If you know me, you know I love vampire romances and I'm constantly on the hunt for the perfect darkly erotic read. THE BLACK LILY caught my eye because it's written by one of my Goodreads friends, Juliette Cross, and also because it's a loose retelling of the Cinderella fairytale told with vampires. Throw enemies to lovers into the mix and the fact that the heroine is the leader of a revolutionary movement determined to assassinate the prince, and I bought that shit faster than you could say VAMP.
Arabelle is the leader of the Black Lily, a movement that challenges the vampire monarchy that subjugates the human peasant class, using them or abusing them as they see fit. It's especially personal for Arabelle, whose mother was killed by vampires, so she schemes to be invited to the crown prince Marius's blood ball, snag his attention, and then assassinate him with a golden dagger the moment that she gets him alone.
This being a romance novel, obviously her plan doesn't work. And the prince isn't nearly as upset about the assassination attempt as he maybe should be, using the event as an excuse to hunt her down and get answers. Arabelle finds out that the prince isn't the tyrant she imagined and Marius learns about a blood madness tearing through the vampire population, turning vampires into crazed, bloodthirsty fiends.
THE BLACK LILY wasn't as dark as I'd like- I prefer my vampires to be a little more evil than Marius was. The sex scenes and tension between him and Arabelle was hot, but Marius fell for Arabelle way too quickly. I guess the instalust was supposed to be homage to the Cinderella fairytale, and Arabelle took longer to reciprocate his feelings, but it still felt a bit much. The evil vampires were much more in line with what I like my vampire love interests to be like- psycho and deadly. ;)
This isn't badly written and all the characters except the baddies are likable. The fairytale premise is really unusual and I like how the vampire mythos was incorporated to fit the retelling. I have the other books in the series and I plan on reading those as well, but I just wish this was a little darker. As it is, it's a quick, light read.
2.5 to 3 out of 5 stars