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Author: Claire Delacroix
a.k.a. Claire Cross

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ONCE UPON A KISS (Magical Love)
Claire Cross 
Jove, July 1998 
324 pages; ISBN# 0515123005

Category: Paranormal Romance /Time Travel to Present
Reviewed by CYoTE

bookcover ONCE UPON A KISS by Cross
From the cover and blurb, I knew this was a "fairy tale romance"; so I saved it for a day I needed a relaxing fantasy.  Yes, this was a pleasure to read and I would recommend this “Magical Love” story. 

Baird Beauforte doesn't care about the legend --- the brambles must be removed for him to convert Dunhelm Castle into Beaurorte Resort. As he fights his way with shears through the brambles, he finds a secret room, and a woman sleeping on the stone slab inside.  Unable to resist the impulse, Baird kisses her. 

Princess Aurelia wakes to a strange man kissing her and is appalled.  Her last memory is of the attack on her father’s castle (800 AD) when she pricked her thumb on an arrow as her father approached.   Where was her father and who was this usurper in her family’s holding?   When she follows Baird to the castle she realizes she has been asleep for a long time. 

I enjoyed the humor in Aurelia’s perceptions of current technology and society.  This made the story for me!  I could really emphasize with the heroine being in such strange circumstances and the story clearly presented her thoughts on many things.  Of course she believed it was magic... so Baird must be a magician… and even more powerful than she is.  His advisor, Julian must be a priest and so she could not turn down the Chianti he offered (and then proceeded to drink him under the table). 

As Baird searches for her missing father, he comes to realize -- as impossible as it seems, she really is the Princess of local legend.   He also begins to wonder about reincarnation (yes, a plot point that I dislike; so I will not comment more on this.  It does bring the story together, though).  Aurelia uses her magic powers to bring  “dreamings” to help her understand what is happening.  Unknown to her, the dreams are shared by Baird.  The evil son of Erc who was attacking her father’s castle when she went to sleep, is also reincarnated and he and Baird clash to bring the fulfillment of the prophecy of long ago. 

As all magical romances, this ends with a HEA and good triumphing over evil.   It leaves you with a smile.  That is what fairy tales are for, right?  As an adult fairy tale, this story fills all the requirements for good reading and entertaining romantic story. 

Cy Korte / October, 1999
Copyright © 1999 for Book Isle Paperbacks


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