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The Blood Lily Chronicles, #1

Lily Carlyle is dead. She died when she went to avenged her little sister to the man who brutally raped her. She killed him, but at the cost of her own life. But before she can go to hell; because she's never been a good girl, she's lied, stolen and cheated and there's no doubt in her mind that's where she would end up; she's given a second chance. She can make up for all her sins by fighting for the forces of good and help prevent the Apocalypse. Apparently, she's The One who some prophecy says can fight evil and stop demons from opening the Ninth gate into our world and as such, wreaking even more havoc.

Lily agrees. I mean, what choice is there between being alive fighting or burning in hell? No choice at all, in my opinion. Next thing you know, Lily wakes up in a stranger's body, the body of Alice Purdue, who is apparently a barmaid but way more than just that, as Lily soon finds out, because this Alice is right smack in the middle of the fight between the good guys and the demons.

So now, Lily - or should I say, Alice - has a new life, a new mission: to learn to fight demons and she thinks she's up for the job. What she doesn't know is that things are never black and white, lines will be crossed and her allies might not be her allies after all.

Tainted in the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles by Julie Kenner and an excellent one, it is! But it's a sneaky one, when you first start reading the book, it's easier to like the story. The prologue, right off the bat, is one of the best I've ever read, and as you read further on, you start really liking the story but there comes a point - it might be a sentence or a scene - where it totally hits you: This story is pure awesome. Tainted totally sneaked up on me. Sure, from the beginning, I was enjoying reading about Lily and her rebirth as fighter, how she feels incredibly sad that she couldn't see her sister, Rose, anymore, and seeing her become stronger was great to read. Yes, she's not perfect, far from it. She has her insecurities about fighting demons, about a lot of things and that's just what makes her Lily. There was a point, and I honestly couldn't tell you when it happened, where I went from liking the story to being invested in what was happening to the characters. I wanted Lily to succeed, to end up with the seriously-hot-but-full-of-rage Deacon, and to save her sister.

Needless to say, I absolutely enjoyed reading Tainted, it's got a consistent plot, full of turns and twists that seriously surprised me and had me at one point very annoyed because I didn't know what to believe, there's a scorching hot chemistry between Lily and Deacon and the evil guys are down-right nasty. The ending is a major cliffhanger and I can't wait to read the next book, Torn, out in December.

Book Blurb for Tainted

"Can I just say that dying sucks"

So begins the first installment of the Blood Lily Chronicles, an urban fantasy romance which introduces readers to Lily Carlyle, a tough-talking bad girl who's been chosen to save the world, and Deacon Camphire, the darkly sensual man whose words seduce her, but whose actions suggest he’s hiding secrets of his own.

When Lily Carlyle set out to kill a child molester, she never expected to die and be resurrected as an assassin. Especially not as an assassin charged with fighting the forces of darkness in the ultimate battle of good against evil. It’s the key into heaven, she’s told. And in light of her sins, without that key, she’s doomed to an eternity of suffering.

But even in the demon world it’s sometimes hard to tell your ally from your enemy.

And when Lily finds out the truth . . . well, there really will be hell to pay.

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2009 4.50