Sleeping Beauty in Regency London?
What inspired the first book? It is a given that I love fairy tales, but I have always been particularly fascinated by Sleeping Beauty.
What woman isn’t touched by the romantic concept of a kiss from her true love bringing her back to life? And to have it happen in Jane Austen’s Regency London was a story I couldn’t resist telling.
The trick with re-making a classic love story, however, is to instill a fresh perspective on an age-old tale. So, in A Devilish Slumber, I aimed for a unique take on what first startles awake this beauty, and what perils she will face once she is completely present in her sinister new world.
As for the resident villain, Maleficent, she goes by a different name. But then, evil often wears many different faces. And it certainly does in this shape shifter book, in which people can, literally, magically, change how they appear.
The hero in A Devilish Slumber is a spy and so has a fine hand at the art of lying himself. But Sir Phillip Jones’s most difficult task won’t be simply winning the heroine’s heart, which will prove difficult enough. No, he must also uncover who she really is, in this switched identity story that will keep him on his toes to the very last page.
Excerpt from A Devilish Slumber
The hurt in her eyes struck him like a blow, and he desperately sought his fast-retreating rage. “Have you given me reason to trust you, Rose? You would not confide in me about that note.”
“Oh, that note again!”
“You made an assignation. You could have been killed.”
“Why should I confide in you? It has been two years, eleven months and ten days since you abandoned me.” She clamped her mouth shut as if afraid she had said too much.
Indeed she had. As swiftly as his fury had crowded in, now joy took possession of his soul. She had counted the days he had been away. That knowledge offered so many delicious prizes, but her swollen eyes and flushed cheeks drew his gaze and concern claimed victory.
She had been crying.
He walked closer and caressed her hot cheek. “I have missed you, too.”
She slapped his hands away. “I did not lie about my affections, sir. Not everyone uses people and then discards them. That set of behavior is entirely yours.”
He tipped her face up, wanting to kiss her, to tell her that he loved her, and had never stopped. “Rose . . .”
Her lips thinned, suggesting any well-thought-out words would fall on deaf ears.
She had closed herself off to his explanations and excuses. Yet, that counting of days suggested his betrayal of her trust had not completely destroyed her love. As did her earlier jealousy of Miss Warwick. So, what he had not had the wherewithal to do three years ago on their parting, tonight he showed no hesitation.
He drew her to him. Her startled green eyes grew wide and her mouth opened, no doubt to argue with him. He stole that breath in a kiss. To his shock, at his gentlest persuasion, she invited him closer. Her lips tasted of syrup and parted like a cloud until his impromptu kiss became wildly intimate plunder.
He tugged her tighter, his hands exploring the luscious woman she had become. At their every touch point, his skin electrified while his pulse hammered in delight and sent his emotions spinning.
Her eyes shut tight, Rose moaned in approval and shuddered within his hold.
The soft knock might as well have been the thunder of Thor’s hammer.
Rose whirled away, presenting her exquisite back while she readjusted her gown that looked half undone with ribbons hanging loose. Had he done that?
About Shereen Vedam
Once upon a time, Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She’s a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily-ever-after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.
Pick up the rest of Shereen Vedam’s titles from ImaJinn Books!
The Rue Alliance – Books Two and Three
A Beastly Scandal