Friday, August 23, 2013

Spanking Stories Book Club: The Headstrong Miss Henley

When I decided to go from one book per month to one per week, I figured I needed to add a few books that I had already read and the first book I thought of was The Headstrong Miss Henley because I enjoyed it so much and I wanted to try to show it a little love and let others know about it.

Blurb: Lord Whitford will do anything to keep his reputation untarnished. Sadly, that proves most difficult when he becomes engaged to Miss Henley, a headstrong American who finds most of the ton rules ridiculous.

Whitford is forced to administer a series of spankings--going as far as to use a crop and a hairbrush on her bare bottom--to prevent her from humiliating them both with her abominable behavior. To his consternation, he finds this chore not entirely unpleasant. In fact, he finds it arousing, which is most improper.

This was a fun and playful book and Miss Henley was a likeable heroine.

Here are a couple of questions, but feel free to just say whatever is on your mind.

1. I think it's fair to say that this book needed a proofreader. There were extra words and for a few pages Lord Whitford turned into Lord Whitman and Lord Whitfield. In general, this sort of thing makes my head spin, but I liked this story so much, that I sort of got over it. Well, I probably didn't completely since I am still talking about it.
So, here is my question. Do readers (as opposed to writers who are readers) care about these things? What I'm talking about is poor proofreading as opposed to bad writing.

2. Lord Whitfield wasn't perfect and he had a lesson or two to learn along the way too. Is it just me, or are many of the heroes on romances and spanking romances too perfect?

3. I am a fan of books in the 70-100 page range. What about you? It's nice to have a book you can finish in a lazy afternoon or a late night of reading. Or has the prevalence of novellas ruined things?

Next week we'll be talking about Kate Richard's Spanking Ms. Whitman. You won't want to miss it!


  1. 1. I didn't really notice the changing Lord Whit-(insert anything here) whilst I was reading the book, only afterwards as I was looking over the book thinking about your questions.
    What I generally hate as a reader are the extra spaces, words in the wrong context or duplicated passages. That is frustrating. If I'm reading for pleasure, and this book was pleasure for me, I don't want to be distracted from the story by irritating formatting issues and simple spelling mistakes.

    2. I am completely sick and tired of perfect heroes. Spanking or otherwise. I can't stand the perfect heroine either, too beautiful, too rich, too easy to be tamed, blah blah boring. At least Betty had some spunk.

    3. I have no problems with the length of the book, but I do get a bit irritated when the price is unrealistic.

    I must say, having come across spanking reading recently, I have been struggling to get my head around the concept in the present, yet I am completely at ease with the historical spanking genre. Maybe it's just the books I've been reading.

    1. TiaSkye--is this your first visit/comment? If so, welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

      I think many people share your struggle with the idea of spanking for "modern" women. There's a bit of a discussion on that topic on Cara Bristol's blog today, btw.

      It's funny, you'd think we'd be bothered by it in historical novels where women had so few choices more than now when a woman clearly can get along just fine without a man.

      What do you think is a realistic price for a book on the 70 page range?

  2. 1. I am inclined to be forgiving of proofreading lapses because I know how easy it is for them to slip by. I am fortunate that my publisher does an excellent job proofreading, but I have empathy for indies. I don't read books that are badly written, but do run across a lot that are lackluster, and that bothers me more than a few typos. I thought The Headstrong Miss Henley was vibrant and fresh and that to me made it a good book.

    2.It's almost a rule that characters should be flawed--because it makes them interesting and creates conflict, which creates plot, which creates story. But, I don't think that most readers in genre fiction want realistically flawed characters. They want pretend, fixable, or positive-traits -disguised-as-flaws. I've always said that if a heroine does something that really deserves a spanking - readers won't like her. Likewise, if the hero acts like an asshole (like good men do on a occasion), they won't like him.

    3. YES! I am a fan of the 70-100 page book. I enjoy reading, but a full-length novel (300-400 pages) nowadays seems like a project rather than a pleasure. I find myself watching my progress on Kindle. ("OMG, I'm only 17% done with this thing?). I love being able to sit down and read an entire book in one or two sittings.

    Regarding cost, consider this. You get two hours of entertainment at a movie. And how much is a movie ticket?

    1. Great point about if the heroine really deserves a spanking readers won't like her. That is one of the trickiest parts of writing in this genre.

      You're comment about "OMG only 17%" cracked me up. I do the same thing. Now when I am shopping for books and see something over 200 pages, I usually pass on by.

      Good point about the movie tickets. Plus, you can't watch the movie over and over or loan it to a friend.

  3. 1. I'm also pretty forgiving of typos because I know it's hard to find them. Unless I'm finding multiple typos on each page, I usually can skip past them without it interrupting my reading.

    2. I love flawed heroes and characters, as long as they are good people deep down, that's what matters. Having an perfect character would make for an unrealistic read.

    3. I prefer novellas for the same reason as you, Celeste, I like to get through them in a night or an afternoon if I want. I read novels too, and the occasional short story, but most of the time I'm buying novellas.

    I have The Headstrong Miss Henley on my Kindle, but I haven't started it I'm thinking I need to move it up in the line! :)

    1. You should definitely consider moving it up your list. It's a fun read.

  4. 1. I'm definitely forgiving of typos. It's the long passages that don't move the story forward that tend to bother me.

    2. Yes, give me the lovable but flawed hero/heroine. It's hard to cheer a character on if they already have it all.

    3. I'm a big fan of novellas. I read and write them. They seem to be the perfect length of story development. The longer reads tend to have those passages I'd rather skip.

    Great discussion. Thanks, Celeste.

    1. Thank you for stopping by. I think this might be your first time here too. Welcome!

      One of the things I particularly like about epublishing is that it has changed what the "standard" book is like, especially when it comes to length.

      Plus, the faster people can read a book the sooner they will need to buy another one. :)

  5. I can't stand typos and inconsistencies; they jump out at me like road flares. Then again, I'm a proofreader. :-) I know that they can slip through, but something as obvious as the hero's name varying is rather egregious. When I see things like that in a book, it's hard for me to get absorbed in the story. For me, if the writer didn't love his/her book enough to take the time to make it as flawless as possible, I don't see why I should invest time in it, either.

    1. Hi Erica---thanks for stopping by.

      I tend to agree with you. A little something here and there might be okay, but I have read books before where I actually started keeping track of the mistakes and that sure did take me out of the story.

      I didn't mean to malign this book, because I really did like it, but for me, it also raised the issue of proofreading so I am glad we are having such an interesting discussion about it. I guess I am a little surprised that, at least based on the comments so far, most people are pretty forgiving. I guess that's good to know since I am sure the all my books probably at least a few "issues". :)

  6. I am pretty forgiving of the typos...I just think that they made a mistake...I know who the characters are. Now certainly if there are so many mistakes that it is confusing, then it becomes bothersome.
    I love my hero's to make mistakes now and again...a punishment that is wrong long as it is admitted- makes for a more likable person.
    I also enjoy shorter stories because my life is so crazy, I can finish reading at a sitting.

  7. Oh and I really enjoyed the story. I read quite a while ago!!

  8. I don't mind shorter reads, longer, and anything in-between. Two lines. An epic saga. Heh. If it's good, it's good! :)


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