"Awakened by a Kiss" by Lila DiPasqua

Pros: Fresh, steamy takes on classic fairy tales.
Cons: Resolution of one story’s conflict seemed too easy.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group


Three fairy tales are retold with steamy new twists… these aren’t your daughter’s fairy tales! “Sleeping Beauty”, “Little Red Riding Hood”, and “Puss In Boots” are delightfully retold, with some very sexy twists.


When I saw this book appear in my review pile, I had to read it right away. Having grown up with some of the fairy tales that Ms. DiPasqua has retold, I was curious to see how she had tweaked them, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. One of the first things that stood out to me was the fact that there weren’t any fantasy elements. Besides being fascinating, watching these stories unfold in the French court without any supernatural elements made me wonder who might have inspired some of these tales. I also enjoyed trying to figure out just how the fairytale would turn out to be interwoven with the plot of each story.

That realism also made it easier to enter into the world of the characters. It’s not often that I get to read books set in the French Court, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Historical purists may find things to quibble with, but I didn’t find that artistic license took away from my enjoyment; everything made sense in the context of the story. The one element that did give me a bit of trouble, however, was the ending of the second story. The conflict is repeatedly referred to, along with the possibility of disastrous consequences, and yet when the moment of reckoning arrives the consequences are waived away. The explanation is plausible, but for me there was a  letdown after all of the buildup throughout the story. It felt too easy.

With that one small complaint out of the way, I really did enjoy these stories. They’re certainly very steamy, as well as being fun to read. The sense of sensual anticipation is slowly built up throughout each story, making for some very sexy encounters since the reader will likely be just as eager as the protagonists for the inevitable to happen. I also found that having at least some of an idea where the story was headed made it even sexier, since I was anticipating events before the plot took me there.

What a steamy treat! The stories kept me sucked in, and I couldn’t get enough of the fairytale/historical hybrid. I’m certainly excited that her next book of stories has turned up in my stacks, and I’m definitely going to get to it as soon as I can. Readers who enjoy steamy historical romances will likely enjoy this book, as well as those who enjoy forays into the French Court. Even though one ending was a bit abrupt, I’m absolutely in love with the concept behind this book, and I hope the series continues!

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