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Review and Excerpt: Soulbound by Kristen Callihan


I’m delighted to be launching Kristen Callihan’s SOULBOUND blog tour today with an excerpt, review, and giveaway. The DARKEST LONDON series is one of my f-a-v-o-u-r-i-t-e Paranormal Romance addictions of all times, so if you haven’t snagged a copy of FIRELIGHT yet, I strongly urge you to do so. Read on to find out why:


               Eliza sat back on her heels, while Adam merely stared at her as though he had all the time in the world. “Fine,” she said. “Three weeks. I free you and you help me.” She gave him a warning look. “I’ll need your word that you will help me, that this” she waved her hand between them, “isn’t merely a way to trick me into freeing you.”
               “This business was your idea, woman,” he said with affront.
               “Nevertheless, I’ll need your word.”
               The demon’s nostrils flared with a sharp exhalation. “My word then.” Eliza did not look away from him, and he glared back in obvious exasperation. “What now?”
               “I’m merely considering if I ought to trust your word,” she said.
               A low growl rumbled in his chest as he bared his teeth. “I keep my word, whether I want to or not. My word is my bond. Honor, Miss May. Unlike you, I have it.”
               “How dare you—”
               “How dare you?” He craned forward, the muscles along his shoulders bunching. “Not so long ago you broke your promise of fealty. To me!”
               “Oh, yes, how quick you are to remind me.” Eliza leaned close, grinding her teeth to keep in a shout. “You enjoy being quick, don’t you?”
His thick, dark brows furrowed. “What in the bloody blazes are you talking about?”
               “You gave me all of ten seconds to make a choice.” Eliza’s fists ached from clenching them. “And what a choice. I was dead, my body sliced open, my blood on the ground. I would have done anything, anything,” she thumped her fist to her chest, “to get back my life.”
               “So that makes it better?” he snapped back in outrage. “Desperation gives you leave to go back on your word?”
               “No. That is not what I meant.”
               “Then you agree that you bloody well have no honor—”
               “You never explained what was involved. You never said I’d be chained to you, like some animal, for the rest of my days,” Eliza shouted. “I was told I would be a GIM. I was ready to serve you in that manner. You knew full well that’s what I believed. If anything, you swindled me!”
               All at once, he sagged, though he still eyed her with resentment and distaste. Well, she had a healthy helping of those feelings for him too.
               “Tick, tock, Eliza,” she mimicked. “You rushed me because you didn’t want me to think things over.”
               When he broke eye contact, his hard jaw twitched.
               “I’m correct, aren’t I?” Ire and a red rage surged up within her. “And you have the brass to sit on your high horse and talk of honor. Well let me tell you something, demon. There is little honor in forcing a person’s hand. Or using your power to coerce those weaker than you.”
               A black scowl twisted the demon’s face as he glared at some distant point. “Fine. May I continue, or have you more complaints to heap upon my head?”
               “Please do continue,” Eliza granted.
               His golden gaze flicked back to her. “I want to kiss you.”
               “No.” The word burst out of her with force. “Absolutely not.”
               Unfazed, Adam shrugged. “Unless you have something to offer in exchange for your freedom, Mellan and Mab will, as you say, merely hunt us down, and you’ll be back to where you started.”
               “Then I shall find out what he wants.” Eliza straightened her back. She could do that. She must. Like hell was she going to kiss this demon.
               Adam simply gave her a slow, wicked half-smile. “Fortunately for you, lass, I already know what he wants. What they both want. More than controlling you. More than torturing me, even.”
               “Then why in blazes haven’t you used it to secure your own freedom?” Eliza blurted out.
               “I’m only alive because they cannot break me into revealing where this item might be.” The belligerence burning in his eyes was gone in a blink, replaced by a look of pure cunning. “However, I might be persuaded to help you use the knowledge. All I require is— ”
               “Fine,” she snapped, irritation getting the best of her. “I’ll kiss you.”
               Silence fell, and Adam stared at her with those eyes of his. Devil’s eyes. Eyes that made a woman forget herself. Heat rose up over her breasts and crawled along the back of her neck. Eliza grasped her skirts, her fingers twitching. She would kiss him. Kiss a man who had brought her nothing but irritation. Maybe she’d bite him to boot.
               His chest, gleaming with sweat, rose and fell in a soft pattern. A bead of perspiration broke free from the top of his shoulder and ran down along the firm rise of his pectoral muscles, straight toward the dark nub of his nipple. All this time arguing with him, she’d forgotten his state of undress. Not so now. She’d have to press up against those hard muscles, touch his skin. Eliza wrenched her gaze back to his face, and his sinful lips curled in a knowing smile.
“You know,” he said casually, “I believe I shall pass for the moment. I’d rather it be when you aren’t wearing such a sour face. Kills a bloke’s ardor, you realize.”
               Eliza blinked. And then his meaning hit her. “Why you…rutting…cheap, trickster…”
               He laughed, a flash of even teeth. “Come now, Eliza, fret not.” He stopped then, that obnoxious smile growing and heating with promise. “I’ll take that kiss soon enough. ”
               She rose to her feet in a rustle of skirts. “And I’ll be sure to bite that wicked tongue when you do!”
               She marched out of the cell, slamming it behind her, as he began to laugh again. Bastard. She might just leave him here to rot after all. His laughing taunt echoed through the dark. “Now that I know tongues are involved, I’ll be sure to collect.”

Author Bio

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book, Firelight, received RT Book Reviews’ Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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My Review

Review and Excerpt: Soulbound by Kristen Callihan
Soulbound by Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London #6
Published by Forever
Published on: February 24, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Once two souls are joined . . .

When Adam's soul mate rejected him, there was more at stake than his heart. After seven hundred years of searching, his true match would have ended the curse that keeps his spirit in chains. But beautiful, stubborn Eliza May fled-and now Adam is doomed to an eternity of anguish, his only hope for salvation gone . . .

Their hearts will beat together forever

No matter how devilishly irresistible Adam was, Eliza couldn't stand the thought of relinquishing her freedom forever. So she escaped. But she soon discovers she is being hunted-by someone far more dangerous. The only man who can help is the one man she vowed never to see again. Now Adam's kindness is an unexpected refuge, and Eliza finds that some vows are made to be broken . . .

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Kristen Callihan has been 5-for-5 with her DARKEST LONDON series, and I’ve been looking forward to Adam’s story most of all, so when the mailman delivered SOULBOUND the pressure was on. This installment brought with it plenty of new revelations with regards to the Fae, the King of the GIM’s curse, and we finally discover what was plaguing Archer in FIRELIGHT. The writing was as strong as ever, and the author made me weep with her romantic elements, but this book had a degree of predictability to it that the others didn’t which is why Callihan’s perfect rating streak must end here.

This world is peppered with paranormal excellence from the mythology to the plethora of otherworldly characters; however only the Ghosts In The Machine have captured my interest to the point of obsession. Spooks are common enough in this genre, but this author’s approach is exceptional, bar none. Adam’s nature has been one of this series’ most closely guarded secrets, and is so intricately linked to the Fae that an examination of one will spoil the other, and both get cracked wide open in this novel, thus expect a deluge of answers, just not from me. Ha!

As astounding as all of this book’s epiphanies were, they paled in comparison to the atypical conclusion. Callihan didn’t simply choose the path less traveled, she forged her own, and in doing so completely changed the definition of happily-ever-after. A common complaint of mine where ghost romances are concerned is that there aren’t any easy solutions to unite the couple, and the obvious fix is the one that no reader wants to face. I loved the direction that Adam & Eliza’s story took, although it was partially to blame for this installment’s foreseeable chain of events.

Two of DARKEST LONDON’s previously featured heroines are GIM, so a coup on their King meant that this novel’s plot arc was widespread which had its benefits because the better part of this series’ characters got a word or two in. The mystery behind book 1 was solved at long last, and will in all probability carry over to the next title if Sin has anything to do with it, although I wouldn’t mind terribly if Lucien’s tale took precedence, especially after his recent admission. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that wherever this author goes from here, I will follow.

SOULBOUND will make you believe in the impossible, there is love after death.

Was this review helpful? If so, please like it on GoodReads or vote for it on Amazon!

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. Great review. Fae in London? Must. Read. This. Book.

    This series has been on my wish list forever. Thank you for the giveaway! 🙂
    E.J. Stevens recently posted…Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Australia with Cassandra Page

  2. I love this series and am now really looking forward to seeing what kind of “atypical” HEA Callahan provides us with! *wonders if I have this one as an ARC*
    Mary recently posted…Do It In 140: Tweet-Short Reviews (12)

    • Prepare to be shocked & amazed, and hopefully pleasantly surprised too.

  3. This one really sounds like a great book in a great series that I must add to the wish list for sure, even more after reading that excerpt!!
    Great review Carmel!!
    Pili recently posted…Mark This Book Monday: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop!!!

    • That excerpt barely scratched the surface of what Callihan is capable of. Prepare yourself to be wowed!

  4. Another one for my wish list! I honestly don’t think I’ve even heard of this series… But steampunk and Fae!?!? Its too good to be true and yet you like it so it must not be. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Berls recently posted…Murder at the Reinhart | Part 1 by Katie Hayoz

    • Every installment is vastly different than the one that came before it. This author’s imagination & creativity knows no bounds.

  5. I love this series! I think I’m one book behind before I can get to this one, I don’t remember reading Evernight but I could be wrong. Great review, I think all of the books in the series have been a 4.5 or 5 stars for me, I really enjoy reading about this world and Ms. Callihan’s charismatic characters, I love them all!
    Lori recently posted…Cover Reveal: Guardians of Terath: Seeking Sorrow by Zen DiPietro + Giveaway

    • There are a couple of novellas too, although I didn’t enjoy them nearly as much as the full length books. Still, I’ll read anything Callihan writes!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! I so need to get caught up on this series.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

  7. I was given the opportunity to join this tour, but since I haven’t read the other books in the series I declined 🙁 It looks so pretty! *claps* Glad I get the chance to enter the giveaway! I would love to read this. 😀 Thanks for participating!
    Sarah recently posted…Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

    • I never miss an opportunity to host this author, and her books. You should start Firelight, and go from there, so that you’ll be ready when sign-ups open for #7.

  8. Ummmmm. SIGN ME UP FOR THIS SERIES CARMEL! That excerpt was fantastic, I love an antagonistic relationship, and clearly Adam and Eliza have some, ahem, issues to wade through before things heat up 😉 So glad to know this a favorite series of yours, I’m off to buy book one!

    • To say that Eliza & Adam has ‘issues’ is putting it mildly, Jenny. But, that’s what made their relationship so much fun to explore. I hope you adore Archer & Miranda!

  9. Weren’t you just discussing your feelings about ghosts and romance last week? I’m glad this was such a satisfying installment, even if it wasn’t perfect, Carmel. You have me curious about GIMs for sure. I checked my ereaders and I have Ember…have had it for awhile. Guess I better get crackin’! This series seems like one I don’t want to miss out on.
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Incite ~ Erica Crouch

    • I did indeed. Great memory! It’s also the reason why I deducted half a star from this one. Even though the HEA wasn’t your typical ghost romance ending, it still broke a couple of my SFF no-nos. It’s Callihan though, so… I was forgiving.

  10. I wasn’t loving the books after Poppy’s but after this, my interest for the series has been revived.
    Excited to read Sin’s book next. I don’t know how he’s going to wing a love life given his new… Gig.
    Braine recently posted…Steampunk Sundays: Of Silk and Steam by Bec McMaster

    • Aaah, yes, but you’re not big on second chance romances. We’ve discussed this already. 🙂

  11. I have wanted Adam’s story since my first sighting of him in book 2 and that intriguing series of scenes in book four. Reading now so I only took some quick peeks at your review.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…The Great Pick Up Line with Shades of Sepia by Anne Barwell #TGPUL #Giveaway

    • I love me some Adam! My expectations for this story were sky high, and for the most part, the author did good. I hope you like it.

  12. I still haven’t tried this series and I have the first two books. I am readiing stellar reviews for this book so I have moved the series up on my list. You encouraged me even more to read it right away.
    Heidi recently posted…Review: A Ghostly Undertaking (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1) by Tonya Kappes

  13. Thanks for letting us know about this one. I am new to the series and I loved the excerpt. Gonna look into this one more. I really do like that cover too.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Happy Raturday!

    • The covers, the excerpt… what’s not to love!? Highly recommended.

  14. OMG! I’ve only read the first book and I probably need to reread it. This giveaway is PERFECT for me. I’ve been wanting to read them and I’m so behind. *Pick me!* 🙂

    I remember the worldbuilding in that first one and that is what I loved. So glad that it works this far into the series still. Can’t wait to catch up!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Blog Tour with Giveaway: The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

    • It’s tough to resist the pull of a series giveaway. Fingers crossed that you win, then you won’t have any more excuses not to get caught-up.

  15. I loved this one too. All the books in this series have been 5 stars for me which is unheard (for me). Great review and I’m going to be sad to read the next book since it’s the last one.

  16. Yay, nice to hear that you got the pov you’d been hoping for with Adam

  17. Lol – Oh I enjoyed that excerpt! Those two sound like a lot of fun.
    Christy recently posted…When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

    • They are! The character dynamics between them was one of my fav aspects.

  18. Every time you talk about this series I tell myself to pull out Firelight and begin. I so need to do it! Love that this is one of your favorite series.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…At Wolf Ranch by Jennifer Ryan

    • Surely you have room for one more series on your TBR. 😉

  19. I really miss reading this series. I need to pick it back up again…great review Carmel 😀
    sharonda recently posted…#BookReview: Cupid by Kenya Wright and Jade Eby

    • Then quit pinning, and pick-up the next installment already!

  20. Oh wow I didn’t realize there were 6 already!! I loved the first two! The third was alright, but I need to get back to reading the rest. Great review!
    Julie S. recently posted…In Too Deep Audio Review

    • Lots of peeps were on the fence about the third, and I was at first too, but Poppy & Winston won me over in the ned.

  21. I don’t know much about this series, but your enthusiasm is contagious! Makes me want to read them now, too. 🙂
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…On the Night Table [#9]: Firebird, Magic and The Grim Reaper.

    • This series is a unique blend of Paranormal Romance, Historical, and Steampunk. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read.

  22. Thank you for the great excerpt! This is another fantastic series that I want to dive into. Your review has me itching to pick this up soon. Thanks for the chance to win this fabulous prize 🙂
    Kim recently posted…Adult Book Review: The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr

    • There’s only one way to scratch that itch, and it’s to one-click all 7 books, or win the giveaway, whichever comes first. 😀

  23. Sometimes it is hard with a ghost mixed in the romance. It needs to be done right. A shame this one didn’t quite get there for you, but I like the banter between them in the excerpt. Great review!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
    Naomi recently posted…Release Day Review/Giveaway ~ Blackest Red by P.T. Michelle

    • I had such high hopes for this one, but the ghost aspects were difficult to overlook. Still, Callihan fared better than most in that department.

  24. Gosh! I’m so far behind in this series!! I’m so glad it continuous to be strong, and with next book being the last one it looks like is gonna stay a strong series from beginning to to end.
    I need to do a marathon!
    Lupdilup recently posted…Free 2015 Sync Audiobook Downloads (May 7th)

    • I listened to the second book in audio, and was a big fan of the narrator on account of her Brit accent.

  25. I’m glad you had a great time with this one as well! I’m loving this series and I’m really surprised each time. I loved Adam and Eliza and now I can’t wait to read more. Great review!

    • I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a single weak installment in this series to date. That takes talent! Not that I’m complaining.

  26. Even though this book wasn’t my favorite, it was still pretty great… so much I was able to read it and enjoy it while on my PNR slump.
    I also wasn’t sure about the HEA, but it kind of works…
    BookaholicCat recently posted…Early Review: Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

    • Whoa! I expected another “can’t, it’s PNR” comment from you, so colour me surprised. I had to let the ending sink in a bit, but yeah, it worked all things considered.

  27. One of your favorite paranormal romance series, you say? Fireflight has been on my TBR for ages. I think it is time to bump it up and read it 🙂
    Lucia recently posted…REVIEW: By Any Other Name by J.M. Darhower

    • Yes, yes, I most certainly do! I friend introduced me to Firelight, and I haven’t been able to say no to this author ever since.

  28. Yet another series that’s been collecting dust on my TBR shelf forever, and I really have no idea why, Carmel! I need to get to this ASAP 🙂
    Great review, and so good to know that as the series goes on, the originality and goodness continues 🙂
    I hope you’re having a fantastic week.
    Lexxie recently posted…Blogtour Review: The Hurricane – R.J. Prescott

    • Blow the dust off, and crack ’em open! You’ll be kicking yourself for procrastinating for so long before you’re even halfway through book 1.

  29. The covers for this series are just incredible. I really do need to start them. You and a couple others tempt me something fierce!
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Erika Kelly’s Name that Song contest… This is pretty awesome yall!

    • Quit holding out, and give in already. You know you want to!

  30. I really enjoyed that excerpt! I’m definitely going to have to grab the first book considering this is your fave series, I love your praise!

    A great review Sharon – Obsession with Books
    Sharon – Obsession with Books recently posted…2015 YA To Be Read Pile Cover Love

    • I can’t emphasize that point enough. It’s my F-A-V-O-U-R-I-T-E!

  31. *flails* I didn’t realize this was coming out so soon, but I’m EXCITED FOR IT. Though perhaps I need a reread of all the books first. That would be a sacrifice I think I can make. 😉
    Amanda recently posted…Naked in Death by JD Robb {Beth’s Review}

    • Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, even if it means neglecting all of the other titles on your shelves.