Okay, so I got this book MONTHS ago via my FAV chick Alexa @ Pages of Forbidden Love... But never really got around to reading it! With the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, Plume (an imprint of Penguin Publishers... I believe) are republishing with new covers and pushing Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty BDSM erotica series HARD. ;) Anyway, then I happened across it on NetGalley and was all sorts of intrigued - all over again!Now I must say that I wasn't a huge fan of Anne Rice's whiny vamp in Interview with a Vampire... But The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is waving hot, filthy sex and my favorite fairy tale around and I tell you what- you've got yourself one intrigued Brunette. Right?So this is what happened... A long, long time ago, in a land far away...The Prince never truly believed all the stories told of the Sleeping Princess locked in a tower, surrounded by her ever slumbering kingdom... Even as he entered the palace and became witness to the bones of the many princes come before him to rescue the Princess from this peril, he was still quite unsure.He cuts through the deadly vines,"It was not his desire to die so much as conquer."Then as light shone upon the many people of the court... Slumbering- as all the old tales had claimed, that he finally believed. (do you guys like my fairy-tale "voice"? Shhhyea you do!)He finds her in the the "topmost bed chamber" and promptly... awakens her.And at this point... I'm a little iffy about The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, if you know what I mean. I'm all about a steamy hot sex scene... But where's the build up? Hmmm... Moving on- Then no sooner than Beauty is awakened, she's forced into very humiliating situations as the prince keeps her naked as he parades her father in and announces that Beauty is his and she will be accompanying him back to his kingdom.Um.Apparently the King and his Queen were also made to spend a great deal of time there a hundred years ago (before they fell asleep) and are confident she will come back "greatly enhanced in wisdom and beauty."Again... I'm just not sure... But alright... it's a BDSM fairytale. What did you expect? Reality? Duh.Then there's lots of degradation and sexual deviance. ;) It seems the kingdom in which Beauty's being sent... taken? Is actually the "training facility" for MANY MANY princes and princesses from all over the world.Prince Alexi, the favorite slave of the dearest Queen is soooo endearing from the moment we are introduced to him... And Beauty herself is quite enamored with him, even though she isn't supposed to look at him or make notice of him at all.And as it turns out, Prince Alexi is also taken with Beauty...Let's recap:The Queen's favorite sex toy/slave/pet, Prince Alexi and The PRINCE's (as in the Queen's SON) sex toy/slave/pet, Beauty are crushing hard on eachother. I know right?"Beauty looked down to see his auburn hair covering her sex as she felt his lips against her thighs." ~ right before the Prince sodomizes him."I shall see you tomorrow night, my dearest," Prince Alexi whispered with a smile. "And don't be frightened of the Queen for I shall be with you." ~ this he says as he sneaks up to whisper in her ear while she's tethered to a stake in the dining hall. You know... Just so you get the enormity of such a romantic gesture.The Prince casually announces he would marry Beauty if only so he could leave her tied to his bed... Hmmm...I'm just at a loss... It's the sub plot I liked, rather than the central plot. And not because I have any problem with raunchy, rough sex but because... but this was more like sexual torture. And honestly with the recent BDSM craze from Fifty Shades of Grey I can see why they're pushing this series, but it's very different.Where I found Christian Grey intimidatingly sexy and ooooh so yummy, I didn't quite feel that way with The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. Although I was completely absorbed by the detailed intricacy in which Anne Rice put into the story of Beauty and her situation. I'm enraptured by the enchanting novelty of Beauty and the court.I was much more involved in Beauty and Prince Alexi... Then, out of nowhere Beauty seemingly grows tired of the charming Prince and purposely gets sent to The Village after glimpsing the fair haired, Prince Tristan enclosed in a cage of "slaves" who have displeased their masters... I know!!!I already downloaded book 2. *sigh* I can't help it...3.5 stilettos... I think.Buy The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Book on Amazon!