A retelling of a well-known tale with a twist.
Prince Lucien has been betrothed to Princess Evania from her birth. When his sister, Isabella, is born, she is immediately betrothed to Evania’s younger brother, Teige.
On the day of her christening, Isabella falls victim to a curse from the black witch Caera, but instead of death, the white mage Marged makes the curse one where Isabella will sleep until wakened by true love’s kiss.
Despite the precautions taken, Isabella falls under Caera’s curse, as does Teige, and Lucien, Evania, and Dashiell are the only ones who can save them. They must defeat Caera to reach them. But whose kiss will awaken the Sleeping Beauties?
Side-by-side Lucien and Dashiell rode to Finlay’s palace. Where have the years gone? Has it really been nearly fifteen years since I waved farewell to Isabella? Now there are but two months until her twenty-first birthday. Already my parents, as well as Evania’s, are readying the palaces for her return. And the weddings they expect to follow.
He glanced over at his cousin and best friend. Dashiell had matured into one of the most handsome men at either court. His hair fell to his shoulders and glinted with a myriad of reds and gold. His smoky-blue eyes could be as cold as chips of ice or spark into flames, dependent upon the younger man’s mood. Several ladies at both courts have tried to catch his eye, but if there is one who is special to him, he hasn’t confessed it to me. Riding into Finlay’s palace courtyard, Lucien and Dashiell were greeted as usual by Evania and Teige. I know I’m the envy of many men and princes beyond our borders. Evania had blossomed indeed, tall, lean, and athletic, her red hair suits her so much more now she’s cut it short to frame her face. Somehow it emphasises her hazel eyes.
“Welcome, Lucien, Dashiell.” Evania greeted each of them with a kiss to their cheek when they dismounted.
“Thank you.” Lucien’s gaze moved to Teige.
The youngest prince had grown into a beautiful young man. A little shorter than his sister and slight of frame, he’d lost his curls, but his blond hair was like spun gold. His green eyes sparkled and his gaze danced merrily as the four hugged their welcomes. His beauty never fails to take my breath away.
Chatting as if they’d never been parted, they walked through the main courtyard and around to the back where the stables were located. From there, they could get out into the forest that backed onto the palace.
None of the guards or many workers they passed paid any attention to the royal group. Lucien smiled at Teige. Everyone was used to him and Dashiell visiting at least a couple of times each week. We stable the horses and, as far as everyone’s concerned, Dashiell and Teige often ride out together to hunt on fresh mounts, while I and Evania spend time alone in the rooms above the stables.
Thanks to Evania, no one dares disturb us. She even ensures the same guards are posted near the stable with orders that if they are asked for her or me, they are to say we left with Teige and Dashiell. After all, everyone assumes that if it wasn’t for Caera’s curse on Isabella, Evania and I would already be married.
“Are the horses ready?” Dashiell asked. “I could do with a good ride through the forest to blow away some cobwebs.”
“Of course.” Evania called over her shoulder. “I made sure your favourite was ready.”
A few moments later, Lucien waved his friends off, before heading back through the stable to join his beloved.