While heroines in M/F spanking romances can be feisty, sassy and bold, the trait that often defines them is their submissiveness—their innate desire to hand control to the hero and surrender to his will. He leads and she obeys—or there are (sharp) consequences. This “natural” submissiveness comes out the requirement to show that the spanking is consensual because “noncom” does not play well in contemporary fiction. To have one’s panties ripped off, be thrown over some guy’s lap and spanked to tears against one’s will goes over like a turd in a punch bowl at a society luncheon. It’s more accepted in historical and fantastical settings—but in contemporary? I direct your gaze back to the punch bowl.
So heroines have to be submissive for the story to work. She needs the hero to swoop in and take control because for whatever reason she is incapable of fending for herself—or of doing a good enough job for her own benefit. He wants to spank her to help her. He also wants to coddle her, care for her, and most of all protect her.
This scenario is common in romance in general. It’s a fantasy that women enjoy: a big, strong guy saves his woman, sweeps her off her feet, declares his undying love, and they live happily ever after. (Commence romantic swooning). But isn’t there just a little shade of “oh-poor-weak-me-I’m-so scared/befuddled/incompetent-somebody-please-save-me” in this trope?
Thankfully, we live in a modern post feminist world—so the independent heroine is popular too. She’s the FBI agent/cop/business owner/plucky street fighter who stands side-by-side with her man to kick some ass—including his if he gets in her way. She doesn’t need a man to save her from anything.
So how does an author handle a contemporary spanking romance when she wants the heroine to stand on her own two feet—except when she’s bottom up over the hero’s lap?
For me, one way was to have my heroine recognize her sexually submissive side, but then throw her into a life threatening situation when she is alone.
In this scene from Long Shot, my Corbin’s Bend spanking romance to be released June 18, Abby Delaney is driving to Corbin’s Bend and thinking about her relationships past and present:
An excerpt from Long Shot:
Her friends departed for home, and Abby ran to use the ladies room. When she emerged from the restaurant, her friends’ vehicles were gone. Her car sat alone. Abby unlocked her vehicle, got in, and sighed. Her phone rested in the console cup holder where she’d left it. Picking it up, she called her aunt. “I’m leaving Denver now,” she said when Aunt Quincy answered.
With her friends? Definitely. But her emotions were nowhere near settled. “Yes. I’ll tell you all about it when I get home.”
“Have you spoken to Harris since you’ve been gone?”
“No. He left a message. I, uh, didn’t return it because I didn’t know what to say.” Not very mature, but how else could she protect herself?
“He called here.”
Abby’s heart thumped. “He did?”
“He seemed concerned you hadn’t contacted him.”
Abby wet her lips. “What did you say?”
“You’d gone to Denver for the weekend to visit friends. If you’re not planning to see him anymore, you need to be honest with him, Abby.”
“I’ll be home in about an hour and a half. I’ll call him then.” Maybe the right words, a decision, would come to her by then.
“Okay. Drive safely.”
Abby tucked her phone into the cup holder and exited the parking lot.
Continue with Harris or break up? She’d survived one painful dissolution already; could she handle another? Would it even be her choice anymore? Her rejection might have angered Harris, and he might spurn her now.
Why did loving have to be so hard?
On one hand she had Dale who’d always loved her. But he had serious problems and could not give her the stability she needed. And she no longer loved him.
Harris caused her heart to zing and her body to burn. Everything about the man demonstrated stability and discipline. Everything. She clenched her glutes. Except for the gambling—but even there she’d witnessed no signs of instability, of addiction.
They complemented each other. Harris made her feel good about herself, and his discipline could help her grow too.
If he was willing to consider doing it long term.
Women’s magazines advised a woman to listen to what a man said. When they warned you off, confessed their faults, pay attention. Dale had waved those red flags in their relationship.
“I probably enjoy gambling a little too much.”
“I could get addicted to winning.”
And his emotions had swung from high to low.
Harris had shared his family history and warned he did not do happily ever after. But Aunt Quincy thought he was worth the bet.
Who could she believe? Harris himself or a matchmaker and her own heart that urged her try? But her emotions had led her astray before, and she couldn’t endure the hurt again. So are you never going to get involved? Are you never going to take a chance on love? What in life is a sure thing?
Abby sighed, her chest aching. She would arrive in Corbin’s Bend no closer to an answer than she’d been before she’d left. Soon—too soon, she’d have to make a decision. The highway onramp wasn’t much farther, just around the corner. Preparing for the turn, Abby checked her rear view mirror.
A man’s face stared back at her.
♥ ♥ ♥
Long Shot blurb
Abby Delaney moves to Corbin’s Bend to work at her aunt’s antique store to recover from a painful divorce. She gets more than expected when she meets sexy, charming Harris Montgomery, a local businessman and tennis pro, a man who seems to be the exact opposite of her ex-husband. Through Harris, she discovers her submissive side when he introduces her to spanking good times, and she begins to trust herself again. But when the relationship progresses to a deeper level, she discovers Harris and her ex share more in common than she’d thought. With future happiness on the line, can she risk surrendering her heart on a long shot?
Long Shot will be released by LazyDay/Blushing Books on June 18. It is part of the Corbin’s Bend spanking romance series—eight books by eight authors. Each one is stand-alone novella set in the fictitious town of Corbin’s Bend where all residents practice spanking. If you enjoy my Rod and Cane Society series, you’ll probably like Long Shot.