Monday, March 21, 2011

From the Top Shelf - Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is based on the unlikely premise that time travel is possible. A young nurse, visiting Scotland with her husband shortly after World War II, suddenly finds herself transported to a time two hundred years earlier.

This was enough to make me put the book aside the first time I tried to read it about ten years ago. When I recently found out it contained spanking, I picked it up and tried again. It also makes me wonder about the person who recommended it the first time. But since I was told, in every new and used book store I visited, that this and other books by the author fly off the shelves, either I live in a city full of spankos, or perhaps there's more to the book than spanking.

But back to the story.

Claire becomes involved with a group of highland rebels, and it turns out that the English villain of the story is a distant ancestor and lookalike of her husband of the future. She marries the dashing and mysterious Jamie to save herself from punishment by the English.

Although there are frequent references and graphic descriptions of other kinds of physical punishment throughout the book, the spanking doesn't happen until about half-way through. Claire and Jamie are traveling in a group, and there is danger, adventure and love-making at every turn. When the latest sign of danger appears, Jamie orders Claire to stay hidden the bushes with her horse while he and his men ride off to take care of various obligations. Claire refuses and wants to go with her man. Jamie sets her straight:

"Did ye no promise to obey me?" he asked, shaking me gently.

"Yes, but--" but only because I had to, I was going to say, but he was already urging my horse's head around toward the thicket.

"It's verra dangerous, and I'll not have ye there, Claire. I shall be busy, and if it comes to it, I can't fight and protect you at the same time." Seeing my mutinous look, he dropped his hand to the saddlebag and began rummaging.

"What are you looking for?"

"Rope. If ye wilna do as I say, I shall tie ye to a tree until I come back."

"You wouldn't!"

"Aye, I would!" Plainly he meant it. I gave in with bad grace, and reluctantly reined in my horse...

"Oh, one more thing."

What's that?" I said sullenly.

"If you leave that copse before I come for ye, I'll tan your bare arse wi' my sword belt. Ye wouldna enjoy walking all the way to Bargrennan. Remember," he said, pinching my cheek gently, "I dinna make idle threats."

You won't be surprised to learn that as soon as Jamie is out of sight, Claire wanders off. She is captured by the English and taken to cruel Captain Randall to meet her fate. She makes herself at home in his office, rummages through his things, and writes a rude word on his desk blotter.

I was seated behind the desk, comb in hand, studying my reflection in the looking glass, when the Captain came in. He gave me a glance that took in my disheveled appearance, the rifled cupboard, and the disfigured blotter.

Without blinking, he drew up a chair and sat down across from me, lounging casually with one booted foot resting on the opposite knee. A riding crop dangled from one fine, aristocratic hand. I watched the braided tip, black and scarlet, as it swung slowly back and forth over the carpet.

"The idea has its attraction," he said, watching my eyes follow the sweep of the whip. "But I could probably think of something better, given a few moments to collect myself."

"I daresay you could," I said, fingering a thick sheaf of hair out of my eyes. "But you aren't allowed to flog women, are you?"

"Only under certain circumstances," he said politely. "Which your situation doesn't meet--yet. That's rather public, though. I thought we might get better acquainted in private, first."

He pours them each a glass of claret then interrogates her, but she refuses to give him any useful information, even though she is getting slightly tipsy.

The tension was slightly relieved by the entrance of an orderly, bearing a tray of tea things. Still silent, Randall poured out and offered me a cup. We sipped some more.

Don't tell me," I said finally. "Let me guess. It's a new form of persuasion you've invented--torture by bladder. You ply me with drinkables until I promise you anything in exchange for five minutes with a chamber pot."

(That didn't have anything to do with spanking but was too funny not to include.)

The long and the short of it is that Jamie rescues her in the nick of time, at great risk to himself and his men. Was there ever any doubt? She apologizes for disobeying his order and he forgives her. But Jamie is a man of his word, and she will pay the penalty. Next week. 

From Hermione's Heart


Raven Red said...

Not quite so sure if I would enjoy the book, but I rather did start enjoying her attitude. (GRIN)
Hermione, and then you STOPPED!



ronnie said...

I wonder why they changed the name from Cross Stitch to Outlander for release in US.

I bought the book and have picked it up a few times but can't seem to get into it.


Galwaygiirl said...

I have read this whole series,,,more than once. One of my favs, could never put it down. Galway

grace said...

I am reading the 3 book right now...for the 3rd time!

Jamie is my second husband. Bossman doesn't mind since he's not real...LOL I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him!

Spanking is talked about numerous times in all the books. Most are Jamie remembering his childhood.

Ronnie, my friend recommended the book. She told me it was slow in the beginning. She was right. Give it a chance, it gets GOOD! IMO.

I could talk about this book all day. Did I mention that I LOVE it???



There is quite a good spanking novel, about a time traveling spankee, A Slave In Time by Erica Scott. I found the idea of such a variable set scenarios very intriguing.


Erica said...

Waiting eagerly for part 2!

Oh, and much as I love getting credit for things, I didn't write A Slave in Time. That was Josephine Scott. :-)

Lizzie said...

I love this series of books! A spanko friend of mine pointed them out to me, so I read long enough to get into the story. It's a slow start, but so totally worth it!

Daisychain said...

I have read this book, and yes, here in the UK it is called Cross-stitch. It is brilliant. I got into it straightaway and couldn't put it down! xxx

Hermione said...

Raven - Yes, I did, so you'll have to come back next week for the rest :)

Ronnie - I wonder too. And I also wodner if I'll ever read the rest of it.

Galwaygirl - Trere's one vote for liking the book.

Grace - And another. Yes, there's lots of childhood spanking, but not appropriate to reprint here.

Prefectdt - That might be worth a read. Thanks.

Erica - It's on the way!

Lizzie - Another vote. Yes, it really is slow.

Daisy - Ronnie and I are outnumbered! Okay, I'll struggle on.


grace said...

I think I like the book, not so much for the spanking parts...although those are good, but because I find Jamie so dominate. Men and women alike find him a dominating force but he's also very kind and loving and, and, and.....

Well, you get my point.



OOPS! My bad. You are correct Ms Scott and I am guilty of mixing up my Scotts :)

*Goes off to report to the Headmistress's office*


Terpsichore said...

Hi! I have read the whole series and am eagerly awaiting the author to finish the next book. I have grown very fond of all the characters in the stories (after reading thousands of pages it is hard not to). The spanking references are a bonus. :-)
Take care,

Haven't been online for a long time...hope all is well

Unknown said...

I loved the book and reread the scene many times. There is even a website where people suggest actors to play Claire and Jaime in a movie. I would love a mini series or a movie even though I am sure Hollywood would ruin it.

Hermione said...

Grace - Yes, I understand. His dominance - and what's under his kilt - are quite the attraction!

Terpsichore - I understand there are prequels also. Published? Still to come?

Meg - I'm sure the movie would be a pale imitation of the book. But I agree the spanking scene is worthy of re-reading.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to be late to the party (been a bit AWOL this week)but I wanted to say that I love these books. I wrote a thing about heroes from books that would be the best Tops ever and Jamie was very much leading the way. Well, they were all leading the way- you know what Tops are like. ;)
Great choice, succulent extract.
(and congrats on being Chrossed!)

Hermione said...

Poppy - Thanks for the congrats. I agree he would make an excellent top. After all, he convinced her to be a bigamist.