SLEEPING WITH BEAUTY
ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A BEAUTIFUL GRACEFUL PRINCESS-SOUND ASLEEP IN THE HEART OFA GAWKY, KLUTZY YOUNG WOMAN….
At twenty-eight, elementary-school teacher Lucy Harper still feels more like a wallflower than the sex goddess she knows is trapped inside her. In fact, she can barely remember the last time she actually had sex. She claims she’s content with her life, but she doesn’t even realize she’s slipping into a coma-a sex coma, that is. Until It arrives: the invitation to her ten-year high school reunion.
Lucy’s childhood pals Jana and Grady are baffled by her decision to attend. But they’ve managed to put geek-hood behind them. This may be Lucy’s last chance to lose her loser reputation and knock her ex-classmates’ socks off-thanks to the modern-day fairy godmothers at Glass Slipper, Inc. For a not-so-small fee, they promise to bring out the princess in any woman. If only Lucy’s friends were more supportive, especially Grady. After all, he loves her like a sister. Doesn’t he?
Soon Lucy is under the scrutiny of eccentric self-made diva Vivian dePalma. And the diagnosis is dour: Lucy has slipped into the final stage of Sleeping Beauty Syndrome-meaning her love life is near death. Can Vivian rouse her in time for the reunion? And will a kiss from her teen crush really be enough to awaken her? For Lucy hasn’t quite opened her eyes to one important truth: the soul mate she’s been dreaming of has never left her side.
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Lucy Harper and Jana Fraser formed a lasting friendship and support group of two in preschool. Neither one was ever accepted by the popular crowd — Lucy was “too tall, too gawky, too klutzy, too smart” while Jana had frizzy red hair and freckles. Their duo became a trio in sixth grade when braniac Grady Matthews took Lucy’s side against the class clown who was daring her to stuff Tater-Tots up her nose and shoot them out with milk. Grady saved her from either taking the dare or chickening out and suffering humiliation in front of the whole lunchroom. Well, actually, either choice would be humiliating, but wouldn’t the Tater-Tots up the nose show everyone she could take a joke?
Jana grew up to become a sports writer who found and married her soul mate, a pro hockey jock; Grady became a government science guy who can’t talk about his work, and Lucy teaches third grade. They are still best friends ten years after graduating high school. Of the three, Lucy carries the most baggage from their early days. When she receives an invitation to their ten-year reunion on the same day she buys a copy of Glass Slipper magazine, Lucy takes action. She empties her savings account and enrolls in a two week life makeover session at Glass Slipper, Inc. Jana and Grady see nothing that needs changing about Lucy nor any reason to attend a reunion full of the same shallow people they went to school with, and try to talk her out of both the reunion and Barbie Boot Camp. They don’t understand that Lucy feels she must do this for herself, that she knows there is more to her than shows on the outside, that if she could get people to notice her long enough, she might finally meet “the one.” It will be the task of the three godmothers and staff at Glass Slipper, Inc to awaken and free the sleeping beauty within Lucy while polishing up her outside.
With somewhat less action than Ms. Kauffman’s usual fare, SLEEPING WITH BEAUTY is intensely character driven. The dynamics of the relationship among the three good friends are explored in depth. While the focus is on Lucy as the title character, each of the other two friends comes to one of life’s pivotal moments as well. Jana faces a life-changing challenge, and Grady must risk losing what he has for something far better. I can’t help wondering if Donna Kauffman — a tall, dark-haired beauty who has danced professionally — once went through an awkward period herself. She so nails down Lucy’s insecurities and lack of self-confidence.
In spite of the serious soul-searching, deep emotions, and her friends’ disagreement over Lucy’s goal of attending the reunion, SLEEPING WITH BEAUTY is chock full of humor and witty repartee. Readers familiar with the earlier books in the Glass Slipper, Inc. loosely connected series, THE CINDERELLA RULES and DEAR PRINCE CHARMING and their predecessor, THE BIG BAD WOLF TELLS ALL, know what I’m talking about. Don’t mistake Ms. Kauffman’s books for the chick-lit they might resemble in format, though. With an art honed in the old Loveswept romances and several single title novels with paranormal elements, she has carved out a niche of her own that any writer would envy. SLEEPING WITH BEAUTY combines humor and romance and likable characters who face real life problems with honor and grace. Don’t miss any of these engaging books." ~ Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today