The Mail Order Switch by Patty Devlin – (RE-POST)


Review by Etta Stark

Recently Celeste Jones reviewed Chicagoan Switch by Patty Devlin [http://spankingromance.com/the-chicagoan-switch-by-patty-devlin-a-fun-ride/] which is a sort-of sequel featuring the ‘one who got away’ in this book, Mail Order Switch.

In the original story, Caroline Lowe (The Chicagoan Switch’s main protagonist) persuades teenage runaway Liz Castle to switch places with her when she gets cold feet about becoming a mail order bride to a man she has never met.

It’s an interesting premise, set at a point in history when it was common for men working out west to place adverts to find themselves wives. The practise allowed men to find wives even though they were forging new lives for themselves where women were in short supply. The couples would exchange no more than a few letters and perhaps a photograph.

Although there was certainly no photo exchanged in the case of Caroline and our hero, Wade Malone. An oversight perhaps, on his part, which enables his intended to switch places with Liz.

Liz has escaped from the lascivious clutches of a wicked uncle and aimed to head out west disguised as a boy and make her own way in the world. She is persuaded instead to take up Caroline’s identity and, with it, an obligation to marry Wade.

To be honest, it’s a good thing that Caroline did manage to persuade Liz away from her original plan. Liz turns out to be terrible at subterfuge. She’s totally unable to master the basic pretending-to-be-someone else skills and continually finds herself caught out in her lies.

Her new husband, Wade is a gruff but fair man with a firm belief in physical discipline. Of course he is. I rather hoped he would be. Wade delivers the first spanking within hours of marrying his new bride. Given Liz’s inevitable tendency to lie – and lie badly – coupled with her preponderance to run away the moment she feels stressed, Wade has plenty to reasons to spank her subsequently on numerous occasions. And each time, within the story, it feels deserved. Spankings are delivered either via Wade’s palm or – on a couple of occasions – the switch. They are non-consensual discipline spankings although Liz quickly learns to appreciate the concern for her wellbeing that motivates Wade to punish her.

Wade is a widower whose incentive for arranging a new wife is simply to provide a new mother for his two young children. He intends the marriage to be one in name only. Of course, the reader knows that the relationship is destined to bloom into something greater and the way this is handled is sweet and believable.

I haven’t yet read “The Chicagoan Switch” and I am really looking forward to doing so. What’s the likelihood, do you think, that Caroline managed to avoid one enthusiastic spanker only to end up embroiled with another one? I certainly hope so!


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