Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: "Winterblaze" by Kristen Callihan

                                                        Once blissfully in love . . . 
Poppy Lane is keeping secrets. Her powerful gift has earned her membership in the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals, but she must keep both her ability and her alliance with the Society from her husband, Winston. Yet when Winston is brutally attacked by a werewolf, Poppy's secrets are revealed, leaving Winston's trust in her as broken as his body. Now Poppy will do anything to win back his affections . . . 

Their relationship is now put to the ultimate test.
Winston Lane soon regains his physical strength but his face and heart still bear the scars of the vicious attack. Drawn into the darkest depths of London, Winston must fight an evil demon that wants to take away the last hope of reconciliation with his wife. As a former police inspector, Winston has intelligence and logic on his side. But it will take the strength of Poppy's love for him to defeat the forces that threaten to tear them apart.

*Mild spoilers if you have not read the previous books in this series*

Up until now, the Darkest London series has touched on certain paranormal "species" and the society that keeps them in check.  In this third book, Winterblaze, everything comes to a head and we get to go deep inside the Society.  The whole series is set in a Victorian London setting which gives it a unique quality to it.  Each book in this series has had a very different feel to it.  Winterblaze, is definitely the darkest of the series so far... in a good way.  

In the past two book we have gotten to know Winston and Poppy as side characters.   They had been happily married for quite some time, but after Winston was attacked by a werewolf in the last book and finds out that Poppy has been keeping this secret world from him, things quickly change.  Poppy certainly had her reasons for keeping it from him but Winston wasn't aware of this.  Both of these characters are strong willed and stubborn, making it hard for either one of them to overcome the mounting problems between them.

We find out a lot more about Poppy that really changes things for the series.  I loved both Poppy and Winston's characters.  They both have their own identities and lives outside of each other but still rely on each other to be their safe haven.  Their relationship building was very different than most romance novels since we were not looking at a new couple falling in love.  This is the story of a couple that had been married for quite a while and were ripped apart by an accident and a betrayal and are now seeing that they truly miss each other.  We watch them build their friendship back up before anything else which, for me, was the only way these two could have gotten back on the right foot with their marriage.  It's not an easy road though, for either one of them.

The only thing I had mixed feelings about with this book was the flashbacks.  Some chapters were set back when Winston and Poppy first started dating.  While this gave more depth to their characters and allowed us to find out a little more about their past relationship, it was a little hard to switch back and forth.  Normally flashbacks don't take away from the story but I just felt like some of these did.  Maybe it was just that the story was very dark and heavy mixed in with these romantic, light scenes.   

I would definitely recommended starting from book 1 in this series as you would miss out on a lot of the things mentioned and emotions brought up throughout the book otherwise.  I'm looking forward to Jack and Mary's story next, they should certainly be an interesting match.  I'm loving Kristen Callihan's new take on historical paranormal romance and can't wait for more!

Winterblaze is due to be released February 26th.

For more information on Kristen Callihan and her books visit her website here.

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