Friday, September 5, 2014

Spanking Stories Book Club: Last Dance For Cadence by Maren Smith

If you are here for the Summer Spanks Hop, please scroll down (but feel free to read this post too).

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.


  1. 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.)
  2. 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?
  3. (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?
  4. The live-in nanny fantasy (which features in Last Dance for Cadence) is pretty hot. Why?
  5. 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

Thanks Emily!

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!


  1. I loved this book. I literally finished it in my cube at work and cried HEA tears. I could have read it forever. I just lived Cadence and Marcus!!

    1) I've said it to Maren and I've said it to anyone who'll listen to me--I would read Maren's interpretation of the phone book. I've told her that if she's written it I don't read the blurb and I don't even care if there's a plot. I just want to read her anytime anywhere. But there is Alwsys an awesome plot!!!
    2) the harmonious union of cadence and Marcus brought resolution to both of them, they have a beautiful dance that sucks all into the ball!!!
    3) I think many are naive because as readers and writers we love the premise of a stranger in a strange land. I know I DO!!
    4) the live in nanny is the contrast of conserved, caretaker of children during the day and vixen at night!!
    5) domineering, steadfast, testosterone galore, rumbly voice, sweet side that is hidden revealed only by the heroine, funny, stern, --God I love them!!! And Maren does them best!! Quinton Rydecker!!! Mmmmm he was uber dominant alpha-so many of her characters are!!

    1. Thanks for the wonderful responses, Megan! I love the second one so much!

    2. LOL! Thank you, Megan. I love your responses too. Especially #5

  2. This is on my list, so I can only answer the general questions.
    3. As with sex, a big part of what make spanking sexy is the emotions the characters go through and the anticipation of the spanking. Without emotion, sex is just moving parts and spanking is just slap, slap. With a character who is unfamiliar with spanking, you get a heightened anticipation along with emotion. For the heroine when she realizes what will happen, and for the reader who's been waiting for the shoe to drop (or the slipper to fall!). It's like foreplay for the reader.
    5. Confidence (but not arrogance) and the willingness to step up and lead--and take responsibility for it.

    1. Thank you, Cara, for taking the time to stop by and respond. I agree with your view of #3. That heightened anticipation can make the spanking come alive when you don't know what's going on and you "feel" everything for the very first time. :)

  3. Sorry I haven't had a chance to read this one yet so I'll just answer question 5 about alpha males. He is confident and strong without a need to put others down or flaunt his awesomeness, it's just there. He is completely himself because he's not concerned with what others think of him. Has a soft side but only the heroine sees it.

    1. I love that line, "flaunt his awesomeness". :) Thanks, Celeste!

  4. This is one of my favorite books from the Corbin's Bend series. Great questions, Emily.
    1. Maren's prose definitely adds to my enjoyment of her books. I love the way it appears so flawless and effortless, like it's the most natural way in the world to write. Perhaps it is for her. I wish it was for me.
    2. I'm going with Megan's answer on this one. I really like it, and I get the same feeling.
    3. Definitely a "fish out of water" story. The setup adds humor as the characters slowly realize their situation and try to adapt.
    4. A live-in nanny situation "forces" the characters to remain under conditions they might normally wish to avoid. I'm not sure Cadence would have stayed with Marcus, if she had any other option available to her in the beginning. In some ways, that wasn't fair to her, but it did limit her ability to escape. The reasons why we also find it hot would give Freud a heyday.
    5. I agree with Celeste. Alpha males are dominant men who possess a soft side that often the heroine is the only one privileged to witness. In the case of Marcus, he's a doctor so it's almost the reverse. To everyone else, he's a gentle, caring man, for whom they see an occasional flash of dominance. Cadence, however, is the one privileged to experience his alpha, dominant, sexy side almost all the time. But I wouldn't say he's a typical Maren hero, either. I think her hero Vance in Have Paddle, Will Travel will be closer to the type of heroes Maren usually writes. Though, we love them all.

    1. Great responses, Kathryn! Thanks!

    2. #1, oh wow, I wish it were so effortless. lol I don't think I have an easier time writing this than anyone else, but I do try and I really, really appreciate it when readers let me know that I did it right. :) Thanks so much! And yes, I do think Vance is going to be back to my normal hero archetype. With humor. Please, dear God, let this read as funny! lol

  5. These were great questions! I actually didn't read the book yet, but I am participating anyway, because that's how I roll. And that excerpt just moved this one to the top my my TBR pile!

    1. I have to honestly say, Maren is one of those authors that after I read a book by her I have to psych myself up again to write, because how could I ever write something so awesome?? She really has a way with storytelling and characters- she's kind of my idol, I might get all fangirl in a second.
    3. Personally, I would just like to think that everyone is a spanko at heart! Okay, I know that isn't true, but this is fiction, and fiction for spankos, so of course even if these girls don't know they will likely be spanked, it will happen. It's just the law of Corbin's Bend!
    4. The live in Nanny fantasy has been hot for forever! Why is that? Because it's two people doing something so domestic together, raising kids. Also, living in close quarters and stepping on each other's toes. It just lends itself to romance.
    5. An alpha male has to be confident. It's tricky, because alpha males can easily turn into dickish guys. It's just how it goes. Maren does a really good job of making her heroes all alpha, but also showing that they have a heart.

    1. Aw, thank you, Casey! It really means something when you hear comments like #1 from other authors whose work I've also enjoyed. :) Thank you so very much!

  6. I always love Maren's books. She has the capacity to write a wonderful engaging story with compelling and endearing characters. Even if the story has sad elements she balances everything with humor.
    I have been so busy with work I haven't had a chance to read it yet...but I will!

    I think the question of strong Alpha males is complicated. I appreciate a combination of strength, confidence and vulnerability. I enjoy a no nonsense type of guy but he has to have some ability to empathize in dealing with the lady...That doesn't mean he is wishy washy. It means acknowledging mistakes as well as being strong when it is hard.
    Im not asking for much....LOL

    1. You hit it so perfectly for me, Minelle. "It means acknowledging mistakes as well as being strong when it is hard." I strive so hard to make most of my alpha males human in that regard. I don't always succeed, but it feels good when readers think I do. :) Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today!

  7. Thank you so much, Celeste, not just for hosting me today, but for hosting all the authors of the Corbin's Bend books. We really appreciate your time, your energy, and your own work. Laying Down the Law---O.M.G. I cannot wait for tomorrow!

  8. I'm late to the party, but I just have to say how glad I am you are showcasing one of my favorite Corbin's Bend books. I was excited to read any book from Maren, but the blurb had me really excited before the release and the story more than lived up to my expectations.

    3. I think what I like about the stories where women come to town unknowingly joining a spanking community is that we get to go on their discovery journey with them. I suspect many non-spanko women have at least pondered what it would be like to be spanked. Most will never have a chance to live it out if they don't get the courage to talk about it with their SO, but by reading books as we see other women struggle with submitting is really exciting. And let's face it, we all enjoy the excitement of those first tentative steps in any relationship, but add spanking to the mix and wow.

    4. Others have already said it, but the whole live-in nanny is hot for so many great reasons. It is relatively easy to 'hide' who you are for a few hours each day at work if you want to, but living with someone, there is no downtime. They see each other in all kinds of intimate situations and have less time to regroup their emotions as privacy is less. Living together is intimate.

    5. I love everyone else's answers on this question, but one thing I would add is I love an Alpha male who is willing to change for that right woman. The part about him lowering his guard and showing his inner tenderness is really important, but at the end of the day, if he is going to only force his will on the heroine, I'm gonna have problems with him. Lead her, yes. Dictate, not as hot to me.

    Thanks for the great discussion.


I love getting feedback. Thank you for taking the time to comment!