The Princess and the Evil Queen by Lola Andrews is a fantasy, erotic romance that offers the reader all sorts of unique “what ifs” on the classic story. This is not the Disney Snow White from your childhood.
Snow White and Charles, her prince charming, are in a harsh battle to reclaim the royal crown from Harlow, the Evil Queen. Once upon a time, Snow and Harlow had been friends or at least comfortable acquaintances. They lived in the castle in compatible silence. But after Snow’s father, an unkind and unjust ruler dies, Harlow committed the awful crime that put Snow into a deep sleep.
Snow, Charles, and Harlow strike and unusual truce. For one cycle of the moon, Snow White will live in the castle at Harlow’s service. Snow quickly realizes that she has a decision to make. Does she risk everything, and trust her heart? Can she and Harlow overcome their terrible past and find love or are they destined to remain bitter enemies?
Backstory, backstory, backstory! It was both fun and fascinating to see the circumstances that created the women Snow White and the Evil Queen have become.
We meet Snow White not long after the traditional fairy tale ends. She is married to her prince charming and they are engaged in a bloody war to depose the Evil Queen. Seeing Snow on the frontlines with an army at her back gives her character a sense of agency that is so refreshing. In this retelling, she is still the young woman who feels more comfortable in the woods, with her birds, but she senses that she needs more from life than being one man’s “magical princess.” I loved watching Snow grow into a woman who decides to buck convention and go after an unconventional happily ever after.
I adore the Evil Queen. I love a good villain, and I usually root for them. Harlow is no exception. She is tantalizing in all her sultry control and confidence. Learning how she came to be so reserved and untamed is the best part of the book. The angst displayed in the warring aspects of her personality is what kept me drawn to this story. While she goes through her own emotional transformation, she remains true to her nature. She is still unapologetically fierce, other-worldly, and alluring. She remained somewhat aloof until the very end so I was never quite sure how she was going to end the conflict dividing her kingdom.
The Writing Style
This is an erotic romance, so let’s talk about sex! The stipulation for Snow White staying with Harlow during the truce is that she must “serve” the queen. This sets the stage for some steamy Dominant/submissive interactions which reflect both women’s personalities at the beginning of the story. As they become more familiar with each other and develop a more intimate relationship, their sexual exchanges mirror their emotional growth. While those scenes become more vanilla, there are still allusions to rope burns and bruises that keep things feeling deliciously edgy. Most importantly, Andrews does a nice job integrating the sex scenes into the plot so they never feel gratuitous.
The story is told in the third person, but Andrews is much more forthcoming with Snow’s perspective. This adds to the mysterious air surrounding Harlow’s motivations. Andrews also employs a formal writing style and the language she uses fits the feel expected in classic fairytales.
Since this is a retelling of a fairytale, there is enchantment and witchcraft. Those magic mirrors are on the wall, but they do a lot more than tell who’s the fairest of them all.
The book has a noticeable number of typos. They seemed like they could have been caught by a fresh pair of eyes. I kept reading because I became very invested in the outcome for the main characters.
This was a fun and sexy read. Y’all know I am always game for a bit of naughty and The Princess and the Evil Queen definitely deserves three flames on my personal rating scale. I enjoyed the unique take on the classic fairy tale. I was delighted with the darker version, of the classic and the angst inherent in the retelling was the highlight for me. I’m always up for erotic romances, and if there’s an element of BDSM in them, all the better.
Excerpt from The Princess and the Evil Queen by Lola Andrews
Snow turned on the spot to look at Harlow, now gazing back at her from across the room. Harlow’s lovely arms were naked and her eyes spoke of secret warmth, so that Snow suddenly felt as if she were a newlywed, anxious for what was to come. What a silly thought, when she was already married and had known the nervousness of being a virgin bride. She didn’t remember it feeling quite like this, however, such tension-filled anticipation.
Snow looked about the room, trying to distract herself and ignore Harlow as she moved inside and closer, the swish of her dress betraying her stealth. The chamber was richly furnished, deep greens in almost every corner. It looked lived in, too, and she wondered whether this was Harlow’s sanctuary, where she could be herself and not the evil queen that accusing tongues made her to be. There were mirrors all over the walls, and a strikingly ornate one standing by the windows, as well. Snow knew the mirrors whispered in Harlow’s ears, not because she had heard the rumors but because she had seen Harlow enthralled by them before, seeing beyond them and into a world that was hidden from everyone else. Shivering at the thought, she put it at the back of her mind and moved her attention to a large painting of two beautiful women hanging by the bed. The women looked just the same, but before Snow had time to wonder about them, her attention was pulled somewhere else.
“Come here, Snow,” Harlow said, motioning towards her much as she had at the battlefield.
Snow gazed towards Harlow and then followed her instruction without much of a thought. Harlow was standing by the hearth now, and the fire casted shadows upon her tan skin. Snow wondered whether she would feel as hot as the fire itself.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781094785563
- Publisher: Indie author
- Lola Andrews Online
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