Monday, February 26, 2018

5 Wine Glass #Review of The Emerald Lily by Juliette Cross


36672379Title: The Emerald Lily
Series: Vampire Blood #4
Author: Juliette Cross
Format: Kindle, 281 pages
Published: January 29th 2018 by Entangled Publishing, Amara
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

When Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir is awakened from her hellish sleep with a blood kiss from a handsome stranger, she learns that much has changed while she’s been away. The armies of the Black Lily and the vampire Crown have amassed and are on the brink of war.

No romantic entanglements, no family. Mikhail Romanov, Captain of the Bloodguard, took a vow when he joined the Bloodguard. But he never planned for the gut-punching attraction he would feel for the untouchable princess. He must keep his focus, though. In order to avenge his family, it’s essential he help Mina claim her crown and keep his damn hands off of her.

But Mina sets her heart on the elusive captain, and keeping his focus on the great battle ahead becomes harder and harder. While they're making plans, the evil King Dominik has been making some of his own. This time, he will show no mercy to the Princess…

Your Thoughts:
Leaning close to her ear, he whispered, “Princess. If you can hear me, listen well. I must awaken you from this deep slumber. Pardon the intimacy and have no fear. I mean you no harm.”

The Emerald Lily is the utterly awesome action-packed, heart-pounding conclusion to Juliette Cross’ Vampire Blood series. The entire series is magical and pits epic romances and dominion in an epic battle of good versus evil. Every installment in this wonderful series is a sensual paranormal fractured retelling of a popular fairy tale. The resulting new versions are no longer tales for children. As a recap, The Black Lily retold Cinderella. The Red Lily was the author’s parody of Little Red Riding Hood complete with wolves. The White Lily recounted Snow White. Now, The Emerald Lily features a revised Sleeping Beauty. LOL! Who knew that vampires and favorite childhood fairy tales would mix so jaw-droppingly well?

I can’t decide which cover in this series that I love more. Each has been breathtaking.

I’ve read this series out of order and can attest that each of the books works well as a standalone, if that is your preference. The story evolves chronologically if the series is read in order. You are going to want to read them all so, if you’re just starting the series, I’d elect to read them in order, if possible.

This is the tale of Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir and Romanov, Captain of the Bloodguard. Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir was cursed by an evil vampire queen at birth because her father would not acquiesce to promising her to be the bride of the evil queen’s son. Thanks to an old woman with the power to do so, the curse was twisted into a prophecy of hope. Evil has taken over the land and the small band of Black Lily resistance who stand in opposition to the heinous vampire hierocracy has grown into a formidable rebel force.

As the Emerald Lily opens, we find the Bloodguard – an independent army aligned with the Black Lily resistance - preparing to storm the castle where the Princess was being held in a cruel bloodless sleep by the queen. The Captain has taken on the task of wakening the Princess from her slumber. The Captain has forsworn any entanglements as his vow to avenge the wrongs done to his family is paramount. Little does he know that his kiss will ignite the prophecy and start the assault on the impregnable fortress he’s erected around his heart.

I am hard-pressed to decide which of the books in this series that I love the most as each one has stolen my heart. The Princess and the Captain are fabulous characters joining the wonderful ones that have preceded them. I am in awe of how the Princess develops into a surprising stronger persona and of how the honorable Captain’s heart didn’t stand a chance after that one kiss. In addition, all the previous characters we’ve grown to love and to hate play supporting roles in this marvelously well-plotted tale.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from The Emerald Lily:

She swallowed hard, her voice broken. “I’m sorry to disappoint you.”
“Disappoint me?” She didn’t understand. “What I didn’t expect was you.” He gestured with a hand. “This beautiful, sensual creature who begs me to kiss her and who looks at me like I’m the only man on Earth. The only man who matters. It’s like I’m being pulled straight to hell… and for you?” He shook his head, unable to shut his mouth. “I would gladly burn for all eternity.”

“I want you so much, I feel like if I don’t make you mine soon, then some part of me will break away and disappear into the unknown. Then another will break away and another, until there’s nothing left of me at all but a hollow void. A shell of a man.”

“You undo me, woman,” he breathed.
“You make me whole,” she whispered.

I was so looking forward to this finale and happily wasn’t disappointed - not one teensy bit. Juliette has done an amazing job with each of these books reframing childhood fairytale favorites into grown-up nail-biting, enchanting, steamy, breath-taking romances. The Emerald Lily is a beautiful story on its own – but, in this series, it’s also the perfect wrap-up - tying up all the loose ends with a magnificent bow. My one complaint is that I’m sad that it’s all come to an end. I highly recommend this entire series to anyone who enjoys fun, exciting and passionate paranormal fantasy romances!

Suggested Reading Order: 
Book #1 The Black Lily
Book #2 The Red Lily
Book #3 The White Lily
Book #4 The Emerald Lily – Series Finale!

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