by Emily Tilton
The Winter Storm is absolutely unique, I think, even in the wonderful little sub-genre of fairytale spanking stories. The book’s triple authorship accomplishes that on its own, but the hilarious, touching story that seems to have resulted from the heck of a good time the authors had writing the book also sets it well apart from anything else in spanking fiction.
Lovers of spanking fiction know Renee Rose as one of the most reliably entertaining, and reliably hot, authors working in the several different sub-genres of spanking romance. Casey McKay‘s Cursed Waters and Catch a Falling Star might not have crossed your radar screen yet, though, and The Winter Storm represents Katherine Deane‘s first publication. The book helpfully provides a who’s who of the characters, and which author wrote each of their stories; judging from the list, Katherine Deane might be called the lead author of this book, and her work promises wonderful things to come. McKay and Rose handle separate characters who eventually fit into the overarching tale constructed by Deane, and their work is just as able and entertaining as Deane’s.
I find it nearly impossible to describe the plot and characters of the book without giving away large parts of the fun of discovering the many little allusions to classic fairytales that all three authors have scattered through the book. I think I must let it suffice to say that the story constantly reminded me of two of my very favorite writers of non-spanking fantasy, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. That’s because the world created by Deane, McKay, and Rose bears a superficial resemblance both to a standard fairytale setting (wolves, fairies) and to our regular old modern world (cellphones, spas). The tropes of other kinds of fantasy–werewolves and slayers, for example–also enter in, to create their own contrasts. Like Gaiman and Pratchett, the authors then use the interference between the two to create lovely, and often hilarious, incongruities like a hirsute Mr. B. B. Wolfe running the Spa N K, where he can provide both tender, healing spankings, and ferocious, lupine carnal action.
The main plot concerns a girl named Jillian, set upon, with her brother, Jake, by wolves and saved by the aforesaid Wolf(e) and brought to his spa. Both Jillian and Jake are in search of mates and, of course, find them–and spank and are spanked by them, respectively. Jillian’s story is handled by Deane, Jake and his new love Coral’s by McKay; Rose handles a separate, extremely cute and blazingly hot plot about a fairy and a cousin of Wolfe. Confused? Don’t worry about it; not only is it all surprisingly easy to follow, but on this strange journey through a fantasy-world the romantic element is always at the fore, with the erotic discipline just a moment behind.
One fascinating aspect of The Winter Storm is the distinctness of the voices of its authors: it’s really rather remarkable how each handles the emotional, disciplinary, and erotic aspects of the three relationships differently, and yet in a way that harmonizes each with the others. If I had anything to criticize it might be that the construction of the story shows a bit too much of that distinctness at the end, when Jillian’s story resolves and she disappears, letting the other main characters work towards a resolution that ends up being delayed for a sequel that I hope won’t be long in coming.
But I want to state clearly another aspect of the book that I absolutely adored: the spankings and the sex just keep coming. Eroticism is the coin of the realm in this fantasy-world, and the next spanking (or figging, or something else lovely) is never more than a few pages away. Call me, I don’t know, kinky, but that’s my kind of erotic romance: this is a story about sex among spankos, and the spankings and the sex are hot.
Above all, I just can’t help thinking that this is the most purely entertaining spanking story you’ll have read in a long time. The Big Bad Wolf(e) as a hero is unexpected, but didn’t we always kind of know that’s what Red Riding Hood was really after?
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Review by Patricia Green
Renee Rose is a force in the community of spanking fiction writers. Her work spans many historical time periods and contemporary settings as well. Often a best-selling author, she always leaves a reader with a good feeling about what they’ve read and a desire to read more of her work. I have all of Renee’s books and will always be among the first in line to get the next one.
Held for Ransom tells the story of Ariana and Crow, a princess and a knight in the magical days of Avalon. Theirs is not the usual love story because it starts out on the wrong foot: Crow kidnaps Ariana and—you guessed it—holds her for ransom. Her brother is king of the realm, and is very close to his sister. He will stop at nothing to get her back. Consequently, Crow is in serious danger.
Crow wants his sister back and is sure that the king has taken her prisoner. Despite it being treasonous, he’ll do anything to get her back, including endangering his life to a great degree. But he doesn’t realize when he starts this progression that he will find himself attracted to Ariana as more than a hostage.
Once again, Renee Rose has captivated me with her elegant and approachable writing. The characters are fulsome and compelling. The plot doesn’t meander or stagnate at any point, making the book a “page-turner” from the prologue forward. Romance is generous and touching, in Renee Rose’s universe, and the spankings are believable as well as ouch-inducing. I enjoyed Held for Ransom, and look forward to many more books from Renee.
I highly recommend this book to readers who love romance and spankings together. Held for Ransom is a wonderful, balanced mix of both. But I would caution people to remember that spankings are not always totally consensual, and anal play is often part of the mix. Furthermore, if you are put off by explicit sexual scenes, this might not be the book for you.
If you haven’t tried a Renee Rose book before, this is your opportunity. One-click your way to a great read and sink your teeth into something that will keep you entertained for hours.
By Dinah McLeod
Maggie Carpenter returns to finish an epic trilogy: British Billionaire Bachelor. We are reacquainted with the characters we love and get to follow Belle and Simon on their journey as they intensify their relationship by adding an even hotter element of D/s. This book is juicer than even those we’ve read before—if you can believe it!
In celebration of our release, we are hosting a scavenger hunt!
We will have an excerpt from our new book The Winter Storm: An Ever After Chronicle everyday. All you have to do is read the post and follow the link to answer the question. Do not answer in the comments, we want everyone to have a fair chance!
Thursday (March 6th) – Katherine Deane
Friday Adaline Raine
Saturday- Casey McKay
Thanks! And Good luck!!
By Renee Rose
I adore medieval romance, so I jumped at the chance to read Emily Tilton’s The Count’s Discipline. It tells the tale of Count Robert de Lourcy, a young nobleman interested in the disciplinary arts. When his new, older wife refuses to allow him to spank her, he disciplines the castle servants until one day he takes it too far, actually ordering all the women of a conquered demesne stripped bare and flogged in public:
“…by the time the Vespers bell rang through the square, at least one hundred naked young female bottoms glowed redder in the setting sun than they would have had they for some reason been exposed to it the day before.”
This amusing scene earns the Count the condemnation of the Bishop, and consequently brings him together with Sophia, the child he places in a convent as part of his penance, the child who becomes the narrator. Like the Count, Sophia has a natural affinity for spanking. When she turns eighteen, she becomes the Count’s secretary, punished frequently for her weekly sins.
Tilton always pushes the erotic beyond normal bounds. She is completely fearless in “going there.” The public spanking scene is so over-the-top, it is funny (and totally hot), and yet what keeps it from becoming tacky, or unbelievable is the brilliance of her writing. Many of her stories are framed by a narrator. This one contains two frames– the present day narrator who discovers and translates the text, and the original narrator, Sophia, our young heroine. One of the delights of this presentation are the “asides” from the translator-narrator in which the reader gets the joy of actually learning something about medieval times or translation. Take this snippet, for example, when the ten-year-old Sophia first meets the Count:
“Melisende’s girl, my lord,” I replied. I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to do my courtesies, and I began to do them frantically, bobbing up and down.
[A “courtesy” is the original form of the word we know as “curtsey.” The word “courtesy” itself comes from “court,” and though I think there is reason to be uncertain about whether Sophia means by “gratias curiae”–that is, “the favors of the court,” I don’t think it can be very different from what we think of as a curtsey, for she definitely says “super et desuper me movens”–literally, “moving myself up and down,” which I here render as “bobbing up and down.”]
All the language is delightfully poetic in its historic presentation of the erotic, such as this awesome description of anal sex:
My face was hot as I felt the wetness begin again, at the thought of Count Robert’s manly part pressed against the little postern gate of my garden of Venus.
One of the things I find remarkable about Tilton’s books is her insight into the nature of dominance and submission. Even though I consider myself to be a default expert, as a life-long spanko, I deepen my understanding every time I walk away from a Tilton read. In this case I loved when she touched on Sophia’s dissatisfaction stemming from a lack of a master–after serving at the convent, governing herself at the castle where no one liked her or took charge of her, left her lost. She craved someone to serve, both for an erotic interest in discipline, but also for direction and feeling/knowing her place and how she fit in/belonged. The belonging part is key–as she soon learns the pleasure of feeling entirely owned and governed by her master. Here is their discussion after her first spanking:
“There, Sophia,” said the count, rubbing my bottom again. “What have you learned?”
“I have learned that I am your Sophia.”
“But you knew that already, sweet Sophia. Shall I help you?”
“Yes, my lord, if you please.” I could not understand why it felt so entirely good and right to be over his lap, with my backside uncovered and in pain, answering his patient questions, and learning from him.
“I hope you have learned that to be my Sophia is to answer to me for your deeds, done well or ill: your responsibility is to me, as mine is to you, to honor you and to correct you. As my servant, you are bound to me, but I am also bound to you. In sum: our duties are to one another, and one of the things I owe you is chastisement, when I judge that chastisement will be of benefit to you. Do you understand?”
Beautiful and erotically daring writing aside, in the end what swept me away about The Count’s Discipline was the tender romance. The Count remained honorable and true to his wife until she died, but he kept Sophia close to him, protected and disciplined until he was free to take a new wife. I do not think it’s a spoiler to tell you there’s a lovely happily ever after for the two spanko hearts that beat as one.
We are also changing how we review. We will only be using other published spanking romance authors as reviewers, giving their take on books in their genre. We will no longer be using a 1-5 star or paddle review rating system. Basically, if a book appears on Spanking Romance Reviews, it is considered a “Recommended Read”. Some author-reviewers may still gave a rating index on things like heat level, spankings, etc but no overall rating will be applied.
We are looking for author-reviewers to join to editorial team at SRR. If you are interested, please email Reneeroseauthor at gmail.com
We hope you enjoy the new format!