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Maggie Carpenter – The Strict British Barrister (RE-POST)

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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 onboard 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 boxset. 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 theadventurously 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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