It was over too soon.
Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite fairy tales. (Not THE favorite; that spot goes to Beauty and the Beast.) But when I saw this spicy fae retelling (and it’s gorgeous cover) by Rebecca F Kenney, I couldn’t resist picking it up. This was my first Kenney novel.
And, I’ll admit, I had an ulterior motive in wanting to read it: I wanted to see how another author writes spicy content, because I have spice in my own work but little basis for comparison.
The spice in this book sure is spicy, and quite explicit too. Even though it explores areas of intimacy that I’m not into, I still felt the spice was well done, though perhaps a bit too crude in one or two places.
Malec and Aura’s sexual relationship had tension but things developed really, really quickly. I think that’s where the book disappointed me the most: the pace was quite break-neck and I would have liked to have seen more buildup first. I also would have liked to have seen the original cursing of Aura be played out in the text (at the beginning) instead of simply being related as a story told by Malec later. It would have been an interesting contrast to meet his character in that moment and, perhaps, have some kind of preconception of him, before meeting him again later and seeing him through Aura’s eyes.
In the same vein, I felt like there is much more to explore in this world than what the book presents. I would have liked the opportunity to see more of Caennith and Daenalla rather than just the small slice we get while Aura is traveling with Malec.
Malec was a very well done character. I liked his vulnerability and how menacing he could be at the same time.
I didn’t feel as connected to Aura. I’m not sure why, but maybe it has something to do with how feral she acted from time to time, such as when she actually bites Malec’s throat. Those kinds of choices are hard to relate to.
But, overall, this was an enjoyable read and I was sad when it was over. This is a book I will probably read again one day.