Saturday 22 February 2020

Book Review - Returning to Us by PK Corey

Four Stars

The new series of Corbin's Bend continues in great style with PK Corey's Returning to Us. This book follows Vanessa Brooks' Sub-Divided, where the heroine was a spanko who wasn't sure if she wanted a Domestic Discipline relationship. In contrast, Susan, the heroine of Returning to Us definitely knows that she wants DD. The problem is, most of the time she isn't getting it.

With their children all grown up, Hal and Susan have plenty of time for themselves as a couple. They can enjoy some 'us' time except that they're not really sure what 'us' means any more. They enjoyed a DD relationship in the first years of their marriage but life, kids and - most importantly - Hal's indifference have got in the way of that.

At the start of the book, Susan believes that Hal is going to end their thirty year marriage. Instead, Hal suggests that they move to Corbin's Bend - the world's first and best spanking-based community - so they can find their D/s selves again.

It's a make or break move and, god, I really, really wanted then to make it. It isn't straightforward because marriages are hard and being married for along time doesn't make it any less so. It just makes it easier to slip into bad habits.

Susan doesn't communicate with Hal about her feelings and Hal is way too ready to accept Susan's curt non-answers as a legitimate response.

Honestly, Hal. What are you doing? If your wife is saying stuff like "It doesn't matter. It's fine," then it almost certainly does matter and it's not fine.

Happily, the couple are in the best place in the world to find their feet. They have great mentors, supportive friends and the opportunity to really make a go of things. It's heartbreaking to see them get so close to throwing it all away.

It's an involving and relatable story. Also, as would expect from a Corbin's Bend book, it's frequently hot as hell. PK Corey writes with a great deal of maturity and insight, sensitively tackling the subject of stagnation in a longstanding marriage.

I read a lot of books that can be described as "Adult". Lots of them are even "Adult XXX". PK Corey's book is more than that. This is a book for grown-ups.

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.

Monday 17 February 2020

Vagina Museum: A bit small but I'm glad it's there

Vagina Museum, Unit 17&18 Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH
Opening Times: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm, Sun: 11am - 6pm
Admission: Free

I have wanted to go to the Vagina Museum in London for quite a while now. The world's first bricks-and-mortar vagina museum opened last October but even before that it was on my radar. It was a temporary pop-up affair before that and before the move to their permanent premises, they were advertising for a Curator. I

As I said at the time, I didn't know that I wanted to be a Curator of a Vagina Museum but having seen the advert, I realised that this was all I wanted to do with my life. I didn't actually apply for the job, you understand. I have no qualifications or experience that would make me a good fit for that job other than having a vagina and a love of museums. I'm not sure that the first was even a required qualification.

Yesterday, I got to fulfil at least one of my dreams by going to visit The Vagina Museum for myself. Undeterred by the soggy presence of Storm Dennis, gentleman friend and I went to Camden Market for the afternoon. Camden Market is very much a tourist destination. It's a marvellous collection of weirdy little shops and market stalls. If you want steampunk corsets, juggling diabolos or genital piercing jewellery, this is the place for you.

I feel a bit sorry for overseas tourists in London when you see them battling winds and drizzle and darkness at four o'clock in the afternoon in order to see the sights of London. But then I figure, it's probably all part of the genuine London Experience. No-one expects it not to rain in London, do they? They're probably a bit disappointed when they encounter one of our rare days of blue sky and no actual water coming down from the sky. Happily, any tourist who books their visit for February isn't risking any chance of that.

The museum itself is small. The current exhibition is "Muff Busters: Vagina Myths and How To Fight Them" and that's all there is. There is no permanent exhibition yet, it seems. It's basically a room full of informative posters with an art installation in the corner.

My enthusiasm for the museum existing in the first place is still outweighing the fact that there isn't a great deal to it when you actually get there. I'm just happy it's there but would be nice if there were some historic items of interest in their collection. It would give the whole place a bit more substance. Even the Pencil Museum in Keswick (another one room museum full of informative posters) has the world's biggest pencil in the middle of it.

It has a smashing book shop, it has to be said. The choice of books is diverse and eclectic but all makes sense from an empowerment of women perspective.  Little Women and Michelle Obama's autobiography sit alongside A Celebration of Vulva Diversity. I bought Emma L. E. Rees's The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History.

The gift shop is witty, fun and crammed full of fannies. I may have stocked up on vulva-themed postcards.

I want to support the Vagina Museums. I'm very much in favour of supporting anything which encourages people to talk about vaginas and their very useful contribution to the world. They run a series of events which this month include Bajinga Bingo and a Vulva Cake Decorating workshop.

Overall, though, I was a bit disappointed by the paucity of the current exhibit. I came away thinking "Well, it's a bit small and there's not much to it' which is something you really don't want to be thinking after a vaginal encounter.

Sunday 9 February 2020

Book Review - King & Hunt by Brienne Dubh

Four Stars

Brienne Dubh's new book is a wonderfully funny hate-to-lust story whose main characters Gabby King and Christian Hunt are a joy to spend time with. Christian is Gabby's best friend's brother and they have spent decades since their teens detesting one another. Their barbed insults and name-calling are wickedly entertaining right from the very first chapter. These guys really don't pull any punches when it comes to knocking the other one down.

It's all the more fun for the reader because you know that there's only one way that this is going to pan out. An unexpected passionate kiss and all the sexy sex times.

The giveaway is not just in the book's subtitle either. There is a long and noble tradition in the arts of the path of true love starting from a place of mutual loathing.

William Shakespeare probably didn't invent the trope but he provided a damn fine example in Much Ado about Nothing's Beatrice and Benedick. Gabby and Christian can rightfully take their place as the Shakespearean couple's literary descendants.

Or, in the words of Christian Hunt: "I just love fucking with your head."
And when the passion is unleashed for one absolutely, definitely one-time-only never-to-be-repeated night, it is absolutely marvellous. It's all about raw primal urges and unstoppable needs and it's as hot as hell. And, of course, Gabby and Christian are fooling nobody when they say that it will never happen again. I don't think they even believe it themselves.

Hot and steamy as Gabby and Christian's frequent lovemaking is (and it is hot and steamy, make no mistake about that), I think I should include a caveat here. This is not so much a spoiler as a public service announcement. There is no spanking in this book. At all.

This is the first book I've read by Brienne Dubh so it might be that expecting the plot line to include a bit of over-the-knee action was an unreasonable expectation. And in most circumstances, I would be happy to accept that. I have read whole books without spanking before. Jane Austen was a devil for not putting them in.

But in this case I think I was led on. Early on, shortly before the one-night-stand-that-isn't, Christian muses on his attraction to Gabby. "This woman had been a pain in his ass for so many years. But now all he could think about was biting down on her ass and, if he was lucky enough, spanking her." See! That's Chekhov's wossiname right there. "Don't put a spanking reference in unless there's going to be some serious arse-slapping later on." I think that is almost exactly what Anton Chekhov said.

Close enough.
I bet Christian would be great at spanking too. He's absolutely delicious that man - tall and rough-looking, covered in tattoos and wearing big clumpy sexy boots. He has a secret sensitive artistic side too. I would be totally interested in Christian myself if it weren't for the fact that he and sassy, sarcastic Gabby are so obviously made for one another. Oh, and the fact he's fictional, I suppose. There is that.

King & Hunt is a great, sexy, witty, utterly absorbing read. Great title too. It sounds like they should be fighting crime together. A little bit of spanking and it would have been just about perfect.

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

The Liberation of Miss X - On Sale Now!

My brand shiny new book The Liberation of Miss X is now on sale! From all good online book retailers, supermarkets, sex shops and gambling dens. (Disclaimer: I haven't actually checked that it will be on sale in all those places. I'd try Amazon first if I were you.)

Guaranteed Hot Corset Action!
London 1890. Flora Taylor has been estranged from her beloved brother, Edward, for five years after their father banished him from the house and refused to have anything to do with him. When she is reunited with him, she is delighted to have him back in her life but, sadly, her happiness is short-lived. 
Edward and his lover, George, are arrested and imprisoned. The laws of Victorian London mean that the two men are facing the prospect of prison with hard labour for the crime of being in love with one another. 
Flora must work with Edward’s friend and solicitor William Beech to secure their release. However, the more time she spends with Mr. Beech, the more she finds herself opening up to feelings and passions that she has never had the chance to explore before. 
As Flora and Mr. Beech fall in love, they explore a world of discipline and submission. A world that is new to Flora but already familiar to Mr. Beech, a member of a very special London club. Flora discovers a world that she never knew existed and that she is more than happy to embrace.
On sale now at:

US Amazon
UK Amazon
Blushing Books

Buy it today! Go on! You know you really, really want to.

Sunday 2 February 2020

Corbin's Bend - Sub-Divided by Vanessa Brooks


Five Stars!

Corbin's Bend is back! And it's bigger than ever! Well, it may not actually be that much bigger. They've probably built a few new houses but otherwise the Bend is pretty much how we last left it. It's all still there - the spanking-based housing community in the Colorado mountains. There's a road called Spanking Loop. There's a Dome. I'd forgotten they had a Dome!

Corbin's Bend's Dome is not like this Dome
Back to Corbin's Bend kicks off with Vanessa Brooks' Sub-Divided which is a belter of a story to start the new series. Newcomers Josie and Max are joined by a host of series regulars, Dr Marcus Devon, Jim and Ange O'Brien and of, course, Brent and Charmagne Carmichael. The gang's all here!

Josie and Max have just moved to Corbin's Bend and in a rather wonderful leap of faith the couple's moving to the World's Best Spanking CommunityTM is also their first time living together as a couple.

They already embrace a D/s relationship and Josie already knows she loves Corbin's Bend from her numerous visits to her grandparents, Liam and Nicky, who are current residents.

So, Grandpa, what's the best bit about spanking Grandma?
But it turns out that life isn't going to be straightforward for the pair. For one thing Josie encounters a run of extraordinarily bad luck from the moment she arrives. Her house gets flooded, she almost gets run down, a night out at a club turns very weird, there's invasions of moths, and locusts and hordes of zombies. Maybe not those last two.

The moths are bad enough.
The bad luck comes so thick and fast that Josie suspects that foul play is at work but is at a loss to understand why it might be happening.

On top of that, Josie is struggling with what exactly she wants from her and Max's Dom/sub relationship. While she might be adamant that she is "only a submissive in the bedroom", Max doesn't necessarily see it that way.

I loved this aspect of the book because it mirrors so closely how I personally feel about all this BDSM business. Like Josie, I am an outspoken independently-minded feminist who also happens to be a submissive and sometimes it's tricky to reconcile the two. I wouldn't want to hand over complete control of my life. I don't want my Dom to wear the pants in our relationship. And not just because we're generally having a better time when neither of us is wearing pants.

But while in real life, I don't want to be punished for my actual shortcomings, I don't feel the same about the literary heroines in the books I read. All the domestic discipline! All the time! It's the Corbin's Bend way. I was willing Josie to hand herself over to Max's authority. Stop fighting it, Josie, you know you want it.

Josie and Max are great together. The sex and spanking between them is fantastically hot. The scene when Max first arrives at Corbin's Bend... just wow. They're clearly perfect for one another which makes watching them work hard at establishing their relationship, all the more satisfying.

It's good to be back at the Bend and Vanessa Brooks' story was the perfect homecoming.

If you haven't encountered Corbin's Bend before, then, boy, you have a lot of catching up to do. Not that you have to. Sub-Divided and, in fact, all of the stories in the series work perfectly well as standalone stories. But if you do want to fill your virtual bookshelves with delicious spanky stories by by some really great authors (and me!), the links are below. Enjoy!