Monday, July 11, 2011

Romantic Fiction for Summer

I spotted some kinky gems in a novel by the well-known writer of romantic fiction, Johanna Lindsey. Say You Love Me is about a young woman who, after the death of her parents, goes to live with her aunt and uncle. She and her younger sister have barely settled in when she learns that her uncle has lost his job and must sell the house. The only solution - according to him - is for Kelsey to sell herself at auction at a high-class establishment that procures women for rich men. The proceeds will pay off her uncle's debts and her sister will be guaranteed a home. Sounds reasonable, right?

Upon arriving at the house of ill-repute, Kelsey learns from the owner what some men and women enjoy:
What worried her, however, considering just how much Uncle Elliott owed, and what she finally asked Lonny, was "Do you really think anyone will pay that much?"

"Oh, yes," he replied with complete confidence. "These rich nabobs have nothing else to spend their money on. Horses, women and gambling are their major pursuits. I'm happy to supply two out of three, and any other vice they have a desire for, short of murder."

"Any vice?"

He chuckled. "Dearie, you would be surprised what some of these lords - and ladies - request. Why, I've got one countess who comes her at least twice a month and pays me to supply her with a different lord each time who will whip her - carefully, of course - and treat her like a lowly slave."

Two young gentlemen are discussing the house of ill-repute as they await the upcoming auction:
"They say any fetish or fantasy can be found here, no matter how bizarre one's particular tastes run. And I believe it now, having seen Lord Ashford's driver outside. Would be afraid a girl here would hand me some chains the minute I walk in her room."

Lord Ashford, the villain of the story, does indeed need to whip his female partners to achieve sexual satisfaction. He was a participant in the bidding, and Kelsey's impression of him was not favourable:
He looked cruel. That was the single word that kept coming to mind. She wasn't sure why. The slant of his thin lips, perhaps? The narrowed, cold gleam in his light blue eyes as he watched her squirm beneath his gaze? The chill that had run down her spine when she first caught his eye on her?

There is a conversation between the gentlemen about Ashford's sexual preferences that leave us in no doubt that he is a sadist:
"We had a run-in with him not so long ago one night when we were down by the waterfront. Found him severely whipping a tavern wench he'd tied to a prepare himself to have sex with her. If she hadn't worked the gag out of her mouth, we never would have heard her screams."

The wench refused to press charges against him because she had consented to it:
"She was in too much pain that night to even talk coherently, but when I went back to find her a week later, when she was beginning to mend, she flatly refused to point a legal finger at him...he'd paid her handsomely up front, more money than she could have made in two or three years doing what she does... She admitted she knew what he was going to do and had agreed."

Lord Ashford may have been outbid at the auction, but he doesn't forget the lovely Kelsey. After much plotting, he kidnaps her and takes her to his secret underground dungeon.
Kelsey was staring in mesmerized horror at that narrow bed out in the middle of the room; the bed had leather straps with thick buckles attached to its four corners. Her fear got the better of her, seeing those straps. She'd have no hope left if they were put on her, and she didn't doubt by then that was exactly what Ashford intended.

Kelsey manages to escape for a time, hiding in another part of the house. There was no escape from Lord Ashford's voice:
"The time has come for your punishment, my pretty. You can't escape... You will be punished even more for this foolishness, I promise you. I will be better for you if you reveal yourself now."

Inevitably, the young lady is recaptured and left in the capable hands of the servant John while Ashford goes to the kitchen for a meal:
She'd delayed him only a little while when she had run from him. But he'd wanted her to do that. It was part of his overall entertainment. Since this delay was only for his own comfort, he could actually be back in a matter of minutes.

John was still there. He'd been told to finish putting on her restraints and he did just that, rolling her to the side so he could untie her hands, twisting her actually farther than her muscles wanted to allow. And he kept her in that position while he strapped the leather around one wrist, because it kept her other arm from interfering, still trapped under and behind her as it was.

He left the room when he was finished, but he didn't go far. She could hear him working the lock on one of the other rooms...

John came back... Across her stomach he laid three whips of different designs and lengths - and a knife. Ashford's tools. The ones he was going to use on her. She'd lifted her head to stare at them, couldn't take her eyes off them.
(When John left) Kelsey heaved her back off the bed the second the door closed, to knock the whips and the knife onto the floor.

When Ashford returned, Kelsey tried to engage him in conversation to postpone the inevitable. It worked for a while, but then:
...she had merely delayed her punishment. She was frantic to continue putting it off. Not that she expected some miracle to occur to stop it altogether...

He looked down for his whips and tsked when he couldn't find them right off. He had to bend down to lift the material of her dress to find one of them, but he stood back up with it in his hand. It was short-handled, with many long, thin strips of leather dangling from it. He rubbed the handle against his cheek fondly...

He laid the whip across her bare legs so he could remove his coat. Her legs wouldn't bend enough to dislodge it. And just the feel of that leather on her bare skin started her trembling...

She sucked in her breath sharply. He'd picked up the whip and slashed it across her thighs. Welts rose in several places, but the skin hadn't broken. And he laid the whip back on her to finish undressing himself.

And that's all. Her master and his friends arrived in the nick of time and saved her.

Aside from the explicit talk of BDSM, there were a few juicy morsels scattered here and there that any spanko reader wouldn't fail to miss:

The two gentlemen from the auction - one of whom has purchased Kelsey - talking about going to a ball, where mistresses are not allowed:
"Can't say I'd have the fortitude to leave a spanking-new mistress to hie off to a gathering that doesn't promise to be any different from any other gathering that we've attended."

Kelsey has a caller:
When she went downstairs, she found Lord Derek waiting in the foyer, rather than Jeremy, and he was slapping a pair of gloves against his thighs in an impatient manner.

Lord Derek flirts with his father,s housekeeper, but she wards him off:
"Here now, none of that. Can't be giving the servants the wrong idea."
He laughed and swatted her on the backside before sauntering down the hall...

Just to put your minds at rest, Lord Derek - the man who bought her at the auction - makes an honest woman of her. They marry and live happily ever after.

From Hermione's Heart


Kaki said...

I read that book a couple years ago, it was one of my favorites by her.

Meow said...

She was always a favorite of mine before I discovered the internet. There was always that element of D/s in her books.

findingsara said...

Yep, Johanna Lindsey writes some interesting "romance novels"! Thanks for the recommendation!

Anonymous said...

Ha-ha! I've read that book;)!


P.S. I still don't like the villain.

Hermione said...

Kaki - I didn't realize it was so popular.

Meow - Very much so. It's fun to look for the spanking innuendos.

Sara - Warning - there are some very dark moments that I omitted.

Kitty - I didn't like him either, but they had him placed in a mental institution. I wonder what that implies.