"Giant" by Abigail Barnette is the tale of Jack, the giant, and the beanstalk you have never heard before. Andras, our giant and hero, has lived virtually alone for nearly all of his life, outcast and feared due to village ignorance. Jacq, or rather, ahem, Princess Jacqueline of Chevudon, has lived in pomp and privilege but has been anything but the docile royal as she flees to finally do something, even if it is to simply become a hated tax collector. The story of how these two become lovers is merely enhanced by the relative innocence of them both, though this manifests in very different ways. What unfolds is a short but engrossing tale of the best kind of love story, complete with happy ending.
For myself, the best part of most romances, outside of the spicy bits, are the quirks, arguments and swallowed desires of the protagonists. Call it a tick of mine, if you will. Yet the fact that our princess could be down to earth enough to scold a giant on acting a baby, and that he would, in turn, do his darnedest to irritate her with his "Tax Nuisance" remarks, just to make her ruffle at him, struck me as downright funny, honest, and teenage crush-like all at once. At no point in the story did I think that the heroes didn't enjoy one another as they `frolicked' or simply talked, and I'd have loved for it to have gone even longer! There were only three detractions or questions for this tale. The first and biggest (pun, not intended) is that the reprieve was a bit too tidy, though this may be due to book length. Second, and really subjective, but I still can't imagine how she. um, nevermind. Let's just leave it as `pun was intended' here. And three,. well come-on Andras, I'd be a little pissed at her (or pretend to be) for her secret. It felt a bit like he was being a martyr or a saint, perhaps because he really had no one else. My heart just ached for him there, for good and bad. All in all, however, a great second installation in the Naughtily Ever After series. I'm definitely going back to read the tale of Julien in "The Glass Slipper". And, hopefully, we'll see the tale of Prince Philipe soon? So many beaus, so little [once upon a] time..
CATEGORY: Historical Erotic Romance, Erotic Fairytales.
ELEMENTS: Adult Situations, Strong Sexual Content and Mature Language.
HEAT LEVEL: Garnet
Andras Karlaff is a man outcast, due to his unusually large size and gruff demeanor. He’s never answered to anyone– but he’s never met anyone like Jacqueline, the first tax collector in the kingdom he hasn’t been able to send fleeing in terror. Her beauty ignites him, her stubbornness infuriates him. Her compassion might break his heart.
Her Royal Highness Princess Jacqueline knows she can’t go on pretending to be a commoner forever, but after an erotic night with Andras, she wishes she could. With a fiancé waiting for her at court and her father, the tyrannical king, running out of patience, she knows she must eventually tell Andras the truth. But can Andras love a princess as much as he loves a peasant?
Jacqueline knows that every day she remains missing is another day she will have to account for, while Andras dreads they day she leaves him to his solitude. Protecting their love requires sacrifice, but it could be the difference between life and death...