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Sleeping Beauty by Judith Ivory
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Sleeping Beauty

by Judith Ivory

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Delightful historical. I loved the smart and unconventional leads and the anti imperialist tone. Ivory at her best. ( )
  Narshkite | Nov 27, 2014 |
This is a lush, romantic story of a (retired) courtesan who falls in love with a younger man. And the man just happens to be England's current hero, having returned from three years in Africa bearing valuable scholarly research as well as a fortune in gold.

James has a brilliant academic career, and perhaps an earldom, ahead of him, but none of that will happen if he publicly takes up with Coco. As for Coco herself, she's become wealthy and entirely independent and has no desire to subject herself to a man's dominion.

The lead characters are engaging, although I must say that the villain was cartoonish and crumpled without putting up a fight. But the love story is deep and complex and ultimately very satisfying. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
While this book doesn't supplant UNTIE MY HEART or THE PROPOSITION as my favorite Judith Ivory novels, it was memorable enough to revisit in the future.

Coco was an original heroine, and I enjoyed both her independence, her maturity, and her unrepentant past. Ivory was particularly clever with how she signaled Coco and James's happily ever after (normally a heroine sleeping with the hero is the sure sign of their devotion and HEA-ness, but for a former courtesan, that won't work).

As much as I enjoyed Coco, I enjoyed James even more. Seen through Coco's eyes, he is a singular hero. I loved the build up of their attraction, and their first love scene scorched off the pages. While many heros are proported to be guiless and forceful, the details Ivory choses for James truly made me see him that way. I'll certainly remember his charisma and sexual chemistry, in addition to those human scenes that allowed him to blossom as a character ( The bat at the opera comes to mind: "James screamed. No other word for it.").

Both Coco and James were in situations that seemed destined forheart break(in terms of society, politics, and realities of colonialism), but Ivory softened reality just enough to promise happiness without completely losing plausibility. A thoroughly entertaining and charming story. ( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
Once, a long time ago, Coco Wild learned to never allow a man's kiss to move her, for that way led to downfall. A slender beauty with alluring eyes, she built impregnable defenses around her emotions. The men who came to adore her, fought to conquer her and learn her mysteries, made her the toast of London, but none were able to rouse her passions.

Beauty Awakens

But that hard-taught lesson is about to unravel because of Sir James Stoker. Back in England with a treasure of gold from his adventures, newly knighted by Queen Victoria herself, and feted everywhere, the handsome explorer has the world at his feet. He's exactly the man Coco might have dreamed about when she was young: a tall, fair hero with a charming smile. Now he's turned his energy toward winning her, the most desirable and the least attainable woman he knows; and Coco's aft-aid James may just find his way past the thorns that have so long protected her from the world, and awaken her slumbering heart...with just one kiss. ( )
  amarynt | Jul 26, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Judith Ivoryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Primm, VioletReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Happy Kingdom
It must be rememberedthat Sleeping Beauty was a hundred years older than the prince. She was from another era entirely.
Preface to Sleeping Beauty
Dedication
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James Stoker, or rather-he liked to remind himself-Sir James Stroker these days, dashed between horses and carriages, finally leaping a puddle to get himself across a busy London street.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380786451, Mass Market Paperback)

Once, a long time ago, Coco Wild learned to never allow a man's kiss to move her, for that way led to downfall. A slender beauty with alluring eyes, she built impregnable defenses around her emotions. The men who came to adore her, fought to conquer her and learn her mysteries, made her the toast of London, but none were able to rouse her passions.

Beauty Awakens

But that hard-taught lesson is about to unravel because of Sir James Stoker. Back in England with a treasure of gold from his adventures, newly knighted by Queen Victoria herself, and feted everywhere, the handsome explorer has the world at his feet. He's exactly the man Coco might have dreamed about when she was young: a tall, fair hero with a charming smile. Now he's turned his energy toward winning her, the most desirable and the least attainable woman he knows; and Coco's aft-aid James may just find his way past the thorns that have so long protected her from the world, and awaken her slumbering heart...with just one kiss.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:29 -0400)

The beautiful courtesan maintains an emotional detachment from her suitors, but when she meets Sir James Stoker, she becomes overwhelmed by his charms.

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