Holy cow! I have made it no secret that I am a huge Renee Rose fan! I love her stories, and the characters the she brings to life. It’s so easy to escape into the world that she creates, because, she just does it so well!
I love historical novels and no one writes them as well as she does! She writes the ambience so well from the dialect, to the exquisite layers of clothing, and even the façade of propriety kept behind closed doors. Not to mention the spankings. Oh yes, I love the spankings, the acceptable punishment for naughty young women! It’s so much fun to escape into this world and Renee Rose creates it beautifully!
The Reddington Scandal is the sequel to The Westerfield Affair. (Here is my review of it). It can be read as a stand-alone book also, though there are mention of characters from the previous book.
This story blew my mind!
She created such a depth in these characters that I was able to immerse myself into their world, loving every moment! Here is the rest of my review.
Lord Fenton, (Teddy) is his father’s son. A devilishly handsome young man, who can charm the petticoats off any woman, married or unmarried. He is a rake – a noble man who cares about the delights of sex, the adventure of getting a married woman into his embrace, and cares not for a life of marriage and monogamy.
But he is also kind, generous, caring, and affectionate. He has doted on his younger sister all of her life, being her protector and her biggest supporter. He has cared for and used his charms and wit to entertain his mother, hurt from their father’s infidelities.
He is a good and honorable man, but is unable to see this good in himself, until he meets Phoebe. All of his life, he has been told he is just like his father. So he follows his father’s footsteps, the rake who cheated on their mother, again and again. This is why he has not chosen to marry. He doesn’t believe himself capable of loving and staying true to one woman. He is afraid of hurting a woman, by getting too close to her, just like his mother was hurt by his father’s actions. And finally accepts that he is his father’s son.
Enter, Phoebe, a kind sweet young woman, living in her own personal hell with her sister and her brother in law as her guardian. Maud, her older sister, is threatened by and does not appreciate Phoebe’s presence in her house. Maud’s husband, Lord Reddington, appreciates her presence too much, making physical attempts at her whenever he can get her alone. Phoebe needs to escape, but how?
When Teddy is discovered by the enraged Lord Reddington, Phoebe steps in and claims Teddy as her own lover. Teddy and Phoebe are quickly married to diminish the scandal of their “impropriety”.
Phoebe has saved Teddy’s life, but she has also saved her own.
But it quickly becomes apparent that neither of them is ready for a “real” marriage. Teddy fears his ability to remain faithful, even though he is drawn to her more every day. Phoebe fears losing her heart to a man that can never truly love her. Even though they are both attracted to each other physically, they keep their distance, and choose to not consummate the marriage.
I think the starting point in their true relationship, begins with their first spanking. When Phoebe falls into a pond and almost drowns, Teddy saves her and carries her back to their carriage. He then pulls her sopping wet, dress up, and spanks her over his knee. The spanking itself, was beautifully done. I loved her reaction to her first real over the knee spanking. But what was really nice to see was Teddy’s response. He apologized for his anger, and explained that he had spanked because he was worried about her, alleviating some of the doubt that they both had about this being a marriage in name only. I loved that he owned up to the fact that he had reacted instinctively, with her spanking. I respected that in him. I also really appreciated seeing his eyes open, when he realized that worrying about someone means you care about them.
The rest of the story is wonderful- full of delicious sexual encounters, as Teddy teaches Phoebe all about the world of love making.
It also has its light moments. Teddy and Phoebe are such good natured people, it was so much fun to watch their playful banter and flirting. I adored them! He called her cute names. She always had a clever retort. They were perfect for each other!
Both characters went through a huge transformation during the story. Phoebe needed to learn to forgive herself for the past. Teddy needed to forgive and trust himself to be the good man that he really was.
I won’t give away the ending.
But I will say it had an HEA that I loved!
This story had it all!
Great characters that grew throughout their journey, and worked to overcome the obstacles that life threw their way.
An awesome plot, filled with romance, fun, light hearted banter, deep emotional moments, and some adventure.
Wonderful sex scenes- If you are used to historicals with sweet sex scenes, this story will knock your socks off! It was depicted beautifully, merging historical accuracy, with so much vivid detail. It was fantastic!
Dominance and physical chastisements that nearly made me swoon in delight.
It all worked so well together, creating a fantasy world full of delightful characters with whom I fell in love, and never wanted to leave!
I loved this story, and will go on the record saying, this is probably her best book yet. It is definitely at the top for historical romance. I loved it!
When Phoebe’s brother-in-law catches the notorious rake Lord Fenton in his home late at night, half-dressed and obviously attempting escape, he flies into a rage, threatening to kill both his wife and Lord Fenton. In a desperate measure to avert bloodshed, Phoebe claims she is Lord Fenton’s lover, thereby forcing him to take her as his wife to avoid a scandal.
Knowing full well a philanderer like Teddy Fenton could never remain faithful, Phoebe insists upon separate bedrooms, resolving to resist his charm rather than fall in love and face the pain of his inevitable infidelity. Her handsome husband respects her request for a marriage in name only, but his marital dominance manifests itself in other ways. She soon learns that while he will not force her to his bed, Teddy is more than willing to take her over his knee and spank her bare bottom when her behavior warrants it.
Doubting his ability to stay faithful and not wishing to replicate his parents’ miserable existence, Teddy had never intended to take a wife, until he was forced to marry the lovely Phoebe Fletcher and everything changed. Suddenly other women hold no allure for him, and he wants nothing more than to win the affection of his new bride. But just when it seems he might succeed, secrets from her past threaten to destroy their chance at happiness. Can this couple come to love one another as befits a man and wife, or will their marriage end in scandal after all?
Also includes a bonus short story “Disobedience at the Dressmaker’s”.
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The door to the study clicked open and she gasped, jumping. It was Lord Fenton, himself, who looked just as surprised to catch her in his chair as she was to be found there.
“Oh! Excuse me, my lord!” Blotting the ink, she hurriedly shuffled the poems into a stack, abandoning the ribbon that usually bound them, and shoving them into her little wooden box.
Fenton smiled a slow, predatory smile, prowling around the desk, looking satisfied to catch her looking guilty. “What are you doing, my dear?” he drawled.
“Nothing! Nothing at all. I—I was just leaving. Forgive me.”
He blocked her exit from behind the desk. “Writing something?”
“No! I was just—” she cast her mind about wildly, “reading some old school notes. My studies, you know.”
Fenton laughed, slipping past her to sit in his chair with his arm catching her waist. To her shock, he pulled her face down over his lap, slapping her upturned bottom as soon as she arrived.
She kicked her legs. “What? Stop it!”
“Never lie to your husband, Phoebe. He does not take kindly to it.” He slapped several more times in rapid succession, then threw her skirts over her head, causing her real panic. She squirmed to free herself.
Fenton was chuckling. “No, there’s no getting free. You’ve earned your spanking, now you’ll have to take it.”
To her utter mortification, he parted the slit of her drawers, exposing her bare bottom to the cool air and continued spanking her with hard, stinging slaps. She could not breathe at all.
“Lord Fenton! I mean, Teddy!” she gasped.
He chuckled again, smoothing his large palm over her bottom, which prickled with heat. “Thank you for remembering. I do believe I promised you a spanking for that mistake, as well.” He opened his desk drawer.
“Unlucky girl. I have tools in here, like rulers and such.” He snapped what must be a wooden ruler across her cheeks, and she felt a searing pain.
“Ow! Please, my lord!”
“Hmm. Can you breathe? Let’s open this,” he said, pulling the laces of her corset. “There. Now I can spank as hard as I like.”
“No!” she exclaimed as the ruler smacked down on her bare skin in another flurry of spanks.
“When I ask you a question, I want an honest answer, little dove. What were you writing? A love letter?”
He applied the ruler again, five times in rapid succession.
She whimpered. “It’s poetry!” She braced herself, though whether it was from ridicule or the ruler, she wasn’t sure.
“Poetry,” he repeated, sounding interested. “That you wrote?”
When she didn’t answer, he smacked her three more times with the ruler.
“Yes!” she exclaimed.
He was silent for a moment, and when he spoke again, the humor was replaced with what sounded like honest interest. “May I read it?”
“No!” she cried immediately.
The ruler snapped down on her again, beating a steady rhythm, causing her to buck on his lap in a vain attempt to escape it. “Wrong answer, my love. Don’t you know, you cannot refuse the man who holds the wooden ruler?” With the next spank, though, the ruler cracked, and she could not help but giggle. The rich sound of his laughter filled her ears, warming her, as if they were sharing some kind of joke that made this humiliating event easier. He rubbed her smarting bottom.
“Well, I still have my hand. Would you care to try that answer again? Or shall I continue to spank?”
“No—I mean yes!”
He chuckled, rubbing a slow circle over her bare skin. “Yes, I may read your poetry?”
She hesitated. She certainly did not wish to be spanked any longer. Nor did she wish to turn over the pages that contained her very heart and soul to him. Except some small part of her did long to share her writing, as terrifying as the idea was.
He waited patiently for her answer, stroking and massaging her buttocks with one hand, as the other caressed the nape of her neck.
“Yes,” she answered at last in a small voice.
“Thank you,” he murmured, and pulled her up to stand beside him, one hand still under her skirt, cupping her bare bottom. He picked up the poem on top and began to read it as if it were the most absorbing thing he’d ever laid eyes upon, while his finger began absently tracing the line of her cleft. She could not breathe—the invasion of his finger no less disturbing than waiting for his assessment of her poem. Her knees felt weak and her upper thighs trembled. The hand moved to stroke the place where thigh met buttock, delving closer to her most intimate core. She tried to wiggle away, but he gave her sore cheek a sharp automatic slap, then looked up as if only just realizing he’d been holding her captive beside him with this hand most inappropriately up her skirt.