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Friday, October 22, 2010

Awakening Beauty by Marie Treanor and Bonnie Dee

Awakening Beauty (Fairytale Fantasies Book Three) by Marie Treanor and Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (120 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

To fight this evil, they’ll have to make love. Lots of love.

Fairytale Fantasies, Book 3

Joel Thorne feels as if he’s been sleepwalking through his life. Wealth and success are his; now he’s at a crossroads. Politics beckons, a move that would be made easier with a loveless marriage of convenience to his ambitious friend and ally, Vee Gabor. During a long mountain hike to clear his head, he discovers a castle overgrown with thorns and, inside, a beautiful sleeping woman.

When Princess Aurora opens her eyes, Joel’s handsome face is imprinted on her heart—then she’s swamped with grief and loss. An evil fairy tried to take her pure blood to gain power, and though her other godmothers fended off the worst of the curse, she’s been asleep for a thousand years. Worse, she’s been erased from history and from the memories of all she loved. True love brought her back, but to what future?

Despite their instant, strong attraction, Joel’s practical nature wars with the possibility that magic is real. Yet with every touch, every kiss, the heat and emotion grow more real than anything he’s ever known. Their union also reawakens something else. Something darker. An evil fairy’s centuries-old vendetta that just won’t die.

This is the third voyage of Marie Treanor and Bonnie Dee into fairytale land. This slant on the Sleeping Beauty story is delightfully sexy and well written. These two have a unique slant on the tales we all grew up hearing as children, and making them work for us once again as adults.

When Joel Thorne takes the first vacation he’s had, he never expects it will change his life. A work-a-holic, he doesn’t realize his life is missing something until he uncovers a long abandoned, bramble-covered castle buried deep in the forest. Even more surprising is the beautiful young woman he finds sleeping in the tower, dressed in clothing of days long past. She claims to be Princess Aurora, and has been sleeping for a thousand years thanks to a curse by the evil Valborga, until Joel awakens her, not with a kiss, but with a shake.

Princess Aurora is delightful. She is, at first, confused and unsettled, as would be expected after sleeping a thousand years. She is intelligent enough to realize that she has to make the best of her situation, but she still shows flashes of the pampered and indulged princess she once was. I loved watching her learn to adapt to the situation, even while she mourns the loss of all that was dear and familiar to her.

Joel is the skeptic at first - certain that Aurora is either suffering from delusions or running an elaborate con game. I loved watching him slowly come to the realization that she was exactly what she said, and that there is more to life than work and duty. I enjoyed watching Joel relax and become the kind of man that was worthy of his princess. He begins as the hard nosed man who has forgotten what fun is, but grows to understand there is more to life than hard work, even for a self-made success like himself.

This is a wonderful story of growing love, seduction and love conquering evil. There were several surprises on they way to the happy ever after, and very unexpected surprises at that. When the evil tries to take everything away, I love that Joel and Aurora discover that only together can they stop the evil Valborga once and for all in order to gain their happy ever after. This one is for all of those young at heart readers who still believe in fairytales.

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