I’ve been reading a lot. I suppose that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me. In days gone by, I constantly had my nose stuck in a book. Now, it seems to outsiders as if my iPhone and I are joined at the hip. And to some extent, we are. I mean, I get work e-mail on my iPhone. I play Words With Friends on my iPhone.
I read porn on my iPhone. You see, I read porn on my iPhone, and it’s through a Kindle app. I have a ‘real’ first-generation Kindle as well, and a fairly large electronic collection of paid and free books to enjoy. But I prefer to read porn on my iPhone. It’s private, and small, and if it falls to the bed mid-paragraph, it turns itself off after 3 minutes and doesn’t experience dozens of crazy keystrokes if I unintentionally roll over on it…
By porn, I’m talking about that writing which, to me, takes the place of watching people spank or fuck each other on a television or computer screen. I mean, yes, I look at photos and sometimes watch short videos. My Tumblr page is clear about that. But I don’t sit down and watch spanking films, at least with no more intent than seeing a friend get her comeuppance or to amuse my dear husband by getting distracted and making out with him instead of paying attention.
Stories, though… stories can capture my attention and my heart and my imagination. I don’t have a single intent when I pick out something to read. Sometimes I want to be wildly aroused, or I am wildly aroused. Sometimes I want to be amused, or excited, or caught in the drama and suspense of a thrilling plot. Sometimes I want to treasure the innocence of a golden relationship, and sometimes I just want to appreciate the rich sensuality of the words on the page.
As such, I have no single type of story, or storyline, to favor. I’ve found, over the years, that there are any number of authors and styles which can capture me completely, from Jane Austen to the bawdy, originally “anonymous”, tales of Alexandre Dumas to Vampires in America series by D. B. Reynolds and the mainstream (nearly) erotic romance of Stephanie Laurens.
Naturally, spanking tales have a place among these lovely authors.
Sadly, spanking fiction is still a very specific sort of fiction, for a very specific sort of reader. Even more sadly, fetish fiction isn’t categorized well in my e-book-store of choice, Amazon. They throw fetish fiction all under the broad category of ‘erotica’, whether there is explicit content or not, or (worse) mis-categorize it as something misleading: historical romance, regency romance, etc.
As a case in point, The Taming of Miss Munroe by Loki Renard is a classic example. This well-written story is spanking fiction. Not erotica. Not precisely historical romance, either. Sex does not take center stage, or left or right stage. And yet Amazon has unfortunately relegated it to these broadly defined categories, so that careless buyers who were expecting something more, um, explicit are disappointed. Likewise, readers expecting something more innocent are shocked.
With Ms. Renard’s permission, here’s a short excerpt:
Walker looked over to Catherine and saw that my observation was correct. The ash from the cigarette had already smudged the delicate silk of the chaise and the ember at the tip of it threatened to burn a hole through it at any moment.
Decisively, Walker stood up, took Catherine firmly by the wrist, rescued the cigarette from her grasp and brought her up to a standing position in which he employed the hefty leather tome he had been reading as an impromptu paddle with which he dealt one sound swat to the unfortunate Miss Munroe’s backside.
“My charges do not smoke in my house,” he said firmly, letting go of her wrist and letting her plop back down on the chaise like a sullen child, her bow mouth set in a stubborn pout.
“I think you hate women,” she said, glaring at Walker and crossing her arms over her bosom as she spoke.
Walker merely shook his head and laughed a low laugh, “Oh my dear how very wrong you are.”
“You don’t think we can be trusted on our own, we can’t smoke like men do, we can’t drink like men do. What are we good for, hmm, Mr Walker?” Her tone was beyond pert, and I must say I was quite shocked at the way she spoke to the man who she knew quite well could and would thrash her soundly for her behavior.
Walker sat down in his chair once more, but far from reclining, he leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees as he fixed Catherine with a stern, but kind look. In spite of herself, she drew back from him a little, her eyes darting nervously, wondering if she had gone too far. He looked at her piercingly, as if cataloging all of the misdemeanors she held in her memory and planning the punishment for them all.
“I think it is time you pursued your studies again, Miss Munroe,” he said after a moment or two of this inspection, his voice so low it was almost a purr. I have seen him do this before, and it very rarely fails to work. When confronted with such a physically capable man as Walker, most ladies instinctively respond to his presence. If he chooses to invoke his sterner side at close quarters, it can be enough to set a timid young lady crying on the spot.
Catherine Munroe was certainly not a timid young lady, but I do believe I saw her gulp then bound off the chaise towards the door. “I suppose it is better than being patronized in here,” was her parting shot as she left the room with a dainty, though somewhat sarcastic curtsy.
Walker shook his head at the closing door and gave me something of a rueful smile. “This is an interesting line of work I have found myself in, Jones, an interesting line of work indeed.”
“I could not agree more, old man. Miss Munroe seems to be more difficult than most. Is she mad?” I asked, pouring myself a brandy as my throat seemed uncommonly dry.
Walker laughed. “No, she wants to show me she’s not afraid of me. She wants to show me that I cannot earn her respect by whipping her. She is quite the little piece of work,” he said, his eyes gleaming with fun.
Ms. Renard was straightforward in her overview; the story is told from the perspective of a friend of James Walker, known as Jones. It is not a menage, despite tags suggested by Amazon. The official Amazon review clearly states that it is intended for spanking fans. And yet the first (and only) buyer-generated review gave it one star because it did not meet her expectations of BDSM erotica. Nowhere does the author or publisher describe it as BDSM in any form.
I don’t know about you, but I rarely purchase items from Amazon that have low ratings. On the other hand, I can’t review the book on Amazon under my own name (which is associated with my Kindle) without my mom checking out my Amazon activity and seeing what I’ve been reviewing. So I’ll say here what I can’t say there. This book does not deserve the one star rating it has at Amazon, courtesy of one disgruntled buyer. It’s well-written, charming and classically romantic. For those of us who pay to read romance and love spanking, it’s well worth the $2.99.