Thursday, 1 March 2018

Book Review - In Need of Correction by Gracie Malling

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"Never had he met a woman so strongly in need of a good spanking."

Five Stars!

Ages ago I wrote a review of Casey McKay's wonderful book Emmaline's Groom for Spanking Romance Reviews. In it, I said "I feel like I have I have just acquired my very own bespoke romance writer catering specially to my own personal requirements".

Well, blow me down if I haven't just found another writer who seems to have approached writing spanky romance by saying "Now what are the things that Etta Stark loves in a book? I'll make sure I put ALL those things in".

I'm not really suggesting that Ms Malling actually did that, of course. I don't know the lady. Not even virtually. But, as far as I'm concerned, In Need Of Correction is just about perfect.

It's a superbly-written Austen-esque drawing room romance in which the principal characters, Mr Andrew Hunter and Miss Leticia Waterford are both absolutely charming. Lettie is a strong-willed young lady who is stifled by parochial Surrey society and vaguely indifferent parents. Her sister, Eleanor's marriage has left her without her one steady, supportive influence. The book begins with a visit from Eleanor and we are introduced to Lettie who is hiding behind a brittle facade and spending her time Mean-Girls-ing with Annabel Linfield, an entertainingly bitchy young woman who turns out to be even more horrible than she first appears.

Happily for our heroine, Ellie is accompanied not just by her husband but also her new brother-in-law, Andrew.

Good news for us readers too because Andrew Hunter is just downright bloody delicious. The epitome of the reserved Regency gentleman who you immediately know is a jolly good egg at heart. Reminiscent of Mr Darcy or Mr Knightley but with a far twitchier hand.

"Badly done, Lettie."
And like those other literary gentleman, Mr Hunter takes an infuriatingly long time about making his intentions known to the heroine. Look dude, we all know you and Lettie are madly in love and going to live happily ever after. We worked out on page 1, just crack on with it and propose to the woman.

Admittedly there wouldn't have been much of a book if he'd done that. And what he lacks in passionate declarations, he more than makes up for with a kind heart, dry wit and a whole bunch of disciplinary spankings. Having ascertained pretty sharpish that Lettie is a good soul sorely lacking in discipline, Andrew takes it upon on himself to provide the necessary correction. Usually bare-bottomed over his knee but there's a satisfying variety to the benevolent beatings.

Because that's what I really want from a book. Gracie Malling's gifts for satisfying story-lines, well-fleshed out characters and excellent prose are all very well but we all know that the quality of the spankings is everything. And here Malling (and of course Mr Hunter) really delivers. Andrew Hunter is certainly not a man to deliver a few paltry swats to a woman's arse and have done with it. When he administers a spanking, you can depend upon him making a thorough job of it. And provide a damn good cuddling afterwards, of course.

There's a very satisfying scene in the stables with a riding crop
Things are not straightforward for our heroes as malevolent influences conspire to make things turn out very badly indeed for Lettie. I won't spoil it with the details but Malling does deliver a cracking plot and suffice it to say, Mr Hunter can be relied upon to manfully ride in and save the day. (Although, Andrew, it was kind of your fault in the first place. If you'd proposed the first time you'd upended Lettie across your lap then none of this would have happened. See what happens when you don't rush into things?)

My one criticism (and it isn't even a criticism, really, just a tiny niggle) is is that I wished we could have had a scene where Lettie explains her odd behaviour to Mr Hunter's cousin, Jane, to him. It would have been nice to set the record straight on that score.

Actually it would have been nice to have seen more of Jane altogether. Maybe there could be a sequel with her story? She's had a terrible time of it. I reckon a nice, kind gentleman with a very firm hand could be just what she needs. It certainly worked out extraordinarily well for Lettie.

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