Modern Fairy Tale Retelling: Once Upon a Seduction
by Maisey Yates, author of The Prince’s Captive Virgin
Fairy tales have always captivated me. They’re full of magic, beauty, darkness, hope and love. They’re about fantasy worlds, but they appeal to me on a real and deep level. Especially the stories about love—the maid marrying the prince, the beauty awakened by a kiss, the prince climbing the tower for the woman he loves. True love transforming a beast.
It’s no surprise that, loving these stories like I do, I grew up to write romance. And it’s my love of fairy tales that inspired my new series, Once Upon a Seduction.
This trilogy has three sexy, modern retellings of classic fairy tales. There is no magic…technically. But the power of the love between the hero and heroine feels magical to me.
The Prince’s Captive Virgin
When I was seven years old the Disney cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast came out in theaters, and my dad took me to see it. That was, and still is, my favorite version of my very favorite fairy tale.
In The Prince’s Captive Virgin, Prince Adam Katsaros’s beastly appearance doesn’t come from a literal curse, but from the accident that killed his wife. Since then, he’s concealed himself in his castle, and when a paparazzo tries to snap a photo of the disfigured prince, Adam takes him prisoner. Enter innocent Belle Chamberlain, who offers to take her father’s place as Adam’s captive. Adam wants revenge, but Belle, and her love, might be the key to setting him free.
The Prince’s Stolen Virgin
Doing a Sleeping Beauty retelling was a little bit trickier for me. The prince in that story isn’t as fleshed out as the beast is. In the classic cartoon, the heroine is being hidden away from Maleficent and meets the prince in the woods, but she knows she isn’t supposed to talk to him because there’s a threat out there, though we know it doesn’t come from him. So I decided in my story to make him both the prince…and the dragon.
In The Prince’s Stolen Virgin, Briar Harcourt was sent away from her kingdom as a baby to keep her safe from an evil king who wants to steal her and make her his bride when she’s sixteen years old. Not a curse, but definitely not something you want hanging over your head.
Briar doesn’t know she’s a princess, but being raised in New York City by an overprotective doctor and his wife has made her cautious. So when a handsome stranger approaches her on the street, she runs away. And is hit by a taxi.
When she wakes up in the hospital, the stranger is kissing her. He claims to be a prince…one intent on taking her back to his country to marry her.
Prince Felipe isn’t evil like his father, but he is willing to do anything to reclaim his kingdom and to steal the woman his father wanted as his own. Even if that means kidnapping her and forcing her into marriage…
The Italian’s Pregnant Prisoner
For my Rapunzel story I did not take inspiration from a Disney retelling, but from a slightly darker version.
In The Italian’s Pregnant Prisoner, we open on the reunion. Charlotte was kept captive in her crime-lord father’s house her whole life. Locked in a tower room, she had limited interaction with the outside world. But then she met Rafe, a man who worked for her father, and the two of them started a secret love affair. Of course that ended badly. When they were discovered, Charlotte was sent away and her stepmother pushed Rafe out of the tower. The accident left Rafe blind.
When they meet again years later, their chemistry is still explosive…but their one-night reunion has very definite consequences, and when Rafe finds out about Charlotte’s pregnancy, he’s not willing to risk losing her again…
These stories were so much fun for me, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Don’t miss any of the Once Upon a Seduction books:
To see more from Maisey Yates, visit her author page.