BEAUTY'S CURSE

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In this reversal of the Sleeping Beauty story, gorgeous Galiana Montehue—resisting her family's efforts at arranged marriage—scorns all her suitors and finds true love only after she awakens an injured knight from a deep sleep. As the novel begins, Galiana has come to view her beauty as a curse, and she fears for her future. Wishing for an adventure, just one, before she is forced to settle down and marry, she takes a stroll in winter's first snowfall with her younger twin brothers and, following them into the forest, is horrified by the sight of a knight drawing a sword on one of the boys. Without thought, she throws a rock and hits the knight on the back of the head, knocking him unconscious. Taken prisoner by the knight's men, Galiana finds herself locked up in a strange manor house where she is forced to care for the incredibly handsome victim of her well-aimed throw, but when the young man finally wakes from his coma, the household’s happiness turns to sorrow upon hearing he is now blind. By this time, Galiana has become very fond of her knight, and he in turn is fascinated by her gentleness and her wit. Because he is unable to see Galiana's beauty, she trusts him, and by the time his eyesight returns, the young knight is ready to ask for her hand in marriage. He also reveals his true identity—as a spy for Prince William. As he describes his life-and-death mission to find an ancient, magical stone known as the Breath of Merlin, Galiana knows her wish for meaning and adventure has come true, and she joins her prince in his fight against the forces of treachery and ancient magic.
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