Moonglow ( Darkest London #2 ) by Kristen Callihan
July 31, 2012
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “We are all imperfect creatures, love. I don’t want perfect. I just want you.”
Daisy Ellis Craigmore’s marriage was not the dream marriage she portrayed to the world, with her husband’s death, Daisy is determined to enjoy her life and all the benefits being a widow entails. When Daisy and a friend are attacked by something, Ian Ranulf comes to her rescue and is determined to protect Daisy from all who seek to harm her; even herself. Daisy finds her feelings for Ian run deep, but long buried scars prohibit her from acting them.
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has his own secrets that force him to hide his true nature. A vicious killer’s hunt forces Ian out of the shadows and into Daisy’s life. He finds his long dormant desires awakening in her presence. As these two struggle to find a killer, they realise that unless they confront their fears, they may lose more than just their hearts. They may lose the chance of a lifetime.
Daisy is celebrating the death of her cruel husband. Her lust for life deemed her loose in the eyes of her husband and society-causing her much pain. When her friend is killed and Daisy herself is viciously attacked, she is rescued by Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup and whisked away to his home. Daisy is unaware of what attacked her or why, but instantly balks against Ian and the protection he forces upon her. Ian knows what attacked Daisy. He and Archer (Firelight) have been investigating other similar attacks. Once Ian realises the common connection between the attacks and Daisy, he seeks to further instigate himself in her life. Daisy and Ian follow the clues towards the killer, revealing a sad and tragic storyline that reveals even darker forces at work.
Moonglow is the second installment in Callihan’s Darkest London series. A dark, sensuous, paranormal romance whose world is built upon the past, set in Victorian England. Heavily character driven, it’s the development of our protagonists and the plot lines that make this series such a fascinating journey into their story. Smooth writing and sharp descriptive detailing drew me in as Callihan further explores and opens up to the supernatural wonders of her world.. I was pleased by the time and effort Callihan takes in developing her characters and their connections to the world and one another. Though this is the second in the series, each has a resolvable main conflict. They can be read alone though I feel you miss out on the arc development by not reading them in order.
Our protagonists, Daisy and Ian were introduced in Callihan’s first book of the series- Firelight. Both have vivacious, intelligent, clever, secretive personalities who hide behind witty dialogue and wonderful set downs. The secrets they both hold deep inside them form almost a physical barrier between themselves and the rest of the world. You only see what they want you to. Daisy is so exuberant and fearless about life. She embraces it with everything she has. Her witty quips and smart remarks makes discovering her a joy.
Ian is a contradiction in the making. Especially if you read Firelight. In Firelight, he comes across as a nasty, hate filled man who attempts to destroy Archer and Miranda’s impending marriage. In Moonglow, you learn the truth of his feud with Archer and his reasoning behind his actions in Firelight. Ian has turned his back on his heritage and true nature in response to tragedy in his past. As an exiled Lycan, he must tread carefully. His actions are considered suspect as he attempts to walk with one foot in each world.
The relationship between Daisy and Ian is a slow awakening and healing for them. Passions ignite and personalities clash as they both try to downplay what is developing between them. Daisy and Ian find themselves forced to reveal parts of themselves to one another that highlights their hidden vulnerabilities. Neither like to appear weak, so this proves both an enlightening and horrifying experience for both them. Your heart will ache once you understand the full scope of what paths these two have followed through life. Their dialogue is both seductive and humorous. They are equally matched in temperament and the battles they wage are merely foreplay. What I truly enjoyed was the exquisite prose that injects itself in each of their internal monologues. Below, Daisy waxes poetic as she describes Ian’s features in thought:
Good God, but this man was beautiful. Distractingly so. He 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 they might have been cut from marble. Only his mouth was soft. Soft and mobile, the corners twitched as if wanting to smile.
However, there was nothing soft about his eyes. Deep set under dark brows that were currently slashed in a scowl, they pierced into her, their light color indistinguishable until she came close. A chuff of air escaped her. “Azure.”
Though this is undeniably Daisy and Ian’s story, both old and new friends are revealed that further deepen the storyline, expanding its boundaries, and allowing Callihan more maneuvering room to play. Ian’s servants; especially his valet and housekeeper prove invaluable to Ian’s safety and Daisy’s understanding of Ian. Archer and Miranda make appearances though we don’t really get any alone time with them. I will admit that Miranda seemed more uptight and snooty in Moonglow as opposed to Firelight and I was at a loss to say why. Poppy and Winston, Daisy and Miranda’s sister and brother in law, play small but impacting parts as Poppy has her own secrets to reveal and those startling revelations lead us into the third book. Various paranormal groups are revealed (opening Daisy’s eyes to what has been living right under her nose) and I look forward to exploring in depth of their agendas.
The story maintains a steady but fast pace with superb mysterious suspense, engaging tragic interlaced romance, and tense reveals. Callihan maintains the perfect balance between the romance and the mystery; allowing each to unfold in their own way, traveling side by side and intersecting when needed. The ending comes at you hard and fast with some solutions leaving you reeling, yet unable to demand a better resolution? Callihan has written an engaging paranormal romance with a strong historical base that is sure to appeal to all those who love a strong dynamic characters, intriguing storylines, and romantic journeys that speak to the heart.