Today I’m reviewing an eBook entitled Bella Rosa by Jade Cary. Bella Rosa is what I would call a hybrid—not strictly a spanking romance and not strictly a crime drama. It’s a nice blend of both. My article on spanking romances may be found in the sidebar to the right and it explains what this genre comprises. Of course everyone knows what a crime/mystery/thriller novel is. Ms. Cary’s book is, however, marketed as a spanking romance novel. It is published by Lazy Day Publishing, a new (to me, anyway) publishing house with a “Spanking /DD” section all its own.
The plot is not unique, but Ms. Cary puts a spin on it that I found compelling. Rowan Delany, the former wife of a mobster, becomes the target of an unknown assassin. Enter Vince Girardi, a police detective assigned to protect her. Dr. Delany is independent, headstrong and heedless of the danger that stalks her. Feelings develop between the two, and a romance blooms. But not before Vince has to lay down the law to the somewhat spoiled lady doctor.
In my view the hardest thing to pull off in a spanking romance novel set in contemporary times is a non-consensual spanking scene between the two principal characters. In today’s culture the idea of spanking an adult woman against her will is a totally unacceptable, politically incorrect notion. But in contemporary spanking romances it happens all the time, and frequently leaves the reader asking ‘why doesn’t she just sue him for assault?’ The trick is to make it seem plausible and justified under the circumstances.
The groundwork is laid by Vince who forbids her to leave her house and go shopping for fear that she is being watched. An argument ensues in which she actually bites his finger. At that point he asks, seething, but with some admirable restraint, if she would like for him to take her upstairs and give her a good spanking. She demurs but not before realizing that her panties are quite moist at the very thought. Well! Later, after they retreat to his remote mountain cabin (which is a strategy designed to hide her from the stalker) he warns Rowan that she’d better heed his rules for her personal safety. Failure to do so could mean that promised but deferred spanking. Well, of course she “forgets,” puts herself in harms way, and here we go—a non-consensual spanking. Does it work for the reader? Yeah.
Ms. Cary pulls it off. She succeeds admirably and handles the scene in a way that is not only very believable, but is ultimately satisfying. And, it’s hot, setting the stage for future scenes of domestic discipline and resulting sexual encounters. The sex and spanking scenes are fully realized and well described, and the plot has some interesting twists. I also enjoyed the final showdown, a climactic scene with tense action sequences that were very well done.
A couple of things distinguish this work from the more mundane offerings the genre sometimes serves up. The first is the depth of the characters. I came to feel like I really knew who Vince Girardi and Rowan Delany were. Being a woman author, Ms. Cary brings on the heat in the sex and spanking scenes mostly from Rowan’s point of view. (I can well imagine that her female readers will likely be transported to a naughty place when they get to those parts—husbands, get ready.) Second, it’s a compelling drama. The witness-protection-of-fair-damsel-by-rugged-cop scenario is not unique, but the plot is actually more involved than that, and leads to a thrilling and tense denouement.
So, I’d have to say, bravo and very well done. Five stars in my book. The link to Amazon is HERE
In the future I plan to review more eBooks by such authors as Cara Bristol, Renee Rose, Sue Lyndon, Ana Vitsky, Celeste Jones and others, so watch these pages.