Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty - Anne Rice, A.N. Roquelaure My [now ex-]husband, knowing that I am a huge Anne Rice fan, purchased the three-book Sleeping Beauty trilogy by A.M. Roquelaure, which, as everyone who hasn't been living under a rock is aware, was actually written by Anne Rice. These three books are erotica, make no bones about it (no pun intended!). They are most definitely not for minors or the faint of heart.::The Basics ::Rice, as Roquelaure, retells the classic fable of Sleeping Beauty in The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. Instead of the traditional story where Prince Charming wakes Beauty with a kiss, the Prince actually wakes her with her sexual initiation. (I'm trying very hard to NOT editorialize here.) After Beauty is awakened, the Prince claims her as his own, and Beauty's parents are well aware of what the Prince is speaking of, for they have also spent time in his kingdom.Plot spoiler: the Prince is actually royalty in the strangest kingdom you could ever imagine. Princes and Princesses from other kingdoms are sent there as tributes, where they spend time as slaves, performing both menial as well as sexual tasks.Beauty is brought naked through the towns and villages on the way to the Prince's kingdom, put on display, and treated as less than an animal, made to kiss the Prince's boots, have sex with him, and crawl on all fours. She is spanked repeatedly, eats off a plate on the floor, and is to be obedient in all things.Once she arrives at the castle, she discovers that the entire court uses these slaves at their whim. Each Prince and Princess is displayed, sexually tormented, run like a fox in a hunt, spanked, and humiliated repeatedly. They are assigned grooms, which, like regular grooms, bathe the slaves, adorn them, and get them ready for their masters and mistresses to play with.While there, Beauty encounters other slaves, including Prince Alexei, and must learn to submit not only to her Prince, but also his mother the Queen, and other Lords and Ladies of the court.:: Why This Book Is So Horrid ::I'm no stranger to erotic novels, and I'm no prude. I'm also a huge Anne Rice fan so my utter contempt for this book actually shocks me. However, the character development is virtually non-existent. We meet Beauty only as she is awakened, and have no back story for her, so her reactions to how she is treated have no context. From the moment that she arrives at the Prince's castle, all we know of the characters is their behavior in this surreal S&M world, and as a result, care very little about what happens to them.Above all, the sex scenes are just plain boring. I've read better sex scenes in cheap romance novels. I'm sure that Rice thought that the spanking and humiliation was all very titillating (just a question... is anyone else getting the giggles every time I say "hard" or "titillating" during this review? I feel like Beavis & Butthead writing it), but in fact, it's boring and vile.I'll admit that BDSM erotica isn't normally my cup of tea, but I think it's much easier to read when it takes place between two consenting adults. The indentured slavery angle set my teeth on edge, and all I wanted to do was start slapping everyone, from Beauty's parents to the Prince to Beauty herself.:: Overall ::My husband has assured me that I will like the next two books in the trilogy much better, but after this clunker, I have my doubts. I'm not even sure it has value as bird cage liner. It feels like a short erotic story stretched out about 200 or so pages longer than it ever should have been.This review originally published at Epinions:

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