Reading has been a passion for me since I was 6 years old. I devoured books night and day, and nothing was quite like my love of series books - The Bobbsey Twins, The Five Little Peppers, Cherry Ames, Ramona Quimby, The Borrowers, and The Boxcar Children. But the undisputed favorite would have to be Nancy Drew. If it was summertime, I could finish one a day. Still have a few of my originals with my name printed inside the front cover.
How can you get in trouble for reading at school? I managed it. I would position the book just inside the top that lifted up on my desk or even on my lap. Would pretend to be looking at my math book or a handout on diagramming sentences, but I was really engrossed in whatever book was my latest obsession. Nuns did not like this deception one bit.
If you never read Nancy Drew as a girl, she was an independent teen who, along with her best friends, George and Bess, solved mysteries. In book after book, this girl detective gets herself into scrapes and back out again. George was an outspoken tomboy who was my favorite character, at least during the period of my childhood when neither cleanliness nor godliness were of interest to me. Bess was much more delicate and feminine, but just as smart. They were a powerful threesome, and I was a devoted fan. Certainly, I read my favorites over and over , even when I knew every plot twist.
Well, I am grown up now (sort of), but my reading habits haven't changed much. (I do bathe more willingly.) I still love a series of books with an intelligent and clever lead character. Even better is a series that includes a heroine who ends up over the knee of the man she loves. You probably know where I am going with this. I discovered PK Corey's Cassie books several years ago, and Cassie has brought me great happiness from the very first read. Today I will offer a book review of the 9th book in the series.
Title: Cassie's Road Trip
Author: PK Corey
Publisher: Blushing Books
Number of Pages: 156
Themes: Love and Friendship, Adventure, Crossing the Line, Paying Your Dues
Setting: Cassie and Tom's river home, the highways and tourist stops of the Southwest USA
- Cassie - I have described Cassie in so many ways in previous book reviews, but for Book 9 I will say she is a woman who meets life with both barrels. Cassie is the lovable heroine who shares her life with a husband she worships. To continue with the shotgun reference, in this book we see our Cassie as an accomplished markswoman. While she is not always a "straight shooter" with Tom about her activities, she has a heart that is true blue and right on target.
- Tom - What new could I tell you about Tom? Well, I might say he is the sheriff in Cassie's life. He is always the calm, loving man who expects law and order in his home. When Cassie chooses to ignore his guidance, there is always a penalty to face. We don't hear much about Tom's shooting skills in this book, but, believe me, with Cassie over his knee, Tom can hit his mark and never misses.
- Sue and Annie - Just like Nancy Drew has her George and Bess, Cassie has Sue and Annie. These 2 best friends have been close to Cassie for half a century! They share each others' joys and sorrows. They love their girls' trips, too! Annie usually shows more common sense than Cassie and Sue. The Road Trip is no exception.
- Ryan and Allie - Ryan is Tom and Cassie's adopted son, and Cassie surely loves to hear him call her "Mom." Ally is the special girl that Ryan loves. Cassie loves her, too, and takes great satisfaction that she introduced the two.
- Lily - is the most recent member to join the families on the river. To say she is the "housekeeper" does not nearly describe her importance in the hearts of everyone who knows her. She is very protective and loving to her people.
Over the series, the number of main characters has grown steadily - Cassie's "family" as she calls them. This book begins with a chapter to introduce them to any reader not familiar with the series. Those of us who know this family well are just welcomed back to this loving circle. I don't know how PK did it, but my favorite quote of the whole book is smack dab on the first page.
Cassie describes her best friends, Sue and Annie, as "my sisters for more than fifty years..." Cassie is not exaggerating when she relates, "They each own a part of my heart." I loved this tender description of Sue and Annie for several reasons. First, she refers to them as "sisters." It rang so true for me after I thought about how I felt meeting my "Beach Sisters" in June. So amazed at the bond that formed over those 4 days. We were all taken aback just a bit. I was surprised that these women could see right through to my soul. For me the experience was repeated in the UK - a strong feeling of sisterhood and instant affection and empathy. The author seemed to capture the essence of that in just a few words, and I was so impressed.
Then, too, I have come to love this character very much. If I could choose a "sister," it would be Cassie. I love her loyalty and zest for life, her sense of humor, and, above all, her honesty. Let me explain this better. While Cassie may fudge a little (or a lot) with telling Tom the "whole" story, she is, at heart, completely honest in her feelings and loves unconditionally. I often wonder.....do I love PK so much because of Cassie or do I love Cassie because of PK being such a special friend.
Sam's lap is my favorite spot to sit, so I appreciated that Cassie chose lap-sitting with Tom to start laying the plans for the ultimate girls' trip. Allie almost jinxes the whole caper by landing herself in a terrible situation at a wild party. Cassie worries herself to distraction about Allie and how her son, Ryan, will react. After agonizing about this, Cassie is so astounded at the good news the young couple brings her, that she is actually speechless. Can't remember when that has happened before!
Goodness knows, even before the road trip, Cassie was quite busy getting up to her usual tricks. Even though she refers to it as a "secret," she knows Tom would never approve. Without giving away too much of the story, I have to tell you about Cassie and her shooting. Remember in a previous book, we saw Tom give her a shotgun for her birthday. She, Sue, and Annie start going to the local range, and Cassie is encouraged by some range regulars to try pistol shooting as well. She is quite the marksman and gets carried away with it. You know Cassie; she loves attention.
I love shooting with Sam, and we go out together when I can. It is great fun, and I am always proud when I have a good day. Sam is an excellent and patient teacher. Always safety first, he also corrects my grip and stance when shooting handguns.
Through a series of hilarious events, Cassie ends up with her own Taurus pistol. I would like to try one of those; titanium makes for a lighter piece of weaponry. That Taurus becomes a critical part of the story as the Road Trip progresses. And we all know, Tom "always finds out."
Before the girls leave, Tom decides to lecture Cassie while she is over his knee. Cassie says that Tom believes "a stinging bottom helps me listen better." Tom just wants her safe and back home soon, and one of the cardinal rules is to call him once a day. When Cassie calls from the Grand Canyon, Tom tells her, "My bed's lonely and so's my heart." Gosh, what a pretty way to tell a wife she is missed! I know we have our Tom haters out there, but not me. That man is so romantic; count me among his fans.
The road trip starts in California and the girls are so excited. When Allie begs to hear more of Cassie's stories, little does she know that they are about to have an adventure that scares them all right down to their toes. It begins happily around the pool with lots of wine and laughter. Soon, though, they run into something and someone more sinister. Cassie forgets Tom's rules and only remembers in the nick of time and is able to rescue one of the her girls. The adventure turns into a nightmare in a small Texas town, and this story ends with the guys rushing in to bring everyone home safely.
Tom is not only scared for Cassie's safety, but angry at the secrets she has kept from him. Once the fun and the drama, too, are over, it is time to face the music. There are several monumental spankings, and Cassie still dreads the finale. I will bring this review to a close with a snippet about a spanking that positively took my breath away. To her surprise, Tom does not reach for the hairbrush, but slowly pulls his belt through the loops. Cassie says she has a "love/hate" relationship with Tom's belt. There is fear but also "longing and lust that overwhelms." He starts with his hand and leaves his belt on the bed so close to Cassie's face that she can smell the leather. Oh my, I say. I do so agree. There is just something so incredibly sexy about it. PK, in 9 books, this is my favorite spanking scene ever. Well done.
Just so you know, I reread my Cassie books often, just like Nancy Drew so long ago. Nancy had her George and Bess. Cassie has her Sue and Annie. When Cassie's Road Trip first came out at the end of August, I became quite ill while overseas. Cassie was a comfort to me, and, by the time I arrived home, I'd read it four times. There were even times I started laughing right out loud, and boy, did I need to laugh. At the end when Cassie tries to argue with Tom about returning her pistol to her, I absolutely fell apart when he said,
"Allow me to introduce myself.
I'm your husband, and I'm the boss.
Pleased to meet you."