Friday, September 26, 2014

Spanking Stories Book Club: In The Palace of Lazar by Alta Hensley

Today's book is a new release from Alta Hensley called In the Palace of Lazar. 
Blurb: Small communes are scattered throughout the desert planet. Pods of civilization struggle to survive on the precious, fertile land. Desert inhabitants live in these communes, surviving off whatever resources the small community possesses, but no commune can measure to the Palace of Lazar. Stories of sex, lust, forbidden acts, and a society wrapped around taboo are told among other communes. The four brothers that rule Lazar are known for their insatiable tastes and their women that cater to it all. The Palace of Lazar is not just a commune. It is a harem.
In the Palace of LazarFor Briar Hope, the palace offered more. The wonder of the harem and the four brothers haunted her dreams. Briar wanted to see it, live it, feel it, and submit to it. The world of submission called to her very soul. She wanted to end her life as a desert nomad, to exchange it for the promise of the harem’s song.
In a world where only the strong survive, can Briar allow the submission required to be part of the harem? Is it possible to find strength in surrender?  

I really enjoyed this book and read it in a day (the dishes and laundry can wait!)
Let's get right to the discussion. 
1. In this book, Briar treks across the desert to get to Lazar for the sole purpose of becoming part of the harem. I've read other dystopian books where the heroine is forced into sexual slavery or submission, but here, the heroine seeks it out. What about you? Would you like to be part of a harem, or at least the harem in Lazar where you are treated like royalty and spend your time being prepared to please one of the four brothers? 
2. The heroine's name is Briar Hope. I think of a briar as a branch that is prickly. Do you think the name suited our heroine?
3. I think the cover for this book is very different from most spanking fiction and dystopian covers. What do you think? Did the cover attract you to the book or have any affect on your buying decision?  When a cover catches your attention, what draws you to it? 
4. What is it about dystopian romances that appeal to readers? 
5. This is the first book in a series. Which secondary characters would you like to see featured in future books? 
6. This book ends with a couple questions left unanswered. As a reader, do you like to be left hanging or would you prefer to have all the loose ends tied up before the book ends? 
This is a very interesting and different spanking romance. I encourage you to get your copy rigth away! 
Coming Attractions: 
October 3--- Wanting It All by Livia Grant Discussion by Cara Bristol and Natasha Knight
October 10----Devon's Discipline by Adaline Raine Discussion by Renee Rose
October 17---- The Slave Girls and The Spy by Patricia Green Discussion by Celeste Jones
October 24--- Taming Princess Anna by Sue Lyndon Discussion by Patricia Green
October 31----The Coach's Discipline by Katherine Deane Discussion by Adaline Raine
November 7---Given To The Savage by Natasha Knight Discussion by Katherine Deane


  1. 1. Strangely, I did not find it odd that Briar would want to be part of harem. What she had in the other communes was no life at all. She could live a life of luxury in the palace of Lazar. Also, she knew herself; she knew she was a submissive and wanted that lifestyle. It is not that different from women who want to "marry up" and set their sights on marrying a rich man.
    2. I think Briar could be a little prickly, and I liked the unusual name.
    3. I love the cover.The woman is very striking. Dystopian? I don't know. Although the whole harem thing itself seems rather dystopian by nature anyway. But the cover is not typical, and for that, it stands out.
    4. Dystopian offers potential for conflict, which gives you a story. You don't have to have the characters fight with each--they can be together (more romantic that way) and rail against the turn of life events. The same is true of romantic suspense.
    5. All the other brothers, of course!
    6. If it is a series, I want a sense of closure with the hero and heroine. If it is a stand-alone, I want everything wrapped up.

  2. I am so excited to have my book discussed. Perfect timing since I am working on book 2.

  3. 1. I understood at the beginning why she made that choice, but to continue to make it under the unique circumstances that faced the harem was what made it interesting and showed her strength
    2. The name reminded me of the fairytale Briar Rose which I loved
    3. The cover is what caught my attention to start with.
    4. I like Dystopian stories as well as post apocolyptic ones because they all ask...what if everything changed? And generally no matter what changes human nature stays the same, but the things that face the individuals change, it's my favorite thing to read
    5. Definitely the other brothers.
    6. I'm not at the end yet, but I want closure of the immediate story, from there I like it when everything isn't buttoned up and closed

  4. I'll answer my own questions. ;)

    1. I could certainly understand her choice, given her other options. And then when the harem turned out to be so pleasant, I could understand why she'd want to stay. It was interesting that she was so aware of her own desire to be submissive.
    2. I thought the name really suited her since I think of a briar as tough but resilient (you can never get them off your cloths once they attach).
    3. I loved the cover for the reasons mentioned above.
    4. Funny. I'd say I'm not a fan of dystopian, but I've read several lately and enjoyed them. Go figure.
    5. I think Nico and Elba (might not have the spelling right) should have their own story. Nico one of the brothers?
    6. I was okay with not having everything tied up since their was a commitment between the H/h.

    Looking forward to the next installment, Alta!

  5. I can't really comment, since I just bought the book after reading the synopsis, comments and brief excerpt on Amazon. But, I'll give it a shot.
    1. Harem stories are fascinating because even though women are kept in sexual slavery they are pampered beyond belief. The excerpt definitely shows why Briar made the choice she did, and I can't say I blame her. However, I definitely lack the appropriate qualifications now to be kept in a Harem, and I think I'm too possessive and not quite submissive enough to be a good fit.
    2. Don't know enough about her yet to determine if she's prickly or not, however, the fact that her name was Hope seemed to have struck a chord with Donte, and something akin to shame in Briar.
    3. As for my taste in covers, they vary. I'm not a great fan of cartoon covers, but even those have their place in chic lit. This cover offers the same intrigue and half smile of the Mona Lisa. It's like she has a secret, and for us to discover what it is, we need to read the book. That makes it an excellent cover.
    4. Utopia is where everyone is happy and everything is perfect. Not much conflict going on there. Dystopia is where something or someone(s) have gone very wrong. For the world where Briar lives, we have an opulent palace, where decadence rules and the rest of the world is starving and in need. We don't begrudge Briar a desire to save herself, but I think a part of us hopes once she is established she can do greater things. Not sure what her position will be, but she enters as both the new girl, and the lowliest girl. So, any change she can make will take awhile.
    5. Since I haven't met all the characters, yet, I'm not sure who I'd want to see go on, but Donte intrigues me. Usually, a man in his position is made a eunuch to ensure he can't sample where he shouldn't, but I have a feeling Donte is all there.
    6. As a reader, I like things neatly tied up. I hate being left hanging because I'm one for immediate gratification. I want to know NOW! That's why I often won't start to read a series until the last book is published. However, rules are meant to be broken, and sometimes I simply can't wait.

  6. 1. I thought it made sense for Briar to long for the companionship of the harem and the sexual submission of the lifestyle. She had been alone for her entire life and I think she wanted to be wanted and to belong to something bigger than her. Harem story lines are a huge turn on for me. I am always attracted to them. In real life I am a monogamous type of person, so I will keep my harem dreams to fantasy!

    2. I could agree if by prickly you mean tenacious and has the ability to stick with something once she puts her mind to it. Otherwise, no, Briar was a good friend, leader, and submissive.

    3. The cover was the first thing that attracted me to this book. The moment I saw it I knew I had to read this book. Once I read the synopsis I knew the cover was perfectly suited to the book. I loved how this cover lured me in to discover the story and mystery behind it.

    4. I think it's the anything goes attitude that goes along with dystopians. I love the catastrophe/new world/bigger conflicts that come with them. They can lend to the perfect scenario for themes that are just not appropriate in contemporary fiction or even historical.

    5. Elba and of course all of the brothers! I would love to see more of Donte and Briar as well. I feel like there is potential for so much more with them.

    6. I don't mind loose ends as long as the answers to those loose ends are coming up in another book. I do not like abrupt endings though. Some closure needs to happen in order for me to feel satisfied. However if the characters loose ends are never tied up I am left feeling frustrated.

  7. Once again I am coming late to the party after everyone answered with awesome answers similar to how I feel. So I'll just say how much I enjoyed the book. The things that drew me to it mainly were the cover (love the cover) and the harem girl reference. There is something really taboo about the whole harem theme and the unique twist on this where Briar was actually excited and anxious was a new approach. The suspense level of the book was a happy surprise and I look forward to the next books in the series.

  8. Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the discussion and the feedback. It truly is priceless to an author.


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