Monday, September 20, 2010

More Romantic Fiction for Fall

When we left Brigitte, the heroine of Johanna Lindsey's So Speaks the Heart, last week, she had just received a beating for running away to avoid being forced to marry a man she detested. Rowland, the knight who found her and brought her home, spent the night with her in her chamber. Evil Aunt Druoga assumed (incorrectly, as it happens) that Brigitte was no longer a virgin, and called off the wedding. She also gave Brigitte to Rowland as his servant.

We resume our exploration of spanking nuances as Brigitte sits on a bench and waits for Rowland, prior to their departure. A man she does not know has joined her on the bench and is chatting with her. Rowland doesn't like what he sees and intervenes.

He reached down and yanked Brigitte to her feet. She started to protest his roughness, but thought better of it when she caught his icy glare.

"Do you know this man?"


"...Are you always this way with strangers?" Rowland demanded harshly.

"I did nothing wrong. I was in need of a friendly smile."

"That is not what you are in need of," Rowland said ominously.

He did not give Brigitte a chance to reply, but gripped her arm and jerked her away from the inn. She was embarrassed at being dragged behind him like a naughty child...

That sounds promising. A little later, after they have travelled all day and have stopped for the night, Brigitte suggests they part when they reach a certain town. Rowland has other ideas.

"I will hear nothing about parting, and I warn you, do not provoke me."

"Why do you hate me so?"

"Do you not hate me as well?" he asked casually.

She looked at him in surprise. "If you think I hate you simply because of your rough treatment of me since we left, then you are wrong."

"So you think I am rough, do you?"

"Certainly you are," she replied indignantly. "You have threatened me, and you bullied me at the hostelry, as if I had no right to speak to whomever I please."

"You have no rights at all."

Brigitte attempts to explain that she is no serf, but the daughter of a baron. Rowland is not impressed.

"It matters not what you were before. What you are now is my servant. You are bound to me, and if I hear you deny it once more, I will take a strap to your back."

Sounds fair to me.

Later, after he has gone in search of food and she has taken a bath in the icy river, he returns to find she has not started a fire as he had ordered he to.

"Come here, girl. Where have you been?"

Brigitte hesitated. She knew that tone... His hand caught her arm and slid down it, coming away wet.

"So a swim was more important than starting a fire against this chill?"

He hadn't struck her, and she took courage from that... One of his arms closed around her waist.

"Perhaps I can warm you better than the fire, eh?" He pulled her closer and reached for her belt.

It sounds like this could result in either spanking or lovemaking. I had hoped for the former, but was disappointed. But then, so was Rowland, as she slips out of his grasp and runs away. He catches her, of course.

"Where is the wench who fainted in fear the moment I laid her on my bed?"

"You praise yourself too much," she answered tartly. "I fainted from the pain in my back, not from fear of you."

"What was wrong with your back?"

"I was beaten, thanks to you."

Rowland frowned and gently placed her on his blanket near the fire. Against her murmured protests, he removed her belt and tunic, then raised her clothing and touched the area that no longer bothered her. Then he pushed her back down on the blanket and looked at her sharply.

"Does it still pain you?"

"No, why?"

"You still have bruises. A beating that would leave such violent marks a week later must have been very bad."

So he neither spanks nor seduces her then. You and I know he will do both, eventually.

Now let's move on to the travellers' destination, Rowland's father's castle. Brigitte has assumed the role of personal servant to Rowland, and takes her job very seriously, because she knows the consequences. While having a chat with a newcomer in the Hall, during which she confides her true identity, she interrupts the conversation:

"Rowland is here," Brigitte said to her new friend. "I must get his food."

Gui rose indignantly. "No, Lady Brigitte. You must not serve like a common serf."

"Oh, but I must," she replied, "or he will beat me."

And beat her he does.

But not just yet. Rowland finds out she has told her story to Gui, and is angry that she is telling lies in the hope of finding a protector.

"If you must beat me, Rowland, use a whip," she whispered. "I could not survive a blow from your fist, not when you are so angry."

But we are again forced to wait. Brigitte escapes during the night with her faithful dog, Wolff. (I told you she runs away a lot.) Naturally, Rowland finds them both in the woods.

Her eyes flew back to Rowland, and she saw that he had Wolff secured to the tree. And the reason he was tying her dog before he had said one word to her became clear. Rowland had something so terrible planned that he could not let Wolff loose. Before that thought even fully registered, Brigitte ran to her horse as if her life depended on it.

But she had waited too long. Her mantle was caught well before she reached the horse, and the clasp at her throat nearly choked her as she was jerked to a halt and then swung toward the fire. She fell to the ground...

She saw Rowland's boots next to her, planted far apart. She looked a little higher and saw his hands removing his belt... Before Brigitte could find the words to plead with him, Rowland's belt descended on her back. She gasped and cried out. He struck her again, and she screamed... By then, she was curled tightly in a ball, cringing as she waited for another lash. It did not come...

That's all, I'm afraid. He scolds her, she is unrepentant, they argue, and he makes her promise not to run away again. She refuses, and he explodes:

"Be damned!" he rasped, throwing a stick into the fire, sending sparks flying. "Then I cannot promise not to beat you again, And the next time you may not be so heavily clothed."

"I would expect no less of you," Brigitte snapped.

When they return to the castle, Brigitte must face an inquisition, because she stole a horse to escape. Rowland's evil stepmother is in charge.

"So?" Hedda demands of Rowland. "Will you have her stripped and flogged in the courtyard? The horrible example she has set must be corrected."

Rowland replied, "I have already punished her."

"If you did, it is not enough!" Hedda snapped. "She moves easily, without pain!"

Rowland rose, a threatening gleam in his eye. "Do you doubt my word, lady? Do you wish to feel what Brigitte suffered?" He reached for his belt.

Go, Rowland!! I'll skip the details, but the two young people eventually find their way into bed together and Brigitte no longer feels the need to escape from Rowland. The next passage finds them awakening after a night of passion. Rowland rises. No, I mean he gets out of bed.

Brigitte grinned and stretched languidly. "Are you certain you wish to leave now?" she asked, her eyes gleaming.

"Ah, damosel, do not tempt me," he groaned, turning away to find her clothes. She giggled, and he threw her clothes at her for punishment. "You will pay for that tonight, I promise you," he growled.

"I will look forward to it," she teased... He crushed her to him once again, then released her and whacked her behind. "Get dressed, wench."

And they lived happily ever after.

From Hermione's Heart


ronnie said...

Good ending. So she did end up in the arms of Rowland the Knight :)

Thanks for sharing Hermione, enjoyed it.


Hermione said...

Hi Ronnie - there was a plentiful supply of good bits in this book.


Spanked Army Wife said...

Ive read every single one of JLs books. Every one :)