REVIEW: Beauty’s Punishment (Sleeping Beauty #2) by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)

Rating: N/A, Genre: Erotica, Pages: 256, Level: Intermediate

Book Description from Barnes & Noble:

“This sequel to The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, the first of Anne Rice’s (writing as A.N. Roquelaure) elegantly written volumes of erotica, continues her explicit, teasing exploration of the psychology of human desire. Now Beauty, having indulged in a secret and forbidden infatuation with the rebellious slave Prince Tristan, is sent away from the Satyricon-like world of the Castle. Sold at auction, she will soon experience the tantalizing punishments of “the village,” as her education in love, cruelty, dominance, submission, and tenderness is turned over to the brazenly handsome Captain of the Guard. And once again Rice’s fabulous tale of pleasure and pain dares to explore the most primal and well-hidden desires of the human heart. Preceding the visceral eroticism of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey and even more haunting than her own novel Belinda, this second installment is not to be missed.”

WARNING: THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR CHILDREN OR EVEN YOUNG ADULTS. IF YOU ARE 18 OR YOUNGER, STOP READING THIS REVIEW RIGHT NOW!

Sleeping Beauty has been a very naughty dog… I mean girl. She is sent to the village for the summer as punishment, auctioned off and becomes a villager’s slave who may do with her as he or she pleases as long as remaining within the same rules as the court. After her punishment, Beauty will return to court.

This is the second in the A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty erotica series. Again, I want to mention right away that while many compare this series to the Fifty Shades series, it absolutely is not comparable. The slave in Fifty Shades is there voluntarily and has a code word if things get to intense. Beauty is not there voluntarily and there are no protestations. It is more a soft core version of the Marquis de Sade’s works, if such a thing exists.

If you thought things could not get worse than The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, you would be wrong. If you thought that Anne Rice could not possibly think of more twisted, sexual tortures, you would be wrong. If you thought that the second book would surely bring some sort of redemption in the development of a love story, you would be wrong yet again. Maybe you should stop hoping.

The situations in this book are so bad that I won’t even give hints. I read through the first book and the first half of this book thinking how tolerant and level headed I was because I could read through some of the scenes without batting an eyelash. Then I got to one scene and thought, “Oh no she is not going to go there.” Then she did and I thought, “Ew.” Look, if you are uncomfortable seeing a couple kiss in public or watching sex scenes in blockbuster movies, do yourself a favor and skip this series. I’m not kidding. I can’t stress the point enough without giving actual details and since I cannot block children from my reviews on Goodreads, I am absolutely not going to do that.

There is a little more background in Beauty’s Punishment and as mentioned in my review of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, there is a story, which is not all that bad. The writing is good, although the spanking is a bit repetitive; it must be Rice’s fetish. And there are worthy discussion topics if you can get past the rape, torture, degradation and so much more. In fact, in the newly released books, there is a preface written by Anne Rice in 2012 about why she wrote the books, why she wrote them under a pen name and what she thinks it is about the series that makes them appealing to so many.

I will finish this series, mostly because I want to see how it ends. Does Beauty fall in love with one of her masters? Does she fall in love with one of the other slaves? Does she come to her senses and go all Spartacus on everyone? What happens when she returns to court? Does she become a dominatrix as other former slaves did? The questions are endless. Like I said, there is a story and it is good enough to make me want to come back for answers.

Reviewed by Christina

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