Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars
When Zanth’s car refuses to start on his twenty-fifth birthday, he didn’t realize that his whole world is about to be turned upside down. He will learn that the life he has lead up until that point has been carefully crafted to protect him from an evil he knows nothing about. With the assistance of his Guardian Liam, Zanth learns of his true nature and must return to his ancestral home in order to face his destiny of the leader of his people.
“His Sleeping Beau” by Jess Buffett is a gay retelling of the classic fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty.” Stephan is the leader of the Ignis Tribe of Mages. At the naming ceremony for his new born son, Aurelius, Stephan’s brother Malcolm shows up and curses the child. By the end of the child’s twenty-fifth birthday, he will prick himself on a sharp point and fall into a death-like sleep.
Flash forward twenty five years. Zanth Aurelius is having a really bad birthday. First, his car won’t start when he finishes his day teaching school. Then a stranger appears as he exits his shower. As Zanth is getting ready to defend himself against this stranger, said stranger says Zanth’s life is in danger and he needs to come with him in order to be safe.
The stranger is Liam, who is a Guardian and Changling who has been assigned to protect Zanth from birth. Hearing windows breaking downstairs, Liam protects Zanth, whom he recognizes as his mate, from the invading force while preparing him for a hasty retreat.
At a safe house, Liam explains to Zanth what is happening to his life. Liam describes the curse that was brought upon Zanth at the naming ceremony and the steps his family took to protect him. One thing that they had done was tell Zanth his birthday was three days before it really was. This was done to provide his protectors time to get Zanth to the tribe in time to claim his role as the new leader of the tribe. While at the safe house, Liam mates with Zanth but they do not complete the bond. They also are visited by the Guardian Elders, whom have an interest in Zanth claiming his rightful spot as the ruler of his people.
On the way to their village, the pair is attacked by a group of sorcerers which include Zanth’s ex-boyfriend. The ex has been working with Zanth’s uncle who is trying to make sure that his curse is carried out. With the assistance of the Elders, the pair manages to break free of this attack and continue on their way to the home village. As they rest at a motel that night, Zanth decides to complete the mating bond.
Once at the village, they find what amounts to a civil war going on. Several of the mages and guardians have sided with Malcolm trying to establish a new order. As the fight rages on, Malcolm takes Zanth prisoner and injects him with a poison that causes him to fall into a deep sleep. Liam takes on Malcolm, killing him in the process. Zanth recovers from the poisoning due to the love and mating bond he has with Liam.
The relationship between Liam and Zanth comes along quickly as most fated mate relationships go. Liam realizes Zanth is his mate when he is in danger. Zanth, who has not grown up in the world of fated mates, feels some type of pull towards Liam is resistant at first. Zanth accepts his feelings and the bond between the two after Liam defends Zanth from the various threats to his well being.
The author brings elements of the paranormal world not usually associated with your typical fairy tale. Adding shifters to the classic tale brings a new unexpected twist to the usual story. I also enjoyed the fact it diverged from the classic tale in that the villain takes a more active role in carrying out the curse.
This is the second book of the Wickedly Ever After series by JK Publishing. Each story is self contained. (The first book retells the story of Robin Hood from a female Robin’s perspective.)
The cover art is by the author and does well in depicting the heroes of the story. It shows Zanth in the foreground with Liam watching over him in the background. Well done cover.
Sales Links: JK Publishing All Romance eBooks (ARe) Amazon His Sleeping Beau
Published: August 26, 2014
Series: Wickely Ever After
Robin and Her Merry Men (Wickedly Ever After #1) by Willow Brooks (m/f and m/f/m)
His Sleeping Beau (Wickedly Ever After #2) by Jess Buffett (m/m)