Series: Vampire Blood #1
Published by Entangled Publishing on March 27, 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Sexual Content: Explicit sex scenes
Reviewed by: Kate
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…
I know I don't need to say that I love fairytale retellings, but there it is. I said it. And having read (and enjoyed) Cross's work before, I was very curious about THE BLACK LILY and the direction she would go. It ended up being quite a fun read, with plot twists, steamy romance and a mystery to keep me entertained.
Upon starting THE BLACK LILY, the reader is immediately thrown into the action. The retelling part of Cinderalla happens almost immediately - servant girl gets fancy dress and carriage and goes to ball to catch royal prince's attention. There's a bit of lust at first sight on Prince Marius' side, as upon seeing Arabelle, he immediately wants her. However, as they get to know each other, his attraction to her starts to go beyond her physical appearance. Same with Arabelle, who finds the prince attractive at the beginning, even if she does not like what he stands for, but as she begins to learn about him she starts to question her preconceived notions about what he is like. However, it takes a lot for Arabelle to get past her automatic dislike of vampires, and that, combined with other factors, keeps her and Marius separate for a majority of the book. But oh man, when they get together, do sparks fly! Scratch that - more like full on flames. There is definitely enough to keep a romance reader happy.
There's a lot going on in THE BLACK LILY. First of all, there's the vampires, the mystery of the disappearing humans, the rebellion, plus a magical forest and a lot of back story that the reader gets in bits and pieces. Some interesting facts were revealed at the end which felt a little like they were inserted just to keep the reader wanting to know more - and possibly read the next book. My only small complaint would be the world building - it was written to seem like a society similar to a feudal society that we would be familiar with from history (except with vampires ruling) and so not much was explained unless it was pertinent to Arabelle's ranting about the class system.
Using Cinderella as a springboard, THE BLACK LILY takes some aspects from the original tale and runs with them, making a wholly original tale of vampires and humans, and the romance between two highly unlikely characters. I am curious as to where Cross will take the story, since it seemed rather finished to me (minus the few questions at the end) and I will definitely pick up the next book in the Tales of the Black Lily series.
- The Black Lily