Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.

Beauty's Punishment (Sleeping Beauty Series #2)

Beauty's Punishment - A.N. Roquelaure, Anne Rice As you can probably already glean from my review of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, also by Anne Rice writing as A.M. Roquelaure, I wasn't impressed with this trilogy at the outset. A big fan of Anne Rice and no stranger to erotica, I found the book to be stuck on a theme that was trite and boring. However, never one to not read anything bound between two covers if stuck in front of me, I gamely plodded on to Beauty's Punishment, the second in this erotic triad.:: The Plot ::In the first book, the story of Sleeping Beauty is retold by Rice/Roquelaure in a new way; rather than being claimed by the kiss we learned in the familiar fairy tale, Beauty is claimed by the Prince with a "sexual initiation" (really a rape... she's unconscious, right?). The Prince then claims her from her parents as a Tribute to his kingdom, where Princes and Princesses of various kingdoms are sent to perform for a term of indentured service as sex slaves.When we left Beauty at the end of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, she had inexplicably disobeyed her Master, landing her in a cart of naked sex slaves off to be auctioned in the nearby village for a summer of service to the villagers, which is said to be the worst punishment imaginable for the palace slaves. She does this to be near a slave, Prince Tristan, who is already being sent to the village.Of course, even bound, Beauty and Tristan find a way to consummate their two seconds of desire from afar, and so begins the next part of Beauty's story. Beauty and Tristan are sold into service in the town; Beauty ends up with the Captain of the Queen's Guard, and Tristan with the Queen's Chronicler. Tristan is immediately put to work as a "pony;" bear with this graphic description, but he is fitted with a "tail" (and you can guess how that's inserted), bit, harness, and reins. Beauty is a combination waitress, mistress, and oh, did I mention that she gets to service the entirety of the Queen's Guard?Tristan, of course, falls in love with his Master, and convinces him to find out about how Beauty is doing. Spoiler (if you think there is actually a plot here): Tristan's Master buys Beauty for a night so that the two can get together, and they are kidnapped and allowed by the Queen to be taken to the Sultan from whom she learned the whole "slave" method.:: My Experience ::I really am trying to give each of these books a chance to stand on its own merits, but I would be lying if I said I really didn't expect much after the first volume. Beauty's Punishment tries so hard to be scintillating but ends up just being redundant. Apparently, after the first book, Rice/Roquelaure ran out of shocking things for Beauty to do, so she adds in the character of Tristan.I honestly have to wonder who Rice was writing these novels for, because the majority of the sex acts in the first half of the book involve no women at all.Beauty is supposed to be the focus of this trilogy, and yet, aside from just a few brief scenes, this book seems devoted to Tristan, his humiliations, and his burgeoning love for his Master.I don't understand why Rice thinks the only plot erotica needs is slightly more than your average porn flick, but the inconsistencies in the plot are so distracting that the sex scenes are mere blips. For instance, we are told that the slaves are only allowed to the villagers for the summer, and later they can be purchased for any length of time, some never to return. Everything from the punishments in the town square to the eventual "slave raid" seem like last minute contrivances because Rice decides she wants the plot to go in a different direction.Worse, the sexual scenes just aren't very memorable. A commenter in my review of the first book in the trilogy mentioned that the books are somewhat dated at this point, and that could be part of it; either that or I've read too much erotica and this is just boring and trying too hard.At any rate, I will soldier on through the third novel but at this point, I fully expect to be disappointed.Review originally published at Epinions:

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