Review: Tainted by Julie Kenner

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.

Lily agrees...

...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...

My Ramblings:

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.

My Rating: Really Liked It

Read an excerpt of Tainted.

Where you can find Julie Kenner: Web Site | BlogFacebook | Twitter

The Blood Lily Chronicles:

  1. Tainted
  2. Torn
  3. Turned

Other Reviews:


Enchanted by Books said...

Great review! I loved this book so much!!

Blodeuedd said...

Ohh sounds good, and yes what did happen to Alice, now you got me wondering too

Mandi said...

I like it when books in a series come out close together..especially if it has a questionable ending! :)

Chris said...

Ok, that has me intrigued.

Michelle Greathouse said...


Wonderful review. :) I have this one on my wish list.


Donna said...

Rachael - Thanks! This was fast read, that I enjoyed a lot. Can't wait for Torn.

Blodeuedd - It is good!

Mandi - Same here, the ending opened a lot of new questions. I'm glad I don't have to wait long for the next book.

Chris - This one is very suspenseful, had me fooled till the end.

Michelle - Thank you! I bet you like this one. :)

Anonymous said...

This one has been on my wishlist for awhile. I'll have to break down and grab it one day. :)

Janicu said...

I read an excerpt of this and liked it. Your review is making me think I should pick it up.

MrsMixx said...

Great review, i was torturing myself about this book, i had it on my Wish list and i didn't know if i should order it now or wait a bit. The book synopsis was really tempting, and you confirmed that it's a book to look forward.
I'm glad the second book will be released soon so no long wait between books i like that =D

Smokinhotbooks said...

I've yet to read any Dark Urban Fantasy there a difference between UF and Dark UF - well besides the emphasis on dark :)

Donna said...

TJ - I really liked this, if you do break down and get this, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Janicu - This is great read! Hope you give it a try.

Pattepoilue - I glad for the short wait also, waiting a month in between is not so bad. Nothing like the torture of waiting for the next Fever book. ;)

KC - Have you read Some Girls Bite? It's a UF but I wouldn't call it dark. KMM's Fever series, I would call dark UF. Does this help? Dark usually means there are a lot of unsavory elements such violence, guts or very intense events that lean towards evilish things. Like my new word? :)

Abigail said...

This sounds like evreything I look for in an urban fantasy. Thanks Donna

SciFiGuy said...

I just finished this last night and really enjoyed it. I'll come back and read your review after I've written mine up. I think this series is going to quite popular.

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

I enjoy some hot and steamy romance but sexual tension can be just as much fun =D Loved the review Donna! I'm definitely planning on getting this one

Donna said...

Abigail - I think you'll like this. I certainly did.

Doug - I'll look for your review, interested in what you thought. Definitely, agree with you, the Lily Chronicles will be popular.

Mishel - There just something about the buildup of sexual tension that can make a book, just tasty. It's definitely here in this in. :)

VampFanGirl said...

Great review Donna!

For those of us needing our UF on the steamy side, will TAINTED satisfy that need? I love a lot of sexual tension too so that may be just as satisfying.

;) VFG

Donna said...

VFG - Thanks! Well, it gets pretty hot in several places (touchy feely and heavy breathing hot) but the romance is definitely in the backseat in this one. :)

VampFanGirl said...

Hmmm...I think I'll wait and see what you think of book two. Thanks!

;) VFG

Unknown said...

Sounds like another great series, can't wait to give it a try!

Dottie :)

SciFiGuy said...

Wow that is a great review Donna. You pegged it perfectly.

Donna said...

Hi Dottie - I think you'll like this one. :)

Hey Doug - Thanks! *blushes* I really enjoyed this book. I'm ready for Torn this month.

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