Author: Annabel Joseph
Historical Romance, Domestic Discipline
Over five seasons, Miss Harmony Barrett has managed to repel every gentleman of consequence and engineer a debacle at Almack’s so horrifying that her waltzing privileges are revoked. If she’s not in the library reading about Mongol hordes, she’s embarrassing her family or getting involved in impulsive scrapes.
Enter the Duke of Courtland, a man known for his love of duty and decorum. Through a vexing series of events, he finds himself shackled to Miss Barrett in matrimony. But all is not lost. The duke harbors a not-so-secret affinity for spanking and discipline…and his new wife is ever in need of it. Will the mismatched couple find their way to marital happiness? Or will the duke be forever Disciplining the Duchess?
Usually, I'm not into historical romances. They make me think of stiff dresses and stiff ladies and stiff sticks up peoples' a$$e$. I don't go picking up historical romances, it's just not my thing... That's what I kept telling myself. But when Annabel Joseph came out with Disciplining the Duchess, I had to buy it and I had to read it. Because ... Annabel Joseph. Duh. (Okay, so I’ll confess that I had already read Lily Mine and Cait and the Devil by this point and loved those too, so I knew this would be another great story.) She made this book so fun to read. The characters just came to life, they were realistic, stayed true to their time period in a believable way, yet managed to put themselves into some really funny situations. Well, Miss Harmony did. And it was quite fun to watch her squirm.
Miss Harmony is a bit of a screw up. She’s so caught up in her books and her own antics that she forgets about her other responsibilities and just hopes for the best. But as the reader, I still loved her and hoped she wouldn’t ever lose that passion for life and love and her childlike views. And when she screwed up, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all about her getting her bum warmed by the ultimate hotness – Court, the Duke.
Court is the epitome of the Alpha male. He holds a prominent position of power as a peer of the realm, he’s older than Harmony and has been around the block and knows what he’s doing in and out of the bedroom. Yet, even with all that it’s so easy to see him as a real person... he has flaws. Cause being dominant doesn’t mean being perfect. Court deals with the same issues other people deal with – making mistakes, being too harsh, too soft, dealing with guilt.
What I really liked is that the love story was developed in relative real time. Harmony and Court might have been thrown together rather quickly, but their journey took time. They don’t magically fall in love at first sight and everything falls right into place. They have struggles, they both screw up and then grow up a bit and I, as the reader, went through the journey with them and laughed and cried right along with them… maybe even changed my panties a few times when they got hot and steamy.
It also really helped that the spanking and discipline scenes were very hot and fun and the dynamic was right on. Everything just flowed so well.
Another point for this book is that there was a storyline that did not revolve around the sex. Don’t misunderstand – the sex was HOT, but it’s also nice when the story itself is interesting and holds you captive, so you’re not thinking, “when is the next sex scene?” Instead, you can’t wait to find out what happens next, period. It’s just really nice when the erotica part is seamlessly integrated into the story and Annabel Joseph definitely succeeds with that.
I highly recommend this book - it has everything you can ask for - humor, romance, HOT sex, HOT discipline, loveable characters, and, while last, probably also most important is that the book has an interesting story!