Wednesday, 29 June 2016

#CBR8 Book 62: "Moonglow" by Kristen Callihan

Page count: 384 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Daisy Craigmore doesn't mourn her abusive d-bag of a husband at all, but has nonetheless worn widow's weeds for the proscribed period of time, so as to avoid a scandal. Now she's pretty ready to get her flirt on, but her first "date" of sorts, is ruined when she comes across her friend torn to pieces in an ally, and the beast that killed her ready to tear into Daisy and her lover next. The mysterous Ian Ranulf, Marquis of Northrup, insists on protecting her, whether Daisy wants it or not.

Ian Ranulf has been exiled from his werewolf clan for over seventy years, since he refused to fight his grandfather for the alpha position. He keeps his wolfish nature tightly controlled, but is forced to act when he realises a rogue werewolf is committing gruesome murders around London, and that several women wearing the same perfume as Daisy have been the creature's former victims. Having kept himself isolated and closed off from society for decades, Ian suddenly feels involved again and the beautiful widow makes him feel alive like no one in ever so long.

I read the first book in this series back in January 2013. It features Daisy's sister Miranda, who has the power to start fires. Apparently Ian also featured in this book, as an antagonist, although I must admit I remember very little of the plot of the book, even having re-read my own review. His rather callous treatment of Miranda and his attempts to lure her away from her husband, make both of them rather sceptical when he now seems to have set his sights on Daisy.

I don't recall the various supernatural factions of this world playing such a prominent part in the first book, but Callihan is clearly determined to widen her world-building, and here introduces a whole bunch of new stuff. Then there's the crazed werewolf on the loose (whose identity I suspected really quite early on), trying to murder Daisy and the power struggle in Ian's old werewolf clan, which he keeps trying to keep out of, even when it's clear that they, and every other supernatural power in London, want him involved.

Once Daisy and Ian move past the "you tried to steal my sister away from her husband, are you sure I'm not just a creepy replacement" part of their courtship, they still need to deal with the fact that Daisy is pretty badly messed up both emotionally and physically because her dead hubby was a d*ck, and there's the whole Ian is an immortal being, while Daisy is a normal, going to grow old and eventually die mortal. Ian was married to a mortal woman long ago, and she really didn't deal too well with the differences in power and supernaturality (it's totally a word, you guys. I'm sure of it) between them.

Because Callihan's contemporary New Adult books are so great, I kept wanting to get back to this series, even though I didn't exactly remember Firelight knocking my socks off. I like historical romance, I like paranormal fantasy. I know Callihan can write engaging romances. Yet this just wasn't all that exciting, and I kept reading just in the hopes that the book was going to get better. I don't want to spoil things, but of course Daisy has a supernatural power of her own, and she figures out a way past the pesky "the man I love will live practically forever, while I will die" difficulty.

This series keeps getting good reviews on the interwebs. I suspect I'll keep going just to see if the series gets more engaging. I know all too well that a lot of paranormal series need two-three books to really get off the ground, and I feel Callihan has entertained me enough in the past that I can give her another chance or two.

Judging a book by its cover: Quite a pretty and atmospheric cover, with a lady (clearly meant to be Daisy) moving through the woods at night, vines and leaves swirling around her. She's wearing a period appropriate dress and I really like the various shades of green and yellow. If the cover model had her hair in a more period appropriate updo, more suitable for a woman of the time, rather than flowing in the wind like she's in some sort of Victorian shampoo advert, that would make the image even better.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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