Monday, 18 August 2014

Book Review – A Taste of Loving Discipline by Abigail Armani

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Way back during the crazy time that was the June A-Z Spanking Blog Challenge, I featured Abigail Armani’s romance, A Taste of Loving Discipline as the blog post for the letter ‘T’.

I started reading the book at the time the blog post went up, but due to the pressures of work, life, the universe, me getting distracted by shiny objects and my not always remembering what I have downloaded onto my kindle, I have only just got round to completing it.

It’s a bit of a dangerous game, that. Promoting books when you don’t entirely know what’s inside them. What if the rest of the book had been full of material I couldn’t possibly endorse? I would have had to expunge T from the whole alphabet. Maybe I would have replaced the post with a stiffly worded apology stating that I could no longer support the author due to the revelation that she supported eugenics, illegal dog fights and putting the milk in the mug before the tea bag.

Not that she does any of those things, you understand. Or at least if she does then she’s keeping it pretty quiet in A Taste of Loving Discipline. I’m definitely sure she doesn’t though. She’s not a monster.

A book, it turns out, that I would be perfectly happy  for my wife or servants to read.
The story itself is a sweet, contemporary romance which tells the story of artist, June Jackson and her burgeoning romance with her father’s solicitor and godson, Alexander Stewart. June doesn’t think all that much of Alex at the beginning of the story, she finds him smug and irritating and is quick to rebuff any interest he shows in her. (The fact that her father clearly wants the two of them to get together must be more than a little off-putting as well.)

Happily,  June’s opinion of Alex starts to change pretty soon after he flips her over his lap and gives her a thorough spanking in order to curb her ‘rudeness and bad manners’ and provide a much needed attitude adjustment.

It’s a risky strategy but luckily for him it pays off and although June doesn’t capitulate immediately she certainly seems to make a lot more effort around Alex after her session over his knee.

Their relationship blossoms into fully-fledged romance when June moves to Norfolk to live permanently in her father’s holiday cottage only a few miles from Alex’s home. Meanwhile, in the books non-romancy storyline, there’s some dubious goings on involving the shifty nephew of June’s elderly neighbour, Hilda which provides a thrilling finale.

June and Alex’s relationship doesn’t always progress smoothly with June’s hot-headed nature and tendency to fly off the handle at the least provocation. Luckily Alex is on hand to set her straight and calm her down again. There are some great spankings and plenty of very erotic sex scenes between the two of them. June likes it pretty rough and Alex is pretty adept at giving her what she wants.

I love Abigail Armani’s writing style. It’s fresh and funny and hurtles along at several million miles per hour. She flips around the story’s points of views in quite unexpected ways, shifting the focus during the key hot spanking scene to June’s next-door  neighbour eavesdropping through the wall and enjoying the sounds of June getting ‘her naughty bottom smacked’. There’s a strong seam of physical comedy here as well - plates of food are thrown and sofas collapse under the weight of multiple visiting suitors.

The author’s quirky writing style does occasionally throw out the odd wtf moment, mind. During a passionate make out session, we are told that June “tasted of wild honey and lavender – which was the exact statement on the label of the shower gel she had used!” Wait, what? Surely the shower gel just smells of honey and lavender. All it will taste of is soap. And why does her mouth taste of it anyway? What on earth is she doing with the stuff? And – I think this is the most important point here - why are you making me think about this when I should just be enjoying the kissing?

Not food.

I also want to mention a line that made me laugh out loud with its incongruousness: “Alex raised his hand and carefully delivered a second resounding thwack of light to moderate force.”

I think I can safely say that the phrase ‘light to moderate force’ should never be used in a romance book. This isn’t the shipping forecast.

All nitpicking aside, this is a lovely story with a good cast of well-drawn characters and a well executed central storyline to keep everything moving along. The ‘taste’ part of the title, I presume comes from June’s enthusiasm for cooking – there are some mouth-watering descriptions of the meals she prepares. Don’t read this book if you’re hungry. There is also – as the covers suggests - a fun blindfolded sexy food session. Although probably not as much of that as I was expecting, sadly. More sexy food action, I say! Frequently. It gets me some very odd looks when I’m out and about I can tell you.

All this. All the time.
Not that you could accuse Abigail Armani of short-changing her readers. In every aspect whether it’s sexy Scottish heroes, bratty heroines, steamy sex or light-to-moderate spankings, A Taste of Loving Discipline totally delivers.

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