The White Lily

The White Lily

by Juliette Cross

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Overview

The White Lily by Juliette Cross

To the north of the Varis empire, a mysterious faction spreads propaganda against the vampire monarchy. Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill, seeks to discover who they are before his uncle finds them first. King Dominik will punish the traitors with brutal force.

Local schoolteacher, the raven-haired Brennalyn, is on her own mission-to spy on the duke and discover what she can for the Black Lily. She longs to help the commonwealth and bring justice to the many orphans left behind from the ravages of the blood madness, like the children she lovingly keeps in her care. What she doesn't plan for is the heart-pounding attraction she feels for the duke, enemy to the Black Lily.

But when Brennalyn's secret puts her life and the life of her children in danger, Friedrich steps in as her protector, she finds out there's more to the duke than she thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781977848093
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/02/2017
Series: Vampire Blood Series , #3
Pages: 340
Sales rank: 671,894
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.76(d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

"How can you know he's telling the truth?" Brennalyn crossed her arms, frowning at the discovery her friend's lover wasn't the wealth of information she'd hoped for.

Sylvia unclipped a clothespin from the line and peered from behind the white linen, a blush painting her cheeks as she whispered, "Because when he kicks his knickers off and crawls into me bed, he tells me everything he's thinking."

"Sylvia," Brennalyn yell-whispered, glancing around the servants' yard where her friend hung the laundry each day.

Sylvia laughed, folding the sheet and dropping it in her basket. "You should see your face, Brenna. Never seen your cheeks so pink."

Brenna rolled her eyes and glanced toward the sky. Night came quickly in wintertime and the sun already hung on the horizon like a ripe apple about to drop. She pulled her shawl tight around her shoulders, a dowdy but thick swathe of blue wool the children had given her on her last birthday.

"Well, I wish you had some new information about the duke."

"Nay. No more to tell, I'm afraid."

"If there's nothing else, I must go. They'll be worried for me soon."

"Aye." She unclipped another linen, dropping the clothespin in the pocket of her apron. "Let me walk you back through the servants' quarters."

"Oh, no. I can make my way back. You'd best get your chore finished before night settles in. I kept you too long."

Sylvia frowned. "Are you sure? You remember the way?"

"Yes, of course. Take a left at the end of the first corridor, then the next right and the next left."

Sylvia planted her hands on her hips. "Nay, Brenna. The opposite. Take a right, then a left then a right."

"Right," said Brenna with a confirming nod. "I'll see you at Terrington Hall on Saturday."

"Aye. On Saturday."

Brenna strode back across the yard and into the castle, her mind buzzing with the information she'd gleaned from Sylvia. It wasn't much, but it was perplexing to say the least. Sylvia's lover, who happened to be the duke's closest servant, had told her that his master despised the crown. And that he despised his uncle, King Dominik of Izeling, ruler of the north, most of all. The servant also claimed that as his human servant, the duke treated him with great respect.

This news was completely unexpected and went against everything she believed about the royals and the aristocratic class. It had been her firm belief that they were united in oppressing the peasantry, in keeping them under their boot heels and under their control. But the more she learned about the vampire duke, the more confused she became about her theories of the class system.

Since she'd arrived here three years ago and settled in as schoolteacher of Terrington, the quaint village below Winter Hill, she'd learned that the duke ruling over this region wasn't at all what she'd expected. Well, excepting the fact he had a reputation with the ladies — both the noble and the working class. She couldn't mention his name without one of them swooning. Especially if they'd had the pleasure of a night with him as his bleeder.

Revolting. She took a left at the end of the corridor.

Though she had to admit, on the two occasions she'd met him, her knees had weakened at his sultry gaze. He had a way of charming a woman while also making her incapable of normal speech. She'd blamed it on too much time in the classroom with children and not enough out on the town enjoying herself with adult company, which was why she was determined to attend this weekend's winter harvest ball at Terrington Hall. And perhaps even dance a little and enjoy herself.

Turning right, she walked through an unfamiliar foyer. Glancing left then right, she chose the wider passage on the left, which ended at an outer door. She smiled. She must've gotten turned about, but this would lead out the front of the castle anyway. She opened the door and stepped out into a closed courtyard, her smile dying on her lips.

Six young women turned to face her. One of them she recognized as the pretty maid who worked at the haberdashery. The others looked familiar as well, though she wasn't exactly a socialite and couldn't place them.

"Miss Snow," said the sweet blonde whose name escaped her. "What are you doing here?"

Heavens, she couldn't tell any of them what she was truly doing there. Spying on the duke would earn her a swift jaunt in the town jail. Or worse. Into his dungeon.

"Hello. What a surprise to see you here."

"A surprise to see me?" She stepped closer with a kind smile. "After our last meeting, I'm quite surprised to see you here."

The other women eyed Brenna in her plain gray frock and sad little shawl as if she were an insect that had just landed on their favorite meat pie. She ignored them and tried to figure out what was going on and what her last conversation had been about at the haberdashery.

Oh. She had tsked about two noble ladies discussing the virility of the Duke of Winter Hill, wondering how good his stamina was compared to mortal men. Brenna had made a snarky comment at their exit about noble breeding not being all that noble.

"Miss Margaret, is it?"

"Marianne," she corrected.

Brenna scanned the courtyard, searching for an outer gate. "You don't happen to know the way out, do you?"

The young woman was about to speak when the door wrenched open behind them. Every lady spun and stared at the man in the doorframe. Brenna knew him to be Sylvia's lover, Grant. A tall man with a fine physique and an assessing green gaze, which swept the lot of them and landed on her.

"Miss Snow." He said her name with such finality she thought she heard the death knell on the wind. "If you will follow me, please."

"I —"

"Right this way." He stepped aside and commanded her to follow with a gesture of his hand.

She swallowed hard, finding the other ladies had wilted when he called her name. What were they all doing there anyway? Was there a new position to be had among the servants? But one of the ladies was an aristocrat's daughter. Strange.

"Now. Miss Snow."

She jumped and launched quickly through the door. He motioned to another house servant, a young man waiting in the foyer. "Send the others away."

"Yes, sir."

"If you will follow me, Miss Snow." His dark eyes pierced her with a challenge, as if he knew she wanted to bolt for the door, whichever direction that might be. But there was nothing she could do now other than face the reality that she'd been caught poking around looking for information about the duke. He was indeed Sylvia's lover. Had he overheard them talking? Had he forced her to confess why Brenna came so often to visit Sylvia at the castle?

Her plan to discover all she could and finally make contact with the Black Lily in the south had come to a sudden halt. Reggie had tried himself, but by the time he'd made his way to the village of Sylus, the locals told him that the Black Lily was gone. Their leader, Arabelle, had fled with the prince and her band of revolutionaries. He left quickly when Legionnaires of the Glass Tower suspected him as a stranger in their region.

Reggie was a postman's boy she'd tutored back in Korinth. Now a young man, he was hell-bent on joining the revolution and fighting to break the caste system, for a cause she'd lectured to him about so many times during their lessons. Without direct contact with the resistance, Brenna had decided to finally put her inheritance sitting in the basement and her inborn talent to good use. Thus far, she was proud of what little she could do. Until the day she could leave and seek out the Black Lily herself. This was a difficult task with so many children to care for.

Clasping her hands together at the front, her chin up, she followed him out of the foyer into an open hall where the walls rocketed high, the ornate vaulted ceilings bracing the sculpted columns. She'd never seen this part of the castle, which made her realize she'd gotten herself quite lost on the way out. She'd only ever been in the servants' quarters.

Following Grant up a wide staircase lined with a crimson carpet, she marveled at the tall, thin pointed windows on one wall, the fading light shining through the stained glass. The myriad hues of color would be beautiful on a sunny day, but winter allowed few of those. And she'd never come back here again anyway. If she got out of here alive.

Likely, the man who strode ahead of her had found Sylvia right after Brenna had left and interrogated the truth out of her. Though her friend, Sylvia might be persuaded to confess that Brenna had been asking too many questions about the duke, his place in the royal family, and his opinions on the underground resistance called the Black Lily. The question was, what would he do with her now?

Grant led her down a long corridor on the second floor, also lined with beautiful stained-glass windows depicting lovely scenes: a deer splashing across a brook, a maid walking in a rose garden, a man on horseback standing in the shade of an oak tree. Distracted by the scenery, she nearly walked right into her escort's chest as he stood in front of an open door, gesturing for her to enter.

"Oh. Might I ask —"

"Enter, Miss Snow."

She frowned. How in the world did Sylvia find him amorous? He was the most stern, unfriendly man she'd ever met. Despite his good looks.

"Very well." She steeled her spine for whatever consequences came. Everything she did was for the good of the Black Lily and the people. And her children. She calmed herself and tried not to look guilty. Then her breath whooshed right out of her lungs.

Standing before a fire near a small, square dining table, in a fine black suit, was the tall figure of the Duke of Winter Hill. He swirled a glass of amber liquor in one hand, his other tucked casually in his pocket as if he had not just welcomed a spy into his parlor. His brown hair brushed his shoulders, burnished chestnut by the firelight. His perfectly formed lips tilted in a devilish smile, and his sapphire-blue eyes were fixed directly on her.

"Please, have a seat, Miss Snow."

The door clicked behind her and she flinched. They were alone.

"Oh, well, I can see that you're expecting company for dinner. I don't want to keep you, Your Grace. I'll stand."

He glanced at the table, then back at her, and chuckled, the dark sound winding her belly into a tight knot. She didn't know what that look meant as he regarded her in silence, but it made her want to melt into the carpet and disappear.

"Come." A command. "Sit with me." Not a request.

So, here it was. Interrogation by firelight in his pretty parlor. Perhaps he planned to use his charms to get the truth out of her. Fine. She was ready. She was her father's daughter and could outwit any vampire if she held herself together.

Smoothing her skirts, she took a seat on the blue velvet chaise, clasping her hands demurely in her lap. Then His High and Mighty sat next to her, leaned back, and spread his arm along the sofa, his fingers ghosting the locks of her hair. Planting his feet apart, his body angled toward her, he set his tumbler on the farthest knee, and the other brushed her skirt.

No. She was not ready. The man swallowed up her personal space, demanding her attention like a thunderclap reminding one it was about to storm. Just in case one hadn't noticed when the earth shook.

She inched to the side, but there was nowhere left to go. And since she didn't know how much Sylvia had revealed, she kept her peace, waiting for him to start. She stared at her lap, pretending to be enamored with a wrinkle in her skirt, smoothing it repeatedly.

"Miss Snow. You are my guest for dinner."

She nearly choked on her own tongue, her gaze snapping to his. "What?"

"I have to admit," he added casually. "After our few meetings in the schoolhouse, I never expected to find you in Winter Hill's Rose Courtyard. Not someone like you."

He raised his glass, the ice tinkling, and let the rim rest against his bottom lip. Brenna was riveted, watching his sensuous mouth as it slid into a broad smile, two sharp canines protruding, then he took a swallow. He put the glass atop his knee again, tapping his forefinger with his silver signet ring bearing a lion emblazoned in onyx. A lion indeed. Dragging away her inappropriate ogling gaze, she pried the question lingering in her half-stupefied brain to the forefront.

"The Rose Courtyard?"

"I have a few questions first before we ... move on. It's customary."

Move on? Move on to what? Her mind reeled, trying to make sense of what was happening, then his question dropped her jaw to the floor.

"Afterward, would you care to have sex and stay the night?"

A flood of heat rushed up her chest and neck into her cheeks. She tried to process what he'd just asked her. His gaze roamed over her face and farther down, hovering at her neckline. He took another swallow of his drink, slowly and deliberately, as he studied her throat, the simple act so erotic she couldn't breathe.

"P-pardon?" Her voice squeaked on a high note.

"Sex. Tonight. After we both have dinner." He wasn't at all flustered. Quite the opposite. He might as well have asked her if she wanted a cup of tea.

The Rose Courtyard. Realization slapped her in the face with frightening clarity. She'd just stumbled onto the duke's weekly selection for a bleeder. Of all the clumsy moments in her life — of which there were many — she had to choose tonight of all nights to get lost in the vampire duke's castle.

"I can see you are undecided," he continued. "Perhaps I'm moving ahead too quickly."

He touched her hair again. On purpose. She didn't pull away and began reciting in her head from the great poet Kalphus in order to remain calm.

He shifted, his leg grazing her knee. "Are you married?"

"No." The lie spilled easily.

"Good. Any lovers?"

Brenna's palms were sweating where she curled them tightly together in her lap. This was certainly an interrogation, but not the kind she'd expected. And now here she was, trying to figure out how to get out of this without giving away the real reason she'd been here, snooping around his castle.

He tapped his signet ring with a soft tink ... tink against the glass. "It's important you answer the question, though I understand it's quite personal."

"Why is it important?" she asked in a tiny voice.

He'd taken a lock of her hair and was twining it loosely around one finger. Brenna's spine was so stiff she thought it might crack if she moved an inch.

"Because sharing your blood with me is an intimate act. I only take bleeders who are completely and utterly free. In order to avoid messy complications with jealous lovers, of course."

Brenna clenched her hands in her skirt, her heart pounding like that of a hunted doe. There was no possible way to conceal her chest rising and falling too quickly.

"So I ask again, Miss Snow. Do you have any lovers?"

CHAPTER 2

Mmm. Miss Snow. She looked absolutely delicious, even in that horrific frock, and especially since he'd knocked her completely off-center. Raven-black hair, cream-white skin, rosebud lips that were slightly parted as she tried to catch her breath. He longed to lean forward and open her mouth wider with his own to get a good, long taste.

To say Friedrich was delighted to see her accidentally stumble into the Rose Courtyard was an understatement. And now she looked like a sweet little kitten who'd tumbled into the lion's den, all bright-eyed and startled. He was more than ready to play.

He knew why she'd come to the castle. She'd been here on at least three other occasions. He'd told Grant what information to let slip to his woman, Sylvia. He wasn't sure what Miss Snow's involvement with the Black Lily was, but he sure as hell planned to find out. With his uncle, King Dominik, sending his own spies to watch him, he'd take no chances which side she was on till he was absolutely certain. If she'd been coerced to spy for his uncle — or worse, been bitten and was under the influence of his powerful elixir of persuasion — Friedrich aimed to discover it. A miscalculation could mean his own death.

Two times, he'd visited the schoolhouse in Terrington. Once, a sweet little blonde girl had painted a black lily and mentioned that an unknown "she" would save them all. Miss Snow had tried to swiftly cover for the girl's wild imagination as she'd called it. The second visit was shortly after he'd left the Glass Tower, seeking more information on this rising resistance. But the only thing he got was an earful of his shortcomings as duke of the region since the children suffered most. Specifically, the many orphans she taught. She was feisty, impertinent, and stubborn. And fine, passionate, and clever. She was also uniquely beautiful. Like a rare night flower that only bloomed under the moon — so cool and dark and white.

And now he'd finally caught her in a position out of her control. He should be merciful and offer her some sort of escape. She wasn't there to offer herself as a bleeder. But how long would she uphold this pretense to avoid telling him the truth? Would she go through with it? His fangs ached at the thought. He was enjoying this far too much to let her slip through the net easily.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The White Lily"
by .
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 White Lily 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
CherylLovestoRead More than 1 year ago
Loved it! The White Lily is a Snow White retelling with a vampire twist – beautifully written with a sweet romance, steamy sex, some heart-stopping moments but overall left me feeling warm & fuzzy with a sigh of contentment. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
Erani_Kole More than 1 year ago
*voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from NetGalley* This was one of the better books I read this year. I liked the writing style, the mood and setting. I didn't read the second book because I hadn't realized I'd missed it, but thankfully I didn't need to have read it to enjoy this one. The duke was pretty weird at first with his first impression being that of a lecherous vampire who enjoyed the warmth of various women. I think it only felt weird because it wasn't the impression his character had given me when it came to his POV, so at times I wondered if I missed something. Brenn seemed like a pretty strong woman, having taken on the rebel cause and her seven precious children. If there's one thing that did it for me, it was the children. I really loved them and how sweet they made the whole thing feel for me. Brenn and the duke's relationship was easy to get into, I especially loved the middle bit when everything got exciting. The ending seemed a little fast but otherwise I overall felt satisfied. It's a recommend if you love being tempted alongside the reluctant character.
tigerlilly_liz More than 1 year ago
The White Lily was another compelling read in the Vampire Blood series. I have to say I absolutely love the prologues and epilogues in this series. Ms. Cross writes such gripping and enticing, beginnings and ends, that I’m blown-away and hooked immediately. This one is a loose retailing of the fairy tale, Snow White. Brennalyn Snow is a school teacher. She’s got a big heart, is a mother to seven orphaned children, and wants to aid the rebellion against the aristocracy vampires that rule over all humans. Friedrich Volya, Duke of Winter Hill is secretly helping the rebellion and has been keeping an eye on the raven haired school teacher for sometime now. It took me a little while to get into this story. I felt the romance and plot where a little slow going, but once I got into the story, things moved quickly. A few things where easy to spot, but the danger was strong and enticing. Near the end we get a little surprise. Which made me giddy and shows that things will soon be coming to a head in the war against the crown. “It was no longer a war of humans against vampires. It was a war between justice and tyranny.” For the romance I wasn’t fully falling into it and I didn’t fully love it like I have the previous two couples in this series. Their romance was still good. The passion and attraction where their and very strong, but something was lacking with Friedrich and Brennalyn’s romance. I can’t put my finger on it, but I just felt something was missing. As a last note, even though each of the books in the series are about different couples, the series is best read in order. There is a plot that continues thorough out the series and recurring characters. The White Lily was a riveting read. I’m fond of Ms. Cross’s writing. She just has a way of pulling you into the story and characters and keeping you hooked. I can’t wait for the next installment in the Vampire Blood series. Rated: 4 Stars *Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars--seductive, engaging 4.5 stars--THE WHITE LILY is the third installment in Juliette Cross’s adult, paranormal VAMPIRE BLOOD romance series (formerly known as The Tales of the Black Lily series). This is vampire Friedrich Volya, Duke of Winter Hill, and schoolteacher Brennalyn Snow’s story line. THE WHITE LILY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although I recommend reading the series in order as there is an ongoing premise throughout. Told from dual third person perspectives (Friedrich and Brennalyn) THE WHITE LILY continues to search for supporters of The Black Lily, and to prove the existence of a new threat known as The White Lily. Brennalyn Snow is a human female; a twenty three year old schoolteacher who is the foster mother to seven orphans ranging in age from preschool to late teens. But Brennalyn has a secret identity that if revealed would threaten her life and the lives of the children she loves. Enter Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill, and a member of the reigning royal vampire family. What ensues is the building relationship between Friedrich and Brennalyn, and the potential fall out when Brennalyn’s true identity is revealed. Friedrich Volya is no stranger to the people of Terrington, a small village of humans under the Duke’s rule but Brennalyn Snow has caught the eye of the handsome vampire Duke-a Duke who is willing to do anything to make Brennalyn his mate and his own. Brennalyn knows that once her true identity is revealed, the Duke will have no choice but to punish the woman with whom he is falling in love. What Brennalyn doesn’t know is that the Duke is also estranged from the ruling vampire family-a family of murderous, power hungry vampires who are determined to destroy and control all of the humans. THE WHITE LILY brushes and tugs snippets of fantasy ala Snow White and The Seven Dwarves with the inclusion of vampires, wolf-shifters, huntsman and poisonous fruit. Brennalyn ‘Snow’ and her seven little children will fall victim to the evil Queen, when a magical mirror reveals all to the other side. THE WHITE LILY is a story of adventure; of action, forbidden romance and the ongoing war between human and vampires. The ruling elite are determined to control the embittered humans of the surrounding territories but some of their own are slowly taking up arms to battle on the side of The Black Lily against the family in control. The premise is entertaining and engaging; the characters are sexy, strong willed and charismatic; the romance is seductive, energetic and provocative.
PennySparkles More than 1 year ago
Holy crapola! I’m not sure Snow White was ever this kick-a**. The White Lily follows the story of Brennalyn, a single foster mother to 7 orphaned children. A dedicated school teacher she’s also a supporter of the Black Lily movement. There’s only so much she can do to help without actually knowing anyone in the movement, but she will anonymously spread words of encouragement and motivate the people to become part of the resistance. Friederich, the Duke of Winter Hill, has been enchanted by the nosy school teacher, Miss Snow. At first, he doesn’t know if she’s part of the resistance or working for his evil uncle and trying to deem him a traitor. He certainly finds her intriguing and beyond beautiful. When her life is threatened it’s the perfect excuse to move her and her children into his home. Once they realize they’re both on the same side, things become more and more dangerous and complicated when savage vampires start hunting for her alter ego. When one of her children gets taken, they must willingly enter into the mouth of the beast and try to save her. With malevolent mirrors, poisoned fruit and the evil queen and all her followers there’s no shortage of action for this pale beauty and the dashing duke. Friederich and Brenna’s chemistry was crazy, their sexy time off the charts hot and the children, as well as all of the members of the Bloodguard, were fantastic. The White Lily is a fabulous take on Snow White and I wish all fairy tale heroines were as kick-a** as the ladies in this series. Every book just keeps getting better and better. I would love for all of the guys in the Bloodguard to get their own stories, even if there are no more fairy tales to base them on. I just want moooooore! *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'The White Lily' by Juliette Cross is Book Three in The "Vampire Blood" series. This is the story of Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill and Brennalyn. I have read the previous books (and loved them!) but feel this can easily be a standalone book. Brennalyn is the local school teacher but she has a secret that she is hiding that puts her is very real danger if found out. Brennalyn has a soft heart too and has taken in some of the unwanted children who have become like her own children. Brennalyn's friend works at the Duke's house and one day while there 'talking' to her good friend, she looses her way and ends up in front of the Duke, Friedrich. Brennalyn pretends to be interested in being one of his blood women but he calls her out. Brennalyn then reports she wants the school to have a better stove. Brennalyn doesn't know if she can trust Friedrich and doesn't want him to know why she was really there. Friedrich knows that Brennalyn is lying to him but he not sure yet if he can trust her....but he does know he wants her. This whole series has been great! This book just added to my love of this series. I cannot wait for more books to come by Ms. Cross! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
RhennaMorgan More than 1 year ago
I swear, this series just keeps getting better with each new release! Friedrich was everything I love in a hero and then some, and Brennalyn was an amazing mix of strong yet still soft heroine. The two of them made for AMAZING chemistry. Seriously! From right out of the chute, I was hooked and dying for these two exceptional characters to finally get together. And let me just say, when they finally do, they DO NOT disappoint. As for the overarching plot with The Black Lily, things are really heating up and getting oh so interesting. I love how Juliette has managed to make each romance so beautiful and yet wind in an exceptionally well crafted plot and can't wait to see how she wraps things up in the final installment. If you love commanding alpha heroes with soft spots for their heroines, superb paranormal stories, and off the charts romance, this one is a must read.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
The White Lily by Juliette Cross is the 3rd book in her fantastic Vampire Blood series. I loved the first two books in this series, and was amazed how Juliette Cross just keeps on giving us another fantastic story. Seriously folks, if you have not read Juliette Cross, you are missing a wonderful author, who never fails to wow us each and every time. In the first book of this series, The Black Lily, the themed fairy tale background was Cinderella; in The Red Lilly it was Red Riding Hood, and in The White Lilly, it is Snow White. We meet our wonderful sweet heroine, Brennalyn Snow, who is a school teacher in Terrington, and she also has adopted 7 homeless children. Brenna has been visiting the lands of the Duke of Winter Hill to spy on him. Why? She is a supporter of The Black Lily, but unbeknownst to everyone, she is secretly The White Lily, who prints out propaganda against the vampire monarchy. Friedrich Volya, is the Duke of Winter Hill and our hero. One day he has one of his men bring Brenna to him, to find out why she is spying on him; he is suspicious as to who she supports. Friedrich, whom we met in the last book, is a full supporter to the Black Lily, and hates his evil uncle, King Dominik; but he has to put on an act that he supports the monarch or he will be marked as a traitor. Despite their suspicions of each other, in a short time their attraction becomes something neither can avoid. Brenna does not want any relationship and knows she does not fit with the Duke for long term. Friedrich finds himself besotted with the beautiful sweet Brennalyn, and is determined to make her his. Friedrich knows he must protect Brenna, since the King is looking for the White Lily, and he moves her to his mansion, with her 7 children. I have to say, I adored the children, which was such an excellent added element to the story. Watching them with Friedrich or his men was sweet, and it also helped bring Brenna and him together. What follows is a very exciting adventure that will have Friedrich, his men (The Bloodguard) and Brenna attempt a rescue that will put her life in danger, as well as all of them. As we raced to the pulse pounding climax, I loved seeing those we met in the first two books join the battle. I loved Friedrich and Brennalyn together, as they had great chemistry together, and made such a great couple. Juliette Cross has given us wonderful characters in all three books, as well as flawlessly moving the story along cohesively. Vampire Blood is a fantastic series, and so very well written by Juliette Cross. The White Lily was another fantastic ride. I can’t get enough of this series, with so many great characters, sexy couples, and bad villains. You need to be reading this series, if you have not done so yet.
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
The White Lily is book three in the Vampire Blood series by Juliette Cross. Most know that I am a huge fan of Juliette’s writing. I have been since the very first book. Each book she has written has captured me within it’s pages. But there is something special about this series. Something that I’m not sure I can describe. And each book just keeps getting better and better. This one is a very loose retelling of the fairy tale, Snow White. Of all the characters I have met so far in this series, I think Brennalyn and Friedrich have stolen my heart the most. Brennalyn (Brenna) Snow is a school teacher. She is also mother to seven orphaned children that will steal your heart. Brennalyn wants with all her heart to aid in the rebellion against the vampire aristocracy that rules over the human peasants. The rebellion is called The Black Lily. So Brennalyn has been printing up flyers and distributing them all on her own and signing them The White Lily. Brenna is convinced that the nearby Duke of Winter Hill, Friedrich Volya, who is nephew to the evil King Dominik, could be a source of information. So she’s been visiting Winter Hill and trying to gain information from her friend that works there. Unbeknownst to Brenna, Friedrich is on to her and has been watching the raven haired beauty. Friedrich knows about the pamphlets that have been turning up as of late. He needs to find out who is printing them before his Uncle does. King Dominic has some very special punishments for traitors. When Friedrich and Brenna come face to face, the attraction is strong. But Brenna is here for only one reason, to help The Black Lily. Brenna has been hurt badly in the past and she has vowed to never give her heart again. She has seven children who depend on her and a coming war she is determined to help with. She will not give in to this handsome Duke, no matter how badly she wants to. Friedrich has never allowed himself to harbor feelings for any woman, vampire or human. But something about the beautiful Brenna has captured his heart and won’t let go. “She was his addiction, his obsession, his all-consuming weakness.” The bond grows stronger between Friedrich and Brenna. I want to warn you that this vampire will melt your heart. He is determined to win Brenna‘s trust. But time is not something they will have to explore their feelings for each other. Danger has found one of Brenna’s children. Friedrich and Brenna are forced to travel to Izeling Tower to a ball thrown by King Dominic and his mother, Queen Morgrid for answers. In true Juliette Cross fashion, the book builds to an intense peak enough to make my heart beat right out of my chest. The book goes from sweet romantic words, intensely sexy times, cute, adorable children, and heart pounding action. So the book has everything. I could not stop reading. My husband was lucky I was able to provide dinner. Just a note, even though each of the books in this series is about a different couple, the series is best read in order. There is a plot that continues throughout the series and the characters are recurring. I also want to add that Juliette writes the BEST prologues and epilogues. Just the prologue alone took my breath away. I was hooked immediately. If you haven’t started this series yet, start with Book one, The Black Lily, then book two is The Red Lily. This series is amazing and I don’t want you to miss a single word of it.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
5 - "The prick is a little painful... But you'll only remember the pleasure." Stars! We finally get Friedrich’s story in the third book of Juliette Cross’s Vampire Blood Series. The White Lily puts the Duke of Winter Hill and local schoolteacher Brennalyn Snow firmly in villainous King Dominik’s crosshairs. This book was a little more of a slow burn compared to its predecessors, the first half or so dealt with the budding relationship between Friedrich and Brennalyn, but then everything in relation to the bigger story arc comes to the fore in the second half, as the relationship and feelings between them deepen. "You’re most improper for a royal duke…" "Thank you… I do my best." I loved the verbal sparring between these two. Friedrich isn’t shy about ensuring that Brenna knows exactly how much he is attracted to her, and although reluctant to become one in a long line of women from the village who have willingly become one of his bleeders in the past, she cannot deny just how mutual their feelings are for each other. The man made her want to climb in his lap and run away at the same time… But she was feisty with it, and never backed down when it came to getting her point across with him, and I enjoyed the fact that she made him work for what he wanted. Her adopted children and their care paramount to her more than her own wants and desires. "You want me too kiss you… And bite you… Lick you… Fuck you." We are definitely reaching the crescendo of this series now, there is more involvement from the Blood Guard in this book which bodes well for the future, and the battle between the Black Lily and the Vampire Royal family is very much firmly in the foreground in the latter stages of this book. "Your cause… My cause." Not one too wish my life away waiting for books to be released (soooo untrue it’s not funny) I cannot wait to get my hands on The Emerald Lily at this point I have absolutely no idea how the author plans to close out this series, and January 2018 cannot come soon enough for me to have all of my questions answered. "I can wait for more…"
carvanz More than 1 year ago
I am absolutely in love with this series! I remember reading the first one thinking it was going to be a simple fairytale retelling, surprised when it had paranormal content, and then pleased that it was so much more than I had ever dreamed. Now with this latest addition, I’m just plain antsy to find out how this drama is all going to end. Brennalyn is the local school teacher but on the side she’s fighting for the resistance, which was started by the Black Lily, against the vampire monarchy. Putting her talents to use, she sets herself up as the White Lily to spread the word. The only problem is the Duke of Winter Hill who keeps constantly getting in her way. Friedrich has been drawn to the allure of Brenna since the first moment he walked into the schoolhouse. He’s aware she’s been spying on him but is uncertain why and for which faction she’s doing so. If it is for his uncle, this could all go terribly wrong. When their secrets are revealed and one of her children go missing, this couple’s relationship is fast forwarded in an effort to infiltrate their enemy. There is so much heat and chemistry between Brenna and Friedrich. Each of them having sworn off love and marriage, now they only know they need one another. In the middle of a war of good against evil isn’t really the best time to fall in love. Unless you have no other choice. I loved Friedrich and his instant need of Brenna. Initially, he desires her as a bleeder and a partner to warm his bed. It doesn’t take long for him to want more from her as he recognizes her inner strength. Watching her with her children only makes him want her more. And oh man, when he interacts with the children, my heart melted. Careful ladies, it’ll make your ovaries explode! If you like your heroes possessive, protective and just plain jealous of anyone who looks at his lady, you’re gonna love Friedrich. Brennalyn was an awesome heroine. Her strength never made her reckless, stupid or too much of anything. She was perfect in her love of hearth and home as well as her beliefs of justice for the lower classes. She stands up for what she believes in and is willing to do what is necessary to save those she loves. I can’t explain how much I absolutely loved this book, this series. Each one is completely capable of standing alone. There is an overlapping plot that runs through them but even that is explained in each book without it becoming repetitive. However, I’ve fallen in love with each of these couples and I’m so anxious to get to the next one. Greedy, I know. But Ms. Cross has made me that way. This is an honest review of an advanced copy provided by NetGalley and Entangled Publishing Dual POV Safe No apparent triggers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me hooked from start to finish!!!
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
A fairy tale romance with a paranormal slant... She wasn’t the kind of woman to give herself easily. But she’d never known a man or vampire like him. He always got what he wanted. And right now, he wanted nothing more in the wide world than the complete and absolute submission of the lovely Miss Snow. The White Lily by Juliette Cross is a sexy, riveting adventure and a loosely fractured retelling of the fairy tale, Snow White. It’s the first book by this author that I’ve read and all I can say is why did I wait so long? The covers for the entire series are eye-catching. This is the story of Royal Vampire Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill, and schoolteacher Brennalyn Snow. Each book in the Vampire Blood series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order. Even so, this installment has whetted my appetite to catch up with the plotline that is obviously spanning the series, and read the stories of the prior couples soon! Brennalyn is a multi-faceted character. Besides being gutsy, she’s a caring teacher, the mother to seven orphaned children, and the driving force surreptitiously working to aid the rebellion against the vampiric crown. Freidrich is no fan of his uncle, King Dominik, nor of his brutal rule. When he discovers Brennalyn, an attractive woman in his kingdom to whom he’s strongly drawn, is behind the rebellion, he doesn’t hesitate to step in as her protector. The sparks are definitely hot between Freidrich and Brennalyn. Their times alone were hot and steamy. While there was an instant chemistry between them, their relationship did not feel rushed. I enjoyed their interactions, the delightful scenes with Brenna’s adopted children and the antics of Friedrich’s valet, Grant – which made me laugh-out-loud too many times to count. Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from The White Lily: “It was no longer a war of humans against vampires. It was a war between justice and tyranny.” --- She opened her mouth and let him feed her. He slipped in his index finger with melted chocolate on the tip and she sucked it clean as he pulled his finger free and away from her mouth. The chocolate was decadent, but the man who fed her was pure intoxication. --- He was too big, too dark, too strong, too seductive… simply too much for her to resist. The characters and the storyline grabbed my attention from the beginning and held it through to the end without a single dull moment. The undercurrent of danger is pervasive throughout. If you enjoy fairy tale romances with a paranormal slant with two protagonists that you will want to root for, The White Lily superbly fits the bill! My full review is published at Reading Between the Wines Book Club. Please check it out there!
Mebuffy More than 1 year ago
While not terribly confusing, you definitely feel like you're jumping into the middle of a series. It took me a chapter or so to really get into due to trying to get my bearings among the world and politics. They are doled out in pieces as the story progresses. Once I did get my bearings, I became completely enthralled. I loved the children and came to love Duke Friedrich. Brennalyn is endearing in her intellect and courage. Dominik is a strong villain you love to hate. The plot tension just leaps off every page and compels you to keep reading late into the night. The White Lily is filled with excitement, suspense, and a love that is downright tangible. It's an utterly riveting read.
kahea46 More than 1 year ago
***5 ‘Why Are You On Your Knees?” Stars*** Ever since getting that taste of Friedrich (who will from now on be called Freddy with the blessing of the author :D) in The Red Lily I’ve been doing my best to #practicepatience (badly) for his story, and though it took me a bit to finally dive into The White Lily, I was not disappointed in any way. Even with all the tension between the royal family and those who back the Black Lily, it was a fun read filled with moments that made my heart go all kinds of wonky and twitterpated, my panties melt (and amazingly had no moments that me want to give the author the evil eye) and filled with characters I want to spend more time with and was quite disappointed when there were no more words to read. I absolutely ADORED Freddy & Brenna! Freddy may just be my favorite non-broody yet alpha AF male Ms. Cross has written to date. He’s sneaky, charming, commanding, dominate and oh my god smexy and then mix in his compassionate heart and simple kindness and you have a very lethal male on your hands. Brenna has that potent and intriguing mix of tender heart and iron will. She’s not afraid to jump into the mix and help out in whatever capacity she can, but she doesn't need to be the in the spotlight. The chemistry between Freddy and Brenna was off the charts. It was seriously in that whole my my heart all kinds of wonky and twitterpated while melting my panties off chemistry (Honestly don’t even bother with panties). Even when they were dancing around each other with their “secrets” it was hot and then when they finally come clean and get to know each other without all the baggage they are both carrying around...it’s practically perfect. There is a bit of push/pull going on, but the angst is low, and I’m definitely not mad at where they were at in the end. Part of my enjoyment of any story are well written secondary/supporting cast of characters that inhabit the world and Ms. Cross writes some amazing ones. Brenna’s children had me smiling, especially Izzy though Beatrice wasn’t far behind considering our shared hobby and Denny...Then there is Grant and the men in the Bloodguard. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be upset at all if they all got their own HEA’s, whether it be in this series or a spin off. As for the direction the overall series arc is going, I’m really enjoying watching as everything unfolds and cannot wait to see what the next book in the series brings! ~ Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley & voluntarily reviewed ~
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Brennalyn Snow, after an unexpected change in her life, became a schoolteacher and took in children, orphans of the destruction perpetrated by bloodthirsty vampires. She had met, Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill twice, and he didn’t seem so bad, still Brennalyn joined the resistance against the nobility’s abuses. She is THE WHITE LILY, and she intends to spy on the Duke. Brennalyn was attending the Harvest ball, but she hadn’t counted on Friedrich being there, and certainly not being so attracted to him. She didn’t expect the horror that happened either! THE WHITE LILY continues the story arc from the first two instalments in this series, where we had briefly met Friedrich. Brennalyn is torn between righting wrongs committed mostly by vampires and her undeniable attraction to the charismatic and arrogant Friedrich. I wonder if I had picked the wrong day to read this book, but it was not quite was I expected until the very end. I felt that in THE WHITE LILY, there was a lot of talking and thinking, and not much doing, except for a few short bursts of action. I also found minor details a bit puzzling, such as Brennalyn’s reactions to the Duke: “Who does he think he is!”. Well, a duke… His repeatedly calling her “kitten” also got on my nerves after a while. THE WHITE LILY was also “cuter” at times than I would have liked; I kept thinking of “The Sound of Music”! I was also somewhat disappointed that Brennalyn does little more than “being a woman”, if you will forgive me; she is not quite the warrior I would have liked. The sexual tension between Brennalyn and Friedrich could have been cut with a knife and the culmination of their attraction happens under unusual – and very clever – circumstances. There are also very interesting twists on Snow White. The descriptions are sharp and delightful, and the writing is, of course, stylishly elegant. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Brennalyn Snow, after an unexpected change in her life, became a schoolteacher and took in children, orphans of the destruction perpetrated by bloodthirsty vampires. She had met, Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill twice, and he didn’t seem so bad, still Brennalyn joined the resistance against the nobility’s abuses. She is THE WHITE LILY, and she intends to spy on the Duke. Brennalyn was attending the Harvest ball, but she hadn’t counted on Friedrich being there, and certainly not being so attracted to him. She didn’t expect the horror that happened either! THE WHITE LILY continues the story arc from the first two instalments in this series, where we had briefly met Friedrich. Brennalyn is torn between righting wrongs committed mostly by vampires and her undeniable attraction to the charismatic and arrogant Friedrich. I wonder if I had picked the wrong day to read this book, but it was not quite was I expected until the very end. I felt that in THE WHITE LILY, there was a lot of talking and thinking, and not much doing, except for a few short bursts of action. I also found minor details a bit puzzling, such as Brennalyn’s reactions to the Duke: “Who does he think he is!”. Well, a duke… His repeatedly calling her “kitten” also got on my nerves after a while. THE WHITE LILY was also “cuter” at times than I would have liked; I kept thinking of “The Sound of Music”! I was also somewhat disappointed that Brennalyn does little more than “being a woman”, if you will forgive me; she is not quite the warrior I would have liked. The sexual tension between Brennalyn and Friedrich could have been cut with a knife and the culmination of their attraction happens under unusual – and very clever – circumstances. There are also very interesting twists on Snow White. The descriptions are sharp and delightful, and the writing is, of course, stylishly elegant. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.