H = Historical Etta Stark’s Lady Westbrook’s Discovery #SpanksA2Z 9

H = Historical

Etta Stark is a guest on my blog today to promote her new book, Lady Westbrook’s Discovery.  Today we are going to discuss her Historical spanking fiction and her love of historical books!

Hello! Thanks Megan for letting me come over to your blog today to talk about my new book, Lady Westbrook’s Discovery.

Like my last one, Lady’s Westbrook’s Discovery is a historical spanking romance. I love historic stories. Back when I was a kid I used to love reading girl’s comics like Bunty and Nikki. Do you have equivalent comics in the US? They were full of serialised comic strip stories usually featuring plucky orphans and boarding school high-jinks. There was always at least one story set in a Victorian workhouse or unnecessarily cruel boarding school. Those were the best stories by miles. Although it occurs to me now that my love of them might have had a lot to do with the frequent use of corporal punishment directed towards the characters.

So basically, my tastes haven’t changed at all really. I love reading romances set in the 19th century – anything from Renee Rose to Jane Austen (although I don’t suppose it counts as ‘historical’ if it was actually written at the time). When I decided to write spanking romance, it was natural that I would want to set them during the Victorian period. My current work-in-progress is Victorian, too. At some point, I am sure I will branch off into other romantic sub-genres, but for now this is definitely my ‘thing’.

My first book, His Lordship’s Apprentice, was set in 1899. Lady Westbrook’s Discovery is set slightly earlier in 1870. This is the period in history when the campaign for women to have the vote started gaining ground. One of the oldest tricks of writing historical fiction is to make your characters sympathetic by imbuing them with modern virtues. So your main characters will be anti-slavery, pro-mixed-marriage and, in this case, pro equality for women at a time when most of their contemporaries were not. Lady Westbrook is a firm supporter of women’s right to vote.  Sadly for her, she’s still almost 50 years away the change in the law that will make it possible but of course she isn’t to know. My hero, Felix Oliver, is also staunchly in favour of equal rights for women. Possibly somewhat incongruously, he’s also staunchly in favour of disciplining women by spanking their backsides.

In the below excerpt, Lady Westbrook start off talking about improving education for girls before the conversation takes a unexpected turn towards spanking.

“Perhaps if people weren’t so preoccupied with coming up with foolish reasons why women shouldn’t study and accept that they are just as capable as their brothers, the world would be an improved place for it.”

“You think women should be permitted to attend University?”

“God, yes. I have met plenty of women who were more than a match for any man in terms of wit, reason and understanding. There is a whole body of untapped genius out there. By not allowing women the same opportunities as men, we are attempting to solve the mysteries of the universe with one arm tied behind our backs.”

“So how would we have female undergraduates get accepted into universities?”

“We need to start much younger. There’s no point in expecting an eighteen year old to be ready for university if she hasn’t received the education for it. Eton and Harrow should throw their doors open to female scholars. Give them the same educations their brothers receive.”

“Exactly the same?” asked Margaret. “Team sports, cold showers and beatings from prefects? The works?”

Felix Oliver raised an eyebrow. “You don’t think girls should be beaten?”

“I hadn’t considered it.”

“You have sons, don’t you?”

“Yes, two. Robert is serving as an officer in The Queen’s Royal Regiment and Jasper is reading English at Cambridge.”

“You didn’t object to either of them being beaten at school?”

“No. As long as it’s administered fairly and justly, I think it builds a young man’s character and teaches him respect.”

“And the poor girls? They don’t deserve the opportunity to have their characters built? They shouldn’t also learn the importance of respect?” Mr Oliver asked.

“So I take it you approve of the idea of schools administering corporal punishment to girls?”

“Of course. Many do already but it isn’t given the same importance as it is with boys. Completely the opposite of how it should be, in my opinion.”

“How so?”

“Women respond to physical discipline so much better than men. Boys should only be beaten until they reach adulthood but women can benefit from physical chastisement their whole lives.”

“How can you suggest such a thing?” Margaret was shocked. “I thought you were an advocate of equal rights for women?”

“Being equal doesn’t mean being the same,” replied Mr Oliver smiling. “And the two sexes are certainly not the same. I think most women would benefit from the occasional sound spanking. I haven’t conducted a full scientific study into the matter, though. Perhaps I should devote some time to practical research into the matter.”

He was smiling throughout this extraordinary conversation. Margaret found it difficult to judge whether he was joking or not.

“Practical research? So you would subject your wife to physical discipline?”

“Why not? I dare say if you were my wife, you would benefit very well indeed from being taken over my knee and soundly spanked from time to time.”

It was not often that Margaret found herself lost for words. But at that moment she was completely and utterly flabbergasted. She couldn’t believe that her guest could stand in her own drawing room and make such a shocking statement. It was beyond belief.

She knew she should throw him out on his ear. She could walk out of the room and have a quite word with her butler asking him to have Mr Oliver removed from the premises.

And yet she didn’t. Despite her better judgement, she wanted to retaliate. She felt as though Mr Oliver’s words had lit a fire in her belly which made her want to forget the rules of polite society.

She stood in front of Mr Oliver, tilting her head upwards in order to look him straight in the eye. “That seems an unlikely scenario, Mr Oliver. You are, after all, young enough to be my son. Surely it should be me administering the well-deserved spanking to your backside?”

Mr Oliver’s deep blue eyes flashed with – what? Anger? Mirth?

He placed his hand at the back of Margaret’s head and tilted her face upwards towards him further still. He gently traced the outline of her cheek with his other hand. She was suddenly aware of his muscular body, far closer to her than could in any way be deemed proper.

“Why don’t you try to do that?” he said softly, issuing a challenge. “I promise that it won’t end at all well for you.”


Lady Margaret Westbrook is a forty-one year old widow who has not given romance a second thought in the ten years since her husband passed away. When she meets Felix Oliver, a brilliant scientist sixteen years her junior, she is surprised by his determination to win her heart. Lady Westbrook discovers a passion within herself that she never knew existed. 

However, accepting Felix Oliver’s proposal will mean relinquishing her title, lowering her social standing and risking both the gossip of polite society and the disapproval of her grown-up sons. Not only that but he has made it clear that he is a firm believer in corporal punishment for women and that consenting to be his wife will mean frequent trips across his lap for a sound spanking. How far is Lady Westbrook willing to go on this journey of discovery?
You can buy Lady Westbrook’s Discovery at:  

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9 thoughts on “H = Historical Etta Stark’s Lady Westbrook’s Discovery #SpanksA2Z

  • Natasha Knight

    Cute little snippet Etta. This is waiting its turn on my Kindle now. I've written one Medieval and as much as I love the story, the writing/speech felt not natural for me and I'm sure I got a lot of things wrong. Do you find you have to research historical and focus your mindset to a certain time period in order to write it or do you feel like it comes naturally to you?

    • Etta Stark

      Thanks Natasha! To be honest, I've been setting my private spanking fantasies in the nineteenth century for the last twenty-odd years so I guess it must feel kind of natural! I cheat a bit by making my heroes and heroines unconventional for their time. Lord Hardcastle in His Lordship's Apprentice ignored all the usual rules of not mixing outside one's station because he was in showbusiness and didn't care. And in Lady Westbrook's Discovery, Margaret and Felix break a lot of rules of polite society because they are both pretty rebellious. It makes my life easier because if anyone says "A gentleman wouldn't have behaved like that" I can say, "Well, THIS gentleman would."

  • JD Stones

    Sounds great. I have always been a little captivated by Victorian erotica as it more lucid and descriptive: The Way of a Man With a maid, the confessions of miss cootes, et al.

    Anything set in that time has a great mix of society's stiff upper lip and rampant debauchery!

    John (aka Bawdybloke)