Review: Moonglow by Kristen Callahan

Filed in 4 1/2 Stars , featured , Kristen Callihan , Review , The Needy Lover Posted on December 18, 2012 @ 3:00 pm 8 comments

Format Read: e-book provided by publisher
Length: 384 pages
Genre: historical paranormal romance
Series: Darkest London, #2
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: Forever
Formats Available: mass-market paperback, e-book
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Author’s Website

Book Blurb:

Once the seeds of desire are sown…

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.

Read an excerpt from Moonglow

My Thoughts:

After the excellent series opener that was Firelight, I was not sure what to expect of this book, Moonglow. So much of the first book’s success was built on the two main characters, their delicious antagonism and slow-burn romance. To reproduce it exactly wouldn’t be fun, but why mess up a formulation that works? Moonglow manages to do both, seamlessly transitioning from its preceding installment and yet establishing a unique and memorable experience in historical paranormal romance.

The character of Ian Ranulf, Marquis of Northrup and onetime heir apparent to the werewolf throne, is a complex one whose tale really spans the length of two books. In fact, in order to really appreciate his full journey one ought to read book one in this series, Firelight. From that book, Northrup emerges a nemesis, almost, of the first book’s male lead. It speaks well to the author’s skills of character development that Northrup is made to seem despicable and is yet likable.

I like to frame my understanding of the female lead, Daisy Northrup, in the context of her two other sisters (both of whom serve as leads of their own installments). She’s a woman of great beauty and keen intelligence, but she sees herself as nowhere near the beauty of her younger sister Miranda, and just a shadow of the formidable mind that is her older sister Poppy. In other words, she holds much draw, but frames it all the wrong way. So it’s a pleasure for the reader to follow her development beyond her own stale notions of her power and ability. I do wish that some of Daisy’s paranormal powers were explored a bit more; it seemed a bit like an obligatory yet vestigial element, at times. But she herself was always an enigmatic figure.

What I most enjoyed about this book was the delightful interplay between the main characters, and the superb emotion that’s wrought from them. Daisy and Northrup are And as for the emotion…once this story’s plot really opens up, it grips you in a pathos that cuts deeply. It’s always nice when, even though you know you’re reading a romance (and hence are all but guaranteed an HEA), you sit on pins and needles worried for the romantic leads, unsure of how they’re ever going to overcome their dire situations.

The murder mystery that’s woven through the story is a deep and twisting one, one that requires the reader to pay very close attention or risk becoming a bit confused. Having read the book through, I must say that there are some small plot points that I still don’t completely understand, mostly involving the mysterious attacker that plagues London’s society. I dunno, I might have blinked, missed something in the quick succession of minor but important details.

As with Firelight, Moonglow really depicts the city of London as gritty, with a dank atmosphere in which you can find bright spots here and there. It’s a character unto itself, and though there’s a playfulness in narrative tone every so often, you can almost feel the heavy fog around you.

As with Northrup’s tentative character development in book one, so too is there a tentative character development of the main character of the next book. Winston Lane’s introduction as a central-figure-to-be is done rather seamlessly, integrating it fully into the main plot progression and avoiding uneven storytelling.

In fact, I’d say the stage has been magnificently set for book three. There is no cliffhanger, per say, just a fine mess of another situation that reflects the realities of this world and the hopes of any hopeless romantic. :-) Count me in for the next round, please!

4-one-half-stars

I give Moonglow 4.5 Stars

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

About Alisha


Alisha, the bespectacled and ever nerdy California girl, simply won't leave home without a book in hand. She loves language learnin' and is working toward becoming a bonafide grammar ninja. On any given day you'll find her haunting local libraries or baking scores of cupcakes and sweet treats.

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8 Comments

Join the Discussion
  • fishgirl182 @ nite lite December 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    ahhh i loved moonglow! i didn’t think it could be better than firelight but i actually think it was, just a bit. can’t wait for book 3!

    • Alisha December 20, 2012 at 12:00 am

      Indeed! And this one seemed just a bit more…fun? Light? At least where the characters were concerned. I’m looking forward to Poppy and Winston’s tale in book three, but it is likely to be pretty bleak, too.

      Now, book 4, with Mary and Jack…. bring it on!

  • Lily B December 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

    wonderful review! I cannot wait to read this book myself, and the cover..I love the cover

    • Alisha December 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      thanks! I hope you enjoy… and yes, the cover is gorgeous! I love how the cover artist gives little nods and clues about the character and story. Fun to pick out those elements after reading.

  • aurian December 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Question: a person who did not like the first book, as she did not like the main characters, will she like this one better?

    • Alisha December 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Hm… depends on the aspects the person didn’t like. Daisy and Northrup have an antagonistic relationship. And both are rather stubborn. But in this case, the male lead is not inaccessible and broody all the time–in fact, he’s quite decadent and outgoing, only he also has a dark past. And Daisy…. had some token hardships in her past that make her keep men at arm’s length, but she’s not as rough around the edges.

      Hope that makes any amount of sense. In short, this couple is not a carbon copy (they are fun), but there are some similar threads (haunted past).

      Hm. I’d say toss up, to be honest. Like the first, you’ll like the second. Dislike the first…. maybe won’t LOVE the second. Check out that excerpt in the book description above, though. Gives a great depiction of the two characters and their dynamic. (Ignore that it says “Firelight” at the top of the page)

      • aurian December 20, 2012 at 1:42 am

        Thanks Alisha, I actually do have the second book, as I bought them both at once. Perhaps I will give it a try.

        • Alisha December 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm

          I’m interested in hearing what your thoughts are on the second book’s cast of characters, compared to the first.

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