cover image The Assassin and the Libertine

The Assassin and the Libertine

Lily Riley. City Owl, $3.99 e-book (246p) ISBN 978-1-64898-088-6

Scandal, seduction, and supernatural secrets animate Riley’s deliciously decadent debut and Les Dames Dangereuses series launch. In 1765, a blood plague is spreading among the Parisian poor, turning them into vampires. For many, it’s a better fate than starvation as a human. As one of few courtiers infected, “legendary rake” Étienne de Noailles is appointed the vampire emissary to His Majesty. Though he tries to advocate for vampire rights, he’s treated as little more than a threat and a lust object at Versailles. When the king’s mistress is murdered, Étienne falls under suspicion, attracting the attention of a secret society of vampire hunters. Daphne, the duchesse de Duras and the society’s first female member, is put on the case, but when Étienne pleads his innocence, Daphne reluctantly agrees to work with him to catch the real killer. On the trail of a far more sinister threat, Daphne comes to question everything she thought she knew about vampires, and Étienne learns to see Daphne as more than a potential conquest. Riley brings the heat as the erotically charged animosity between Daphne and Étienne (“You were so rude to him I find it hard to believe you’re not secretly in love,” remarks one of Daphne’s friends) evolves into a genuine connection. This hits all the right notes. (Oct.)