If you have a case of the winter doldrums like I do, then you need something to warm you up and make you smile. Take a suggestion from Ella and pull this "bodice ripper" off the bookshelf. It should do the trick quite nicely. In fact, by the time you get to the halfway point in the story, you may just need a fan. It's hot! Could also be a good idea to have your man on standby; his services might be required.
Title: His Lordship's Mate
Author: Jaye Peaches
Publisher: Stormy Night Publications
Number of Pages: 157
Themes: Obedience, Animal Instincts, Cinderella
Setting: the English countryside near the border with Wales. I am guessing it is set in the Regency Period but could not discern an exact date.
- Ella Bailey - a beautiful young woman of 18 years who lives with her father and cares for him in the crumbling Edgton Manor. She despairs of ever having a suitor because there is no dowry.
- Sir William Bailey - Ella's father, an alcoholic who has drunk away most of the family's wealth. He is deeply in debt, and the family home is in serious disrepair.
- Viscount Piers DeLancy - a young, wealthy, and arrogant landowner.
- Lord Gethin Powell - the rather reclusive and well to do lord of Grendle Hall. He travels extensively and manages thriving businesses. Although he does not give much attention to noble society gatherings, his reputation is impeccable.
- Captain Felix Hughes - a close friend and confidante of Lord Gethin.
- Sir Richard Crosby and his wife Matilda - a business partner of Gethin's and his insipid wife.
suggests a walk with no proper chaperone. Naive in so many ways, Ella thinks he is proposing marriage. When he kisses her, she is curious about the stirrings she feels and later explores her own body for the first time. This Ella's thoughts (those belonging to me) on the viscount - If it hisses and slithers, it's probably a snake.
Poor Ella is a little like Cinder-Ella here. She doesn't get invited to social functions because of her drunken father. Although the viscount wrangles an invitation for her for his own purposes, Ella arrives in a shabby, old dress. While others pity her, another guest,
Lord Gethin Powell, is so strongly drawn to her that he sees nothing else. This huge and swarthy man with the Welsh name almost sees a relationship with Ella as his destiny. This powerful and immediate attraction even leads him to fantasize his eventual domination of Ella. He wants to "...take her to a secluded place and seek out her soul. He'd shred her dress, expose her bare flesh, and explore every inch of her weak body until her resistance crumbled."
Later, DeLancy again cajoles Ella into another improper assignation in the forest. This time her virginity is rescued at the last minute by a huge wolf who bursts out of nowhere! No one believes her story, and DeLancy gets her branded a temptress to save face among his peers. Ella is devastated, and she becomes an outcast with no hope of a good marriage.
Enter Lord Gethin Powell. He sweeps in and instantly believes her story. He knows for sure that the beautiful girl he covets is certainly not crying "Wolf." Then he soon astounds Ella by proposing marriage. She is intrigued and excited but unsure of his affection for her. In his take-charge way, he rids her home of her father's creditors and asks for Ella's hand.
Once he receives the besotted man's blessing, Gethin shows his feelings for his bride-to-be. Ella is "all too aware of her slender form trapped between him and the wall.... and her hands pinned high above her head, he pressed his mouth against hers." If you remember, it was just recently that one of my posts explained that in my opinion this is the sexiest way to kiss a woman! Gethin had my vote right then.
Satisfied that her life is looking up, she ignores her lord's warning about obedience almost immediately. Gethin does not hesitate to demonstrate the consequences of disregarding his orders, and Ella is spanked long and hard. Oh my goodness, she surely regrets that. This is a magnificently written spanking. I read it twice. Gethin is
not one to "spare the rod." And that reminds me, speaking of the "rod", the subsequent deflowering of Ella is one full chapter! Cannot tell you if the spanking or the sex was more delicious. I can honestly warn you to remember to breathe, though. It was that good.
I do, indeed, love historical fiction - spanking or not. But I really got the feeling that the author did have a bit of an allegory angle in her head as she developed this plot. Cinderella had some magic and His Lordship's Mate has some intriguing mythical leanings. You can discover that as the story unfolds. I hate book reviews that spoil all the surprises.
Lord Gethin is not your standard "Prince Charming," but he recognizes Ella's beauty and goodness even wearing a threadbare old dress. He rescues her from both an indolent father and a devious viscount. Although she does eventually have a closet full of lovely gowns, Ella really grows and transforms into a perfect mate and a princess, too, without a stitch of clothes on. No glass slipper either. Ella, herself, never doubts that Gethin loves her, but, "What she doubted was that Gethin was an ordinary man. She suspected he was something very different..." He teaches her obedience and to follow him and his animal instincts.
"Ella." His masterful voice penetrated her
confused mind. "Disobedience will bring you
nought but discipline."