I write this review with such mixed emotions. I follow Cara Bristol on Twitter and was intrigued by this book she just released. It is based on domestic discipline. While it sounds a lot like BDSM it is and isn't the same. With domestic discipline, the men are always in charge and the women give up the right to lead the household. The man's word is law and the consequences may range, but in this book it revolves around spanking, be it over the knee, with a paddle or cane.
We meet the main characters of this novel after they have already been married a month. The couple have an age gap of twelve years. Jared is 35 years old and grew up with the Rod and Cane Society in his life. Over the years he spanked a few women he dated, but none of them had the staying power to put up with domestic discipline. Melania has also grown up with the Rod and Cane Society in her life, but her parents shielded her completely from it and never explained what it truly meant. In fact, she didn't even know they lived this lifestyle, she had her daddy wrapped around her finger. Jared believes he discussed this enough before the wedding for her to understand, but Melania being who she is agreed with everything he said even if she didn't grasp what it meant.
Melania ignores an order from her husband and tries to hide it, but Jared finds out. He binds and spanks her over a spanking bench they received as a wedding gift from the Rod and Cane Society. This shocks Melania. Jared thought he had made it clear what their marriage entailed, but Melania never really realized what that meant.
After the spanking, Melania decides to leave her husband as soon as her parents get back from vacation, and Jared once again finds out. That evening when they go to bed, Melania once again covers up her true feelings and tells him everything is ok. This is where I blame Jared a lot. He accepts a "we are good" and moves on thinking things are solved. I would think in a marriage where there is domestic discipline, just a we are good isn't enough. It is his responsibility to talk to her, make sure her emotions are in the right place and not just let it all be swept under the rug. This is one of many times I felt Jared failed as the leader of the family. Melania is in no way innocent by any means, but in this world where Jared rules, he should do so making sure his wifes mental well being is taken care of as well.
So here comes the hard part...the book is very well written and betrays domestic discipline pretty accurately, or in my opinion it does since I have never researched it. I enjoyed the different sides of the characters, but often I wanted to stop reading because I didn't like their choices. It's often times hard to separate the characters from the writing. The writing is superb. The characters not so much.
What I really didn't like was when Jared does something wrong in my opinion, but he is not held to the same rules that Melania is. So just because he is the man of the house, he gets a bye. But not Melania...her ass will be red forever if that is how this is run.
Melania is immature and I could not like her for that very reason. Why would you get involved with someone, sign a document that says you will obey and blithely go along not realizing everyone around you is getting their ass spanked? While she grows with the book, I think some of that growth is wrong and doesn't show her as maturing.
So while the book is good, I can't recommend this too much. It is not so much about the love story as is it is more about the growing relationship in domestic discipline. I am giving it a good rating because the writing is very well done. I just can't say I like the story told or the characters in this book. Read it and see what you think.