Another reworked fairy tale from Madeiros (The Bride and the Beast, 2000)—this time, Sleeping Beauty as a Regency romance. We begin with the unhappy demise of Lady Eleanor of Devonbrooke Hall. A kindly woman with a good heart, Lady Eleanor had allowed Laura Fairleigh, the rector’s daughter, to live in Arden Manor after her father died. Now that Lady Eleanor is dead, however, Laura and her siblings will have to move—unless Laura is married by her 21st birthday (which is three weeks away). Out for a walk, Laura discovers a man lying unconscious on the ground, having been thrown from his horse. She brings him home and nurses him back to health, but he has lost all memory of who he is. Since he’s beautiful and courteous, Laura decides to solve her problem by telling him that he’s her betrothed. He doesn’t object. But, as the wedding night approaches, Laura discovers the awful truth: The man of her dreams is the Lady Eleanor’s son, the “mad” Duke of Devonbrooke! Can love conquer all? Can a leopard change his spots? Can Laura find a solution in time?
Plenty of fun for the Harlequin crowd.