It's a sci-fi novel, a medieval romance novel, and an adventure novel populated by virile dominant men and fiery lusty ladies. And make no mistake -- it's a spanking novel.
The planet Pendragon has remained hidden for 700 years. Colonized after the diaspora of the 22nd century, it has reverted to a feudal society reminiscent of medieval Europe of the 15th century. In this society, men are dominant and women are subservient. Knighthood is indeed in flower once again, but a lady must obey her knight, be he her protector, her husband or her father. Failure to do so might mean a painful and embarrassing trip across his knee for a good spanking--or worse.
In judicial matters corporal punishment is common, and in the village square women are subject to the "lower discipline" at the post or pillory with the birch, the paddle or the strap.
In households, schools, jails, and religious institutions, discipline is administered the old fashioned way and it won't change very soon.
But now Pendragon has been discovered by the Star Federation, a technologically advanced confederation of planets that also trace their ancestry to Old Earth. And it has been discovered that Pendragon possesses abundant plant life that has nearly miraculous medicinal properties. The Federation does not believe in domination and will not interfere with native cultures. But it will enter into treaties. And as the novel opens, the Star Federation seeks to negotiate a treaty with the several kingdoms on Pendragon for access to medicinal plants in exchange for extraction technology.
Three kingdoms dominate the planet. Westlyn is the most progressive society on Pendragon, and its crown prince, Alfred, welcomes the treaty.
New Norfolk 's King James also would welcome the treaty but he is opposed by the very powerful Universal Church of Atonement which fears the Federation will dilute its power. The third kingdom, Harkovia, long an adversary of Westlyn, wants nothing to do with off-worlders and vehemently opposes the treaty.
The best chance for the treaty lies in an impending marriage of state between Princess Penelope of Westlyn and Prince Edward of New Norfolk. If Westlyn and New Norfolk unite, the resulting power block will ensure the treaty's adoption and the safety of the Federation workers.
To monitor the nuptials and pave the way for the treaty, four Federation agents are to be inserted on Pendragon undercover. Three are women, one is a man. They must blend in with the planetary culture and that means learning and accepting traditional gender roles on Pendragon, a difficult task for men and women raised in the Confederation where men and women are equals.
Elana Courset is a field botanist and chemist. She is given the task of collecting and cataloging plant samples and reporting what she hears in the outlands. Her contact and protector is Rhys Hollander, a ranger and agent of Prince Alfred. Elana chafes at the notion of having to be under the constant eye of Hollander who she views as a barbarian. But as she soon learns, there can be painful consequences for disobedience where one's protector is concerned. But even despite Rhys's heavy hand, the lovely Elana finds herself falling for the ruggedly handsome barbarian. Can she reconcile her need for independence with her desire for a barbarian who will not hesitate to put her over his knee? It's a clash of wills with an unpredictable outcome.
Jessica Blix is trained special forces agent. Inserted under the cover of being a handmaid to Princess Penelope, she is tasked with guarding the princess from attack. Jessica sees first hand how the women on Pendragon must submit to male authority, and despite her warrior's ethic, she wonders how it would feel to be dominated by a man and subjected to such intimate physical punishments--especially if that man were Prince Alfred.
Julia Rogan is an expert in comparative religions and cultures of the diaspora. Her photographic memory makes her the perfect choice for placement within the cloistered world of the Universal Church as a spy. But her cover is that she is a novice in the Benefice Sisterhood, a female arm of the church. Being a novice, she is subject to the harsh corporal discipline doled out by the pious Sisterhood for all manner of infractions.
Trevor Crane is a spy. He is tasked with finding out if Harkovia plans to disrupt the wedding of Edward and Penelope. His cover is that he is a tutor to the three daughters of a prominent Harkovian noble. His assistant is a young woman, Iris Vesta, who is instantly smitten by the handsome spy. Enlisted to teach the off-world agent how he must take charge and dispense discipline to females when necessary, she willingly offers herself to show him what he must do, and how he must do it.
These four will traverse the length and breadth of the three kingdoms in order to fulfill their mission. Treachery is afoot and plots will be discovered which must be thwarted if the marriage is to take place and the treaty is to become a reality. In the course of the mission these Federation agents will assimilate into Pendragon's culture, learning important lessons about the respective roles of the men and women on this primitive planet. Relationships will form between native and off-worlder, and in the clash of cultures, desire -- sweet, hot and passionate -- will erupt, and the consequences may be long lasting.
It's Star Trek meets Game of Thrones---with lots of spanking. So be ready to dial it up and slip one in the stocking for Xmas Day. And remember the best thing about a Kindle -- no one can see what you're reading.