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.
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
Moonglow was one of my most anticipated reads for me this year. Ever since I read the first book in the series, Firelight, I was totally sucked into Kristin Callihan’s vision of a Victorian London filled with supernatural beings. The events in this book start months after the last book with Daisy, the sister of the heroine in Firelight, coming out of mourning after the death of her husband. Her marriage was an unhappy one with an abusive husband, but Daisy is now relieved that she is free to embrace her new found freedom. During a social gathering a werewolf suddenly attacks and kills Daisy’s suitor and a friend of hers. This draws the attention of Ian Ranulf who is on the hunt to track this rogue werewolf before he kills again, and who seems to be fixated on Daisy.
If I loved Firelight, then I frelling adored Moonglow! Ian and Daisy’s relationship was fantastic to see as it developed throughout the book — from the moment they teamed up to investigate the murders linked to the rogue werewolf, and to the scene which they both opened up about their past and secrets. The dynamic between them really shone with intensity, and Kristin Callihan has a great gift in building up tension and emotional nuance in their romance. Their scenes together were thick with sexual tension. It really becomes palpable when they have their first kiss and its aftermath which really cranks up the temperature gauge.
‘She closed her eyes and concentrated on the cool feel of his shirt against her hot cheek.
“My mind is filled.”
Her free hand, heavy with languor, drifted along his arm and he trembled softly.
“With what?” She whispered.
“You. All the time. You.” He sighed. “Daisy has up taken residence here.” Yet it was to his heart he pressed her hand, to feel its pounding. “How to keep you safe. How to keep you out. How to keep…you.”
Ian’s character really comes alive for me in this book, because when we first meet him from Firelight, he is this gruff, antagonistic and closed off man whose family legacy of being a lycan holds a heavy price for him. It was wonderful to see him opening up and becoming vulnerable when he realises how much he has fallen for Daisy who also does the same. I really enjoyed their emotional development and how they evolved throughout the story.
This book opened and expanded the world from the first instalment, and it helped to cement the world-building and mythology which made it rich and vivid, especially with the new characters that were introduced. I really loved that some of the new supernatural beings such as Lucien, who is a ghost in the machine (spirits who take over and inhabit the bodies of dying humans) brought a new imaginative dimension to the setting and story. There were also a few cameos from the previous book which was fun, but it also helped to bring forward several of the on-going plot threads, and helped to hint on the future story in the next book.
Another facet in the mythology was how Kristin Callihan illustrated her take on the werewolf myths. I found that to be refreshing and different, and I liked the differences between a lycan who is able to control the impulses of their inner wolves while a werewolf loses control of theirs.
Ian’s struggle to maintain control and dislike to be involved with lycan and other preternatural beings politics becomes a very personal conflict for him in the book which added another dimension to the story. And Daisy also discovers a new ability which becomes a bit of a revelation to the rest of the Ellis sisters, Miranda and Poppy. However, I did find this aspect of the plot my only niggle in the book, because it was a bit out of the blue. Although there was hints of this power with Daisy’s powerful scent of smell which becomes a very useful skill in tracking down the rogue werewolf. But this twist did help to expand the overarching world-building which was missing from the first book, which I felt had some elements missing. It also explained and introduced the different types of societies these beings belong to.
But the real joy for me in this book was the love story and the rich, vivid and gothic atmosphere of Victorian London which really fits with the supernatural tone fantastically. And I’m usually not a fan of paranormal elements in a historical setting because it rarely works for me, but in this case, how the setting and supernatural premise is laid out to the reader feels so fresh and unique. The set up for the next book which will feature the oldest sister Poppy and her husband promises to be just as good as well as emotionally intense due to the events in the plot.
The Darkest London books has definitely become one of my favourite paranormal series, because the cast of characters share fantastic chemistry and so far I haven’t been disappointed yet. Moonglow was utterly entrancing and filled with fast paced action and a heart-warming and passionate romance. Moar Please!
I give Moonglow an A