The Black Lily by Juliette Cross (Tales of The Black Lily #1)

Available: March 27, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Entangled

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

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 Black Lily was a surprising find that perfectly mixed paranormal romance with historical romance and added a fairy tale touch. I’ve come to expect greatness from Juliette Cross and after finishing this in record time, I can definitely fully recommend it.

When reading traditional fairy tales I often found myself filled with longing for a heroine who could also kick ass. Even as a child I lamented the lack of female role models. Often princesses were simpering fools who needed a man to fall into insta-love with and live happily ever after. I wanted the fairy tale princess who could also hold her own against any foe who might head her way. I never really got any.  Now as an adult, I have finally got what I wanted. A fairy tale story filled with action and behind it all….a female I can root for.

Arabelle just wants justice for her family and in order to get that she has her sites set on killing the local vampire prince Marius. There is no way she can believe he has no knowledge of the increasing number of bodies that have been turning up on the outskirts of their village, savaged and drained of blood. Setting off to seduce and kill the man/monster at his own ball seems a fitting ending. She never expected him to deny the killings so vehemently or her to find him so attractive….

Marius is shocked when the elusive female nearly kills him at his own masked ball. He’s even more shocked of her claims of rogue vampires picking off innocent villagers right under his nose. Determined to find the attempted murderer and get to the bottom of her claims, he sets off to find her and bring her in to learn more. He quickly learns that not only has the anonymous woman claimed his heart, but things in the local village and his palace are not what they seem and the answers may lie with those close to him.

What I loved most about The Black Lily was the combination of historical, paranormal and fairy tale aspects and the way the Cross did it in such a seamless way.  Never a dull moment, the mystery surrounding the murdered villagers and the romance between Marius and Arabelle progressed at a natural rate. Arabelle was a born leader of their vampire resistance with her combat skills and her complete disregard of social conformity.  Marius was, of course, swoon worthy, heroic and a born leader of his people in his own way. I really liked how he didn’t shrug off her claims knowing that while stronger, he needed the villagers for a variety of reasons. He didn’t think his social standing was a reason to trample on those beneath him, just as a true leader should feel.

The Black Lily is a wonderful start for Juliette Cross’ new series! It laid the groundwork effectively and introduced several potential characters for upcoming additions. It will be interesting to see how the series progresses in respect to the vampire resistance now that the leader has bound herself to the one thing she swore she never would. Where does that leave the rest of her followers? How will they feel moving forward and will there be those who refuse to acknowledge the news and change in direction?

If you love fairy tales with a twist, this is a definite must read! I can’t wait for more!

I give The Black Lily by Juliette Cross 4 stars! 

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