Briar Rose

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Briar Rose

It was the story's blurb that caught me the most.  It hinted at the fact that the novella would play fast and loose with a fairy tale (in this case Sleeping Beauty) while also being entertaining and steamy.  I wasn't let down one jot.  Who Hawk turned out to be is easily predicted (and actually revealed quite early on in the story itself), but really the true enjoyment was watching Hawk and Rose dance around the inevitable. 

Some of the story was oddly touching, such as when Maleficent is regarding the 'gifts' the other witches are bestowing upon Aurora and how cruel they are being, or later when Aurora is desperately trying to understand what was going on.  The intimate scenes between Aurora (as Rose) and Hawk start out as simple sex me up baby scenes, but when they're feelings quickly become engaged everything changes.  A sense of bitter urgency flows through Aurora's veins as she tries to hold on to Hawk against pretty much the entire world's disapproval and expectations. 

Some of the threads seemed abrupt--such as when her father is recalling his impetuous brother's similar behavior or the suddenly very cruel treatment Aurora receives at home.  While the former was definitely a shot out of nowhere, the latter was hinted at, but not to the degree it suddenly became. 

Dubois' writing was solid and filled with wit, humor and cheekiness.  A warning though--there is crude language used and mild hinting at a more than friendly relationship between two of the female characters.

Book Blurb for Briar Rose

There once was a beautiful princess afflicted with a terrible curse. There once was a handsome prince, destined to break the curse.
Hey wait, this sounds familiar..
When the beautiful Princess Aurora was a baby, her parents brought the whole kingdom together to celebrate. Three gracious fairies attended, giving her wonderful gifts, as did the evil Maleficent.
No seriously, I’ve heard this story.
But the fairy godmothers didn’t care about the princess; all they wanted was to impress the king. The final gift they granted was crippling obedience. Maleficent twisted their gift, changing it so that if Aurora pricked herself on a briar rose the obedience curse would be lifted.
Oh. Wait, what? That’s not how this goes.
Aurora lived the first 11 years of her life as the perfect obedient princess until one day the teenage Prince Phillip gave her a mangy briar rose.
Freed from her obedience Aurora ran wild, sneaking into the woods and going the name Rose. On day she met a very handsome hunter, named Hawk, who has a secret of his own. They fall in to bed, and then in love, but keep their secrets, and when Aurora returns to her father’s castle to tell him about Hawk and to renounce her royal status, things go terribly wrong.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2010 4.50