The Black Lily

The Black Lily

by Juliette Cross
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Overview

The Black Lily by Juliette Cross

Cinderella like you've never seen before...

With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince's blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can't push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever...

The Vampire Blood Series is best enjoyed in order:
Reading Order:
Book #1 - The Black Lily
Book #2 - The Red Lily

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542733601
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 02/27/2017
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 1,067,646
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.67(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Black Lily

Tales of the Black Lily


By Juliette Cross, Tera Cuskaden

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2017 Juliette Cross
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-875-9


CHAPTER 1

"Arabelle?"

"Come in, Deek."

The creaking door to her shack closed as she cinched her boot strings tight.

"Are you ready for the ball?"

She stepped from behind the dressing screen, gold silk gown sucking the life out of her. Better her corset than a bloody vampire.

"Does a meatsack bleed?" she asked, hands on hips.

His eyes widened. "Damn. You sure do clean up good."

"Aye. When I'm not covered in sweat and cow dung."

He laughed, crossing beefy arms over his barrel chest. With a jerking nod to her legs, he said, "Let me see."

She lifted the skirt and petticoat past her stockings to a garter harness that held her double-edged, serrated, gold-tipped blade. "Satisfied?" She swished her skirts back down around her ankles.

"No. How do you plan to get close to him?"

She scoffed and squared her shoulders, pushing her breasts up to a delectable height. "I believe these will do."

Deek grinned, his gold-capped tooth glinting in the candlelight. "They're lovely. But there will be plenty of large breasts and vulnerable necks on display for the prince's taking. That's not enough to entice him."

Arabelle swallowed the ire flaming through her chest. As always, anger helped her focus and steady her resolve. She smoothed her palms over her waist, then her hips, walking toward him with an exaggerated sway of her curvy frame. The ringlets she'd pulled loose from her up-do brushed one bare shoulder. Deek's mouth fell open slightly. His dark gaze dropped. When she reached him, she uncrossed his arms and placed his broad hands on her hips, pressing her body to his, her cleavage plumping against his chest.

"Is this enticing enough?"

She licked her lips to draw him in further. He never saw her slip her skirt up to grab her blade.

"Arie, what —"

With a deft clip of his knee, done by her boot, he fell backward onto the wooden floor. She straddled his chest, pinned his biceps with her knees, fisted one hand in his hair, and pointed her gold-tipped blade at his gullet. "Will that work?"

"You're fast. I'll give you that."

"Not really. Men are easy to distract is all. Even vampire men." She lifted off him, but not before nicking his chin with her dagger. "And don't call me Arie."

He wiped the drop of blood from his scruffy chin as he pushed off the floor.

"Where did you get this dress anyway, Deek? Didn't know you dabbled in the silk trade."

"I know someone."

"So," she said, swishing her silken skirts and forcing an artificial smile, "do I look like an aristocrat?"

"Not near tame enough. But it'll have to do. You'll need this as well."

He handed her a black silk satchel with a drawstring for the wrist. Arabelle opened it and pulled out the heavy bauble weighing it down. She whistled as she lifted a dark crimson ruby bigger than a chicken's heart. The gem dangled from the end of a silver chain.

"Good God, Deek."

"Yes, I know. It's on loan, of course, so I'll need it back. But you must look the part. Every noble woman who goes to the Glass Tower wears jewels. Especially those seeking to be the prince's blood concubine."

Arabelle cringed at the thought. But he was right. She must play this part well if she wanted to get close enough to complete her mission. She latched the necklace, wondering which friend of Deek's loaned him such a jewel. But he was a resourceful man. He was rough and rugged but also handsome enough beneath the scruffy exterior. Sometimes well-born ladies liked to get dirty. Who better to toss up their skirts when they needed satisfaction than the muscular blacksmith with wickedness in his dark eyes?

"The invitation is in there as well," he added.

She pulled the square from the satchel and opened the flaps, noting the monarch's seal had already been broken. Within was the invitation to the ball for Prince Marius. She trailed her finger over the silver lettering on fine parchment before she skimmed down to the name and title in the black box at the bottom.

"Lady Grace Constance Merriweather?" She snickered, then continued reading. "Daughter of the Earl of Lakeland of the Bridgerton Province. Where on earth is the Bridgerton Province?"

Deek grinned and shrugged a brawny shoulder. "Doesn't exist."

Arabelle's mouth fell open. "This is a forgery?"

"Of course. Do you think I'd risk you getting caught with a stolen invitation?"

Arabelle refolded it, then examined the red embossed seal — a bold letter V wrapped in flourishing swirls. Beauty and power in one. A shiver crawled down her spine at the enormity of whom they were about to take on with tonight's act of treason. She'd never killed anyone before. But whenever her conscience pricked and stung, she would harden her heart with the memory of her dead mother, eyes wide and glassy. This was the right course. She believed it, as if fate itself had laid out the plan.

"This is the real seal. How in the world were you able to craft such a forgery?"

"I know someone."

She shook her head and stuffed the invitation back into her black silk purse. "You truly are a wonder, Deek."

"I've heard that before."

"I'll bet you have."

"Your mask is in there as well. That comes with compliments of Maggie."

Arabelle smiled at the thought of dear Maggie who worked for the dressmaker in town.

"I'll bet Maggie was eager to help you out. Not so much me."

"Enough prattle," he said, waving a thick hand. "Time to go."

"All right then. I'm ready."

He took two steps to the door, which was about half the span of the one-room hut she lived in since shortly after she came to serve the House of Pervis. She preferred her cozy shack to the servants' quarters in her master's mansion. Madame Pervis was a witch of a woman. And her two daughters were her equal in both cruelty and shallow odiousness. The farther she could get from them the better. Unfortunately, they'd taken her in when her mother died. Her choice was either to serve them or become a bleeder for the vampire guards, the Legionnaires. At a young age, she'd already seen the corpses on carts taken from the back gates to be buried in distant fields. The Legionnaires were known to bleed them dry, which was allegedly against Varis Law.

There was no choice for her then, as a vulnerable orphaned girl. But now she was a woman with a mind of her own and more courage than the lot of Sylus. She had plans. Starting with the death of one Prince Marius.

She passed through the door then came to an abrupt halt. A black carriage with silver-plated wheels and filigree decorating each corner waited for her. The driver, dressed in the proper livery, tipped his hat from his seat.

Mouth agape, Arabelle turned to Deek, unable to even formulate a response for five full seconds. And she was rarely speechless.

"Let me guess," she finally said. "You know someone."

"I couldn't let you go on that old nag."

"Willow is not old." She jerked a glance to her brown mare in the single paddock Deek had helped her build from scrap wood. "It's okay, girl. He didn't mean it."

Deek shook his head. "Up you go, milady."

Arabelle laughed as he took her gloved hand and helped her into the carriage, the action so foreign.

"Don't laugh," he growled. "Best get used to being treated like a lady in the getup you're in. Play the part, Arabelle," he said in all seriousness. "Now, this carriage isn't on loan."

"You stole it?"

He leaned forward and replied in a whisper, "Borrowed without permission. The driver has orders to depart the Glass Tower at exactly the stroke of midnight. If you aren't in the carriage at that time, it will leave without you. I can't risk the owner finding it missing. That's all the time I can afford you."

"No worries. I have a backup plan. I hope to make my escape by that time, but I have another route set up just in case."

"Good. Remember, Prince Marius will be weaker than normal because of their damned tradition to fast before one of these blood balls. But he won't be weak. Do not underestimate him."

"I won't," she declared, straightening her shoulders.

"And, Arabelle, if you don't get the right opportunity, abort the mission. Come home safely, and we'll find another way."

She leveled her gaze on her dearest friend, the one who'd conspired with her for the past two years and had become her greatest ally in their growing resistance. This was it. The moment they had both been planning and waiting for.

"Don't worry," she said with strength and confidence. "I will kill him, Deek."

"Aye," he said with a tight nod. "I've no doubt you will. But if things go wrong, don't die trying, woman. We need you. The Black Lily needs you."

He was right. And she heard his warning all the way to her rebellious heart. She would die trying for those who were counting on her. She had started this movement. Word had spread farther than she could've imagined. If she died, it could all fall apart before it ever truly began.

Deek shut the door and rapped twice on the side, signaling the driver to move on. The carriage jostled forward. Arabelle sat back on the cushioned seat and gazed out the window, the moon and stars beaming on the pumpkin fields. An overwhelming sense of duty hardened her resolve, no matter that her disguise felt foreign and uncomfortable.

She watched the rows of shining pumpkins slide by, imagining every face of every person who was now counting on her to start their revolution with this one act against the Varis Empire. Then she recalled the faces of those she'd seen drained of blood by these monsters. Not just the ones who were an accident of overfeeding, but the ones she'd found when harvesting herbs in the woodland.

The vampires promised order, to take only from the bleeders offered to the Empire, and to never overfeed. That had always been the vow to keep the balance between the species. Yet bodies had been found of villagers who'd gone missing, their necks savaged by beasts. More than one pale corpse had been found tossed into the woods without care. All low-born peasants. And the nobility had turned a blind eye, as they always did, living in their fine houses and basking in luxuries begotten on the backs of the poor.

Well, no more. Arabelle pulled out the mask made for her by the hands of little Maggie, an orphan herself until the dressmaker took her in. Covered in black silk and edged in black lace, and gold rhinestones winked at the tips where the eyes winged up. Lovely craftsmanship.

Arabelle smiled and hooked the mask into place. Now her disguise was perfect. As the carriage rolled on, with the same dogged determination that had ruled her for most of her life, she envisioned her target and her mission — to kill the vampire prince.

CHAPTER 2

Marius slipped on a black collared shirt and fastened the line of obsidian buttons ringed in silver. His valet, Baines, waited patiently to the side, with a black vest in one hand and cufflinks in the palm of the other. While fastening the silver cufflinks, in the shape of the imperial V, Marius ruminated over the incident earlier that day, still perplexed. He was now more determined than ever to discover why the servants were behaving like he was a predator waiting to pounce.

"What in the world are you doing?" came the voice of his best friend behind him.

Marius slid his vest on. "Thank you, Baines. That will be all."

"Yes, Your Highness. Good night."

Baines slipped out past Nikolai, who stood, one hand low on his hip, clad in his Legionnaire uniform, his usual scowl in place. He watched Baines leave. "I rushed up here after I got my men in place for the ball, ready to help you escape before festivities began — as you had requested, might I remind you — only to find you're dressing for the damned event you swore you wouldn't attend. What the devil is going on?"

"I changed my mind," said Marius with a smirk, stepping up to the oblong mirror hanging on the wall, then circled his collar with the black silk tie.

Nikolai scoffed, his foul temper showing. "Would you mind sharing what events have suddenly changed your mind? Because as I recall, you've been planning to go on a long hunt on this very night to escape this bloody ball."

"Something strange happened this morning. Close my door."

Nikolai's frown softened to an expression of curiosity as he shut the door and came farther into the room. Arms crossed, he leaned against the wall next to the mirror. "All right." He crossed one leg at the ankle. "You have my attention. Let's hear it."

Marius continued to fit the tie just right, sliding one loop over the other until the wide flat of the sash tucked smoothly under the vest.

"It was the scullery maid."

"The scullery maid." Nikolai arched a brow, a lock of his blond hair falling over one eye.

"Yes." Finished with the tie, he reached over to the standing rack where Baines had left his jacket hanging neatly and lifted it from its hook. "I stepped into my private parlor earlier today and there was a scullery maid cleaning the grate. I startled her enough that she dropped the bucket of ashes. I stepped closer to offer my help, as I could see the poor girl was scared to death. But she —" Marius drifted back to that moment, remembering the look of sheer horror on the young girl's face.

"She what, Marius?"

"She ran away in terror." He shifted into his sleek jacket and tugged his shirt at the bottom, the cufflinks winking from the candle-lit chandelier.

"Of course she did. You're Prince Marius. You'd intimidate and terrify any young girl having never seen the great prince," he said with a wave of his hand to his tall figure.

"Shut up, Nikolai. It wasn't as simple as that. She thought I was going to hurt her. I sensed it. I could smell raw fear."

Nikolai's brow pinched together. Both he and Marius were experienced vampires with senses honed to detect the subtle differences in human emotions.

"That's not all," continued Marius, stepping over to the silver salver that held his red mask. "When I questioned Ms. Owsland, she said the girl quit her position and returned to her home in Hiddleston that morning. Even Ms. Owsland regarded me with fear in her eyes." And the housekeeper had never behaved that way before, fidgeting with her apron like she was about to tear a hole in it. "I may be an ass on occasion, but I've never been so cruel as to warrant such behavior."

"On occasion?"

Marius chuckled, eyeing the red satin mask in his hands, wondering what he was missing behind the frightened faces of the palace servants.

Nikolai shoved off the wall. "She didn't give any indication why the girl left? Or what had spooked her?"

"None. What's more, now that I take more note of the past week or so, all of the human servants have stayed well out of my way."

"Have you noticed anything different with Baines?" asked Nikolai as they made their way toward the door.

"No. But Baines is his own creature. He keeps to himself." Marius fitted his mask into place. "I'm telling you, Nikolai. Something is going on." He sensed it like a whiff of smoke on the wind, gone before he could catch the direction of the scent.

"And so you figured what better place to discover the origin of this mystery than in a room full of humans."

Marius tilted a smile at him as they exited his chamber. "A ballroom full."

"So we have a task, I see."

"Yes. We do. Glad you're on board."

"Nothing I like better than a challenge. You know that."

They made their way down the red-carpeted corridor to the white marble staircase, then paused on the mid-level platform and gazed at the view below. The hordes had arrived. Noblemen escorted their single daughters who were dripping with jewels, squeezed into overly tight corsets, and puffed up with layers upon layers of silk and lace.

The fact that any man could corral his daughter into a ball as a well-priced whore in exchange for favor from the king disgusted Marius. And he pitied the daughters, even the ones who appeared overeager to become his next blood concubine.

Yes, it was a privileged position for any noble lady to achieve. However, the practice had lost its luster for him. To choose the finest prize from the flock felt something like selecting the fattest cow for the feast. Even Marius felt demeaned by it. Yet, as his mother reminded him so often, it was tradition — the noose around his neck that seemed to squeeze tighter every day.

The receiving hall filled to brimming. "Your father grows impatient," said Nikolai. He nodded to the tall, dark-haired king at the top of the receiving line, scowling at every person who crossed near him. "They won't let the masses into the ballroom until you're in line."

"I'm going. You'd best go and get changed yourself."

Nikolai chuckled. "Not on your life. I'll be attending as lieutenant on duty. Not one of those hellhounds looking for fresh meat." He nodded to the other officers and soldiers in their formal regalia, eager to lure in a new bleeder to add to their collections. "Now your mother is glaring. Best get down there."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Black Lily by Juliette Cross, Tera Cuskaden. Copyright © 2017 Juliette Cross. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Black Lily 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
carvanz More than 1 year ago
Some of my Goodreads friends reviewed this book and declared it wonderful. I bought it as soon as it became available but was unable to start reading it. As things go it got pushed down the list and I actually forgot about. Gasp! I know! When I saw a review of the next book that is being released soon, I determined to pull this one out. Wow, I’m a knucklehead because I should have never delayed in reading this one. It was so different and unique. Maybe not to everyone, but to me anyway. With a historical setting, it is the tale of a young woman who organizes a group of revolutionaries to rise up against the aristocracy who just happen to be vampires. Her goal is to kill the prince, Marius, to instigate their uprising. Unfortunately, for Arabelle she fails and thus begins the story of two characters as they struggle against each other, their beliefs, and their duty. A more unlikely couple you could not find. She is repulsed by the vampire’s act of drinking human blood and he needs it to survive. However, she is not repulsed by him and he has determined he will not drink from another. This was a fast paced read with nothing to bog it down. There was something happening at all times with plenty of action, without anything blowing up mind you, as well as some very sweet moments and some steamy scenes between Arabelle and Marius. The secondary characters were very nicely fleshed out without overtaking the book. I’m not sure if this author has plans for one of their stories, but any of them would do for me. They were that good. Arabelle’s character is strong and independent without being pushy. She was actually a really sweet girl who just happened to start an uprising. Marius is the prince and I found him to be a very nicely developed alpha hero who did not use any strong arm tactics to get his way with his lady. He respected her, what she was doing and the decisions she made. Of course, Arabelle wasn’t giving him a say in the matter! You may not be surprised who the villain is but it was still a nice reveal. However, I found the coming together of this couple at the end a little rushed and would’ve liked a little more angst and/or romance with it. Altogether, a very enjoyable read that I wish I’d read sooner. Thanks again to my Goodreads friends that reviewed this one. See, every now and then I actually read the book! Dual POV Safe – no other woman/other man drama despite the fact the H is bethrothed and the h meets his fiancée Possible triggers – this has vampires that restrain and savage their prey
ErinKellyCoffeeandBooks More than 1 year ago
My two favorite genres are historical and paranormal. Imagine my delight when one of my favorite authors, Juliette Cross, decided to write a series of fairytale retellings with vampires. The first book in the series, “The Black Lily” is Arabelle’s (Cinderella) story and beautifully sets the stage for the books to come. You see, this isn’t a normal YA-style fairytale retelling… this one is full of the dark edge I’ve come to expect from Juliette (side note: You must read her Vessel Trilogy if you haven’t). The Story- Arabelle is going to the ball, which is actually a chance for the Prince to select his new blood concubine. But, she doesn’t isn’t there to win Prince Marius’s heart: she wants to pierce it with a gold dagger. Arabelle, aka The Black Lily, is the leader of a resistance organization of the same name. She is a badass woman, entirely in control of her own sexuality and agenda. Marius goes through the motions, but is beginning to sense that something is not right in his kingdom. An attempt on his life sets him on a path he never expected to find a woman he never should have wanted. My Thoughts- World-building has always been a strength of Cross, and this is no exception. I completely understood the vampire monarchy and the “rules” within this society almost immediately. While these vampires are legally limited from killing humans, these are no sparkling, animal-eating creatures. There is true danger here, and Arabelle’s strength and intelligence in fighting that threat drive the book as well as the undeniable chemistry between her and Marius. Can we talk about that chemistry for a minute? From almost the first meeting, there is this spark that is completely believable between the two, and I was actually surprised by the outcome of that meeting. Throw in a late-night lake bath that gets interrupted and a surprise visit to her cottage, and you have some very hot moments. But, even more than the sexual tension, what comes across through the snappy dialogue is that these characters really “get” each other. Even with the fast-paced plot, the secondary characters are true people that we get to know and root for and cry for. I can’t wait to see some of them again! Finally, the twists and reveals are wonderful. I love when everything is not as it seems. The Bottom Line- This is an excellent introduction to a series that I cannot wait to devour. These vampires feel fresh, and the fairytale premise is less of a restrictive plot device than it is a creative frame in which the author flourishes. If you love the dark edge of paranormal AND the transporting world of historical, this book is a must-read. 5 stars
Rhianona More than 1 year ago
It's been a while since I've read a good vampire romance. Initially, I wasn't sure if I would like this but I do enjoy fairy tale re-tellings and the blurb intrigued me enough to give it a try. From the start, I was drawn into the world that Ms. Cross develops. Marius is the youngest son of the ruling family. He is about to turn 100 soon, which means he will be set to marry and take his place as ruling king in the only part of the kingdom that is not currently ruled by a vampire of the Varis line. While he has no desire to find a blood concubine, he attends the Blood Ball being held when he realizes that the servants in the castle are terrified of him. He wants to know why. After her mother is killed by a vampire and seeing a steady stream of drained and dead vampire victims left in the forest, Arabella knows that someone has to stop the vampires. She starts the Black Lily rebellion movement to do just that and sees the Blood Ball as the perfect time to assassinate the prince. What she doesn't expect is the instant attraction she feels towards Marius - not that it stops her from her plan. When she fails in her attempt, she flees and Marius is determined to find her - not because she tried to kill him but because he can't forget the passion in their one kiss. This is an unconventional Cinderella story. Instead of a glass slipper, Arabella leaves behind a dagger. Instead of living with her stepmother and stepsisters, she works for a mother and her two daughters - though they have all the characteristics of the stepmother and stepsisters. Instead of a fairy godmother, she has a blacksmith. Arabella herself is not content to meekly stand by in the face of injustice. For all that we know there is a happily ever after with Marius, she also sticks by her principles, which is nice to see. It all makes for a rather unique retelling of the classic fairy tale. I do have a few complaints. For all that this is a fairy tale, I still had trouble believing that Arabella, who is described multiple times throughout the book as a peasant, can easily pass herself off as a noble for the ball. Secondly, I wish I had seen more in the development of their relationship. Beyond the plot, the cast of characters make this well worth a read. Not simply content with creating a memorable hero and heroine, Ms. Cross also creates some well developed secondary characters, who are just as interesting as Marius and Arabella. Overall, this was an exciting introduction to a new series, with a nice mix of romance and suspense. I look forward to reading future installments in this series.
Stella_L More than 1 year ago
I was in the mood for a new PNR, and decided to pick this one up. It hit all the hot buttons for me. Vampire, historical setting, and brilliant story! I loved and plan to pick the next one up in the series. This is new author for me, but I'll be looking for her books.
dsubsits More than 1 year ago
Juliette Cross’ THE BLACK LILY is a clever retelling of the classic Cinderella. Arabelle (The Black Lily) leads a rebellion against the vampire monarchy. She sets out to assassinate the vampire prince, Marius, at the ball held at the Glass Tower. Her attempt fails, and Marius is determined to find the mysterious woman that was unsuccessful in killing him. This fairytale PNR is suitable for adult audiences. THE BLACK LILY was a creative and entertaining read. I enjoyed the plot. I like how the Cinderella and Red Riding Hood fairytales were worked into the story. I also appreciate that there was a lot more to the story then just the basics from the fairy tale. Arabelle is a strong heroine. She is brave and determined to fight for the lower class. I like Marius. Unlike his family, he is noble and wants what is best for the people. He is ignorant about what is really happening, but willing to investigate to discover the truth. The two have great chemistry, and I enjoyed their dialog. Juliette Cross does a fantastic job with all the details to the story. The characters are well developed. The plot is skillfully executed. There were interesting twists and turn of events. Even though the novel is 300-pages, it felt like a fast read. THE BLACK LILY had a great ending. I would love to see this story turned into a movie. I look forward to the second book in the Tales of the Black Lily, THE RED LILY, expected to be published on June 19, 2017. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So much more than a Cinderella story or even a vampire story. This was amazing. A story of a courageous young woman who is fighting for freedom, justice and equality against the tyranny of power and oppression. All bundled up together with a breathtaking romance. I don’t normally read PNR, especially vampires but the blurb and the positive reviews I came across made me try this book. I’d recommend this to anyone who reads fantasy romance; heck anyone who loves a beautifully told story. The 2 characters are amazingly developed. Arabelle, a lowly peasant who singlehandedly starts a rebellion among her people to fight for freedom and justice; her bravery and pure kick-assness. Marius is just perfect for her. Protective and determined to win her, regardless of her background. Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet; all rolled into one amazing story. 2 soul mates from opposites. The tale of forbidden love – the angst was so well done. Copy gifted in exchange for an honest review
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars-- THE BLACK LILY is the first installment in Juliette Cross’s TALES OF THE BLACK LILY adult, paranormal/fantasy series. This is one hundred year old vampire Prince Marius, and peasant girl Arabelle’s story line. Told from dual third person perspectives (Arabelle and Marius) THE BLACK LILY follows the struggles of the human population; the underground movement setting up a coup to take down the royal vampire family-vampires who now threaten the lives of everyone they love. Enter peasant girl Arabelle, a young woman, head of a group known as The Black Lily, and a woman determined to rid the world of bloodsuckers-one vampire at a time starting with the youngest royal heir-Prince Marius. The time has come to select a new concubine for the royal Prince, and Arabelle is determined to seduce the Prince to his death. What ensues is the building romance between Arabelle and Prince Marius, and the search for the vampires responsible for taking too many lives. THE BLACK LILY is the retelling of Cinderella only Cinderella’s happily ever after comes with a caveat-the Prince is a vampire, and a man who is desperate to make Arabelle his own. While Arabelle struggles with her attraction to a man she believes is killing her people, Marius searches for the truth and doesn’t like what he is about to find. We are introduced to a large number of secondary and supporting characters including Marius’s best friend and vampire Nikolai; Marius’s parents the King and Queen of the vampires; Arabelle’s friends Deek and Mary, as well as our heroine’s evil ’step mother’ and two wicked ‘step sisters’. On the run Arabelle befriends a woman known as Sienna, whose connection to the wolves is magical and mysterious. The world building looks at the prejudice between human and vampire; the potential eradication of the species; and a romance between a human and a vampire that pushes all of the boundaries for our leading couple. THE BLACK LILY is an engaging, lively and spirited retelling of Cinderella. The premise is creative and electrifying; the characters are animated, colorful and passionate; the romance is fated and uplifting. THE BLACK LILY is a wondrous start to a new series that will leave you breathless and wanting more.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'The Black Lily' by Juliette Cross is book One in the "Tales of the Black Lily" series. This is the story of Arabelle and Marius. Arabelle is the leader of the "Black Lily" and has set out to kill Marius who is a Vampire Prince. Arabelle is out to kill Marius because so many of the human blood concubine are being killed and Arabelle wants this to stop. Marius is turning 100 years old and his family has set in motion for him to marry a Nobel Women that they have chosen for him. In addition he has started noticing that the servants/help is showing to be very scared of them. One servant that Marius spoke to, was so scared that she up and left town. So Marius knows something is going on and turns to have his friend help him find out what that is. When Marius goes to the Blood Ball he looks up to find Arabelle who he is taken with right away. Arabelle is pretending to be a Nobel Women named Grace. When Arabelle gets Marius alone she attempts to kill him. But unknown to her at first is that she didn't kill him. When Marius friend finds him injured he asked Marius 'Did she pierce you heart?' and Marcus said 'Yes' but then says "Not literally, old friend. I wouldn't be sitting her if she had, now would I?' Marius goes forward to finding 'Grace'/Arabelle and starts to learn what has been going on. To me that set the tone of this book and made me fall in love with this story. The secondary characters were just as good and I hope to see more of them in future books. I also wish to read more books by Ms. Cross! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
tigerlilly_liz More than 1 year ago
Do you love fairytales? Well, The Black Lily puts a new spin on an old classic. Cinderella got turned on its head in the best way possible. The author has done a sublime job recreating on an old classic and adding her own unique spin. Arabella is a tough woman, who has not had an easy life. She’s fearless and courageous. Instead of giving in, she has planned and vowed to change the status quo. Then there’s Marius, our vampire prince and alpha hero who goes on the hunt for the woman who tried to kill him. Not because she tried to kill him, but because he wants more of the passion he found in their first kiss. The chemistry between these two was a sweet slow build and smoldering hot. This story is rich in secondary characters. They were all exquisite, unique, well developed, and promise many opportunities for future books. I enjoyed all that were introduced and look forward to see how things develop and where they go. OMG, the prologue is just gripping. It opens us up to what the world is like and how Vampires rule. The story is enchanting and memorable. I was on the edge of my set and couldn’t put The Black Lily down. The characters are fascinating, alluring, and gripping. The world building is outstanding, the story is well written, riveting and awe-inspiring. We are treated to a little mystery, action, adventure, heartache, and romance. Truly, this is going to be a fantastic new series! Yes, it’s built on old fairy tales, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you will know how things end. I’m looking forward to the next installment. Rated: 4.5 Stars *Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.
Nelsonaa More than 1 year ago
First thing first - ignore the cheesy cover. I assume the cover model is supposed to represent the vampire prince Marius, but he is NOT the "black lily" of the title. That honor goes to Arabelle, and the resistance group of peasants she leads against the evils of the vampire monarchy. I wish the cover had portrayed both characters, perhaps in an embrace with Arabelle holding a gold-tipped knife. That could have been hot. Moving on, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I haven't read paranormal romance in a while, and longer still since I've read vampire paranormal. This was an enjoyable return to that genre. The loose Cinderella theme and fairy tale aspects were intriguing and interesting adapted. Early in the story, I felt a heavy influence from Katniss/The Hunger Games (Arabelle & the Black Lily made me think of the Mockingjay) and Daenerys Targaryen/Game of Thrones (Arabelle is actually referenced once as a "breaker of chains," which made me cringe a little). Thankfully these derivations faded as the story progressed. This one definitely improved for me the more I read, and by the end I couldn't put it down. Great character development and character growth - Marius and Arabelle were appealing largely due to their willingness to evolve and change as they learned more about each other. Lots of action kept the story moving briskly, with good suspense and mystery mixed in. The romantic scenes were few but impactful. Supporting characters were well done and added to the story. I think there is much more to tell, perhaps with Nikolai and Sienna, and also Mina. I look forward to more in this series. ARC provided by Entangled Publishing via Netgalley
repsgoddess More than 1 year ago
The Black Lily by Juliette Cross is one unique retelling of the Cinderella fairytale and it is absolutely fantastic, no amazing...omgosh, honestly peeps there just aren’t enough words to adequately describe how wonderful I found this story. You are hooked right from the beginning. I highly recommend this read to one and all. Please note that an ARC was generously provided in exchange for an honest review of which this is both honest and completely voluntary.
kahea46 More than 1 year ago
***5 ‘You Are Not What I Expected’ Stars*** When I heard that Juliette Cross was going to be putting her own paranormal twist on some very well loved fairy tales I started making grabby hands, while doing a lot of the practicing patience thing and though it did take me a little longer to dive in that I intended, I wasn’t disappointed. She has created a vibrant world and filled it with characters that I need to know more about, even the baddies and woven humor, heart, suspense and a good dose smexyness into it that had me turning the pages until there were no more to turn. I adored Marius. He is a vampire and a prince, but he’s nothing like you’d expect him to be. He believes in the superiority of his race and status within it and though the arrogance that comes with that belief is woven into his very being, it doesn’t suffocate. He’s all kinds of charming, confident, intelligent, smexy alpha male goodness and all of that combined with his compassionate heart makes him all kinds of swoon worthy. Arabelle and I had an interesting go of it. Overall I loved the girl. She genuinely cares for her people and though she is just a servant she is willing to do all she can to better their lives, even if it mean sacrificing hers. She could have turned her back on the problems, and even turned callous and cold, but didn’t. But for all I admired her, her tunnel vision in the beginning had me twitching. She has just cause for her feelings, but the soapbox she put herself on was not as sturdy as she believed. Marius and Arabelle’s road to their HEA was a bumpy one for many reasons, but it was a fun and smexy one as they forced each other to open their eyes to the true reality of the world they lived in. I enjoyed the push and pull between them because it not only made the sexual tension between them that much hotter, but it forced them to get to know each other beyond their station in life and come to realize that they had much more in common than they could have ever imagined. It’s not secret I’m a huge Juliette Cross fangirl and a good portion of that has to do with how well she builds the world her stories are set in. They are vibrant, even in their darkness, and she has a way of making you want to explore every nook and cranny of it. She creates a history of the world that is believable even though you know in your logical mind that there is no way it can exist and yet you want to get lost in it and that’s what she done once again with The Black Lily. On top of all of that she brings to life characters that you want to know more about and spend time with, even the ones you want to gut with a spoon and there are many I’d love to cozy up to here. As this is the first in series, there is a lot of information being thrown at you, but it’s done in a more show not tell way so it isn’t overwhelming. I do have one, well, two bones to pick with Ms. Cross, but neither are about the overall story arc of the series, which I thought was well done and cannot wait to see how everything plays out down the road! ~ Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley ~
PennySparkles More than 1 year ago
Holy wow! What a fantastic way to start a new series! And considering Ms. Cross is a new to me author… talk about great first impressions! The Black Lily is an epic take on Cinderella but with a paranormal twist and a historical-fantasy feel to it. In a land where vampires rule and apparently coexist with humans (and some other magical creatures), the social class system is starting to be questioned. After the loss of a loved one to a vampire, and tired of the mistreatment of “her people”, Arabelle, aka The Black Lily and the leader of the rebellion, sets a plan in motion to assassinate the last vampire prince at his own blood ball (where he gets his blood concubines or what you and I would call “dinner”). Things go wrong and she fails in her mission which leaves her strangely relieved. Marius has grown tired of his life, his upcoming nuptials to someone he doesn’t even know is even more unwelcome. He didn’t even want to be at the Blood Ball, but a rumor of a rebellion changed his mind… That is until the mysterious and beautiful girl he chose tried to stab him and ran away. Now she’s all he can think about and he can’t wait to get his hands on her again. As Marius and Arabelle begin a cat-and-mouse type chase, things in the background begin to get more and more complicated. Soon they don’t know who to trust as they begin to uncover things better left alone. When the cost of freedom is your life, is it still worth it? Well, I absolutely loved Arabelle. She was one kick-butt woman, with the proverbial balls of steel. She was strong, loyal, and passionate about her cause. She was a sassy wench too, once Marius comes into the picture. Most of all, though, I loved how she would do anything to protect her friends and people, regardless of the cost to her. Marius was one sexy vampire. Smooth and charming with all the right moves, his acceptance of the feelings Arabelle woke in him won me over. He has a couple of jerkish moments where I wanted to stab him in the chest, but he just kept charming Arabelle and me every time. With lots of intrigue, mystery, action and fights The Black Lily has it all. Marius and Arabelle’s chemistry is off the charts scorching and their encounters steaming and super hot. Word of advice, though, do not start this book at bedtime unless you can sleep in the next day or don’t mind feeling like a zombie, it’s just unputdownable. This first installment has only wetted my appetite and I can’t wait to see who is the next couple in this enthralling new series. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
RhennaMorgan More than 1 year ago
Whoa boy! Cinderella's story got turned on its head in the best way possible with this one. I'd been on the hunt for a good vampire story for a while, so when I had a chance to grab an Advance Release Copy from Juliette, I jumped all over it. Yowza! What a freakin' ride! First, let's talk about the heroine, Arabelle. She's a badass. Fearless and courageous in championing her fellow humans. Then there's Marius--the vampire prince Arabelle originally set out to kill. How can you NOT love an alpha hero who goes on the hunt for a woman NOT because she tried to kill him, but because he wants more of the passion he found in their first kiss. Oh, yeah. I do love a chase. Or maybe I should say what comes at the end of the chase and Marius didn't disappoint. The chemistry between the two was smoking hot and the slow build as the they came together was exceptionally exquisite! Two other things you should know about this book. First, if you enjoy well developed secondary characters, this book is rich in them. Nikolai was my favorite, (I'm gonna bet he's a dark and dirty type. Or maybe that's just my hope for a future book) but they were all unique and promised many opportunities for future books. Second, can I just say that Juliette can do some phenomenal world building? It's so easy for me to get lost in the worlds she creates, and while the concept of vampires isn't a new one, she makes it her own with loads of creative nuances. Truly, this is going to be a fantastic series. Yes, it's built on the Cinderella tale (with other books planned to follow other stories), but don't let that trick you into thinking you'll figure out how things end. Cinderella is just a jumping off point for an amazingly sensual romance that will keep you turning the pages straight to THE END.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
The Black Lily by Juliette Cross is the first book in her new Tales of the Black Lily series. I have been a big fan of Juliette Cross, since I started reading her Nightwing series; her stories are always captivating, exciting, adventurous, sexy and pure fun to read. The Black Lily is no different and after I finished this book, Juliette Cross once again rises up on my list of books and authors I MUST read. I loved loved The Black Lily; it was a fantastic ride from start to finish, with a couple that blew us away with so much chemistry. Now for my review. The Black Lily has a slight take on the Cinderella fairytale, but it is nothing like it. Arabelle, our heroine, lives as a peasant, with a woman and two daughters, who treat her miserably. But Arabelle is the leader of The Black Lily underground resistance that is trying to rebel against the vampire kingdom that rules the Glass Tower. Humans are dying, having been found murdered and drained blood dry. Arabelle devises a plan to kill the Prince, at the upcoming ball, in order to make the King and Queen listen to their grievances. Prince Marius, our hero, dreads going to the ball, but he needs to pick a woman who will become his next blood concubine; especially in a matter of days he will be getting married to a princess he has never met. At the ball, he becomes mesmerized by a beautiful young woman dressed in Gold, and after a dance, he whisks her away for a tour of the Glass Tower. He finds her irresistible, and when he makes advances on her, which she encourages, Marious is shocked when she plunges a knife to his chest. Arrabelle, thinking she killed her target, manages to escape, but leaving behind a gold pointed knife (no there is no slipper here). Marius, after he drinks blood and is healed, goes with his best friend, Nikolai to search for the woman who has a tattoo on her shoulder. During the search, he will notice the fear in the folks in town, as well as those working at the Tower. Marius will also discover that the missing servant in the house is the one he is looking for, but sees the condition of how she lives. This will open his eyes as to the conditions that surround the lands his family runs, which was not as he was led to believe. After a few times of catching up with Arrabelle, Marius knows she is a handful, but she is a handful he cannot resist. Arrabelle, despite thinking Marius as the enemy is also unable to resist his charms. Arrabelle will begin to trust Marius, and tell him about the murders, forcing him to investigate with Nicolai to find out what is happening behind the scenes. Marius knows he loves Arrabelle, and knows he must do everything in his power to protect her against his mother and father’s determination to have her killed. What follows is a fantastic exciting story that will have you either on the edge of your seat or swooning over their hot sexy romance. Arrabelle was such a wonderful heroine, strong, beautiful, and determined to fight for her friends. Marius was not only a great hero, but also very charming and sexy; and they were so good together. The wildly exciting climax was so tense, suspenseful, with non-stop action, that we were left breathless. I also want to point out that I loved two of the secondary characters; Sienna and her wolves; as well as Nicolai. The Black Lily was such an amazing book, as well as steamy, and very well written by Cross. Bravo to Juliette Cross for giving another sensational new serie
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
I will not give too much of the plot in this review, as I would rather the readers discover it for themselves, and Ms. Cross does a fine job at creating a brand new world. Vampires have been around for a long time, and rule with an iron fist; humans have become fodder for aristocratic vampires, and one day, a peasant girl by the name of Arabelle had enough, and she created a resistance movement: THE BLACK LILY. Arabelle has set in motion a plan to kill Prince Marius on the night of the blood ball, and then go in hiding. But things do awry, Prince Marius is only injured, and swears he will find the human, however beguiling, who tried to kill him and make her pay. However, things get complicated as Arabelle did not expect to find her enemy so bewitching, and while Marius was taken aback by Arabelle’s bravery, and her attractiveness. Still, she must be found first… Prince Marius had not realised how little he knew of his people, and humans are rebelling in other kingdoms as well. Marius is seriously torn: he must marry Princess Vilhelmina to unite their kingdoms, they don’t even know each other, and more and more, he is attracted to Arabelle. THE BLACK LILY is a very ingenious take on Cinderella, and it is also much more. Loosely based on the classic fairytale, the author adds fascinating political undertones to this paranormal romance, as well as a welcome touch of Gothic. Juliette Cross weaves a hypnotic spell on the reader, as powerful as the attraction between Arabelle and Marius. The author has created magical characters, so well fleshed out, they seem real, even in a fantasy context. And dear readers, for once, the cover model is exactly how I pictured Marius! What a bonus! I loved the world the author created: it’s different, very well thought-out, and striking. Prince Marius is a very interesting character, and not at all how I imagined he would be; he surprised me several times. Arabelle is a true resistance fighter: she is courageous, fearless, ingenious, and determined to do what is best for her people. Besides, however taken they are with each other, they both know there is no future for them. I loved the tone of the book: while it retains the stylistic qualities of a fairytale, it is an adult paranormal fairytale, and very well done. The writing is luminous, and simply gorgeous, and I must commend Ms. Cross for her perfect grammar and syntax. The dialogues ring true, every character has its own voice; I love Juliette Cross’ voice! And the characters are very compelling: Deek, Arabelle’s blacksmith friend is wonderful, and Lieutenant Nikolai, a Legionnaire and protector of the vampire realm, is simply delicious, if by-the-book, and at times a bit of an enigma. And how I loved Vilhelmina! But all is not rosy in this romance: I was absolutely stunned when something dreadful happened to a central character, and there is gore and blood – obviously, for a vampire story, but in a more realistic way that is often portrayed, which felt authentic. And what a fabulous ending: I did not expect most of what happened. What delights await us in this new series! I cannot wait for the next book, because this is not over my friends! (Don’t worry, there is no cliffhanger, just a taste of all the fabulousness that we can expect in the future! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
The Black Lily is book one in the brand new series Tales of the Black Lily by Juliette Cross. I have long been a fan of Juliette’s books. Pretty much since the first book. But this book…I’m trying to find the right words. It’s amazing, fantastic, stupendous…well, I’ll stop there and just try to tell you about it. “A balance of equality among classes does not mean all people are equal in terms of property and wealth. Rather, it is the opportunity to gain wealth and a strong livelihood that separates tyranny from equality.” Prince Marius is royalty. He is the youngest son of the original vampire. His kingdom rules over two classes, those of the elite, and the peasants, both of which are human. Marius is nearing his one hundredth birthday where he will be wed to Princess Vilhelmina. It is an arranged marriage, Marius has not yet even met his betrothed. There is a ball being held where Marius is to choose his next blood concubine, an elite woman that will serve him as a blood donor. Little did he know that this would be the night that would change the course of his entire life. Arabelle is a peasant who serves as laundress to an elite woman and her two daughters. Arabelle lost her mother when she was little to the blood lust of a vampire. She now is the leader of the resistance, a rebellion, to win equality for her people. Arabelle is also known as The Black Lily. “The Black Lily was coming. The breaker of chains would one day free them all.” Arabelle has a plan. She will start picking off the sons of the King and Queen. First of which will be Marius at his ball. She has a plan, but you know how plans are, they never go as they are supposed to. “Her blade might not have impaled his heart, but she’d certainly ensnared his mind and body.” There is an instant connection between Marius and Arabelle. One neither of them can understand. Arabelle fights this chemistry with all that she is. She hates vampires. They are her enemy. Even Marius, isn’t he? “Don’t worry, Arabelle. I won’t bite.” “Is that supposed to be funny?” “No. That’s a promise.” Arabelle is able to convince Marius that things are not right. That peasants are dying at the hands of the vampires, even though this is against strict vampire law. Marius has lived his entire life with things going on right under his nose that he was never aware of. As their attraction grows, so does Marius’s knowledge of what is really happening in his world. This book was beyond amazing. The world Juliette has created captivated me from the very first page of the prologue. I could not put this down. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about it. Marius and Arabelle were perfectly suited for one another. And then there are the secondary characters, Arabelle’s friend, Sienna, and Marius’s best friend, Nicolai, and so many more. This book has every element that for me makes it great. Characters you can’t help but to love who have both an innocence and a toughness that make them so easy to relate to. There is love, suspense, and yes, some steamy scenes that are sure to heat things up. Once you start, make sure you have cleared out plenty of time because you won’t be putting this down. I was entranced from the first page until the very final page. I applaud you, Juliette Cross. This is the beginning of something special. I can’t wait for the next book.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
The Black Lily,  Juliette Cross Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: Romance, I’ve read a few of Juliette’s stories, and liked the sound of this. Vampires? Romance? yep, two of my tick boxes ;-) What did make me hesitate was the Cinderella connection. I’m not a fan of fairy-tale rewrites generally, I’ve read too many that mirror the original so closely there’s nothing fresh in the story, but this one is fine.  The storyline is only very loosely followed, in fact most of the story is pure Juliette original, maybe 5-10% follows Cinderella and that’s fine by me! We meet Arabelle, AKA the Black Lily, with her friend Deek, the blacksmith,  planning an audacious assassination of the vampire Prince Marius at a ball later that evening.  She and her band of followers have been planning this carefully, she has the gown, the jewels, the mask, a fairy-tale carriage, albeit borrowed as are the gown and jewels, and most important, a gold edged knife to kill him. Vampires in this series are killed by gold, though royals have to be stabbed in the heart for it to be fatal. No pressure there then Arabelle. Why are they out to kill him? Well, seems vampires aren’t sticking to the laws, and the peasants arte being drained, first an odd few but more and more recently. Arabelle’s mother died this way and she’s determined to stop the slaughter. I love the way the planning was explained, there wasn’t a magic wand ( well unless you call a certain part of Deek’s anatomy that, he uses it well to “persuade” people to lend things for the cause.... There’s lots of planning, they’ve spent months on this, even down to Arabelle swapping her outdoor chores for one of the staff's indoor ones, so her skin gets a chance to lighten, helped also by her own cosmetic preparations. She doesn’t just dress up and hope for the best, but plans, works to make it a success. I need that in a story, need to understand the how and the why, when something just falls into place at the right time without any effort it just doesn’t work for me. Of course she doesn’t manage to kill him, it’d be a short book if she did...but he gets close to her and is entranced, enamoured by her even though she wanted him dead. As it happens she was surprised by her attraction to him, surprised by their conversation. He wasn’t what she expected. Marius is determined to find her, find out why she tried to kill him, to just get to know her better. He wants her, and not as a prisoner for an attempt on his life. Of course his royal parents aren’t quite of the same mind. There follows captures and escapes, plans and plots, deals and steals, barters and betrayals...its a fun read, especially when we meet the Hart Wolves, and Sienna. I really liked Marius, he was a Vampire, but one of the good guys, they’re not all heartless, blood-thirsty killers and he has no idea what’s been going on. His one failing is assuming everyone is happy, what will he do now he knows otherwise? I really wanted him and Arabelle to find a way together but when they’re on such opposing sides its a hard ask. There’s some great characters here, some fun adventure and it adds up to an enjoyable read, when the final denouement is revealed I could have kicked myself ( metaphorically – its hard to do that when you’ve only one leg, I’d just fall over!) Its so obvious and yet...like I suspect most readers, I simply didn’t see that coming, followed the trail led before me very obligingly. Its not deep, dark, drama but
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
The phenomenal debut of the Vampire Blood paranormal fantasy romance series! Arabelle smiled and hooked the mask into place. Now her disguise was perfect. As the carriage rolled on, with the same dogged determination that had ruled her for most of her life, she envisioned her target and her mission – to kill the vampire prince. The Black Lily marks the phenomenal debut of the Vampire Blood paranormal fantasy romance series by Juliette Cross. I have read the series out-of order since I started with the third book in the series, The White Lily, and was so blown away that I’m now going back and reading the series from the beginning before the finale is released later this month. The series features hot vampires in exciting fractured retellings of popular fairy tales. The Black Lily is the author’s re-imagined reiteration of Cinderella. The Black Lily is the story of human Arabelle, a peasant laundress, and Prince Marius, the youngest son of the original vampire. Arabelle is The Black Lily, the leader of the resistance and the catalyst behind the human uprising against the savage rule of the Varis crown vampires. Her grandiose plans start with a daring suicide mission! The first step is a carriage ride to the palace ball being held in celebration of the Prince’s hundredth birthday and his impending nuptials! Once there, she will seduce the Prince, get him away from his guards and assassinate him via a dagger hidden on her person to his heart. Amazingly, the pieces fall into place setting up the final act. But, Arabelle is blindsided as she did not count on the Prince’s kiss rocking her very core. How could she fall for a monster? How could he fall for his executioner? For certain, this night will change the course of both of their lives forever. Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from The Black Lily: Magnificent. Beautiful. Glorious. Marius couldn’t believe such a woman still existed in all the kingdoms. The small taste of her blood on his tongue still flowed through his veins, white-hot and crippling him with the demand for… “More,” he whispered. --- “Violate me?” He laughed, a black lock of hair falling in front of one eye. “That sounds delightful.” --- “When I take a woman in my arms, whether to my bed or to feed, it is always an embrace—gentle, warm, and pleasurable.” Her mouth slid into a wicked smile. “Well, then. We’d never suit, my prince. I prefer a rough tumble in the bed. I’ve never been one for cuddling and tenderness.” Nicolai, Marius’ chief security officer and his best friend, and Sienna, the red-hooded woman of the woods, are introduced and play important supporting roles in this tale. They also just happen to be the hero and heroine of the next book, The Red Lily. You will want to hang out the Do Not Disturb sign when you start reading The Black Lily. It is well-written with an ingenious and scrappy female lead who can hold her own and then some. It’s an attention-riveter from the first page through to the last and gave my heart a great racing workout. This book contains all the elements I crave: a sweet and steamy romance, suspenseful mysteries, fast-paced action, dangerous adventures and awesome characters with sizzling chemistry including a most swoon-worthy Prince Charming. I’ve already dived into the next book… My full review is published at Reading Between the Wines Book Club. Please check it out there!
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
This is a Cinderella retelling complete with a ball, wicked stepmother and stepsisters. One of the things I enjoyed most was the non stop action in this story. Combine that with the marvelous world building of Cross, a new species of vampires and you've got the recipe for a killer series. This is one of the better vampire romances on the market and though it's told from dual POVs, it was a marvelous read.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Once again, Juliette Cross manages to ignite the reader's imagination and immerse us in a world with a corrupt vampire monarchy rules the humans with an iron fist and their only hope is the human rebels and the vampires that find themselves in love with them. This is the story of Friedrich, vampire royal, and the Brennalyn, the local school teacher. Brennalyn has been quietly fighting the monarchy with words, printed publications until Varis takes notice. I have devoured each and every book I’ve read by Juliette Cross and White Lily is no exception. I especially loved how Brennalyn took in all the orphan’s caused by the monarchy’s murdering rampages and the dynamic between her children and Varis. I would love more on the Wolves' side of the story. I received this copy of The White Lily from Juliette Cross. This is my honest and voluntary review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great start...can't wait for the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great read by Juliette Cross! Beautifully written with a fast, smooth flowing plot, plenty of twists, thrilling action and fleshed out characters, I devoured every page. Ms Cross perfectly balanced each element to create a fantastic read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Erani_Kole More than 1 year ago
*voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from IndieSage PR* I thought it was interesting how they did a vampiric adaptation of Cinderella and added in a few more unique fairytales. And yet despite being similar, this is definitely not the cinder girl I remember. Marius is my favorite in this whole thing. He's ignorant of what goes on in his own kingdom but he's still innocent in all it, willing to make it right and correct the wrong. His heroine, and leader of the Black Lily, was all for justice and righteousness. She wasn't as endearing as Marius but I did love her passion and the things she brought to light. I liked the way it was written, a slow and steady pace that built up the suspense and mystery as to who- or what -was exactly causing the chaos between the vampires and humans. A hot, dark and entertaining story to check out for sure.