Reviewed by Etta Stark
Some spanking fiction is pure fantasy. And I’m not just talking about the sort of thing set on the far-off planet of Padlor where the Ancient Al-Faas insist on the young, female and invariably nubile members of their kingdom obey the sacred spanking rituals of their people. Although that does sound pretty great. Nobody steal that.
Spanking romance stories can be set in what is seemingly the real world and still be pretty fantastical by nature. You know the sort of thing – where the hero can lay a hundred lashes on his lady’s backside and by the next morning all traces of his handiworks will have disappeared leaving an unblemished canvas for the next day’s spanking. Where no-one ever needs to worry about condoms or lube or whether it might be the heroine’s time of the month.
A Simple Misunderstanding is not one of those kinds of books.
In fact, for a completely fictional spanking community, Corbin’s Bend stories are all set very squarely in the real world. The series certainly doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult subjects.
Tara Finnegan’s Exile to Unity (reviewed on Spanking Romance Reviews a couple of days ago by Rayanna Jamison) dealt with a whole host of real-world issues including job loss, marital difficulties and the problems of having a premature baby. But it was Finnegan’s eloquently written words on coping (and, in fact, failing to cope) with depression that had me crying in the bath. Kate Richards’s For Ben also reduced me to tears. This time I was sitting at Waterloo train station trying to sob discreetly as I read about a woman trying to come to terms with the death of her twin sister while supporting her suddenly orphaned four year-old nephew.
And much like those two books, Kathryn R Blake’s A Simple Misunderstanding, the seventh book in the hugely successful Corbin’s Bend series – will put you through the emotional wringer.
The book deals with the issue of domestic abuse. It’s a difficult subject to tackle within the context of a BDSM novel. I am sure that plenty of people who embrace a healthy domestic discipline lifestyle have had to deal with people who are unable or unwilling to see a difference between domestic discipline and domestic abuse.
There is a difference of course. A huge one. And it is a difference that Kathryn R Blake tackles head-on here.
The story’s hero, Jerry Douglas often sees Corbin’s Bend newcomer, Elly Benson when she walks her dog near his veterinary practice. He has his suspicions that the relationship Elly has with her husband, Arthur, may not be a healthy one but is trying to resist interfering in another couple’s marriage. Elly denies there is any problem insisting as she does that the bruises she is trying to hide are down to a ‘simple misunderstanding’ between her husband and her.
However, we discover that Elly has become increasingly withdrawn and frightened since her marriage to Arthur. Although he chose to move them to the spanking-friendly community of Corbin’s Bend, Arthur discourages Elly from talking to the other residents or making friends, telling her that she cannot be trusted not to embarrass them both with her behavior. Her self-confidence has been eroded to the point where she is unable to see how dangerous and unhealthy the marriage has become. Finally, Arthur’s violence escalates to the point where he puts Elly’s life in danger. Tellingly even then, Elly only seeks out Jerry’s help because of the injuries her husband has caused to her beloved dog, not because of her own broken ribs and bleeding internal organs.
Jerry, who already knew that his feeling for Elly were more than platonic, puts everything on hold in order to rescue Elly and help repair the damage Arthur has caused not just to her body but to her hugely damaged sense of worth. The relationship quickly develops into a romance. And, this being Corbin’s Bend, a romance that includes spankings.
It’s a brilliantly written book and Kathryn R Blake manages to tell Elly’s story in particular in a believable and sympathetic manner. It can be very easy for people to assume that those who remain in abusive relationships must be weak or stupid when in fact the truth is far more nuanced than that. Elly may be damaged but she’s also funny, stroppy, clever, generous and loving. And Jerry’s love – and loving discipline – helps her to see it.
This is another excellent story in the consistently brilliant Corbin’s Bend series – A Simple Misunderstanding is thought-provoking, powerful and beautifully, life-affirmingly romantic. Kathryn R Blake takes us on one hell of an emotional rollercoaster before we reach Elly and Jerry’s Happily Ever After but it is certainly worth the journey.
By Kathryn Blake
I’d say Emily Tilton is known for “pushing the envelope” in her stories. She writes novels where the guilty pleasure her characters suffer (over their secret, almost forbidden, enjoyment of the embarrassment and humiliation required in their submission) creates the same guilty pleasure in the reader. We are vicarious participants to the action as we eavesdrop and watch through invisible walls. Absorbed in the characters’ activities, we remain fascinated to see how the story will develop despite the whispered murmurs of our conscience reminding us our mothers warned us voyeurism is rude. Though Her Doctor’s Orders is one of Ms. Tilton’s tamer books, that same guilty fascination is present for us with Kendra Jackson, the heroine in Her Doctor’s Orders.
The premise behind the book begins with eighteen-year-old Kendra Jackson rushing to the hospital when her mother injures several people while driving drunk,. In the emergency room, Dr. Levi Hunter promises Kendra that everything is going to be okay, but she cannot imagine how the handsome medic’s words could possibly be true, especially once her mother is sent to prison.
Three years later, when Kendra is taken to the hospital after she wraps her car around a pole due to her own drunk driving, Levi pays her bail and brings her home with him. After examining her thoroughly – despite her protests and blushes – to make sure she’s not seriously injured, he offers to let her stay with him while she gets her life back on track. He warns her, though, that living under his roof means living by his rules… and breaking those rules will have consequences.
Kendra responds to Levi’s firm handed dominance and finds she secretly enjoys the way he removes her choices as he serves as her mentor, guardian, lover, and yes, doctor. When she makes a serious error in judgment, he is not above using his medical expertise to deter her from ever making the same mistake twice. However, despite her tears and begging, a part of Kendra finds solace and security in Levi’s implacability. Her body recognizes him as her master and responds accordingly, despite (and sometimes because of) the embarrassment Levi causes her.
Levi wants to ensure that Kendra learns her lessons, but beneath his strict discipline, the reader feels his love and tenderness toward Kendra despite any pain or discomfort he dispenses. Even when he purposefully adds an embarrassing procedure to her punishment, he is never degrading, and always takes care to assure her afterwards of his continued affection.
I admired Levi’s protectiveness (being a sucker for a firm and protective hero), and understood why Kendra constantly questioned her good luck in finding him. If you enjoy stories where the hero doesn’t hesitate to administer punishments he knows will embarrass the heroine, I think you’ll find everything you desire in Her Doctor’s orders.
Review by Rayanna Jamison
Exile to Unity is the 3rd spanking romance book in the Corbin’s Bend series. It is the story of Angela and Jim O’Brien whose preference for BDSM becomes public fodder when Ange goes into pre-term labor during a session. The events following the pre-mature birth of their son cause them to lose almost everything, including themselves. Their marriage is barely hanging on when they decide to uproot themselves from their home in Ireland and make a new home halfway across the world in Corbin’s Bend, Colorado, a community known for its friendly affinity for BDSM and domestic discipline.
Ange settles into their new life pretty well, but she doesn’t want anything to change, Her new friends all live in domestic discipline relationships, but Ange has no interest in living that life herself, preferring to keep their relationship the way it has always been. Jim however, is desperate for a change and more than ready to lay down the law, and see if domestic discipline can save their marriage from what it has become.
This story tackled some pretty big issues, one of the most notable being the post-partum depression Ange kept hidden after their son’s birth. Beyond the struggles of moving across the world, trying to settle in a new place, trying to repair their marriage and navigating their way into and through a domestic discipline arrangement that initially, only one of them wants- this story has a plethora of plot twists. It got to a point where every time I came across a new one I was shaking my head thinking “what in the heck is she doing now?” The story could have easily existed and been excellent without many of these twists, but they all worked together for the good of the story, and there was no unfinished business leaving you wondering at the end. For that I say, Bravo, Ms. Finnegan, well done.
There is one other thing I would like to address. I’m not giving anything away by saying that this book has an enema scene. Snippets of said scene have been shared repeatedly, so I don’t feel as if to address this taboo is a spoiler of any sort. My personal preference would be to never ever have an enema scene in any power exchange relationship story, especially one without any medical play elements. Knowing that this scene was in there at first made me hesitant to be the one reviewing this book. However, having now read the entire scene, I will say that while to me, still a yucky concept- it was very well done- handled with class and without grossness, and made sense in a sort of punishment fits the crime sort of way.
So, while there were parts of this book that I could have done without and a few Irish phrases that had me totally confused, I came away from it utterly satisfied with the authors abilities to create believable characters struggling with a diverse range of conflicts and make it all tie together in a way that can only be described as impressive.
I highly recommend this book!
Review by Rayanna Jamison
Chance Encounter is the 3rd book in Tabitha’s Chances of Discipline series. It is the story of Kevin, a tattooed bad boy with a dominant heart who is recovering from a very public and messy breakup with a woman who turned down his marriage proposal in front of a room full of his family and friends. While dragged out on a guy’s night with his buddies, Kevin rescues Angie, a party-hard acquaintance with a not so stellar reputation- when she gets into a sticky situation with some jerks on the dance floor. He is instantly attracted to her, and her reaction to him is mutual. But not really in a place for a relationship neither takes it any farther. Then, as the book’s title infers, they continue to run into each other through many more chance encounters. Angie, a labor and delivery nurse, who is used to taking care of herself, but doesn’t always do a good job, brings out Kevin’s dominant nature, and much to his surprise, her reaction to it is not an adverse one. They eventually find their way into a relationship, and all is going well, until Kevin makes a mistake in judgment while they are at a wedding with Angie’s coworkers. Like any couple in a power exchange relationship, they have to readjust and re-evaluate, but Angie is not sure she can go back to the way things were.
This book was a hot read with well-defined characters that were easy to love. Kevin’s fear of getting back into the dating scene after having his heart stomped on was tangent, as was his fear of having his natural dominance rejected. Angie was a hard working nurse with a big heart who had a history of often going after the wrong man, which is something I am sure many women can relate to. The chemistry between them was sweet and spicy at the same time.
The only thing that would have made this story better in my opinion was a little more depth to Angie’s character. What I mean by this was, it was clearly stated several times throughout the story that she was seen as having a slightly promiscuous past, but that she had recently taken steps toward calming down and changing that behavior, even prior to the night Kevin came to her rescue on the dance floor. Several times, I felt like there was more to the story, and I kept thinking that I was going to be enlightened on the subject a little more, but it never happened. I would have liked a little more info. What happened to make her want to change her ways suddenly? What was going on? I just felt like there was a back story there that I was missing out on.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and all the characters in it, main and otherwise. It wasn’t until after I read it, that I realized it was a part of a series. While it read well as a stand-alone- I will definitely be going back and reading the rest of the series. There were a lot of intriguing couples in the background, such as Angie’s sister Gina and her husband Derek, who I suspect are main characters in their own previous book.
Perhaps when I go back and read the other books in the series I will get the pieces of Angie that I felt were missing from this book. All in all, I found a new author for my favorite list, and a few more books to add to my ever growing TBR list.
What’s your preference in fiction…domestic discipline or erotic spanking? Why?
I have written several stories with erotic spanking but have an interest in domestic discipline. There are so many possibilities you can have with a 24/7 system in place and a power structure set up.
Do you see a difference between spanking fiction and BDSM? What is it?
Yes. You don’t always have to have BDSM with spanking. A good solid spanking can just lead to a hot sex scene.
Did you read spanking fiction before you started writing it?
Yes. I loved the zing I felt when I read the stories and knew I had to write something in the same vein.
Tell us about your current release.
I have several. The first one is Fetish Fair, a choose your own erotic adventure. It is full of possibilities and there are several scenes with spanking.
Kari’s BFF tricks her into attending a fetish expo, promptly losing her as they arrive. She can find her friend or maybe, just maybe find the secret to her own heart’s desires? Only a choice can open the door. If she dares.
SilkWords LLC is the go-to source for interactive women’s fiction. Blurring the line between fiction and gaming, SilkWords.com offers high quality romance and erotica that allows individual readers to choose how stories proceed. Two formats are available: branched fiction (“pick your path”) and linear stories that are produced with reader participation. Future phases will focus on development of a SilkWords community by adding more levels of interactivity for both authors and readers. SilkWords is a place for smart, busy, adventurous women to unwind and have fun. To learn more about our unique reading experience, visit www.silkwords.com.
The second release is the Sci Spanks anthology.
Blurb: Sci Spanks 2014 offers fifteen sexy spanking stories from fifteen authors. You’ll find everything from sweet, tender romance to laugh-out-loud humor and references to old-school science fiction popular culture. You’ll find a mixture of romantic pairings, from M/F to F/F to M/M. Some stories are harsher, while others appeal to the softest-hearted romantic. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
I honestly don’t remember. It just sort of came about organically in my erotic writing and I haven’t turned back since.
If you were asked to make a soundtrack for your novel, what songs would be on it?
Music can really speak about what I’m writing, but I often don’t listen when I write. Here are some songs that have meaning when I’m dreaming of my work.
“Demons” by Imagine Dragons
“Torpedo” by Jillette Johnson
“My Oh My” by Tristan Prettyman
“Counting Stars” by One Republic
“Drive” by Melissa Ferrick
“Unconditional” by Katy Perry
“Hold On” by Colbie Caillat
Skeleton by The Good Natured
“The Walker” by Fitz and the Tantrums
“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
“Wildest Moments” by Jessie Ware
“Fetish” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
“My Moon” by Mary Lambert
“This Heart” by Mary Lambert
“She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert
“Boom Clap” by Charli XCX
“Not About Angels” by Birdy
Also anything by Sia, Florence and the Machine, Peter Phippen and Peter Murphy.
When you’re not writing, what else do you like to do?
Between my job as a bookstore manager, sleeping and keeping up with my family I am pretty much always writing. I like to crochet, read, bake and watch monster movies when I get the chance.
Are you currently or have you ever been in a spanking relationship? Do you use real life experiences in your books?
Yes. To a limited degree. Most of my stories come from my overactive imagination.
What is your favorite spanking implement?
I’m torn. Wooden spoon or paddle? Hmmm. Then there is the intimacy of the bare hand striking the bottom. So many choices….I love them all.
Spanking is a hot topic that pushes people’s buttons. They either like it or they don’t. What do you think makes it hot, both positive and negative?
There is a bond that forms between the spanker and the spankee.
The release from bottled up emotion for both parties.
A power structure based on trust that benefits both parties whether it is erotic spanking or domestic discipline.
Misunderstanding that spanking is abuse
Spanking can inflect a control issue that some people are not willing to dialog in.
Thanks for having me on the blog today. I hope you will check out Fetish Fair and stop by my Facebook page and let me know what you think. More adventures are in the works. If you missed Sci Spanks this year, pick up a copy of the anthology while it is still .99 and mark your calendars for the autumn and winter events coming up. Lots of authors, some great stories and tons of prizes to be had by all.
“How do you choose your subs?” Kari blushed, staring down at the pattern the fishnets made on her legs. She was going to have to get some of these. They were sexy beyond belief. I can’t believe I just asked him that!
Master Carraway ran a finger down the fastenings and met her startled expression with a warm smile. “That, my dear, is a very leading question.”
Kari blushed. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.”
His smiled turned downward. “No. That’s not what I meant at all.” He patted her back and turned her around to face him. “I choose my subs carefully. There has to be a trust there. A chemistry.”
Kari swallowed. He was standing so close she could feel the heat from his body. “Oh.” Her pussy spasmed as the scent of his spicy musk filled her nostrils. “Do you have a sub now?”
Master Carraway chuckled. “No. Not at the present time.” He tipped her chin upward, looking into her eyes. “Why, are you applying for the position? And here I thought we had only just met?”
Kari swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. He was daring her. The bastard thought she was too afraid. She lifted her chin and stared him in the eyes, defiant. “What if I was?”
“Now that would be intriguing.” He bent down and captured her lips with his, a feather light touch of intimate perusal. He drew back and wound a hand in her hair, pulling her closer. “Do you understand what that would mean? To be a submissive?” His eyes bored into hers, his breath teasing her lips, oh so close. She strained to meet his lips and he yanked back on her hair. “No. Answer the question.”
The sting brought a gasp from her and a surge of fluid to her moist folds. Outrage and shock warred with arousal. “I should hope so.” She snorted, her eyes daring him to go further. “I write about BDSM.” Kari blinked moisture from her eyes, annoyed that it had stung, but equally surprised at her body’s response. The pain had excited her more than she thought it would have.
“Do you?” He stood back, releasing his grip on her hair. “I live the lifestyle and there are many who think they know, but the first hint of not being in control, they run for the hills back to their vanilla lives.” Master Carraway pulled her face inches from his own. “I can’t help but wonder…”
“What?” Kari cocked her head, trying to understand his elusive comment.
“What flavor are you?” He brushed his lips to hers as he pulled her against him long enough to crush her breasts against his chest.
Erzabet Bishop has been crafting stories since she could pound keys on her parents’ old typewriter. She has only just learned that it is a whole lot more fun writing naughty books. She is a contributing author to the Silk Words website with her Fetish Fair choose your own romantic adventure stories, Potnia, A Christmas To Remember, Taboo II, Forbidden Fruit, Club Rook: The Series, Sweat, Bossy, When the Clock Strikes Thirteen, Unbound Box, Milk & Cookies & Handcuffs, Holidays in Hell, Corset Magazine: Sex Around the World Issue and Man vs. Machine: The Sex Toy Issue, Smut by the Sea Volume 2, Hell Whore Volume 2, Can’t Get Enough, Slave Girls, The Big Book of Submission, Hungry for More, Gratis II, Anything She Wants, Dirty Little Numbers, Kink-E magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Coming Together: Girl on Girl, Shifters and Coming Together: Hungry for Love among others. She is the author of Lipstick (upcoming), Dinner Date, Tethered, Red Moon Rising, Sigil Fire, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation. Erzabet is a finalist in the GCLS 2014 awards in two separate categories. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.
Follow her reviews and posts on Twitter @erzabetbishop.
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Reviewed by Tara Finnegan
The Coach’s Discipline is a heartwarming story of Claire, an athlete struggling with health (bulimia) and emotional issues which hold her back from success. She meets Coach Nick who teaches her to trust in herself and others and to fulfil her potential, with the aid of domestic discipline. As Claire’s trust in Nick grows, she begins to develop into all she can be, athletically and in personal development and a delightful romance blossoms between the pair.
I found I was rooting for Claire for the entire story, I felt her pain, her frustrations and her glimmers of hope as they came along. There are some fun moments that will have you laughing, especially at Claire’s tendency to speak before she thinks. Other tense moments will make you chew your nails as misunderstandings occur. The book is generously peppered with spankings, and sexual discovery with some lovely hot scenes. (There is one scene that gives a whole new meaning to telephone sex which is quite delicious.) While it may not have been the most sexually explicit book I have ever read, probably a heat rating of four rather than five, that suited the story perfectly.
Both Claire and Nick were wonderful main characters, strong but humanly flawed and both had such depth that the reader can’t help but become their friends. You will be sad to see the story end, as then your friends move on to another world.
The plot was very well developed and entirely believable. The book flowed very nicely too, never feeling rushed or nothing dragged out too long. There was not one spanking that I considered unwarranted or unreasonable. I know I am supposed to give some constructive criticism as part of a review purpose, but honestly, to do so, I feel I would be nit picking for the sake of it. It was an excellent job from beginning to end. It’s not often that I read a book and don’t find at least something I might have preferred was handled differently but this was one of the rarities. I really look forward to reading more from this author and highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great spanking romance.