Review: Awakened by a Kiss by Lila DiPasqua

Title: Awakened by a Kiss
Author: Lila DiPasqua
Publish Date: Aug 3, 2010
by Berkley Trade
Pages: 337, paperback
Reason for reading: ARC sent by author :)

Awakened by A Kiss is a collection of three very decadent and incredibly steamy stories based loosely on three very popular fairy tales. In these tales, three couples find love and passion in the luxurious time of Versailles during the reign of the King Louis XIV.

Sleeping Beau (Story # 1)
Adrien d'Aspe, Marquis of Beaulain, is one of the bastard sons of King Louis XIV. Five years ago, he was seduced by a mystery woman whose memory of has since haunted him. While attending a garden party, his sister Charlotte pleads with him to seduce the woman that is now affianced to her lover. Adrien is reluctant to get involved in his sister's affairs - until he realizes that the other woman is actually his mystery lover. He approaches Catherine only to have her deny any knowledge of him. His mission now is to get her to admit who she is and seduce her...but for his own sake this time.

Adrien was incredibly sexy and he knows that most women are only too happy to throw themselves at his feet. He is happy to oblige them; that is until he finds the one woman that he wants more than just sex from. Catherine wanted Adrien as badly as he wanted her, but she "played by her own rules" and I loved that about her.

The story was a great start to this promising trilogy. There was no shortage of fun & flirty characters, brow-wiping intimacy, and hero-to-the-rescue drama. The last scene involving Adrien's devious sister is a bit over the top, but it did give the story that climatic ending it needed.

Little Red Writing (Story # 2)
Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambell, has one goal and that is to become Captain of the King's Guard. In order for him to accomplish that, he must do one thing: he must locate and arrest Gilbert Leduc, author of a series of illegal publishing's that paint the male French aristocracy in an unfavorable light. Nicolas tracks down the notorious author to the home of his estranged grandmother. He arranges to have his grandmother removed from the property by a diversion. He then proceeds to befriend the three sisters that reside at the estate under the pretense that he is there to learn more about the grandmother that he has never known. All is going according to plan, until he realizes that he's fallen in love with the woman he has to arrest.

Anne feels that the identity of Gilbert Leduc is well-protected and for good reason. During a time where women are dominated by the men in their lives, Gilbert's work provides them an outlet to express their hurt and discontent at their treatment. However, her wariness of Nicolas stems not from her fear for "Gilbert" but for her weakness for Nicolas. Never having known passion, she knows that Nicolas can change that for what's the harm in taking a lover?

This was definitely the most complex of the three stories. Nicolas and Anne's story takes you on a ride chock full of passion, secrets and deceit. At the onset of the story, Nicolas is arrogant and he is solely focused on his mission. It was great to watch him unravel at the hands of the lovely Anne. His character really grew over the course of the story and his turmoil over having to arrest Anne was very endearing. Anne really was a lovely character. I loved her devotion to her family and to her cause.

Bewitching in Boots (Story # 3)
Elisabeth de Roussel, the favored daughter of the King, has loved Tristan de Tiersonnier from afar for as long as she can remember. After being injured while doing his duty, Tristan is callously dismissed from court. Elisabeth knows that he has been wronged and she intends to see things to right. Of course, those are not her only intentions. Tired of loving him from a distance, she wants to seduce him and have him all to herself. Before her father can marry her off, she visits Tristan at his chateau requesting that he give her fencing lessons.

Tristan is none too pleased about seeing the spoiled Elisabeth and her royal entourage. His dismissal has embittered him and she is the last thing in the world he needs. However, his thoughts take another turn when she greets him dressed in breeches and skin hugging boots. He decides that he needs to scare her off for both their sakes. He "threatens" to show her exactly rough and gruff he is. His mistake was threatening her with silken scarves and total domination.

Our final story was the sexiest and most erotic of the three giving this trilogy one heck of a finale. Tristan was the most damaged of the heroes and it made it all the more gratifying to watch him "heal" over the course of his story. As difficult and prideful as he was, he also expressed a sound judgment that redeemed him in my eyes.

As my followers and review readers, you know how partial I am to strong female leads. {It must be the feminist in me, haha.} Elisabeth was all that and more. Although she was rightfully nervous to leaving herself vulnerable to Tristan, she embraced it and showed him that she was just as strong and stubborn as he. She is what he didn't know he needed.

Bottom Line
The fairy tales that inspired these stories aren't obvious to the reader, which I appreciate. I think that Lila did a superb job of creating new and original stories that delicately hint at the original fairy tales. The only thing that I had a little difficulty with was the transition in point of view. I've gotten accustomed to reading novels in which the narrative (hero and heroine's) is distinctly separated. In ABAK, I had to flip back a few times to see who's head I was in.

Awakened by A Kiss is a collection of wickedly sensual and well-written stories that offer interesting & diverse characters and unique plots that are sure to get your motor running. This is a wonderful start for a promising young author and I am definitely looking forward to the next round of bedtime stories *ahem* fairy tales!

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
HEAT LEVEL: 5 - Scorching

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! Sounds like a good book. The cover art is good too! :)


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