I'm going to tell you a story.
I was 17 when I moved to the UK. Fresh out of high school, I had never been away from my parents, my family or my home town. I left my sweetheart standing in the parking lot of his job, cried my way though an 8 hour flight and then started my life as an adult.
Part of that journey was discovering erotica.
I don't remember how I found an old copy of Exit to Eden, but it started me looking for more hot and steamy reads. I mean, why had no one told me that you didn't have to wade through all the simpering, mooning and virginity-losing in romance novels to get to the steam, am I right?
So, I am in a little library in London, out along the Red Line towards Epping and I found the Sleeping Beauty Series in the catalogue. But - though I searched the shelves high and low, I found no copy of the books anywhere.
I almost gave up. Then I gathered my courage and asked the Librarian. I will never forget the look on her face. "We keep those books in the back," she said as she looked this crass Canadian slowly over.
"Great. I'd like to borrow them please."
She hesitated a moment, but this woman was a professional, and who was she to stand in the way of a horny teenager reading dirty books?
So - I was introduced to the world of Sleeping Beauty - through the eyes of Anne Rice - writing as A . N. Roquleaure. Few books before or since made such an impact on my life. They are not great sources of wisdom - but they opened my eyes to a world of sex that I had never even considered before - let alone explored.
So, here is my review... (you might have already guessed what I think ;)
From best-selling author Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquleaure, in the traditional folktale of "Sleeping Beauty", the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a prince.
It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind's unconscious.
Now Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire.
Here the prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the 100 years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him…as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience.
I love this book. It is graphic, intense, emotional, exhaustively intimate and beautiful. There is this darkness that threads through every chapter, turning the pageantry and excess into something so bitter sweet, i want to scream. The characters are rich and deep - but in this way that only teaches of their lust, their love and how they interact. No backstory truly delves into the characters lives before the castle, and yet nothing is lost without that foundation. Their exploration, and exploitation of each other tells me all I need to know about the royals and their slaves. Pure erotic escapism at its best.
I do not want to under sell this point - this book is painfully hot! (Pun intended as it is hardcore S&M - painted with a beautifully descriptive brush and soaked in adoration and appreciation, even when the whips come out.) Brace yourself. You must be completely okay with spanking, flogging, humiliation, sex-slavery, layers of sub/Dom roles - that may not translate to the 'lifestyle' but there are no holds barred. Additionally, as Beauty was technically 15 when she was put under the spell, you have to be okay with the fact she is both underage - and over 100. Oh, fairytales, how I enjoy thee.
So there you have it :) One of the most pivotal books of my young life - yep, an S&M erotic fairytale left such a massive impression that I have never had a book collection since that did not include a copy (and sometimes two).
Regina Grimm is the author of erotic fairytales, written for the uninhibited readers 18+. Check out her books - Snow White and the Wicked Curse: Chapter 1,Snow White and the Vicious Curse: Chapter 2 and Snow White and the Seven Thieves: Chapter 3. Stay tuned! The final chapter, Snow White and the Poisoned Apple coming October, 2021!