Book Review: His Lordship’s Apprentice by Etta Stark

His Lordship's Apprentice is available now and is published by Blushing Books.

“I can’t do it, no, I really can’t.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t write a review of a… a…”

“Romance novel?”

“Look, I’ll admit I was taking the piss a bit with the Iain Banks one, but that’s also an underrated classic and the sex scenes really are hot!”

“Hot in a, knobbing your cousin, kind of way.”

“Yeah, like that’s any worse than Lolita.”

“How did I know you’d bring Lolita into this. Look, what about if I let you make a Game of Thrones joke?”

“I… yeah, alright then.”

Hi Lordship’s Apprentice is a period piece sitting square in the middle of the frankly criminally underrepresented sub-genre of ‘spanking romance’. In many ways it’s a classic tale; plucky loveable and utterly foul-mouthed servant girl and stately lord fall in love and stumble through a minefield of social pitfalls ultimately culminating in the happy union.

On the plus side this book makes excellent use of the period, roping in (pun intended) Harry Houdini to add a very enjoyable theatrical element to something that could have come a little too close to Downton Abbey and gives some wonderful moments including possibly the most unexpected first meeting between protagonists I’ve read in quite a while (and yes you are going to have to read it to find out what I mean).

Overall it’s light, funny and engaging. In fact it’s almost the kind of book I could see myself recommending to my gran. Note I said ‘almost’, that is, if it weren’t for the numerous and glorious spankings. I think the best way I can sum up the overall tone of this book is that, unlike so many period pieces, the main excitement around the couple getting married isn’t the sex, but rather the prospect of doing the spanking “properly” on a bare behind.

In terms of criticism, for me, the spankings could have been rendered a little more viscerally. In addition the plot didn’t twist quite as much as I was expecting. I’d say it could have done with a nice juicy murder, but then again I realise that’s a criticism I could level at pretty much every book I’ve ever reviewed (Big Bad Book of Spanking Positions, I’m looking at you!)

Buy it; read it; recommend it to your nan, she’ll probably love it.