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This book makes it clear in the blurb that spanking takes place, and I had expected spanking in an erotic sense. A well-placed slap or two to heighten the mood, you know? Well, I was very wrong. While the H does swat the H on her bottom now and then, those episodes are when both are fully dressed and they are (mostly) playful. But wait...he believes in spanking as a form of punishment and correction and he hits her HARD on a bare bottom with a bare hand 80 TIMES!!!! That's NOT a spanking, that's a beating. A serious beating, imo. At the end of the book he actually threatens his now pregnant wife with a DAILY hard spanking so she'll 'grow up' and 'behave'.
He treats her like a child, calls her 'little girl' constantly, carries her EVERYWHERE, forces her to sit on his lap all the time, doesn't let her out of his sight, but she's supposed to 'grow up'. Um...no. Just NO. Treat her like the adult she is, allow her to call you something other than 'Sir', let her laugh at you a bit, allow her to choose her own clothes, and allow her to make mistakes. Love her for who she is, just as you expect her to do for you. Don't try to mold her into something she isn't. Because that never works!!
Clearly, this book didn't work for me regarding the relationship between the two, it was also filled with cliches, was poorly written and edited, and the narration was gawdawful. If the reader had an inflection in there somewhere, I missed it. And, Dear Narrator, the name 'Giles' is pronounced 'Jiles', with a soft g sound, not like in 'guile' but like in 'gesture'.
There is also an event where the h, who is naked, gets severely beaten with a cane (not by her husband) and she seems to recover from this practically overnight. Her husband also starts putting pressure on her to consummate their marriage within two days of this severe beating. I'd be surprised if someone could walk for days after that, much less feel sexy and desirable. No one even seemed to treat her bruises and other wounds or even check her for broken bones. Just laying down would be painful, I'd think, and she'd be in no shape to get her groove on for many days at the very least.
For me the book added up to a big fat zero and I can't recommend it to anyone unless you're looking for an example of a terrible audio book. If you're offended by portrayals of wife beating and infantalizing of women, steer clear. I feel that the blurb needs to be much more explicit about the level of spanking that happens so potential readers won't be shocked, as I was. And I'm pretty hard to shock!
Normally I don't write such caustic reviews, but I feel strongly that that most people will be profoundly offended by this book...wife beating and romance just don't go together IMO, and I wanted people to have more information available about this book if they're deciding whether or not to read it. If you do read this book after reading my review, I'd love to know your opinion about the book.
Interesting lead characters. Fantastic reading of variety of male and female personalities. Looking forward to next audio book in series.