Within the castle enchanted, Beauty slept—while her rescuer dared peril and death with every step...
As summer vacation starts, a college student named Linneus Vargas takes a girl to a small town to buy antiques. When he tries to seduce her, she gives him the brush. They enter an antique shop, and the proprietor talks him into purchasing an ornate wooden box. After they return to the university dorm, Linneus discovers that the girl never had any feelings for him and is engaged to the football team's quarterback. He also finds an ancient key in the box.
Later in the summer, Linneus travels to Eastern Europe where he visits relatives in Romania. He becomes intrigued by a ruined castle above the village. He is warned not to visit it. Nevertheless, he disregards this advice and hikes toward it anyway. It is surrounded by an impassible, yards-thick briar bush with poisonous thorns. He uses a borrowed chain saw to make his way through this barrier and enters the castle. It's a good thing he's brought the key he purchased a few months ago.
Cover art: Laura Givens