Review by Etta Stark
Maggie Carpenter’s The Strict British Barrister tells the story of slightly spoilt Southern Belle, Brittany, who meets the man of her dreams on board a cruise across the Pacific. Not only is our hero, Duncan Rhys-Davies a barrister, he’s also an erotic fiction writer. Interestingly, he plays his barrister card pretty close to his chest for the most part, choosing just to tell Brittany about his writing instead. It’s an unusual strategy but one that totally pays off in his case.
This is the second Maggie Carpenter book I’ve read – the other being Three Dark Hours which was part of the School’s In Session box set. That one had erotic authors as characters too.
Maggie Carpenter clearly has a thing about British boys as she’s written three volumes of “The British Billionaire Bachelor” as well. Being a Brit myself, I’m afraid that the appeal of a British accent may be lost on me. I can see the appeal of a British billionaire though. If you were planning to snag a billionaire, a Brit would be the best way to go. Not only are pounds worth more than dollars, but a British billion is bigger too – a million million rather than a thousand million. (Actually, I just looked that up and apparently we use the thousand million version here too, these days. It’s a good thing I checked. How disappointed would I be if I started dating a billionaire assuming that he was worth a tidy thirteen figures only to find out later that his bank balance only ran into a meagre ten digits?)
All of which is slightly off the point, Duncan isn’t actually a billionaire as far as we know. Although he’s clearly not short of a bob or two. Brittany’s rich too. The pair of them meet when they’re taken to their exclusive First Class staterooms on board the cruise.
A cruise ship is a great place for a romance novel to take place. Everyone is confined together in the same place. If, like Brittany, you are determined to better acquaint yourself with someone that you met on the first day, well you know they’re not going anywhere any time soon. Plus no-one needs to make any complicated arrangements for getting home after a night out. Everyone’s bedrooms are right there. It’s practically impossible not to have a steamy affair to be honest.
Brittany and Duncan’s steamy love affair gets off to a very robust start when Duncan finds Brittany snooping in his cabin and decides she needs to be firmly disciplined. They’d already agreed to a date that evening but Brittany’s bad behaviour shifts the tone of the relationship. Duncan tells her “If you had simply waited for tonight I would have given you a pleasant, smart spanking, one that would have made your toes curl. Now, however, you must be disciplined and that, Brittany, is a very different matter.”
The discipline sessions are wonderfully described. Duncan is a man who clearly relishes being in control and who enjoys Brittany’s rebellious impulses. As well as spankings with a variety of implements including quintessential British favourite, the slipper – there are a bunch of other inventive punishments that Duncan employs to enable Brittany to fully discover her submissive side.
The pair end up having stronger feelings for one another than they anticipate and realise that the few days they have on board together are not going to be enough. They do seem to get unreasonably agitated about it though. Things turn a bit sour between them for no real reason at all.
It’s as though they’re looking for trouble. Yes, you’re going to have to figure out whether you have a future together, yes, there are other guys on the boat who might want to get into Brittany’s pants, yes long distance relationships can be awkward. But you know, it’s fine guys. Chill the hell out.
Happily Brittany and Duncan manage to overcome their difficulties. Such as they are. The fact that the book is called The Strict British Barrister Part One does rather suggest that we haven’t seen the last of our two heroes. This is a really enjoyable book. The sex scenes are incredibly hot and the way in which the heroes fit into their dominant and submissive roles is wonderfully believable and rather touching.
I must say I am impressed with the adventurously sexy lives that Maggie Carpenters fictional erotic authors seem to lead. Both here and in Three Dark Hours, letting someone read one’s erotic novel seems to be quite the springboard into all manner of sexy shenanigans. It makes me feel like I am doing erotic authoring all wrong. Maybe should book myself a cruise.
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Loose Morals is Darling Adams’s second book and once again she rose to the challenge to create a panty-sizzling story. Adams’s compelling story, with a cast of unforgettable characters, and a sprinkle of humor, created a magical story for readers.
Charlie is a vampire who was cursed by his ex-girlfriend centuries ago. Since that time, he has been on a mission to remove the curse, so when he stumbles upon Sasha who has a few magical tricks up her sleeves, he becomes a part of her everyday life so she can help him. In this time, Charlie and Sasha realize that despite their disagreements, they find one another very attractive and quickly heat up the sheets.
At first, I wasn’t too crazy about Charlie. He just met Sasha, moves in to her apartment uninvited and announces to her that she will help him remove his curse. Poor Sasha had no idea that she was a witch, let alone that there were other paranormal beings out there. But, once the story gets going, readers get to see that Charlie is just a man who has several flaws, just like the rest of us. He’s had to live with this curse for years and all he wants is to be healed. He also turns out to be a very dominant, but loving man and by the end of the book I just kept thinking, ‘man, I wish that he existed in real life.’
I fell in love with the character Sasha, the moment I started reading this story. She is a fierce woman who has had to take care of herself for a long time. She has established herself and has done very well, yet she craves to let someone else take control for a while. Once Charlie walks in to her life, he doesn’t mind taking away her control one bit. Putting that aside, Sasha is a hilarious character who had me actually cracking up a few times. She was the perfect combination of an independent woman with submissive tendencies rolled together.
This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who wants a really sweet, yet panty drenching paranormal story. The only complaint that I have for Ms. Adams is I wished that this story was a bit longer because I fell in love with the cast of characters and they said goodbye way too soon. I’m looking very forward to the next book that Darling Adams comes out with because her first two books have been a hit!
This week’s discussion is led by Corinne Alexander!
I would love to know what your thoughts are! Check out the posts below and share what you think in the comments!
Saturday, 4-6 PST, which is 7-9 pm EST. on Facebook. Here’s the scoop:
Join Renee Rose, Dinah McLeod, Maggie Carpenter, Celeste Jones and Kate Richards as we celebrate the School’s in Session Box Set Release with games, prizes and naughty frivolity. But be warned…impertinence is not taken lightly at this school. And someone is going to win a kindle.
Prizes include a Kindle Fire, Gift certficates to Blushing Books, Gift Certificates to Amazon, ebooks and audiobooks!
Also,today (Friday) Educating Marguerite, The Professor’s Girl and Three Dark Hours will be featured at Celeste Jones’s Spanking Stories Book Club. Please come and visit, even if you haven’t read the books yet.
Thank you to everyone who participated in Summer Spanks blog hop. Prizes on individual blogs will be announced on each blog today and the Grand Prize winners, selected by entering the total number of comments (918) into Random.org are:
The kids are back in school! The kids are back in school! This is something mothers all over the world look forward to each year, and Blushing Books realizing that this indeed called for a celebration has released the smoking hot box set School’s in Session to help us celebrate.
Picture this- The school bus pulls away from the curb, you close the door behind them, and…..silence! The house is empty for the first time in months! What will you do with yourself? Pour the coffee, get out the chocolate stash, and curl up with this smoking hot anthology from some of your favorite authors. The housework can wait!
Of course, my kids have been in school for almost a month, and I got the pleasure of being among the first to read these books before their release. So, I have the scoop you’re all waiting for! Pull up a seat on the couch, pour a glass of wine, and let me give you the down-low on five amazing books from authors Celeste Jones, Dinah McLeod, Maggie Ryan, Kate Richards, and Renee Rose. (I know, I know, what a combo, right?)
Laying Down the Law is the story of Ali Stewart, a forty-five year old brand new divorcee who has gone back to the same law school she left when her twins were born twelve weeks early preventing her from taking the final on the last day of class, leaving her just one requirement shy of being able to take the bar exam. Her ex-husband Dirk, is also a lawyer, she had spent her life playing the dutiful wife while he went through law school, and she took care of the home and children, always telling herself that someday, she would go back and finish that last requirement. Twenty years later, someday has finally come. Times have changed, and Ali feels lost and out of place in a school full of people twenty years her junior.
At Twenty- two, Griff has a bit more life experience behind him than he does time in a classroom. His college career had been postponed years ago by a motorcycle accident. He is intrigued by Ali, and enjoys teaching her a few things, both in and out of the bedroom.
This was a great short story. It fit the theme without being too predictable, and the May/December romance was something you don’t see a lot in spanking fiction. Ali was a very sympathetic character, and even though I didn’t have a lot in common with her, I could still find her relatable. Griff was, incorrigible. Cute, and sweet, and very in tune with Ali’s needs he still came across as young in attitude. He enjoyed being playful just as much as he enjoyed being the dominant. There was lots of good and believable conflicts both in and out of the courtroom, and the sex scenes were hot without being too over the top. My only complaint would be that there was a scene involving the ex-husband where I went right to the brink of my comfort zone, but isn’t that the mark of a good writer? If they can bring you through a whole gamut of emotions? Celeste Jones is an experienced writer who is excellent at her craft, and that’s all I am going to say about that.
I’m told that if I am going in order of appearance in the box set- the next book up would be
As you might know, I’m a big Dinah fan, and this story was everything I hoped for. She drew me in right from the very beginning with these characters.
Joshua Black has always known he was a dominant, but he’s never found a girlfriend who was okay with it. He’s content to stay in his hometown, eventually becoming principal at their elementary school, and he occasionally goes to out of town spanking parties.
Michelle Johnson is coming off what is hands down the worst year of her entire life. After beating cancer, she loses her job and her boyfriend, and finds herself without a place to live. She is left with no other choice than to go back to her hometown and stay with her estranged father, whom she holds responsible for her mother’s death.
Soon after arriving home, she is hired for the one job she really didn’t want-kindergarten teacher- even after she completely blew the interview.
With all her issues, the job is an ill fit for her, and she probably should have been fired in the first week- but, sensing a kindred spirit, or maybe just hoping for one- Joshua offers her another option. And Michelle finds herself getting the one thing she never knew she always wanted.
I loved this story- from start to finish, I adored the main characters, and the heroine Michelle, was a classic contender for someone needing a spanking relationship. Joshua is one of my all-time favorite names for starters, and without giving too much away, Michelle and Joshua did know each other prior to her working at the school. I live for happy endings like that. Another winner from Dinah McLeod, for sure!
Marguerite Stokes has just finished her education at an exclusive finishing school. After being raised in high society fashion for many years, she is forced to join her father in Virginia City, Nevada. She is none too happy about it, and she makes it abundantly clear every chance she gets. For reasons I can’t quite understand, her father also intends to send her to a finishing school out there, a fact she is none too happy about. When she behaves uncontrollably at school, and earns herself a punishment carried out by stern schoolmaster William Melton, who is the son of a deceased colleague of her father- her father gives up and ends up arranging a marriage between her and Mr. Melton. Having to give up her high society ways and live at the school is almost more than she can handle, and she is forced to choose between braving the Wild West on her own, or submitting to Mr. Melton’s firm hand.
For her first historical, the author did a good job capturing the details of the era and clothing. The heroine was a little hard to like as she was hell bound determined to cling to her snotty ways, but there were a few places throughout the book where she made me smile. One in particular was a scene on a train on the way to Nevada-where she witnessed a man spanking his wife- not to give anything away, but it was a cute scene. To be honest, other than that, this one fell a little short for me. It could be that I’m not a huge fan of historical, or it could be that this was Mrs. Richards first ever historical. I think the potential was there, but it was too short for its story line, and there seemed to be a few questions that were never truly answered. A few thousand extra words would have helped clear up a few things. But, this book was great in that it was the only historical in the set, which made it a nice change to break things up a bit.
This story focuses around Isobel Parker, a young woman who has always wanted to be a writer but never believed that she had the talent to do so. So, instead of going after her dreams, she gets a job at a publishing company and enrolls in an after-hours creative writing class.
Walking into the class, she comes face to face with a real life version of her perfect book hero. This man looks exactly like every hero Isobel has ever written. Mr. Doyle, the teacher, who fancies himself a dominant gives her the chance to live her biggest fantasy out and spanks her. Problem is, the guys kind of a creep, and Isobel following her gut tunes into that right away. When he gives the assignment to write a short story with the title Three Dark Hours, Isobel toys with the idea that a title like that would be perfect for the kind of hot BDSM erotica she enjoys reading and writing.
Meanwhile at work, Isobel’s boss, gives her some reading material to look over for him, and asks for her opinion. He really wants their company to branch into a line that publishes erotica, but he doesn’t really have the support of the higher ups.
After reading a sample chapter of an erotic book, Isobel is inspired to write a short story in response to what she read. She titles it Three Dark Hours and turns it in, but, after a conversation with her boss, Brad Sanders, she also gives it to him to read, claiming that it was written by a friend.
He loves it, and what happens from there on out is nothing short of a dream come true for Isobel.
This was actually my first Maggie Carpenter book, and after the first two chapters, I wasn’t hooked. I had a bit of trouble seeing where it was going and discerning what was really happening, and what was happening in the story the mc was writing. However, By Chapter Three, Bradley is introduced, and the plot becomes a bit clearer- and I was hooked! I ended up very glad I stuck around to see what would happen, and very glad the hero in this book wasn’t who I initially thought it would be. I loved Isobel and Bradley both, and I loved to hate Mr. Doyle. I’m a big ol sucker when it comes to happy endings, and this didn’t disappoint in that department!
By day, graduate student Lucy Larson is all business. Working as a lab assistant while she writes her thesis, she is known to her colleagues as “The Sexy Scientist.” Needing a break, she joins a friend at a spanking party, and then spends the night hiding out after running into Dr. Todd Daniels, who is her professor, thesis advisor, and boss. They miss their chance at the party, and Lucy later regrets being a coward. Now she can’t stop thinking about being spanked by her hot professor and she vows to make it happen. She sets out on a mission full of hilarious antics, but Dr. Todd is determined to ignore her, until she accidentally ruins his research experiment.
Her punishment caning is the beginning of a hot and secret love affair, and this book is classic Renee. Lucy was a total riot, all buttoned up and proper with this secret naughty streak. When she finally lets loose, boy, does she let loose. Dr. Todd is the professor everyone wants to fantasize about, and I could not have dreamed up a better professor/student spanking romance than this one. He goes head to head with Lucy, and gets her tit for tat, and is there for her when it matters. Their care and admiration for each other is evident is all areas, even with some major differences and obstacles to overcome. The happy ending has an unexpected twist that made me shriek in happiness- Have I mentioned how much I love Happy Endings? And I can’t review this book without mentioning the butt plug scene- I mean it is a Renee Rose book, so you know it’s coming. It was a really good one. That’s all I’m going to say. It would be hard to pick a favorite Renee book, but this is definitely a contender.
Each of these books are priced at 3.99 each, but you can get the whole set for just $9.99. It’s a steal folks, A STEAL! You’re going to want to grab this up immediately. I highly recommend each of these books.
Brianna Lambert’s husband Markus is gentle, loving and is crazy about her–and she loves him. Yet she can’t stop herself from cheating on him with her abusive pseudo Dom ex-boyfriend. When Markus find out, he is so hurt and angered that he drops her off at The Punishment Pit—a BDSM club where Doms take their wayward subs to be punished by the master of all Masters. There, Brianna is a given the choice to either sign divorce papers or submit to severe, humiliating punishments. Desperate to save her marriage, Brianna chooses the latter. Markus’s friend Lukas proceeds to put her through the paces in an attempt to break her down and get her to sign the papers. In the process, Lukas learns why Brianna cheated, and he begins to have sympathy for her. But will the information be enough to convince Markus to give her another chance?
I was blown away by this debut novel by author Livia Grant. First, it is very well written and the story was so gripping it wouldn’t let me go until I finished it. I lost sleep over this book. Second, Livia Grant did something that many other authors don’t do—she took risks by tackling a taboo head on. No, not BDSM. Infidelity. I read a lot of domestic discipline novels and a fair amount of BDSM and when punishment occurs it is usually for something insignificant—the hero tells the heroine to stay put—she disobeys. She does something a little reckless that he feels isn’t safe, or she talks back. I wondered why no one wrote a story in which the heroine did something truly bad, something that was unquestionably wrong.
Brianna Lambert does that when she cheats her husband. And Markus does that when, knowing of the physical abuse in her past, he washes his hands of her and abandons her to be caned, whipped and God- only-knows-what else until she signs divorce papers. Yet the reader has sympathy for both of them. The emotions are raw, honest, and real.
This is not a typical erotic romance (I would call it erotica, but even then it’s not typical). For a good part of the book, “hero” Markus isn’t even in the picture—the story shifts to his friend Lukas who administers the punishments. And then it shifts again to Tiffany, Brianna’s BFF, who goes in search of Brianna when she turns up missing.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gritty, edgy novel that lays it on line. For BDSM and spanking fiction fans, Wanting it All is must read.