If you’re looking for a little more badass female action in your reading, look no further. The Red Lily is a little bit fairy tale, a little more Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
About ‘The Red Lily’
The Black Lily resistance needs a larger army if they are to defeat the vampire monarchy. In order to do so, former lieutenant and traitor to the vampire Crown, Nikolai must seek help from the red-hooded temptress he needs to avoid at all costs. The secret he carries could prove dangerous for her if she gets too close… even though keeping her close — very close — is the only thing on his mind.
Sienna will do anything for the Black Lily, and when Nikolai asks for her assistance to gain the trust of the commonwealth, it’s the last thing she wants to do. The thought of leaving her woods and her wolves behind is terrifying… not to mention the danger being with Nikolai poses.
‘The Red Lily’ excerpt
He warred with this driving need to haul her into his lap and kiss her senseless, to feel her in his arms, pressed close. His craving for her went beyond the desire for her flesh and blood. Her sweet innocence combined with her independent nature was a heady concoction to a man like him. He’d only ever been surrounded by the vapid ladies of the aristocracy and the wanton women of the peasantry who sought him for one night’s pleasure or silver sovereigns.
Often both. And while his lust for this red-haired beauty was a dangerous, feral beast, he was cautiously aware his unusual possessiveness meant something deeper. Stronger.
Something he wasn’t prepared to confront just yet.
With a sigh, she refolded the letter and looked up, clearing her throat. “Do you know what the letter says?”
“I did not read it, but I know what Arabelle asks of you. Will you do it?”
Leveling her chin up a notch with determination, she replied, “Of course, I will. Whatever the Black Lily needs of me, I will do. How far north must we go?”
He set the tea on the side table and leaned forward, elbows on his knees, hands clasped casually together.
“Marius has heard from his cousin Friedrich at Winter Hill. There are signs that the blood madness sanguine furorem has spread into his region. We are to go there and recruit all we can along the way.”
Back straight, her hands sitting in her lap like any aristocratic lady, she asked, “Why didn’t Arabelle send Ivan or Evan? They’re capable enough of recruiting.”
A twinge of jealousy twisted in his gut. “Would you prefer one of the Barrow brothers as your guard?”
“No. But if her need for me is to have a human member of the Black Lily to recruit and not a vampire, why did she send you?”
“Because we must cross the countryside while the Legionnaires hunt down revolutionaries and the blood madness runs rampant. You need a vampire to protect you against vampires.”
She swallowed visibly, a tell of her rising anxiety. “I see.”
“Besides, the Barrow brothers did come, but they have a shorter assignment to fetch a cache of gold from Arabelle’s mine and whatever recruits they can gather in Hiddleston, then return to the training camp. Marius’s cousin Friedrich sent supplies as well, what he could. The Barrow brothers will use some of the gold to barter for other goods to restock the training camp.” He leaned back and rested one arm along the sofa back, the other hand casually on his thigh. Her gaze flickered to his lap as he continued. “They’ll help with the first recruitment meeting tomorrow night in the basement of the tavern at the Bull’s Head. You and I will also be there. But before that, I have a mission of my own. And I need your help there as well.”
“What is it?”
“I must speak with my cousin working in the Glass Tower. But I need someone to bring him to me.”
“And that someone would be me.”
“Yes. If you will.”
“Well, of course I will.” She stood and walked toward the door, lifting her red cloak from its hook and pulling it over her shoulders.
“What are you doing?”
“What does it look like?” She clasped the hook beneath her chin. “I’m readying to go to the Glass Tower.”
Nikolai stood and walked to her. “We are not going tonight.” He slowly lowered her hands to her sides, then unclasped her mantle, keeping her close. “The Tower is dangerous during the day, but for a delectable woman like you, it is surely fatal at night.”
Her green eyes darkened, pupils dilating, her gaze dropping to his mouth. His fangs elongated, aching for succor. But he would take none from her. Not yet.
He whipped off her cloak and stepped away to hang it back in place.
“So we go in the morning?” she asked, hesitantly, her voice softer, weaker than before.
“Do you have a place to sleep?” she asked, moving away to clear his tea and saucer to the sink.
“No,” he declared clearly. “I was hoping you would allow me to sleep here with you.”
The tea cup rattled where she dropped it in the washbasin. She turned, one hand clenching the sideboard till her knuckles were white. “Stay here?”
His lip twitched. “Unless you were planning on sleeping outside, then yes.”
“But I”—she swallowed visibly, drawing Nikolai’s attention to her beautiful throat again, that creamy alabaster skin—“I’m not sure if that’s a good idea.”
“And why is that?”
“Well, I—I know what you’re thinking.”
He eased back to stand near the hearth. “Do you?”
“I know what you want of me,” she said boldly. “What all vampires want. But I cannot give you that.”
“Sweetheart, you do not know what I am thinking.” He couldn’t help but let his gaze rake her from top to bottom. She was indeed the most tempting woman he had ever seen.
“If you knew, you wouldn’t have allowed me through your door.”
Her eyes widened. The emotion flitting across her face was a mixture of panic and excitement.
“Rest assured, my lady. You are in no danger from me. I was sent to be your guide and protector on this journey north. And I will do so. I will protect you with my life.”
She let go of the sideboard and moved closer.
“Why would you do that?”
She shifted the subject away from the two of them alone in the cottage. Smart girl. But too late. She’d revealed something she shouldn’t have. For underneath her rising alarm was the heady scent of desire, and it had hooked him deep. Encouraged his hunt.
She continued. “Why would you help the Black Lily, the resistance who despises all vampires?”
He smiled at that. “The way Arabelle explains it, the Black Lily wants to free the peasantry from the yoke of the aristocracy, both the human and the vampire aristocracy.”
“You’re right. But many members of the Black Lily have suffered greatly at the hands of vampires. Many despise your kind, and yet you help them. Why?”
Nikolai considered answering her, then stepped closer.
“You are safe with me, Sienna. That is all you need to know.”
About the Author
Juliette lives in lush, moss-laden Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona.
Multi-published author of paranormal and urban fantasy romance, 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.