Celeste Jones on The Great Debate: Contemporary v. Historical

By Celeste Jones 

I have two new books out this month. Laying Down the Law is a contemporary spanking romance involving a 45 year old divorcee and her 29 year old law school classmate. Corrected By The Colonel is a historical Regency spanking romance about Miss Cassandra Sheridan who is desperate to get married because that’s the only way she can save her family from abject poverty. She sets her sights on Lord Owen Tyndall, but his cousin, Colonel Blaise Sinclair gets in the way.

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to write in both genres. Although there are many similarities (hot sex, spanking and romance) there are also big differences between them.

Roles of Women:

In Corrected By The Colonel, Cassandra’s only hope for financial security is to find a husband with enough wealth to support her and her family. The basis for Laying Down the Law is Ali’s determination to finish law school so she can support herself and get as far away from her ex-husband as possible.


Cassandra, the heroine of Corrected By The Colonel, has one goal: marriage. Although both books have HEA endings (of course) there’s no real talk of marriage between Ali and Griff, just that they have a future together.


Corrected By The Colonel has some pretty steamy pre-marital scenes, but no sex before marriage. You can guess how sex is handled in Laying Down the Law. J

The other issue with sex is sexual knowledge of the heroine. A proper Regency young lady would know almost nothing about sexual intercourse before her wedding night and she most certainly would not use words like cock or pussy, so finding words to describe what is happening to a woman with no sexual knowledge can be challenging.

In a contemporary romance, particularly with a divorced 45 year old heroine, it’s a bit easier.


Consent to discipline can be a sticking point for some fans of spanking fiction and with contemporary books it’s a little harder for some people to understand why a modern, educated woman would allow herself to be spanked. In historicals, it’s assumed that corporal punishment was used in all phases of life, therefore, a woman being taken over the hero’s knee is not so hard to believe.

So, whether you are looking for a hot contemporary or a steamy historical, I’ve got you covered.

lawnew500x755Laying Down the Law blurb

Newly divorced and returning to law school after a twenty year absence, Ali Stewart has just one class to complete before sitting for the bar exam, becoming a lawyer and moving on with her life. She feels out of place with her much younger classmates, but she’s determined to succeed and put her ex-husband far in the past.

When she is paired with Griff for the semester, she learns that even though he is much younger, there is much he can teach her, in and out of the classroom.

Laying Down The Law is an erotic spanking romance that includes explicit sex, anal sex and legal terms used in an erotic manner.

 Amazon    Blushing Books

Corrected-by-the-Colonel-Final-LARGECorrected By The Colonel  Blurb

Miss Cassandra Sheridan is desperate to get married. Not because she is deeply in love, but because her family is deeply in debt. She leaves behind her two younger sisters to care for their ailing father while she heads out to do the only thing she can to secure the future for herself and her family—marry a rich man.

She sets her sights on Lord Owen Tyndall, attractive, rich and gullible. Just when Cassandra is sure a proposal is imminent, Lord Tyndall’s cousin, the annoying and attractive Colonel Blaise Sinclair, arrives.

The Colonel is not nearly so easily fooled as his cousin and he is determined to find out the real story behind Miss Cassandra Sheridan’s presence at Hadley Hall. If he must employ over the knee discipline to ferret out her plans, then so much the better.

Corrected By The Colonel is an erotic romance that includes explicit sex, rapid fire dialogue, anal play and anal sex all within the confines of proper Regency society. If such topics offend you, please do not buy this book.

Pre-order on Amazon for automatic delivery on September 20.

 Note from Cara Bristol: I’ve read Laying Down the Law and hereby attest that it is GOOD! I’ve read Celeste’s other Regencies, and they are fun. I’m looking forward to reading Corrected by the Colonel.

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14 Responses to Celeste Jones on The Great Debate: Contemporary v. Historical

  1. Thanks for letting me visit your blog today, Cara!

  2. And sci-fi just makes it easier all around! You can make up the rules for almost everything! Or I do… I’ve written one Medieval and struggled with the language because I felt strange to use words like would have been used while on the other hand, DD in contemporary pushes buttons for some people – the wrong buttons I mean 😉 I appreciate that you can do both Celeste. How much research goes into your historicals?

    • Cara Bristol says:

      That is so true, Natasha! That’s what I love about sci-fi. Just about anything goes!

    • I’ve done a fair amount of research but I also go with “vague but not inaccurate”. I have read some historical romances where it seemed like the author was determined to show all the research they had done and it got in the way of the story.

      • Cara Bristol says:

        I’ve run across those too. They read like history text books. My eyes glaze over. I’m not reading romance for the history–but I don’t want to be bumped out of the story for gross inaccuracies.

  3. Rollin Hand says:

    I’ve long said that justifying the spanking scenes in contemporary fiction is one of the significant challenges in the genre. In an age of feminism, sexual harassment lawsuits, stalking orders and political correctness in general, how does one justify or construct the spanking scenes with making the heroine a “lifestyle sub?” Taking a situation that involves some boy-girl conflict and giving it the John Wayne treatment won’t work. I’ve had to come up with all kinds of things — agreements, wagers, prior warnings (implies consent if she keeps it up). One has to be inventive to make it believable these days.

  4. Livia LB Grant says:

    Great post, Celeste. It was interesting to see the different challenges laid out. I haven’t swayed from contemporary yet. I guess I worry I don’t have the world building imagination to do sci-fi justice and the research needed for a historical scared me a bit, but I can see there are definitely some benefits too.

  5. Cara Bristol says:

    I love Regencies, but I don’t know enough about the period to do it justice. The research is daunting.

  6. Yay! Congrats on your two new releases Celeste. They sound wonderful! I actually prefer to read historicals, and I know what you mean about the challenges fitting certain things into the time period. So far my solution has been to write about pirates. It works because they were major rule breakers and anything goes. 🙂

  7. Tara Finnegan says:

    It’s really interesting to see the compare and contrast. The research puts me off historical, because it would take me months to put pen to paper. I’m definitely a fan of Celeste’s historicals and can’t wait for Corrected by the Colonel , now I look forward to reading Laying Down the Law too

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