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Monday, February 25, 2013
Double Review: Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan
Author: Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London, book 3
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Source: From publisher for review
Buy it here: Amazon | Book Depository
For more information visit Kristen Callihan's website
Reviewed by: Stephanie and Ronnie
Stephanie's Review -
Three months after a werewolf attack almost took his life, Winston Lane and his wife Poppy are back together after a secret nearly tore them apart. Poppy isn't proud of her decision to withhold her involvement in the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals from Win but she did what she thought would keep him safe. When a demon from their pasts' returns, Win and Poppy must set aside the hurt and work together before it destroys them both.
It wasn't until the end of the last book that I became genuinely interested in Poppy and Win. Before that I felt like Poppy looked down on her sisters' behavior, as if she'd never find herself in situations like that. Oh boy was I wrong.
Poppy thought she was doing what was best by keeping quiet about her role in the SOS. Now she's dealing with the consequences and is showing emotions I never gave her credit for having. Instead of the impersonal, cold front she puts on for the public, you see her emotions run the gamut from pain and anger, to lust and confusion, to love and determination. Poppy owns every one of them and is pretty spectacular when wielding her power and weapons.
The werewolf attack left Win scarred and Poppy's secret made him angry. Besides gaining muscle mass, Win is edgier and more dominate. His attack produced a male that demands readers pay attention and I was happy to oblige. Before starting the book, I was worried he'd spend too much time punishing Poppy but after shocking news of his own is revealed, all their cards are on the table and they begin rebuilding a relationship both clearly want to save. Their love is put through grueling tests but is unshakable, though at times they had doubts. Even when fighting, their chemistry is off the charts and incredible to read.
Aside from exploring Poppy's role in the SOS and repairing their broken relationship, the secret uncovered about Win has both racing to find a woman that will save them from a powerful demon who will let nothing get in the way of what he wants. During their search, light is cast on the corners of London's hidden supernatural world. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, new twists such as demons, unexpected parentage revaluations, and hidden organizations with an impressive reach are shared and all I kept thinking was 'more please!'
Winterblaze is more than a book. It's an emotional adventure into a highly addictive paranormal world starring two well-crafted characters who command every scene, complete with a stellar supporting cast who leave a mark of their own. Each book in this series reveals a piece of the puzzle that is Darkest London yet hints at so much more yet to be discovered. As a paranormal romance addict, I'm so thankful for each book Kristen Callihan has given us and like many others, highly recommend it.
Ronnie's Review -
So if you haven’t read Kristen Callihan’s The Darkest London series as of yet, I would strongly recommend that you give one of her books a try. Dark, suspenseful, and romantic, these books just get better as the series goes on. I was impressed with Firelight, picked up and had a copy of Moonglow signed at RWA last year (it’s my precious) and loved it, but Winterblaze blew those two books out of the water. Winterblaze follows Poppy Lane and her estranged husband, Winston, as they work together to track down a demon by the name of Isley.
Recovering from a brutal attack, Winston is horrified to learn that his wife is not what she seems. Wounded and betrayed, Winston leaves Poppy, only to have her track him down aboard the ship he is traveling on. While the two lead characters are already married, this is a story of them learning about each other and finding love (again). Poppy and Winston don’t get a lot of page time in the earlier books, so it truly came as a surprise at how much I loved the two of them together. Poppy is logical, matter of fact, and very straightforward when it comes to her dealings with the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals but not nearly as much so when it comes to matters with her family.
As Winston nurses his anger at Poppy for keeping secrets, we learn that she’s not the only who has been concealing important information. The book uses flashbacks to illustrate Poppy and Win’s courtship (again, not one of my more favored literary devices), and back to the present with them demon hunting together. The flashbacks are interspersed smoothly and really do an excellent job of demonstrating the feelings between Poppy and Win. As you go through the flashbacks, you learn that Winston made a horrible deal with a demon in order to win Poppy over, albeit unknowingly. When the demon comes to collect, he asks for Winston to find a woman by the name of Moira Darling. The price, should he fail, is unthinkable.
I only have the slightest beef with how the side characters of Jack Talent and Mary Chase are set up. They’re obviously the couple to be featured in the author’s next book, but I didn’t find their characters to be given any sort of real depth and that left me a little disappointed. On the whole, I really loved Winterblaze. The novel left me wanting more of the Darkest London stories, and that’s how I want every book I read to end.