Years after Roquelaure (Beauty’s Release, 1999, etc.) first published the Sleeping Beauty trilogy, placing the popular fairy tale within an adult, erotic world, she returns to continue the saga.
Imagine what happens after Sleeping Beauty and her prince live happily ever after: they inherit the kingdom of Bellavalten, long known for its pleasure slaves. The new rulers decide to make sexual servitude completely voluntary, and the kingdom becomes a magnet for beautiful, nubile men and women from near and far. Reuniting characters from the original trilogy, the bare-bones plot mainly exists to scaffold voluptuous imagery and graphic scenes of mostly BDSM sex. Roquelaure pulls no punches (or holds back no spankings); anatomy, accouterments, and arousal are all examined in minute detail, though there is a sort of gilded veil draped across even the most violent of sexual punishments. The fairy-tale setting—complete with exhaustive descriptions of decoration and clothing—provides an apt stage, and the magical world clearly marks the erotic action as fantasy. The novel is an equal-opportunity pleaser; men and women get it on with other men and women in pretty much every imaginable combination, and everyone’s pleasure counts, whether dominant or submissive, noble or slave. Roquelaure is the not-so-secret pseudonym for Anne Rice, mistress of the contemporary erotic vampire novel, so fans looking for a little more, um, action will enjoy this new setting.
Hard-core? Yes. Overwritten? For sure. Guilty pleasure? Absolutely.