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Early Review: The Red Lily by Juliette Cross (Vampire Blood #2)

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The Red Lily by Juliette Cross // VBC ReviewThe Red Lily (Tales of the Black Lily/Vampire Blood #2)
Juliette Cross
Published: Jun. 19, 2017 (Entangled)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, The Black Lily.

You know how sometimes the second book in the series just doesn’t go where you thought it would when you finished the first one? That’s not always a bad thing—there’s a reason I don’t write fiction. But I think that’s what happened to me with The Red Lily.

We met Sienna, known for her red cloak, in book one of the series. She leaves behind her forest and her wolves for most of book two so I felt like the fairy tale references were left as well. Instead the story feels like a pretty straightforward vampire romance. It’s not even an enemies-to-lovers story like The Black Lily was. Sienna and Nikolai are hot for each other from the beginning. There’s no “will they or won’t they,” just “when will they find the time while running for their lives.” Cross makes up for that by literally torturing them—it goes pretty dark.

I did get to learn more about the Hart wolves, which was my biggest unanswered question, though that also did not quite go how I expected. And some of the revelations about Nikolai’s past might be relevant to the future of their rebellion. But all of the new world building came at the end of the book.

Just to be clear, I enjoyed The Red Lily. I liked both Sienna and Nikolai going in and that didn’t change. I just didn’t feel like this book advanced the series storyline much. I’m still hopeful about the rest of the series though. There are three different characters that I could see as heroes of upcoming books. And I’m looking forward to getting to know more of the supporting characters. Not to mention the inevitable showdown with the Big Bad.

If you’re a fan of historical romance, dark fairytale retellings, or vampires, give the Vampire Blood series a try. (It was previously called Tales of the Black Lily, which I liked better.) Maybe just don’t go on with as many expectations as I did.

Sexual content: graphic sex, references to rape

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