I love this bright announcement that spring is here! The real ones outside are even better.
Art available at Society6.
This weekend I’ll be reading Vivien Jackson’s Wanted and Wired. Ms. Jackson is a new to me author, but based on the blurb, this book lands in squarely in my zone. This book releases April 4th.
What are you reading this weekend?
Review by Riley
About The Black Lily
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…
Review of The Black Lily
The Black Lily is a retelling of Cinderella. There are even fairy godmother, stepmother and stepsister characters. Well, the fairy godmother role is shared between two unrelated characters. And the stepmother and sisters are not related, even by marriage – but they are dimwitted aristocrats that Arabelle and other peasants toil for. And there is a midnight deadline. Cinderella may run away from the ball, and her prince will be looking for her, but the reason she was even at the ball is the real story.
The basic story, is as old as humanity. Wealthy privileged take advantage of the poor and the poor stand up for their rights. That is an oversimplification, but you get the idea. In this case, the privileged are the aristocratic vampire nobles and the poor are the mere humans. The mere humans are led by a woman with rebellious ideas and courage. She is the Black Lily.
So, here’s the setting. Vampire royalty and aristocrats rule the land. Only the powerful ruling Varis bloodline can make vampires out of humans. Otherwise, vampires are born.
Vampires feed off the human population in a non-fatal manner. They have blood concubines. Willing donors. Seems innocuous enough. It has even been said to be pleasant for the concubine.
The combination of vampires being born and feeding off of willing donors seems a much more sustainable ecology than the traditional system of biting to create vampires at will and/or biting to drain victims until they die. Perhaps it is this sustainability that actually brings them out into the public eye. There is no need to fear vampire hunters.
So why are the servants afraid? They should have no reason. Fear expressed by a servant is the first hint of something not quite right. Then Prince Marius’ cousin Friedrich mentions that things are not going as smoothly as they used to up north. Another hint.
All this before the prince meets Cinderella, er, Arabelle, at the ball.
The ball is just the enticing kickoff of the game of cat and mouse that Marius and Arabelle will play. Who is the cat and who is the mouse? And what exactly will happen when the mouse is caught? Hint: cats like to play with their prey. I enjoyed that chase!
I’m giving The Black Lily 4 stars. I really did enjoy it, but I thought it was too easy for the hero and heroine to get their HEA. (More challenge for the heroine and hero please.)
1) It should have been harder for Arabelle to see Marius as something more than a vampire. I wanted Arabelle to be more kick-ass and have a bigger chip on her shoulder. This would also have the affect of making it harder for Marius to catch up to Arabelle.
2) Marius should have been slower to learn the truth. Someone who is 100 years old has formed some pretty strong opinions and is unlikely to change their way of thinking overnight. I wanted Marius to be bit darker.
According the page count on Amazon, this book has 290 pages. It did not seem that long. I must have flown through the pages! The vampire genre and an old fairy tale get a fresh, entertaining twist in The Black Lily. This is an adventure worth going on.
Through NetGalley, the author provided a copy of her book so that I could bring you my honest review.
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