The Romance of Chastisement

The Romance of Chastisement

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Review--Betrothed by Renee Rose

Today I'm going to continue my "writing the spanking scene" exploration by talking about a book. "Betrothed" is an early work of Renee Rose. It's available on several platforms. The Amazon link is HERE.

Product DetailsBetrothed is a "spanking romance," ostensibly an historical romance of the bodice ripper variety, only with the addition of various spanking scenes as dramatic devices that resolve several types of plot conflict. The basic story is that Julia, a young noblewoman has been given in marriage to a person she believes was responsible for her family's misfortune. She runs away from this betrothal only to be swept up in a military conflict and must be rescued by the main protagonist, Bronson, Lord Montfort. She pretends to be a boy and seeks safety as a page to Lord Montfort. He agrees, but as a page she is soon subject to the traditional discipline meted out to pages and the like, in addition to which her disguise does not last long and she is exposed as a young woman. I won't disclose the spoiler, but eventually she and Bronson develop feelings for each other. But it turns out that she is feisty and disobedient, and you know what happens to feisty and disobedient young women in medieval times who disobey their protectors.
It's a very sweet and very spicy love story. If I were reviewing this on Amazon, my rating would be four stars which is, in my book, very good. I have no reservation recommending this book to anyone looking for a hot romance with explicit spanking added. So, to return to my earlier topic, how does Ms. Rose handle the spanking scenes? Very well, in my opinion. Here is a sample:

The Earl turned slowly to face her, the belt still in his hand.  She attempted to be as stoic as Matthias, despite the fact that her heart was beating in her throat.  She came to stand before him with her head bowed.  He considered her, not saying a word.  “Should I take off my shirt?” she squeaked.  Another silence under his scrutiny.  Then he asked, “Have you ever been lashed on your back?” She shook her head, unable to answer.  “I'm thinking your bottom might be a better target.  It's a bit easier to take, though it will make riding uncomfortable.” “W-would I have to take my leggings off?”  She darted a glanced at Matthias.  That would be profoundly embarrassing. He shook his head.  He put one foot up on the stool and held his arm out to her.  “Come here.” She obeyed.  He folded her upper body over his knee and lifted her tunic.  She held her breath.  The strokes came just as hard and fast as they had for Matthias.  Ten stinging blows, one right after the next— no time to catch her breath, even to cry.  Just as swiftly, he lifted her off his knee and back onto her feet.  She was gasping,...
Before she knew what was happening, he'd sat down on the stool and pulled her over his lap.  He lifted the back of her tunic again and to her horror, she felt him tugging down her leggings.  Her face grew hot at the embarrassment of having her bottom bared by this man who she liked and respected.  She heard herself whimper. * * * He should not have pulled down her leggings.  Though she may for the moment fall under his jurisdiction, she certainly didn't belong to him, and baring her backside was crossing a line.  But she had planted the idea in his mind, and now that he was determined to spank her again, he simply couldn't stop himself.  She had a perfect little bottom— small and toned with muscle.  The skin was the same beautiful alabaster as her face, except with several red lines where his belt had already marked her.  Her legs were parted enough that he could see—oh God—her sweet little sex was so alluring.  He felt himself grow hard and hoped she couldn't feel it.  He started spanking her with his hand, watching as he turned the whole of her backside pink and then red.  She started crying almost immediately, but she didn't protest, and apart from her involuntary flinching while she waited for the next smack, she held herself very still for his punishment.  She was too sweet, too.....

This is a short one. There are longer scenes including a 100 lash whipping with a belt.The climactic scene occurs when the king orders her lashed for stealing a horse. By that time she is to be married to Bronson, and he asks to be the one to deliver the lashing.

“Please remember,” he said grimly, “that I take no pleasure in this.” “I know,” she said, tears already squeezing out of her eyes.  “Scream as loud as you like,” Bronson said.  “I think this is one instance where it would be better to be heard.” “Why?” “I don't want the integrity of my work here questioned.”  The first stroke struck her on the upper side of her bottom and she nearly jumped a foot with its impact.  The sting made her gasp and then she couldn't breathe for a moment, even as he continued down her backside, making what she imagined were neat, even stripes.  She managed to catch her breath by the time he'd reached the juncture of her bottom and her legs and then lost it again when he moved down the backs of her thighs.  It took fifteen strokes.  She couldn't help but count, knowing how many were coming.  He didn't pause before delivering ten more to the lower side of her bottom, alternating the emphasis between the right and left cheek, though the belt usually struck both.  And she had screamed.  She hadn't lasted more than five lashes before she'd started crying out.  After that he paused and she sobbed and sobbed, feeling like....

The scene continues for several more paragraphs and is very well done. It doesn't fall back on onomatopoeia, and provides a vivid description of the action at the major climax of the story. As you can see, it's very different from the example in the previous post. So why only 4 stars? My one quibble, and this is perhaps just personal preference, but as a reader I would have liked for the lashing to have been in public, or at least attended by witnesses. Bronson would have been compelled by circumstance to be severe. But in private?

“Then allow me to administer her punishment.  Privately.”  The conciliatory tone was gone.  Bronson's voice was grim and held the edge of challenge in it.  He met the king's eyes with a level gaze.  Julia held her breath.  The servants had hold of her arms, but were waiting for the king's judgment.  Sweet Jesu... The king considered them for a long time.  “You have grown fond of your bride.” 
 The reader has to ask whether Bronson can be trusted to carry out the king's justice with sufficient severity. This is especially true since in the above scene it is established that Bronson is no simpering vassal. You'd have to ask why he would give her a serious lashing once they were in private.

 But that minor plot point aside, it's a really good book and I recommend it highly. It's romantic and hot and I especially like the way Renee handles her spanking scenes in this one.


Cara Bristol said...

Enjoyed your review! This book is on my TBR list.

Renee Rose said...

Thank you, Rollin! I'm glad you enjoyed it!