Tainted by Julie Kenner
Book 1, The Blood Lily Chronicles
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Year: 2009 (10/27/2009)
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-441-01784-3 (Ace)
Reason for Reading: ARC submitted for review
From the back cover:
Lily Carlyle has never been a good girl. She's lied, cheated and stolen, but she did it all to protect her younger sister. To keep food on the table after their mother died. She'd made a promise, after all. A promise to take care of her sister. To keep the family together. And that's a promise she's determined to keep.
Even to the death...
When her younger sister is brutally attacked, a vengeful Lily determines to exact her own justice on the monster responsible. She succeeds—at the cost of her own life. As she lies dying, she is given a second chance: Though what she has done is evil, she can earn her way into Paradise by fighting for the forces of good.
...and wakes in the body of Alice Purdue—a Boston barmaid who has more than a little familiarity with the battle raging between the light and the darkness. Each side is mustering their forces for all-out war—and Lily is going to become an assassin for the light.
It's a job she believes she can really get into—but she doesn't realize that she may not be able to get out...
Do you think the difference between good and evil is as simple as black and white? Well think again. Lily finds out that she can be good by being bad as an assassin for God. After Lily kills her sister’s attacker in cold-blood, she is given a second chance to redeem herself and wakes up in Alice Purdue’s body. Working for the light as a demon assassin, her job is to prevent the ninth gate to Hell from being opened by demons. But Lily’s new life has her wondering if she’s strong enough to the keep the ninth gate from opening? What happened to Alice Purdue, now that Lily is occupying her body? Will her sister be able to cope without her there to help her?
Tainted was an enjoyable read from Lily’s point of view, and it moves at a brisk pace with it’s eclectic cast of characters and their fun and clever dialogue. Lily is sassy, head strong with street smarts and resilient in her role as the God’s assassin. I found myself easily liking Lily and her attitude towards her new life.
Everyone from her new friend Gracie to her supernatural guide Clarence, tell Lily to stay away from Deacon Camphire. Deacon is a dark mystery to Lily and she doesn’t know if she can trust him but she does know she has a strong attraction to him. And he to her. While Tainted is light on the romance, there is plenty of sizzling tension between Lily and Deacon.
“She’s mine.” he said, pushing my partner aside with little more than a glance. His arms slid around me, his hands on my lower back pulling me close as my body tingled from the electric storm surrounding this force of nature.
“I’m not yours,” I protested, but I stayed in his arms nonetheless, tempting fate and testing the limits to my newfound sensual allure, not mention my self-control.
He took his hand from my back long enough to hook a finger under my chin and tilt my head up. A smug grin tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Maybe not,” he said with a cocky grin. “But you want to be.”
Tainted is the first book in the new dark urban fantasy series, The Blood Lily Chronicles by Julie Kenner. Tainted is well written, full of mystery and action, saturated with sexual tension and has turns in the plot that you won’t see coming. This book is a must for urban fantasy readers who like their reads to be suspenseful, with a dark, fast moving setting and a sassy, street smart heroine.
I’m looking forward to release of Torn next month because the ending of Tainted left me with more questions then answers.
Read an excerpt of Tainted.
The Blood Lily Chronicles: