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Emmaline’s Groom – Casey McKay (RE-POST)

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Review by Etta Stark

I love a spanking story. Preferably one with a historic setting – late Victorian period is my absolute favourite. Throw in a socially mismatched pair of lovers and some sparkling dialogue and you’ve got my perfect book.

Casey McKay’s Emmaline’s Groom ticks every single one of my spanking preference boxes and does so with great style. It’s fantastic. I feel like I have I have just acquired my very own bespoke romance writer catering specially to my own personal requirements.

Although to be fair, I’m probably far from being the only person likely to be enchanted by Emmaline and Leo’s story.

Lady Emmaline Lawford is the much indulged daughter of the Marquess of Stanhope. During a stolen week of intimacy, she surrenders her virginity to one of her servants, Leo Colston, whom she has always loved. The couple’s plans to marry are derailed as Emmaline is forced to accept a suitor more in keeping with her station. However, some outrageously scandalous behaviour on Emmaline’s part exposes their secret and forces a marriage between Emmaline and Leo. We then follow the couple as they start their married life together on a voyage to America, their soon-to be new home. A lot of spanking and some very sexy lovemaking ensues as well as a sub-plot about a jilted husband which provides the more suspenseful aspects of the story.

My one criticism of the book – and it’s not a criticism so much as an observation – is that the book sometimes feels more like the continuation of an existing story rather than the first in a series. There is so much already happening that I found myself re-checking Casey’s blog and Amazon to see if there was an earlier book I’d missed.

I especially wanted to know more about the backstory between Emmaline’s oldest brother, Samuel and his wife, Clara. How did the stuffy Earl of Darlington feel about being matched to a rich American heiress who tells servants not to call her ‘Lady’ because “titles make me crazy”? What compromises did they need to make to reach the state of wedded bliss we see them enjoying in Emmaline’s Groom? There’s probably a clue in Samuel’s remarks to Leo in the aftermath of Emmaline’s scandalous behaviour: “If Lady Clara were acting like my sister, she would be in for a session with the strap.” I so want to find out more about this couple.

Of course this isn’t about Samuel and Clara. Emmaline’s Groom is very definitely Emmaline and Leo’s story.

Despite their obvious love for one another, Emmaline and Leo have to work hard at their relationship. Emmaline needs to control her impetuousness while Leo needs to learn how to reign in his temper. And, to their credit, both try very hard to do so. Emmaline especially recognises that she can no longer act like a pampered princess and must learn to be adjust to life as an obedient wife of a working man. She is refreshingly aware of her shortcomings and tells Leo: “Sometimes even when I have the best intentions, even when I am trying very hard to stay out of trouble, I cannot.” Luckily Leo is just the man to give her the discipline she needs whether it is daily maintenance spankings or a stern lesson in obedience with the strap.

The best scenes are those when the pair are sparring off one another. Their conversation is so

natural and sweet and witty that I could happily believe that Emmaline and Leo were made for one another,

This is one of the most delightful, romantic books I have read in a while. I enjoyed it hugely.

 

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