Vermilion Lies by L.D. Rose

by - October 08, 2019

The author sent me a free e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Vermilion Lies is the third novel in The Order of the Senary series, however it can be read as a standalone. It's an adult paranormal romance (contains smut) with an enemies to lovers romance.

When the author emailed me for a review request, I was so excited! I haven't read paranormal romance in so long but this is totally up my alley.

First off, some quick categories

Steamy hatefuck scale: 4/5

  • A vampire and a vampire hunter... what could go wrong? Dax hates Cindel from the moment he meets her. He refuses to trust her until she's proven that she's more human than he expected. Cindel only goes with him because she has no other choice. They don't trust each other, but they're attracted to each other, and thus begins our delicious conflict.
Secret softness scale: 4/5

  • Dax learns that Cindel has fled a horrible life and yet she's got a warm heart. Cindel learns that Dax is secretly a good man deep down inside. They bond over their hidden, shared humanity. And it's beautiful. 
I loved the other characters scale: 4/5

  • Extra points for Dax's hilarious friend Kayne. Their filthy, back and forth banter was so fun to read! I actually wish Kayne and Cindel had more scenes together, because he's so witty and likable.

For Fans of Broody Hero X and Ferocious Heroine Y:

Cindel reminds me of Leena from Kingdom of Exiles. She's also been abused by a lover and fled a tragic past, but she remains warm-hearted and strong. Strong characters come in all shapes and forms, and this is an underrated one: the woman who doesn't let her pain turn her into someone cruel.

Dax is tough and no nonsense, but he hides loyalty and depth. Actually, he reminds me of Mariana Zapata's male leads in Kulti or From Lukov, With Love. They start as assholes but their icy hearts soon melt and they'd do anything for the women they love.

On to the actual review

Here's the summary from Goodreads:

Wherever Dax Knight sets foot, hell is bound to freeze over. 
As a mercenary for the Order of the Senary, Dax departs for New England to assist his comrades in battling the vampire forces threatening to consume the Northeast. The last thing he expects to find is a gorgeous vampiress who surrenders to him entirely. Ensnared by her allure, their intense attraction ignites, and he discovers she isn’t what she seems. 
Cindel Konstantinov has been on the run since she escaped her sire’s possession, trading one life of abuse and imprisonment for another. As her hope for freedom wanes, she encounters one of the infamous Knights, and his dangerous appeal is undeniable. After a life-altering moment of mercy, they careen down a path of secrets, lies, and a forbidden passion neither of them can resist. But when her past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to face the consequences of their actions—and their desires. 
Dax and Cindel will need each other more than ever as their world spirals into chaos. But are they strong enough to survive the oncoming storm?

Cindel is a vampire on the run from her ex-lover. Dax is a vampire hunter. While their species may be mortal enemies, Cindel begs for a moment of mercy, because this hunter is still a better alternative than the life she's fled. Dax doesn't trust her, but they're drawn to each other, and what begins as sparks soon blossoms into a heated, steamy explosion of flames.

This novel has some of my favorite things combined into one:

  • Gorgeous, creative prose
  • Badass, descriptive fight scenes that aren't afraid to get violent
  • Some really fucked up characters
  • A steamy romance that propels character development and plot


"Cindel was a rose in my court of thorns. And I couldn't help but pluck her petals, every pretty frond, until I ruined her."
Cindel is, hands-down, my favorite part of this novel. She's been used and abused by all the men in her life. She's traumatized, scared, and broken. But she's still so likable and full of love. She doesn't start as your average stone-cold badass heroine, which makes sense given how tortured her backstory is. I was cheering her on from the beginning! I just wanted to protect her *sobs*

She might be a vampire, but I think she's the softest, kindest person in the entire novel. She's emotionally strong; she survived through so much tragedy, and yet she's still open to love. And the best part is seeing how she grows throughout the story: how she recovers from her trauma, finds a man that truly loves her, and learns how to fight back. Ugh, Cindel's arc is just <3

Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
Cindel and Dax have some instant attraction, which personally I am not fond of, but at least they don't act upon it until they have a deeper connection. There are some steamy smut scenes, but more than anything, I love how Dax teaches Cindel how to fight for herself. I admit that I hated Dax in the beginning; he can be such an ass. (Then again, most of my favorite characters are unlikable lol!) But the moment he warms up to her, he protects her with all he's got.
"Hold nothing back. Let the predator out and prey."


Have I mentioned how much I love L.D. Rose's writing? I got some Sarah J Maas vibes from this, although maybe I'm just biased as a fan hahaha. Her prose is just so vivid and unique. And she doesn't shy away from the darkness and violence, which I adore. I've already quoted some lines but here's another one I highlighted:

Dax pivoted toward the entrance into the main saloon, bloody knife sheathed with a Glock in each hand, his mind fully entrenched in the numbing white static of murder.

Like, wow. She always has these delightful turns of phrase that blow me away.


Honestly, I only have two complaints and they are more about my personal taste rather than the quality of the book. First, I felt like some action scenes were dragging and I ended up skimming after the novelty wore off. I love descriptive action, but I prefer them short and straight to the point.

Second, I could predict the ending and the plot, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. The romance made up for it, and I'm satisfied by Cindel and Dax's character arcs.

TL;DR 4/5 stars. Read this if you want an enemies to lovers paranormal romance with bloody action scenes, steamy romance, and an empowering character arc.

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