From Publishers Weekly
An ancient Scottish legend about a beautiful maiden asleep in a rose bower and the laird of Dundrennan, for whom true love can have tragic consequences, plays out in the second installment of King's Victorian-era trilogy (following Taming the Heiress). When Sir Aedan MacBride of Dundrennan discovers historic ruins on his land, he's forced to notify the National Museum. The museum sends prim, bespectacled antiquarian Christina Blackburn, the model from Sir Aedan's most treasured painting. Since the revealing portrait reminds Christina of unhappy times with her late husband, she buries herself in her quest to unearth the ruins, which may be remnants of an early Pictish civilization. The past has made Christina close her heart to love, and the legend has made Aedan leery of it, but still the two are drawn to each other. Before they can find happiness together, however, they must circumvent the briar legend and its supposed curse and outwit a stock villain. This romance starts more slowly than King's medieval-era novels, but her fluid prose and engaging central characters weave a subtle spell. Well-researched details about Victorian archaeology and a sensational, swashbuckling climax make this Sleeping Beauty story a treat for King's fans.
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After her late husband created a risque portrait of her as the famous sleeping princess of Dundrennan, Christina Blackburn has lived with scandal and notoriety. The painting hangs in the bedroom of Sir Aedan Arthur MacBride, who has become obsessed with its stunning subject. When Aedan is commissioned by Queen Victoria to build a highway, workers find an ancient ruin in its path. The National Museum sends its antiquarian to investigate, and she is none other than Christina. In the meantime, an evil and greedy archaeologist is determined to take the credit for the find (as well as any gold that might be buried there) and will stop at nothing to reach his goal. Aedan falls in love with Christina, his beloved painting's sleeping beauty come to life, but an old family curse prevents him from asking her to marry him. King combines Celtic myths, Arthurian legends, and the tale of Sleeping Beauty to create a delicious romantic blend in the second book in her Victorian Scotland trilogy (Taming the Heiress
[BKL Jl 03]), proving herself a masterful storyteller. Shelley MosleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved