The Naughty Corner
Berkley / Ocotber 1, 2013 / $15.00 print, $7.99 digital
Somebody’s been a bad girl...
Writer Lola Cook is on a deadline. Meeting it gets twice as difficult when she finds herself in the unwelcome role of babysitter for her nephews. Two months with the twin teenage terrors is too much for Lola—until she has a brilliant idea: send the boys to football camp. That’ll at least get them out of her hair for five hours every day. Perfect.
Divorced father Gray Barnett has coached summer football camp long enough to know he’ll get saddled with misfits, but William and Harry exceed all expectations. They’re impossible, they’re disruptive, and when he meets their hot aunt Lola, they’re worth the trouble. That is, if Lola accepts Gray’s conditions.
Every time the twins misbehave, it’s Lola who must take their punishment. With every naughty infraction, Lola gets more and more accepting—of the penalties. She has no idea just how bad a girl she can be—or how much fun she’ll have getting what she deserves.
Jasmine Haynes always thinks outside of the box when it comes to her stories. In The Naughty Corner, she takes a classic form of childhood punishment and adds plenty of kink so we’ll never look at it the same way again. Technical writer-turned-babysitter Lola and Coach Gray’s arrangement that she will receive the consequences of her nephews’ ill behavior at football camp is unusual for sure, and so over the top, it’s outrageous.
“Tell me exactly what you mean by punishment,” she demanded.
“What does one normally do with a naughty child?” he asked mildly.
“Send them to the corner.”
He laughed. That gave him a very interesting idea. “Think something more hands-on.”
She gaped. “You're going to spank me?”
“For a start.” He raised a brow. “If they continue to misbehave, I'll have to get more creative.”
She cocked her head. “What else? I can't agree if I don't have any idea how far you'll push me.”
He liked her phrasing. It suggested a willingness within limits.
“We're not bargaining here.”
A proposition within mere moments of meeting and immediate, frank sexual discussion is hot and dirty here, in the best ways. And in Haynes’s skilled hands, it’s entrancing, not lascivious. Lola has become withdrawn in her dealings with men before Gray pushes her headlong into something that requires no thinking and all feeling. Gray also takes foreplay to a level of women’s fantasy perhaps unknown before witnessing his skill. He is eager but patient, savoring the punishments, while always ensuring not only Lola’s capitulation but also her pleasure. For both of them, this relationship is fulfilling needs, some recognized, others discovered along the way. Before long, no one is keeping up with the marks of misbehavior, unless it’s Lola’s or Gray’s. The power exchange is flipped back and forth, as they each show dominant and submissive tendencies and enjoy everything about it.
“But you're the one who needs punishing.”
“And that's just what we'll do, Coach.” She fluttered the scarf at him. “You'll tie my hands behind my back.” She demonstrated, and the sight of her in that position made his blood roar through his ears. “Then what?” He was surprised his voice didn't crack. She lowered her voice almost to a whisper.
“Then you'll force me to suck your cock.” She fluttered her eyelashes. “Isn't that a perfect punishment?”
Hell yes. Because it was what he was dying for. Her lips wrapped around his flesh, her tongue on him.
“Do you want to blindfold me, too, Coach?” she asked, her voice sweet with childlike innocence.
“No. I want to see your eyes. And I want you to watch as I feed my cock to you.”
“Then you better tie me up really quick, Coach, or I might just take matters into my own hands.” She stroked down the front of his briefs, her fingernail grazing him from tip to base.
He grabbed her finger. “Uh-uh-uh. Not until I say. After all, this is your punishment.” He was supposed to be in charge, yet he liked the turnaround. He liked the games she wanted to play.
Tugging the scarf from her grasp, he circled to her back. She already had her hands in position.
“You want to try everything, don't you?” he whispered at her ear as he secured her wrists.
“Yes, Coach. I like being dirty with you. It's fun.”
The great thing about Haynes’s work is that her heroes and heroines are mature men and women, individuals who have led full, complicated lives and have the baggage to show for it, but also proudly exhibit that they are very much in their prime. Lola and Gray have failed marriages and children in their care that are burdens of varying degrees, but this only makes their time together more of an escape, something that soon comes to mean much more to them than they might admit, something to really look forward to. Add to this a plot thread of ongoing suspense, and this is a page-turner. And a love story that begins with a most unorthodox sexual arrangement becomes truly unforgettable.
Learn more or order a copy of The Naughty Corner by Jasmine Haynes, now out:
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.