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 is a spoiler-free review.
My initial reaction upon finishing Moonglow: I looooooove this book, I want to marry it and have its babiieeessss!!! Because I can’t just make that my review, even if I enlarged the font and made it super duper bold, I will proceed… but there is much gushing ahead. You’ve been warned.
Set in 1883 London, Moonglow is the second book in Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series, a wonderful steampunk-historical-paranormal romance adventure. We are reintroduced to Daisy Ellis Craigmore, recently widowed, and sister to the unforgettable Miranda Ellis from Firelight. She witnesses a violent and scary murder, and miraculously survives. Enter that really naughty scoundrel Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, and utter thorn in Miranda and Archer’s side, and the chemistry explodes off the pages. Once it becomes clear that the murderer is a werewolf, involving Ian directly as Lycan royalty, and that this werewolf has Daisy on its radar… Ian and Daisy are to be spending a lot more time together… good thing for us!
Immediately I was captivated by the dialog between Daisy and Ian, each conversation flowing like a sexual tango. She has always felt somewhat the lesser of her sisters, shadowed by the wise eldest of the three, Poppy, and the goddess-looks of Miranda. Ian spent a good chunk of Firelight obsessing over Miranda and causing strife between her and Archer. He failed in his mission utterly, and Daisy is not about to allow him to forget this. In this, we learn his devastatingly heartbreaking backstory and cannot help but to fall for Ian. Likewise, Daisy is very smart and not about to be manipulated by Ian’s charms, yet they cannot deny the immediate connection, and are able to relate to each other so much more than either anticipated. Daisy calls Ian out from the start, and the tension simmers off the pages at their first meeting.
“D’ye think ye can dress me down and simply leave, lass?” His Scots burr thickened with his agitation, rolling so deep and luscious that she shivered. Northrup crowded in, pressing against her hip, and she felt the hard length of him in crude detail. “I’m thinking you’d prefer I’d play with someone else.”
She eyed him over her shoulder. “Me, you mean?” she asked coolly, as if her heart was not bounding like a frightened rabbit within the cage of her ribs.
“You’re welcome to try, my lord.” She shoved him with her shoulders, catching him off balance and he faltered back a pace. Daisy opened ht door but stopped to look at him. “However, I doubt that you could handle me. Somehow I think you prefer your women either unavailable or subservient. I am neither.”
BOOM, Daisy! I knew she was a heroine I could stand behind after this initial dance. She things she knows exactly what Ian is about, and he knows she is not some dumby he can treat as one of the many whores he has become used to acquaintancing himself with. There are some scenes between the two of them that grabbed on to my heart and didn’t let go. Daisy’s genuine kindness to him, and his reception to that kindness, is so awesome to experience. And their smex scenes are holy freaking smoke coming off the pages hot. There is one scene in a carriage that was holy ghirehigreih hot. I ended up breaking the book in to two parts: the Ian and Daisy parts, and all the “other” parts where they were not present. The “other” parts were fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but I was waiting on the edge of my seat to watch Ian and Daisy do their thing. They are that entertaining to watch.
The secondary characters are awesome, too. Poppy’s husband is the Inspector First Class Winston Lane of the Criminal Investigations Department and he is so truly likable. He wants to find the truth of why these women are being so savagely murdered, but he is unaware of the supernatural life that goes on in his city. He is mostly working blindly on these cases, without the knowledge that there is very much a supernatural world living beside him in London. New characters are introduced that are very interesting and engaging, and after events are set up for the next book, Winterblaze, I got to the end and was left dying for more.
This is one of my favorite books of 2012. I think this series is so unique in its world building, and superb in its story telling. Kristen Callihan can tell a story! The hero and heroine are so beautifully fit for one another that the story leaves you thinking about them for days after. Fans of Firelight will not be disappointed, as Moonglow totally throws down, and delivers. If you haven’t started this series yet, do not walk, run!!!! and check out this author, Kristen Callihan. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I cannot tell you how freaked out I am that we have to wait until 2013 for Winterblaze. February, I need you to be here nowwwwwww.
Darkest London reading order: