Vampire Blood #3
Release Date: October 23, 2017
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, Fairy Tale
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Entangled Publishing via Netgalley. This did not affect my rating and my review is provided voluntarily.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
To the north of the Varis empire, a mysterious faction spreads propaganda against the vampire monarchy. Friedrich Volya, the Duke of Winter Hill, seeks to discover who they are before his uncle finds them first. King Dominik will punish the traitors with brutal force.
Local schoolteacher, the raven-haired Brennalyn, is on her own mission - to spy on the duke and discover what she can for the Black Lily. She longs to help the commonwealth and bring justice to the many orphans left behind from the ravages of the blood madness, like the children she lovingly keeps in her care. What she doesn't plan for is the heart-pounding attraction she feels for the duke, enemy to the Black Lily.
But when Brennalyn's secret puts her life and the life of her children in danger, Friedrich steps in as her protector, she finds out there's more to the duke than she thought.
Although The White Lily can be read as a standalone (it's #3 in the series but I never felt lost) I think I'd have benefited from reading the previous installments first so that I had the full vision of the over-arching plot. However, I quite enjoyed my introduction to this series (and this author) and plan to go back and read the earlier books.
- Snow White and vampires
Yep. I liked that JCross used Snow White for inspiration and wove in her own brand of vamps.
Friedrich and Brennalyn were well drawn. I could see they were good people who fought for their convictions. The dialog between them was fun and emotionally as well as sexually charged. And I delighted in watching them grow. Friedrich's relationships with Grant and Mikhail were entertaining and conveyed the respect and loyalty they held for one another. And Brennalyn's adopted brood was also fleshed out well enough that I was invested in each of them. They also added depth to Brennalyn and the story.
- Parallels in class structure
There were many parallels between the class structure in the story and the current societal structures in the world today - how it benefited the higher classes and hurt the lower ones. I liked how JCross made vampires the aristocracy, "sucking" the lifeblood - literally and figuratively - out of the lower classes. At least, vampires in general. There were exceptions, of course. *wink*
Oh boy did I admire that the rebellion was apparently started by a women and gained a staunch ally in Brennalyn Snow - yet another intelligent, strong-willed, and strong-minded woman.
The romance was dreamy and steamy. I admired that Friedrich yielded to loving Brennalyn in equal measure to desiring her capitulation to him. They each had reasons they were avoiding commitment but they fell hard and it was endearing to watch them fall.
- Nice Balance
This was a romance but JCross balanced it well with the political intrigue and action. It kept the pace just right.
I'm grateful to Entangled Publishing for allowing me the opportunity to read The White Lily but JCross enamored me. Her writing is engaging and her characters well developed. I've already purchased The Black Lily because I need to meet all the characters on the game board and get the full story. The final book in the series releases in January! *wink*