Series: Darkest London #3
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 26 February 2013
Reading Challenges: 2013 Zodiac Challenge
Winterblaze takes a slightly different approach to the other novels in this series as the romance is between an estranged married couple, Winston and Poppy Lane. Winston’s life has become increasingly complicated. He was chewed up by a werewolf in the last novel leaving him scarred and he became quite bitter after discovering that his wife had concealed her own ‘gift’ from him. A demon is out to cause trouble and both Winston and Poppy fall over themselves trying to protect each other.
Unlike her sisters, Poppy is skilled in her craft and so we can jump right into the action. Poppy works for the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals which is designed to keep supernaturals in line and under the radar of humans. Poppy wasn’t particularly likeable in the other novels as she was critical of her sisters and deliberately withheld important information. Callihan had to work hard to make me sympathetic towards her and ultimately succeeded. We discover that Poppy is torn in two directions as she still loves her husband but has been raised to believe that nothing is more important than the Society. The Winston in this novel is also a changed man. He is rougher around the edges, has quit his job as a police inspector and beefed up. He is determined not to be so helpless against supes and yet he is invariably caught unawares again. The sacrifices he made for the relationship were extraordinary but half of them wouldn’t have been necessary if he had thought things through carefully.
Writing sexy married couple romances must be hard as they would already know so much about each other. I really enjoyed Callihan’s take on it as Poppy and Winston were comfortable with each other and yet still clearly in lust after all this time.
The book bounces around quite a bit through flashbacks and different points of view. I loved reading how Winston courted Poppy and won her over as it showed different facets of both characters. We also see lots of Jack and Mary which makes sense as they are the next couple to be featured. The reason for Jack’s condition came across as weak even though seeing him fleshed out as a character was great. Callihan’s real strength is the gothic world she has lovingly created for her characters. To be honest, it is almost another character in its own right such is the attention to detail.
Immersing myself in the Darkest London world is always a treat and I devoured this book in one sitting. Make sure you read the others first so you can see the development of the characters.