Let's give a big Spanking Stories Book Club Welcome to Emily Tilton who is here to discuss the final (for now) Corbin's Bend story: Last Dance for Cadence by Maren Smith.
Okay, so when I heard that I was going to publish a book in the same series in which Maren Smith was going to publish Last Dance for Cadence, I kind of thought it was pretty special (same with so many of my other fellow CB authors!). And now it's just an incredible privilege to lead a discussion of her wonderful book.
Here's the way the book sets up in the blurb:
The ad read: “Full-time housekeeper/nanny position. Live-in preferred. References and experience required. Salary negotiable. Apply in person.”
Cadence Westmore knew she wasn’t qualified for the job, but for a paycheck and an apartment, she was determined to apply. As an ex-dancer with two bad legs and no experience with children, she expected to be turned down. What she didn’t expect was the instant attraction she felt when Corbin’s Bend’s resident doctor took her in his capable hands.
A widower with three boys to raise, Dr. Marcus Devon knew he needed help. But he also knew Cadence Westmore was the last person he should hire. Still he gave her the job, opening his home and his life to a woman as stubborn as she was lovely, and as determined not to need him as he was to make her his. She was her own worst enemy, pushing herself to exceed her wounded body’s physical limitations until the doctor finally stepped in to apply some good old-fashioned bare-bottom medicine. The more she rebelled, the more he took her across his knee until at last Cadence realized if she wasn’t careful, she just might lose everything all over again.
Marcus is very alpha, in a lovely, quiet way, but it was Cadence who won me over: the way her defiance originates in her idea of who she has to be, in order to keep it together, seems to me to allow Maren to write her character's psychology both convincingly and movingly. The triumph of Last Dance for Cadence lies for me in Maren's heart-rending, and then heart-warming, portrayal of a woman's transformation from despair to hope.
The thing that always gets me about Maren's stuff is that the DD spanking and the romance simply go hand in hand. Here's a little excerpt that I think shows what I mean:
She was so stupid. Why hadn’t she thought this through? Why hadn’t she waited for Marcus to come home, given him a chance to explain? Why did some nasty, dirty, awful and dark part deep down inside her still want to run?
“Cadence?” From the backseat, buckled safely into his booster seat, Buddy’s voice sounded so small and timid. “Are we in trouble?”
“No, Buddy.” She forced a smile when she glanced back at him. “Of course not.”
“Are you?” Michael asked. His too young eyes seemed just wise enough to give her a knowing look when she flashed him that same smile next. There was something in that look she just couldn’t bring herself to lie to.
“Your father would never hurt me,” she said instead.
That was the truth too. For the first time since Marcus had caught her, from the first time she’d tried to run really, her hands relaxed their death’s grip on one another. How mind-boggling it was to think that in a few short minutes, she could very well find herself back in his office, her pants and panties puddled around her knees while he took her across his lap for a spanking to beat all spankings.
...bust your butt like you’ve never felt before...
But that wasn’t the same as hurting her, was it? Sebastian had hurt her. He’d all but killed her. For the last year, between the accident, the hospital, learning to walk again and learning that she hadn’t a prayer of ever again dancing the way she had always ached to, she had been walking, talking and breathing, but still she had been dead in every way that mattered most.
- Maren's prose is so smooth, and so literary, that it make me want to ask how great an effect you think style has on your enjoyment of spanking fiction. I know it has a huge effect on mine. (Okay, really this question is just your chance to tell Maren how awesome a writer she is, the way I hope I just did.)
- A cadence is, according to The Harvard Dictionary of Music and Musicians, a melodic or harmonic configuration that creates a sense of resolution. Why do you think Maren named her heroine Cadence?
- (This is my "hard-hitting" question. Everyone should feel free to ignore it, but I have to say it fascinates me, and I'd love to discuss it.) Cadence comes to Corbin's Bend without knowing the special nature of the community. More than one of the Corbin's Bend novellas feature heroines who arrive there without knowing that they're likely to get spanked. Why?
- The live-in nanny fantasy (which features in Last Dance for Cadence) is pretty hot. Why?
- Maren writes an alpha-male like very few other authors. What do you think are the essential defining characteristics of an alpha-male?
Get your copy of Last Dance for Cadence
September 12 and 19 we'll be discussing the books from the School's In Session Boxed Set (which goes on sale tomorrow!). Can't wait!