Review & Giveaway: Beauty’s Kingdom by Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure

Posted April 22, 2015 by RobbieLea in Book Reviews, Giveaways / 11 Comments

Review & Giveaway: Beauty’s Kingdom by Anne Rice writing as A. N. RoquelaureBeauty's Kingdom by Anne Rice
Series: Sleeping Beauty #4
Published by Viking on April 21, 2015
Genres: BDSM, Erotica, Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
ISBN: 0525427996

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Before E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day's Bared to You, there was Anne Rice’s New York Times bestseller The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.  Discover Beauty’s Kingdom, the fourth novel in the bestselling Sleeping Beauty series.

In 1983, Rice first casts her sensual gaze upon the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty under the pen name of A.N. Roquelaure. Her re-telling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire.

Provocative and stirring, BEAUTY’S KINGDOM is an incomparable study of erotica. Rice makes the forbidden side of passion a doorway into the hidden regions of the psyche and the heart.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

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Once upon a time in the kingdom of Bellavalten, the inhabitants of this home of the naked pleasure slaves find themselves without a queen.  Even though Queen Eleanor was only recently lost at sea, her kingdom and her subjects have been neglected for years by a ruler who understands reform is needed but who has grown too tired to manage anything. With that basic premise, Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure, sets the stage for the return of Queen Beauty and her King Laurent to rule the kingdom where they once served as slaves. Beauty vows to Laurent “I will be the only queen of your heart, and you the king of mine, but the pleasures of the kingdom will be enjoyed by both of us.” Beauty and Laurent have recently retired as successful rulers of their own kingdom, so in addition to their devotion to each other, they bring their leadership experience and sweeping reforms to a way of life that has become stale.  The decree is that no longer will slaves, frequently serving involuntarily, be strictly from the upper classes. They will instead be chosen from applicants who may come from any class as long as they are of an age to serve of their own free will.

Beauty’s Kingdom may be a fairy tale, but please don’t read it to your children!  The prose is lushly descriptive and detailed as one would expect from Anne Rice, but it is also graphically erotic. Because the pleasure slaves are Bellavalten’s most precious commodity, they are loved and treated very well, but they are also trained and disciplined in what may seem to be a harsh manner.  It is a resounding tribute to the author when I say the language she uses to describe the activities of the naked pleasure slaves and their masters succeeds in lending an air of childlike innocence to some very explicit and eye popping acts. There is a bit of intrigue and angst, some very entertaining plot twists and, of course, the continuing love story between Beauty and Laurent! I think readers will love the grown-ups that Beauty and Laurent have become as they struggle with the same issues other leaders face when they try to implement sweeping social reform. Remarkably many of the issues are the ones that plague us in our very real world.

So . . . here are some take away points: first, just because a kingdom exists solely for pleasure doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement; second, lead by example; third, old dogs can learn new tricks; fourth, always do your job well . . . you never know when you may be called upon to be a Queen; fifth, even a Queen needs an occasional break. And finally — you can have it both ways.

I recommend Beauty’s Kingdom to lovers of erotica, lovers of Anne Rice and just lovers in general.  It will probably give you some ideas! If you’ve read the first three books, by all means read this one.  If you haven’t, you can certainly read it as a standalone. There is enough past detail  included to make the story meaningful.

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About Anne Rice

Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.

She uses the pseudonym Anne Rampling for adult-themed fiction (i.e., erotica) and A.N. Roquelaure for fiction featuring sexually explicit sado-masochism.

11 responses to “Review & Giveaway: Beauty’s Kingdom by Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure

  1. Yvette

    Love this series! It’s been a while since I read them, though… Probably need to make time for a re-read.

  2. Natalie

    I recently got the first book in this series!! I definitely intend on getting the rest of the series as soon as possible!! It would be great to win this 🙂

  3. Kate I.

    Though I’ve been a fan of Anne Rice (Mayfair Witches, Vampire Chronicles), I never picked up any of her work written under the A.N. Roquelaure nom de plume. Would love to check out this series now that I’m a grown woman!

  4. Carolsue

    I just discovered (here) this series and it sounds WONDERFUL! I MUST read it. Excellent review, too!

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