Taking her cue from "Sleeping Beauty," Susan King brilliantly weaves myth, magic and romance into the story of a disenchanted laird, a woman who hides her beauty behind a cold facade and a legend of grand proportions.

Few would recognize prim artifact expert Christina Blackburn as the subject of a painting that scandalized the art world a few years back. But when she sees the painting on display at Sir Aedan Arthur MacBride's house, she fears her life will be ruined once more.

Aedan knows all about the curse of the painting's sleeping maiden, but Christina still captivates him at first sight, and he wonders if he is truly doomed.

King takes a common theme (a dark and dangerous doomed hero) and makes her story fresh, captivating and compelling. This utterly enchanting new twist on "Sleeping Beauty" made me feel as if I had been transported into legend itself. Susan King makes what is old new again. SENSUAL (Sep., 352 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin