The Vanity of Roses
by Lily White
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 25, 2020
He wasn’t just beautiful in the traditional sense, he was exquisite. As if a sculptor had spent months chiseling marble to create the perfect masculine form, but then a painter came in to sweep deep shadows across him.
The Vanity of Roses is a fast-paced, twisty and totally captivating read.
With a Lily White book I know I’m always guaranteed a great read, yet no two books ever seem to be the same. The Vanity of Roses is a dark tinged romantic suspense, packed full of intrigue, secrets and lies. Manipulation is rife and this enemies-to-lovers romance kept me on the edge of my seat unable to put the book down.
Whilst Lisbeth should have been a dislikable character, she wasn’t, so her childhood behaviour was a little puzzling. Of course as the many complex layers of this story were slowly revealed, we began to get a better picture of just what had happened in the past and why. Callan was much easier to like, though there were times when his treatment of Lisbeth made him seem quite cruel. Though again there were reasons.
“What have I done to deserve that?”Lisbeth, The Vanity of Roses
Hating the genuine fear I could hear in my voice, I refused to move away from him as his dangerous energy consumed the space around us.
It’s a dual pov book, clearly labelled so you know who’s “voice” you are hearing and is written first person. This enabled me to really connect with and understand both main characters. There is a lot of foreshadowing and I did guess one twist in advance, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment. I loved how you weren’t sure who to trust and who was telling what lies, you really need your wits about you when reading this one! The suspense, at times, was nerve shredding.
My nerves were live wires, the frayed ends dancing and arcing on the ground, a constant snap of electric fear bolting through me the farther into the desert we drove.
The writing is so eloquent and poetic, creating striking visuals and eliciting a myriad of emotions. Lily White doesn’t just write a story, she constructs a living, breathing creation that absorbs your soul and challenges all your perceptions. There were secondary and even tertiary characters who had more depth and personality than some authors imbue in their main characters. Along with a complex plot, this ensures a rich tapestry of a story.
Whilst I enjoyed every single word I did feel that, at times, as though the pace slowed a little. Every scene was well written, but just a couple of times I felt as though they were not adding anything more to the story.
Overall, I massively enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it.
That hadn’t always been his name.
He was an amusement to me.
A weak soul who refused to fight back.
It was so easy to take advantage.
But then my father died, and I was stolen. The family moved on without me. Until I was penniless with no place to go.
I returned to the Rose Estate not knowing Callan was the head of it.
He’d honed his body and temper in the underground fighting ring. The scars only made him more beautiful.
Now I’m trapped by a seductively dark man who has nothing but vengeance running through his veins.
I’d always wanted him to fight back, but you know what they say:
Be careful what you wish for.
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“Me,” she laughed, “jealous of you?”
Her gaze dragged down me with disgust I hadn’t seen since we were kids. “You don’t have to worry about that, Callan, you don’t have a single thing that I want. You’re nothing more than a pathetic excuse for a man, a Rose in name and nothing-“
I was across the room and on her before she could finish the thought, a surprised shriek muffled behind the hand I clapped over her mouth while my boots ground the broken glass into the floor.
Lifting her with just my palm against her chin, I grinned when her bare feet kicked, her heels thudding against the wall.
Mouth to her ear, my words came out on a dark hiss.
“Keep talking, brat. I haven’t seen you like this since we were kids. What were you going to say to me? That I’m worthless? That you’re somehow better than me?”
The scruff of my jaw scratched her skin, my free hand sliding up the inside of her thigh.
“Please say those things,” I crooned, my voice so deep I knew it vibrated against her bones. “I’ve always wanted to take this pretty little body while you’re abusing me with your words.”
Releasing her chin, I caught her and spun her toward the wall, my body trapping hers, my hand flipping her skirt above her waist.
My mouth was to her ear again, my heart thumping in time with the angry beat of her breath.
“And what’s messed up is you like this. I should have done it a long time ago.”
Lily White is a romance writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series, Target This, Wishing Well, and Asylum. In addition to dark romance Lily writes contemporary romance, taboo romance, and psychological thrillers. Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes.