's always surprising me, which isn't easy to do these days. I might not understand the need for splitting werewolves and lycans into two and making the myth sound somewhat contrived, but I can appreciate the story it gave me. Ian learning to live again and embracing all the feelings he'd been hiding from so long was a joy to read. I cared less about Daisy, but at least she never truly irritated me. Her choice in the end was something I saw coming from early on, but the manner of it reduced a certain lore aspect to a mere plot point. Or that's what I'm going to assume until Callihan expands on it in another book.
Where Firelight was more about a mystery and a marriage of convenience, Moonglow is about emotions such as fear, regret, and loneliness. There's a mystery too, but not for its own sake. It's about the characters and their reactions.
Overall, Moonglow is more polished a novel than Firelight and the raw talent it showed. I could see Callihan's growth as a writer on the page. The sex scenes where actually sexy--huge part of it was the delayed gratification--and I never got the feeling that they simply didn't fit. The descriptions were more to the point, though, I'd appreciate a fewer mentions of sinew and cord-like muscles. There also was the unfortunate use of word globes and something called a Gaelic shrug. Callihan has yet to hit the perfect balance on implied accent, but she had the decency of use it sparsely.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Series: Darkest London #2
Pages: 327 (epub ARC)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: expected, July 31st 2012
Source: NetGalley, Publisher