The Emerald Lily (Vampire Blood #4) by Juliette Cross-Dual Review and Excerpt
THE EMERALD LILY
Vampire Blood #4
by Juliette Cross
Genre: adult, paranormal, fantasy,
Release Date: January 29,2018
Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 29, 2018
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…
Reading Order and Previous Reviews
The Black Lily
The Red Lily
The White Lily
The Emerald Lily
THE EMERALD LILY is the fourth and final instalment in Juliette Cross’s adult VAMPIRE BLOOD paranormal /fantasy, romance series. This is Princess Vilhelmina ‘Mina’ Dragomir, and Mikhail Romanov, Captain of the BloodGuard’s story line. THE EMERALD LILY can be read as a stand alone but I recommend reading the series in order for backstory and cohesion.
SOME BACKGROUND: The Black Lily is an underground movement that is attempting to take down the royal vampire family, and their army of Legionnaires who are obliterating village after village in a frenzied blood madness known as the sanguine furorem. As Prince Dominick and his mother, Queen Morgrid of Izeling continue their evil reign, The Black Lily begin to amass an army as they venture towards war and a final showdown against the current ruling vampire family-a family of murderous, power hungry vampires who are determined to destroy and control all of the humans.
WARNING: THE EMERALD LILY contains scenes of graphic violence and sexual situations that may be triggers for some more sensitive readers.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Mina and Mikhail) THE EMERALD LILY is the culmination of four story lines and a plan set into motion to take back the throne, and bestow it to the rightful heir. With Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir forced into the bloodless sleep of a starving vampire, the Bloodguard mount a rescue of the rightful heir to the Arkadian Kingdom, of Briar Rose. Enter Mikhail Romanov, Captain of the Bloodguard-an army of vampire warriors who have sworn fealty to the rightful heir- and the man with whom Mina will fall in love. What ensues is the back and forth, yin and yang of unrequited attraction, and the fall out when Mina is recaptured by the Prince, facing a future without the man that she loves.
Mikhail has sworn an oath as Captain of the Bloodguard, and in doing so forsakes all manner of family and a happily ever after but rescuing Mina Dragomir stirs something deep within our story line hero, something that calls to his hardened heart. Mikhail has a secret, that once revealed, may change the course of history including the rightful ascension to the vampire throne.
The relationship between Mina and Mikhail is one of immediate attraction; a visceral reaction that Mina wants to explore but Mikhail refuses to acknowledge or accept. His duty is to the Bloodguard, and all that it means, and with the approaching war, falling in love is a weakness our hero never would have imagined. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.
Like all of the previous story lines in the Vampire Blood series, THE EMERALD LILY touches on and is loosely based upon a fairy tale, and in the case of The Emerald Lily the retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, the evil queen, a kiss to awaken, and the fiery conclusion befitting a powerful reclamation of power and the throne.
There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including all of the previous story line couples; Brennalyn’s seven orphaned children; and an assortment of Bloodguard warriors who have vowed to protect Mina with their lives. The requisite evil has many faces including Prince Dominck, and his mother, the self-proclaimed Queen Morgrid.
THE EMERALD LILY is a story of betrayal and revenge; of family and blood; of passion and promise. The premise is action packed, complex and imaginative; the characters are dynamic, colorful, and charismatic; the romance is consuming, inspiring and dramatic. THE EMERALD LILY is a stunning conclusion to an incredible series that adds a twist or two to our favourite fairy tales.
The Emerald Lily by Juliette Cross is the 4th book in her wonderful Vampire Blood series. I am a big fan of Juliette Cross, and having loved the first three books in this series, I could not wait to read The Emerald Lily. As I have come to expect with Cross, this book turned out to be equally fantastic. What an awesome author, who if you are not reading, you should be. Now to my review.
In each book of this series, the lead female character is based loosely on a fairy tale theme. The previous books were Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Snow White and now Sleeping Beauty. We met Princess Vilhelmina Dragomir (Mina), our heroine in the first book, but now she is in her homeland, forced (by the villains in this series, King Dominik and Queen Morgrid) into a bloodless sleep. Mikhail, our hero, who is the Captain of the Bloodguard, comes to rescue Mina, and awakens her from her deep sleep. He immediately feels the strong attraction, and forces himself to not act on his feelings. When Mina awakens, Mikhail and his Bloodguard swear allegiance to Mina, who is the rightful Queen of Arkadia.
Mina is a strong heroine, who is determined to become Queen, and then offer her army to help The Black Lily defeat the evil Queen and King. Mina has also felt the strong attraction Mikhail, and though he tries to stop them going too far, their chemistry burns through the pages. There are some secrets and twists that answer our questions later on. One thing we learned early on is that when Mina was born, a good witch bestowed her with something that would stop the evil Queen Morgrid, who had cursed her at birth. Will Mina learn what and how to use this legend?
Just when we think all is well, a surprise attack will destroy some of those supporting the revolution, including the kidnapping of a young girl. Mina will fall into a trap that will put her in terrible danger, and force the teams (The Black Lily, Arkadia & Bloodguard armies), to move fast to rescue Mina and the child and find a way to save the world as they know it. To say too much more would be spoilers, and you really need to read this book.
What follows is a very exciting intense adventure that will have Mina, Mikhail, his men, the previous books heroes, attempt a rescue that will put their lives in danger. As we raced to the pulse pounding climax, I loved seeing all those we met in the first three books to join the battle. I loved Mikhail and Mina, as they were an awesome couple.
The Emerald Lily was a heart stopping, pulse pounding slam bang of a last half of the book, that kept you glued to your seat. Every book in the Vampire Blood series was emotional, heart wrenching, intense, exciting, suspenseful, action-packed thriller; with a sexy & amazing couple. I must say I absolutely loved the epilogue, especially since this book ends the series. 🙁
As I have said before, if you have not read Juliette Cross, you are seriously missing a fantastic author, who never fails to wow us each and every time. I do not know what Juliette has upcoming, but I will be there, as I will never miss any of her books.
Copy supplied for review
Mikhail had heard direct tales from survivors of the bloodless sleep. The dark agony of sensing everything going on around oneself but never able to speak or open one’s eyes or make any move at all. And all the while, an aching pain stabbed the sleeper’s gut, ricocheted out and rattled bones.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, he lifted a lock of her silken hair, sliding his fingers till it fell away. The sensual caress striking a vulnerable cord in his chest. He clutched his fist together. Her beauty made him breathless. The fact that she lay imprisoned in her own body cut through the tough veneer of the captain to the man beneath. No way in hell would he leave her in such a state of agony a second longer.
Awakening a victim from a bloodless sleep was a precarious job. He must be gentle, careful not to overpower her system and jolt her body to full wakefulness. She could likely go into shock. Friedrich had suggested the best known method—the blood kiss.
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.”
His canines fully extended, he bit into the fleshy part of his palm and smeared his lips with his own blood. Wrapping his other hand behind her slender nape, he leaned close, inhaling the fragrant scent of white jasmine and sunshine. He paused, faltering at the sweetness of her, an unexpected punch to his senses.
With tight control, he swept his lips over hers, wetting them with his blood and coaxing them apart. The slightest relaxing of her mouth gave him entry. Raising his palm, he licked a swathe of his own blood across his tongue then angled his mouth over hers with firm possession, delving in to awaken her starving body. Sliding his tongue over and against hers, he slicked her thoroughly.
His pulse pounded an erratic beat. He heard hers quicken in timing with his own. Her senses stirred.
Unexpected arousal crashed through him, hardening every inch of his body. His fangs extended to their most painful length, demanding succor.
He’d come to offer his own lifeblood, not take what little she had. And yet his body trembled with bone-shaking hunger.
Stifling his rebellious body’s needs, he sucked a few drops of blood from his palm-wound and pressed his mouth to hers once more, letting the blood seep inside and down her throat. He couldn’t help delving back in, licking the delicious taste of her onto his tongue.
A low moan emanated from her throat. He jerked away, remembering himself. By God, his thoughts spiraled down a dark, wayward path when his mouth was on hers. Panting, he leaned farther away, giving himself some distance.
She lifted a slender hand, her brow furrowing as she moaned a second time, rousing from her deep, paralyzing sleep. Her eyes shot open and she sucked in a deep lungful of air. Her wide-eyed gaze landed directly on his. Mikhail was sure he’d slipped and fallen off a cliff, flailing helplessly.
Fathomless pools of blue, burning brightly. His father used to take him to the ocean shore during the summers as a boy. They’d walk along the sandy beach collecting shells. Once, he’d found the most beautiful clear gem washed upon the sand. Sea glass, his father had told him. A broken piece of bottle or jar that the ocean had tumbled and smoothed into the clearest, purest blue he had ever seen. That was what he thought of when he looked into the eyes of this princess who smelled like sunshine and tasted like heaven.
“Welcome back, Princess Vilhelmina.” Steel clashed against steel on the battlement above. Footsteps pounded on the staircase leading to the tower. “Time to go.”
Excerpt supplied by the publisher
Juliette is a multi-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance and lives in lush, moss-laden Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona. She loves reading and writing brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes.
From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.
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