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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.2 out of 5
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  • Cinderella with a twist

    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.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Cinderella with a Vampire Twist! Loved it!

    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! Arabelle is as determined as she is beautiful, and is solely focused on creating an equal world for all with the support of the resistance, but her feelings for Prince Marius keep getting in the way. Prince Marius is used to others obeying his every word and being revered, so it is a surprise when Arabelle is not in awe of him. Where what once seemed black and white becomes shades of grey for both Arabelle and Prince Marius, I was captivated and intrigued as the story unfolded. Add an arranged married to a vampire princess and an outbreak of vampire blood lust fever, and the tale becomes thoroughly addictive. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a great romance in a fairytale retelling with a vampire twist.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fabulous take on Cinderella!

    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.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I can´t wait to read more

    Arabella is a peasant washerwoman who is going to assassinate a member of the Vampire royal family. The law says that vampires are not to kill when they feed but many people have been killed or gone missing. It's time for the people to rebel. Prince Marius is the youngest of the royal family and he doesn't mingle much with the lower classes. He is also dissatisfied with the ways of the vampire aristocracy. A blood thirsty rebellion, a very brave heroine and an unlikely romance make this a marvellously entertaining book. The secondary characters are going to be interesting to follow into their own stories. It is the start of a series that I definitely want to read more of.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 5 Star Black Lily

    The threat the Varis family poses to the humans they rule over grows stronger every day and Arabelle’s resolve to overthrow the vampire monarchy grows as well. Now is the perfect time to ignite the underground resistance’s rebellion, by attending the prince’s blood ball and killing him. But Prince Marius could be more than the Prince Charming he appears to be if he listens and understands the truth. This is the first book in fascinating and different vampire world that readers can really sink their teeth into. The chemistry between Arabelle and Marius has sparks flying in every direction from every page of this fiery and volatile romance that provides readers with a very entertaining mix of passion, laughter and adventure. The characters are strong, the emotional turmoil fits the story and characters so well that readers really feel as if they know and understand both sides of the conflict. The heroine is quite saucy and spirited while the hero is an arrogant male who soon turns into a real prince and readers just have to sigh in pleasure. The wonderful setting adds just the right atmosphere to the story to make it believable and readers find that the story ‘feels right’ which makes it delightfully exciting and quite thrilling as they get caught up in the suspense and action of this story. The clever ‘Cinderella’ fairy tale retelling makes this vampire romance, one that readers will want to visit over and over again.

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