In most domestic discipline fiction, the hero spanks the heroine for her transgressions, and though she may not appreciate it at first, she comes to see the error of her ways, respects the HoH for his guidance, and the experience draws them closer as a couple.
The formula assumes that DD “works.”
But what about when it doesn’t?
That’s the scenario presented in Holla Dean’s Withdrawing Consent. After reading Save Your Marriage the Old Fashioned Way in her book club, Christine Morgan and the other members decide to try domestic discipline. A reluctant Christine and her husband set some limits and ground rules to correct some of her lapses (such as not cleaning the house or letting him know when she’ll be late) and begin their trial. DD enhances the intimacy of their marriage at first–until Alex turns into a control freak and micro-manages her every move and spanks her for the even slightest transgression. Finally, Christine withdraws her consent.
I enjoyed the fresh take on DD in this book, and it highlighted an important issue that readers new to the genre miss when they read DD for the first time: domestic discipline is consensual in real life. Without safewords, whether consent is never mentioned at all – it is still consensual and that consent can be revoked at any time. I also thought that Withdrawing Consent presented a real possibility for couples trying DD—an inexperienced or misguided HoH can go overboard.
I liked that Christine, despite submitting to DD, was not a pushover. She set her limits and stuck to them. When her husband suggested she curtail her outside activities so she’d have more time to clean the house, she outright refused (Go, Christine!).
I won’t spoil the end of this book but will say that it doesn’t end with Christine calling a halt to DD.
I liked the concept so much I give it four out of five stars, even though I thought there was too much narration (telling) and not enough action (showing) in the book. And like a few other reviewers, I did not buy the intimacy of the sex scenes that followed the spankings Christine considered to be unjust. It was too much of an about-face.
I don’t know the author’s intentions, but this book has series potential in that Holla Dean could write a story from every book club member’s experience with DD.
Overall? Withdrawing Consent is a worthy addition to spanking fiction/domestic discipline genre. Holla Dean is an author new to me. I’d definitely give her another read.