Firelight - Kristen Callihan

I just got this book from NetGalley. I'm so excited! I was dying to read it but I wasn't sure I would get approved.

*does Numfar's dance of joy*

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The ARC of this book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Well, I just finished the book and I'm having trouble deciding on a rating. After careful consideration I think it deserves 3.5 stars. I can't give it more than that, although on paper this book has some qualities that should deserve more stars. Let me try to explain.

Firelight is very well written. The story is interesting and the heroine is kick ass. However, I didn't find it engaging enough. I never really felt the romance as deeply as I should. Archer was brooding and mysterious, but I didn't fall for him as much as I should have. Miranda on the other hand is a fantastic character. She is everything a heroine should be: courageous, intelligent, powerful and determined. On paper she is everything I adore on a female character. The total opposite of helpless. I really really liked her, but I should have adored her. For some reason, I didn't and I have no idea why.

The novel isn't cliché at all, which I really appreciated. Especially since it has a little Beauty and the Beast feel to it, which could have made it very cliché. But it didn't. I respect how the author developed the story and the characters especially. I was delightedly surprised when we find out, for example, that Miranda isn't a virgin. Given that the book is set in the 19th century, it was a bold choice and I love the author for it. Without spoiling anything I also adored how the conflict in the end was resolved. I like when a heroine can take care of herself and of others as well. I hate when a woman needs to be rescued by a men. This doesn't happen here, quite the contrary, I'm happy to report.

The thing is this novel is almost perfect in paper, but for some reason it didn't resonate as deeply as it should with me. I has a very superficial feeling throughout the book. The romance didn't move me enough. The mystery was easy to solve for me. I guessed the guilty party right off the bat, although that didn't bother me much. As I was reading it I had a feeling that I should have been more involved in the story and I wasn't. I was never really able to put my finger on why, so I'm having a hard time writing this review. Maybe I was expecting too much after reading all the glowing reviews, or maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for this book. I think it's a fine novel and I don't discourage anyone from reading it. My only truly major issue with it, it's that the supernatural side of it is not really explored in depth. Some things are glossed over, things that should have been explained a little better. Other than that, I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to read an original supernatural historical romance with a kick ass heroine.