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Waking the Princess [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Susan King
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 2004 Wheeler Romance
Christina Blackburn posed for a painting that ruined her life. Ever since, she vowed to suppress her passionate nature and keep her identity a secret. Now she has come face to face with the notorious painting-and its dangerously handsome owner.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

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 Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful and beautiful! Oct. 14 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely love Susan King's writing style, and I have loved each of her books so far--they are always exquisitely crafted, with a warmth at the heart of each story that is irresistible and unforgettable. In a genre of quick reads that just don't stick with the reader for very long, here is a writer who delivers quality and satisfaction for readers who love romance, yet often find themselves hungry for substance in a story.
WAKING THE PRINCESS is another beautifully rendered story by a truly gifted storyteller. THis is a book to savor for its wonderful characters, its unusual and compelling story--pay attention, and you will be immensely rewarded. If you are used to fast, lite reads, you may not "get it" but that may be your loss. This is a sensitively crafted story written with a lyrical tone. Aedan and Christina are compelling, sympathetic, very real characters, deeply challenged by their pasts and their emotions, and forced to deal with their own private fears in order to grab at the chance for true love at last. The whole story, the setting, the characters, the plot, are convincingly created and lavishly constructed. The reader is drawn into the story completely--the whole world went away while I read, and that is something that is difficult to achieve in any genre.
I am a high school English teacher, not that it makes me an expert, but it definitely gives me an appreciation for good, even great, writing, and for solid story structure. I love historical romance, but find myself often disappointed by current trends. Susan King is always the exception for me--and she is an exceptional writer, a very talented novelist. The beautiful, complex artistry in WAKING THE PRINCESS transcends much of the genre. It reads like a much bigger book, like a hardback novel.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A sweetly spiced fairy tale for adults. Sept. 5 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Years ago, Christina Blackburn posed for a scandalous painting for her half mad husband. Shamed by it's eroticism, she, now widowed, has retreated into the guise of a staid, plain museum worker. She is blown away when an assignment for the museum brings her face to face with her past. Sir Aedan, the paintings current owner needs her help in learning the truth of a legend. He has already begun to fall in love with her without even meeting her, from the painting. Inevitably, he begins to be drawn to the real woman, despite the curse that looms over them. They are drawn to one another to such an extent, that when Christina's brother arrives to paint a less sensual sequel to the first portrait, he casts them in the role of star crossed lovers to make the new painting come alive.
*** While your children watch the newly reissued Sleeping Beauty, you can delight in this sweetly spiced fairy tale for adults. Weaving the magic of Camelot with the enchantment of true love, Ms. King delivers the type of fantasy that her readers have come to relish over the years. It might be interesting to note that there is a very similiar true story about a Spanish princess, though I do not know if the author was aware of this. ***
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore
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5.0 out of 5 stars A charming winner Sept. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1858 Edinburgh, though museum antiquarian expert Christina Blackburn wants to acquire the Dundrennan collection, she prefers to avoid traveling there. Christina knows that the MacBrides who reside at Dundrennan own the scandalous painting that she posed for in her youth and hides from it ever since in garbs to bury her beauty. No one else with the skills is available so a reluctant Christina agrees to go, but hopes that her frumpy wardrobe hides the fact that she was the model.
Upon arriving at the home of Sir Aedan Arthur MacBride, Christina sees her notorious portrait on display. He feels that if he links her to the picture, her credibility will be destroyed. Aedan finds himself quite attracted to his guest and wonders if the legend of the painting could be true that he is the handsome man WAKING THE PRINCESS with love.
Susan King's Victorian romantic rendition of Sleeping Beauty is a charming winner that will provide readers with quite an entertaining time. The story line is clever and witty as the lead couple struggles to avoid what seems obvious to everyone else is their kismet, fulfilling the legend. If a reader can only choose only one historical over the summer, WAKING THE PRINCESS is a strong choice though released late ins season in time for the Labor Weekend.
Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just nothing there..... Oct. 2 2003
By Isobel
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I agree with the reviewer from Hightstown, NJ. The book just didn't have a plot that would keep the 2 main characters apart. Even the book jacket didn't really tell you what the story was about. I kept waiting for the story to start and I was well into the middle of the book by then.
Also, I'm so unimpressed with these trilogies that authors keep putting out. Aedan didn't impress me in Taming the Heiress and Dougal and Meg were just forced onto the pages of Waking the Princess. What's wrong with starting over with all new characters nowadays??? Everyone seems to be doing it and it's nothing but a distraction to me.
Sorry to say that Ms. King let me down a little this time, although her writing is still far superior than so many others out there.
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