When I went looking for romance novels online I happened on a winner!
Nobody was more surprised than me. ( Now, this is light and crunchy brain snacks I'm talking about.) "Lord of Scoundrels" was everything it's title and cover art promised and so very much more. There was a lot of hot Victorian sex, there were harlots and pert behinds, plump breasts and ripping of bodices and exploring fingers finding dark curls, parting them to explore the wet, heated delights of...you get the picture. If you have to wait in line at the DMV, take a copy of this book with you. It's a lot of fun! Really!
And so I went on looking for another, emboldened by this initial success, and by gosh, there was A.N. Roquelaure, aka Anne Rice! Well well, thought I, she's tolerably readable, and so I came to open the pages of "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty" which is a whole heapin' helping of WTF.
See, I had searched online for 'Spicy Romance Titles'.
This is not a spicy romance. This is a whole shitpile of spanking, is what this is.
I do not think that my intelligence has ever been so effectively assaulted by a book. One thing I now know about Sleeping Beauty that I would have never guessed in my youth? Underneath that pretty dress is a cast iron ass.
"Check this out," said Sleeping Beauty. All the woodland creatures were astonished. "So that's why she clangs when she runs," they thought. Then they all went to therapy.
This woman gets spanked, whipped, whipped and spanked, slapped, spanked, whipped, strapped, spanked, spanked, spanked and whipped and spanked...after awhile, you get 'paddle fatigue'. It's not just for rowing teams anymore.
Sleeping Beauty wakes up. Do not ask how, you do not want to know. She gets taken to a palace the size of Delaware. And in that palace are 3000 princes and princesses and an empress, and they are just nuts about spanking people. The usual BDSM stuff happens, but only as a kind of thin, modernist frame around all the goddamn spanking that goes on. No matter what you're doing, from hanging on a St. Anthony's cross catching a snooze (as you do) to high-stepping around in boots equipped with horseshoes, you will get spanked. Jammed onto the stone dong of a statue and left there for hours? Hung upside-down all night? Sodomized with a riding crop? You'll be getting spanked, too. Eating a sandwich? Repairing a lawnmower? Here comes Mr. Paddle. The shit never stops.
The place has a whole hostage class of slave/nobles, healthy young attractive people who perform most household chores with their teeth, all waiting to get spanked. Or being spanked, or spanking someone else who is being spanked. Why they put up with this shit is never explained. They too have cast iron asses. Everybody does. You can just tear up any random passer-by with a leather paddle for an hour in this joint and not only will they not bleed, they'll just weep, quietly. And then get spanked for weeping.
This is not about me being squicky about fetishes. This is me being appalled by the sheer LSD idiocy of this book.
And also appalled at myself for devouring it whole in one day.