Romance, Danger, and Fangs

The fate of France itself is at stake if these sworn enemies cannot change their ways—and their hearts.

Daphne de Duras is a proper French duchess by day and fledgling assassin by night. Her latest mission is to dispatch justice and protect the French aristocracy by executing Étienne de Noailles, disgraced former noble, legendary rake, and vampire emissary to the court of King Louis XV.

But Étienne’s alleged crime—the gruesome murder of Madame de Pompadour, the King’s mistress and Daphne’s friend—doesn’t quite fit the dashing vampire’s nature. With his immortal days suddenly numbered, Étienne needs to convince his would-be executioner not only of his innocence, but that they should hunt the real killer together—a challenge almost as difficult as convincing himself that he isn’t falling for her.

Daphne reluctantly agrees to a temporary partnership when Étienne persuades her that something more sinister is afoot. He can, after all, help her find answers in places she’s unable to go alone. And despite her deep loathing for any and all vampires, she can’t help but start thinking of a few other places she’d like to go with him.

Publisher:‎ City Owl Press: Mystic Owl (October 14, 2021)
Publication date: ‎October 14, 2021
Language: English
Print length:‎ 263 pages
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Love the Les Dames Dangereuses series and want to stay up to date on Lily Riley’s next release? Follow Lily on Amazon here: or check out her website: from Publisher’s Weekly:

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.

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Just a little farther…almost there…got it! I seized the book from the top shelf in triumph, then promptly stumbled off the library ladder when a shrill voice startled me.

“Mon dieu, Daphne, what the hell are you doing?” Charlotte yelled from the doorway.
I righted myself and dropped the book to the floor, then stepped down from my perch.
“Nothing! Well, reading,” I replied, feeling like a child caught misbehaving. 

Charlotte strode into the library in a gown of vibrant chartreuse that glowed in the dim light of the rainy afternoon. She narrowed her eyes in suspicion at the pile of books I’d collected.
“Daphne, none of these appear to be salacious novels. In fact, these are all religious texts and— What’s this? Malleus Maleficarum! Have you taken up an interest in the occult?” she said with a raised brow.

“No! Of course not.” I rubbed at my temples, trying to ward off the ache building in my head.

Charlotte folded her arms in front of her and waited expectantly.

“Well, perhaps a bit,” I hedged. 

She gasped, her eyes sparking with excitement, and clapped her hands together. “Fantastic! I’ve always wanted to learn how to cast a spell. What have you learned so far?” 

I sighed as she fluffed her skirts out around her and sat upon the floor. She picked up one of the books and flipped through it. I collapsed to the floor beside her and closed my eyes. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a decent night’s sleep, and I felt stretched and threadbare.

“Can we find a spell that will help my husband become a better lover? You know, help him keep it up longer.” She tossed the first book aside and picked up the second one. “Or perhaps there’s a spell that will help him be able to find my—”

“Charlotte, please,” I begged. “I am not in the mood to hear of Philippe’s failings in bed.”
She set the book aside and studied me. “Darling, what’s wrong? You look positively dreadful. Shall I call for some tea?”

I sat up on my elbows and grinned at her. “Fancy a proper fucking drink?” 

She leaned over, her expression grave, and felt my forehead. “Well, you don’t feel feverish. I can only deduce that you’ve well and truly cracked, and to that I say, it’s about fucking time. What shall we drink, ma chère amie? Brandy? Cognac? Whisky?”

“Oh, hell. Let’s go drink some of my bastard husband’s good wine.” I grabbed the stack of books, and we made our way downstairs through the kitchens to the wine cellar. I hadn’t had the bed removed yet, and Charlotte’s eyes grew wide at the sight.

“Daphne, you know I’m one for a fair tipple most of the time, but if you’re sleeping in your wine cellar, it occurs to me that you may have a drinking problem.” She sat on the bed and leaned against the pillows. “Although this is damned comfortable.”


Lily Riley is a romance novelist currently focused on historical paranormal books that feature a little bit of cheek and a lot of steam. 

Her debut novel, The Assassin and the Libertine, publishing under the Mystic Owl imprint of City Owl Press, comes out October 14, 2021.

When Lily isn’t writing about dreamy supernatural beings in 18th century France, she enjoys sipping champagne, eating cake, and dancing naked by the light of the full moon.

Find more about her at her website: or on social media.
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Buy Links:The Assassin and the Libertine on Amazon:
The Assassin and the Libertine on Goodreads:

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