Series: Properly Spanked #1
Published by Scarlet Rose Press on September 26, 2014
The Lady Aurelia has been promised in marriage to the Marquess of Townsend since she was four and he was fourteen. Unfortunately, she grew up into a pillar of propriety while her betrothed grew up into a renowned rake. Of course, no one would expect such an unsuitable match to go forward…which is why they find themselves at a loss when circumstances force them to the altar and into each other’s arms.
Hunter, the beleaguered marquess, believes he’ll survive the uneven match by continuing to frequent his well-trained coterie of whores and courtesans, but Aurelia’s powerful father has other ideas. When he blocks Hunter’s access to the only women shameless enough to cater to his decadent needs, the marquess informs his new wife that something will have to be done.
That “something” will be the immediate commencement of her erotic training…whether she wants it or not.
Lady Aurelia has been betrothed to Hunter, Earl of Townsend since she as four and he was fourteen. Except that she’s been in love with his friend Warren for several years and has no desire to marry Hunter whatsoever. Hunter isn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of marrying the “Laudable Lansing’s” innocent, prudish daughter. Unfortunately for the pair, their parents won’t budge and the two are wed. Hunter has specific and dark desires when it comes to the bedroom. When he discovers that Aurelia’s father has blocked Hunter’s access to London courtesans, he realizes that he must teach Aurelia how to please him. Thus begins her erotic training and introduction to the pleasures found in the marriage bed.
I feel this is a book best discussed in two distinct parts.
In the first half, Aurelia is an uptight, prudish miss who is absolutely terrified of her new husband. And with good reason for Hunter is a selfish, sadistic arse intent on spanking and “training” his new wife to fulfill his dark desires in the bedroom. It is made painfully clear that Hunter views Aurelia as a piece of burdensome property to be endured and then crafted for his pleasure. Little to no regard is given to how she feels about him or the situation of their arranged marriage. All of the sex scenes in the first half may trigger certain readers as they must read graphic descriptions of sexual conquest over a backdrop of Aurelia’s constant requests for Hunter to “stop” and “don’t touch [her].” This was very off-putting since it essentially amounted to rape.
Concern and true affection for Aurelia began around chapters 9 & 11, about 50-60% through the book (and far too late in my opinion). In this second half is where we begin to see the positive character development I wish had come earlier in the novel. Hunter becomes protective of his wife, not as a possession but as a person. He takes an interest in her welfare and seeks out activities and presents that would make her happy. Aurelia, in turn, begins to blossom into a confident young woman, enjoying the pleasures of the marriage bed and getting to know the man she has married as well as ways to make him happy – not because he commands it, but because she chooses to do so.
The second half of the book was definitely much, much better than the first half. The writing is very good throughout, but the rape of Aurelia severely colored my enjoyment of the novel as a whole (reflected in the rating). The sex scenes are numerous, inventive, and incredibly sensual placing this novel firmly in the realm of historical erotica.