Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan
Genre: Paranormal historical romance
Reading level: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
Release date: February 26, 2013
Series: Darkest London #3
Source: Personal shelf
Reviewed by: Tynga
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.
Poppy has been weighted down by responsibilities since a very early age, forced to lie to her family time and again. Winston always prided himself in his job as an inspector and ran off on Poppy when he realized she’s been lying to him the whole 14 years they’ve been married. Talk about a talented inspector… A demon is now after him and they must put their differences aside if they want to survive.
Have you ever read a paranormal romance where the two heroes have been married for over a decade? I thought so… neither did I! I thoroughly enjoyed that uniqueness and I hope more authors will dare featuring couples that haven’t just met and are taken over by an inexplicable passion.
The main plotline surrounds a quest to destroy a demon, but the romance aspect was my favourite part. I love how we follow both heroes as they try to deal with their recent break-up, both of them still in love with the other, but not sure they can overcome the lies and hurt feelings. Their strong desire is obvious to us, yet they are completely oblivious to each other, miss-interpreting every signal. Time and again I was torn between laughter, desire to comfort them and utter frustration at their foolishness. Their story was a real rollercoaster and I want a second ride!
We met Poppy and Winston in the previous two books, and Poppy had always been my least favourite of the three sisters, but I came to appreciate her strength in this novel. She’s not a typical beauty but her curvy figure and her mane of red hair is Win’s undoing. I loved how he had eyes only for her from the very start. Winston didn’t really catch my attention in the first two books either, and now I feel like re-reading them again now that I have a new appreciation for the man. He is strong and determined but what I loved best was his outmost trust in Poppy in every aspect of their lives.
Kristen Callihan alternated past present to whole novel, switching between Win and Poppy’s current issues and their early beginnings. We get to witness their meeting, first dates, his proposal, their wedding and all kind of amazing tidbits that built their relationship overtime. And let me tell you, I LOVED it. I particularly liked that she inserted those past moments at just the right time in the plot to have the biggest impact. It was sheer genius.
The conclusion utterly surprised me. I never saw the blow coming and I never imagined the heroes to wrap things up that way. I was really pleased with it all and I hope we’ll see more in the next novel, featuring Mr. Talent and Mary Chase, two secondary characters featured this time around. I came to like them and I have great hopes for them!
Winterblaze was powerful and different from other paranormal romance out there and I strongly suggest you give this series a try. You don’t have to read the previous books, but I would suggest you do if you want to grasp the depth of the main characters break-up.