Firelight is a really good combination of gothic romance and PNR.
The story opens with a man hidden by a mask wanting to save a young girl from a group of thugs but what they do not know is they are kindred spirits. Archer hides behind his mask and he tries to hold people at bay. In many ways he reminds me of Erik in Phantom of the Opera in that all he really craves is acceptance and love but all he can see is the monster inside and in doing so he has built a cage to protect himself. Miranda on the other hand holds herself responsible for her family's misfortune but she is beautiful and so she hides behind her beauty where people only see what is on the surface never delving into who she really is.
Personally I think this is the best kind of romance. Two people who have come together and find strength in sharing who they are, letting their guard down and letting the other in. Ms Callihan does a wonderful job allowing this relationship to progress slowly where there is trust but there is also fear. It was also nice to see our heroine as such a strong character but still very much a woman, I love that she could fence and she can wield fire. It was also refreshing to see Archer attempting to keep Miranda safe while she sneaks around trying to clear his name. Which takes me to the paranormal part of the book and the mystery surrounding the ancient curse was quite well done. I was very surprised at the villain!
The story starts off slow but now that I am done I think there was good reason for it. The character development was also well done.
4 1/2 stars