Monday, November 6, 2017

THE WHITE LILY by Juliette Cross

Book Info
Series: VAMPIRE BLOOD (Book 3)

Title ISBN:   978-1-64063-198-4
Book Length: 95K
Publisher:  Entangled Publishing

GoodReads link:

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.


His blue eyes burned so bright, she knew without a shadow of doubt that she was in the arms of a creature touched with powerful, dreadful magic. He could crush her easily. Snuff out her life in a blink if he so chose. And the way his face hardened at her words, she was afraid he might do just that. He tumbled her to the ground, manacling her wrists above her head, her back pressed to the cold snow, her front encased by the searing heat of him.

When he spoke, his voice was deep and soft, the same tone he used in seduction, but with a bitter edge. Like a razor slicing so thin and fine you didn’t feel the pain till the fatal cut started to bleed.

“Listen to me, Brennalyn Snow. You know nothing of where I come from. Or who I am. Nothing.”

His lips hovered close, in a brutal line. She feared he meant to bite not kiss her, and not the kind of bite from last night that induced her into languorous ecstasy. The kind that brought pain and death.


“I apologize. This will be your first time as a bleeder, won’t it?”

She had the widest, sweetest brown eyes. Warm and innocent, but also intelligent. They suited her well. Always keen and searching. Except now. He’d knocked her senseless with his untoward questions. He might’ve felt guilty if he wasn’t enjoying the sound of her hummingbird heartbeat pulsing in that slender, pale throat of hers.

“Do not worry,” he assured her, brushing the pad of his thumb over her knuckles again, noting that her palm was sweaty against his fingers. “The prick is a little painful. At first. But you’ll only remember the pleasure.”

Then he smiled, and those guileless eyes widened even further, her lips forming a surprised O, which made his cock stiffen in his trousers.

“And I will be gentle. I promise.” The first time anyway.


On the next turn, he pulled her close, till her breasts brushed his chest. The friction, as brief as it was, rasped her nipples. She gasped then quickly clamped her mouth shut, trying to put some distance between them. But he was in full control, his large frame engulfing her, his intimidating presence swallowing her with each turn.

“Your dress is quite beautiful on you.” He ignored her question entirely. “So much more appealing than your gray frocks.”

“What is wrong with my frocks?”

“They’re hideous.”

She gasped. “My frocks are entirely suitable to a woman of my role in society.”

“And what role is that? An old crone?” She caught his mischievous smile. He was goading her. And it was working.

“An unmarried woman. The town’s schoolteacher.”

He scoffed, slowing their waltz. “You think yourself a spinster at three and twenty? I think not. I’m going to burn every one of them when I get the chance.”

“Your Grace. You will do no such thing. You have no right to destroy any of my possessions.”

He grinned and slowed their forward movement to a stop, drawing her even closer. She tried to step from his embrace, but he held her good.

“Your Grace?”

“I’m not quite sure you know what’s happening between us, Miss Snow. But let me be clear. Those hideous rags are not worthy of your luscious body. Not worthy of you. You may try to hide your beauty behind drab colors and formless frocks and tight buns. But I see what’s beneath. And I want—no, I will have you in all your glory. Therefore, prepare yourself to be draped in silk quite soon.”

She saw the lion in the man, gazing down at her with steadfast calm and confidence. All of which was breathtaking and alluring. She spent the majority of her life trying to order and control her surroundings, only to find her world tilted at every turn. She wondered how the duke would feel to lose his control.

“It must be very difficult,” she said.

“What must be difficult?” He swept her away from clumsy Mr. Powell, who nearly barreled into them with his dance partner.

“Believing that you own everyone you meet.”

“You wound me. I don’t believe that at all.”

“Really? You just stated as if it were a decree that I’d be draped in silk. What if I don’t like silk?”

His smoldering smile made her knees buckle. “Come now, Miss Snow.” He leaned close to her ear, his lip brushing the shell as he whispered on the turn, “If not a silk dress, how about silk sheets?”

She laughed, his naughty teasing bringing a heated flush to her face. “You’re most improper for a royal duke.”

“Thank you,” he said with a smirk. “I do my best.”

“It wasn’t a compliment.”

“It most certainly was.”

She narrowed her gaze. “Well, whatever you may believe, I’d like to clarify that you do not own me, Your Grace.”

“I don’t want to own you, kitten. I want to possess you.”

“There is no difference.”

“Indeed. There is.”

Eyes darkening and hooded in shadow, she caught them drifting over her face before they landed on her mouth. His own parted slightly.

“Your Grace,” she warned, “if you are making plans to kiss me on the dance floor, let me tell you that it will not be welcome.”

“All right. Will it be welcome in my carriage on the way home?”

She arched her brow. “Are you always so forward with ladies you’re trying to woo?”

“No. Indeed not. I’m usually much more charming, but you seem to bring out the beast in me, Miss Snow. I’d rather skip all the games and get straight to the prize.”

About the author:
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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