My Lady of the Whip by Venetia Green
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Length: Short Story (113 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum
Be careful when you pick up a whip. Your fingers curl about that seductive handle, your wrist flexes its subtle weight and then… Yes, you wonder what would happen if you plied those innocent leather strips against another’s flesh.
1348. The Black Death is sweeping medieval London, social order is collapsing and the virtuous Lady Elizabeth seizes a whip to defend her honor. But when death seems inevitable, Bess throws caution to the plague-ridden vapors to save the man she can never have—William de Montagu, the handsome, persuasive and soon-to-be-married Earl of Salisbury.
For such a compact story, there was an amazing amount of depth written between its pages. I’m not a stickler for historical accuracy; if the story is good enough, and the characters are strong and fascinating, then that’s good enough for me. However, the details that the author shared about the time in history for Bess and William certainly seemed real enough to me. I had to Google a certain word and then understood why it’s not a wonder Bess was horrified and grossed out at the beginning. If I was surrounded by people dying by the plague, I’d be freaking out too. Those were some seriously scary times and Ms. Green totally captured the feeling of panic, impending doom and its effect on a person’s psyche. I had no idea that kind of stuff went on, and if accurate, the author’s descriptions brought it to life for a reader. Praise be for modern medicine and hospitals!
That first chapter is important when it comes to the heroine. A reader finds insight as to her character. She might be a maiden, she might be sheltered to a degree, but she’s not without courage, fortitude or clever thinking. The author made that very clear which makes it perfectly believable for what comes later – Bess is a survivor.
The second chapter introduces William, the hero. The author wasted no time in alerting a reader to his impure thoughts and his mighty internal struggle to stand firm and deny his attraction to Bess. He’s supposed to be a good guy, a protector – yet he’s delightfully human and attracted. It was fun watching him fall during the course of the story.
The most sultry, sexy and enthralling scene was when William spoke to Bess but he made sure her eyes were closed. All he used were words, yet the effect was pure seduction. I really enjoyed that scene because it was very well written and hot – so hot the seducer became the seduced as well. That was one of the highlights for me in the novelette.
Fast forward a bit and what ends up happening to Bess is probably typical of the times. I wasn’t shocked but intrigued. The heroine truly was a survivor and she learned the lessons of survival extremely well. Her bodyguard, Wat, seemed sweet but reminded me of a hulking football player, especially the scene with the door. Don’t mess with Wat.
The chapter with the most whipping and binding and sexual hijinks was truly an eye opener for both reader and Will. One of the reasons that I liked it, and in fact, every sexy scene in the whole book, is because there are emotions affected in every single one. Nothing was gratuitous but a stepping stone towards the ultimate culmination – love.
The dialogue was clever and again probably accurate for the times. I enjoyed the tavern scene and the rough man-talk that took place there. Men haven’t changed even though the words to express their lusty pursuits have.
My Lady of the Whip has descriptions that bring to life the environment of the day; it’s as clear as the crack of a lash. Man’s taste for the crop has not changed over the centuries and Ms. Green told a wonderful story where its use is a focal point. I enjoyed the dynamics between Will and Bess and through the span of time, went through the motions of the dance of love – the meeting, the separation and the reunion (which was feisty to say the least) and the declaration of love. The ending was certainly unique, kind of funny but very, very happy. I enjoy a good HEA and Ms. Green delivered a solid one. I recommend My Lady of the Whip to all readers who are looking for something different or enjoy historical romances with a very sexy edge. This is a well-written tale that is titillating, sensual and erotic yet provides the heart and emotion of a solidly written romance. I’m glad I read it.