Nineteen-year-old gymnast Wren Montgomery was America’s golden girl, but then it all came crashing down. As far as the media is concerned, it was a devastating ankle injury which began her downward spiral, but in her heart Wren knows better. The truth is that things started going wrong the day her beloved coach Jonathan Reilly not only rejected her romantic advances, but actually spanked her bare bottom as if she were a silly little girl when she tried to hide her heartbreak behind an angry outburst.
Now at twenty-two, after one poor decision after another Wren has become the “bad girl” of the gymnastics world. Desperate to break out of her slump and with nowhere else to turn, she decides to accept help from the best coach she ever had… the same man who spurned and then spanked her years ago.
Jonathan watched Wren’s fall from grace, and he fell with her. He still blames himself for leaving the team—and more importantly, leaving her—and now that he has the chance to help his little rebel get back on track, he isn’t going to let it slip through his fingers. This time he’ll be there for her no matter what, both when she needs a loving embrace and when she needs a firm hand applied to her bare bottom. Most important of all, if she still wants him to be more than just her coach, this time he won’t let anything keep him from claiming what is his.
This is a weird review for me to contemplate, and I’ve spent the last ten minutes trying to figure out why so that I could decide how to start the review – hence, you being treated to my rambling. I was introduced to domestic discipline and spanking romances via the Corbin’s Bend series. I think that because of that, my tendency is to read spanking romances in which the spanking is doled out within a well-defined discipline-based relationship. On the occasions that I pick up a spanking romance that veers too far from that, I’m often left wondering why the spanking was included because it often leaves me feeling like it actually took away from the story. Why did I need to suss this out? Because I was having difficulty figuring out why I kept considering Wren’s Redemption in two ways – as a sports romance and as a spanking romance – and this is ultimately why I couldn’t decide how to write my review.
So to take it from there, as a sports romance, Wren’s Redemption is a rather compelling tale of just that – Wren redeeming herself in the world of gymnastics. Three years earlier, Wren began to develop feelings for one of her trainers, Jonathan. He left the team shortly after he rejected her after spanking her, and that incident was soon followed by Wren suffering an injury that sidelined her. Afterwards, she began to spiral out of control and went from being the sweetheart of gymnastics to being the bad girl of gymnastics. Jump ahead to the present, Wren is still struggling with her injury and has just been referred to a new physical therapist/trainer/coach – Jonathan. Once Jonathan gets Wren to agree to his training, he develops a very specialized warm-up session for her, as well as some stimulating consequences for working hard and for slacking off. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is where the spanking comes in.
As for the spanking aspects of the story, they’re actually quite hot. Jonathan implements spanking for several reasons, one being to clear Wren’s mind so that she can focus on training, and it seems to be very effective based on her performance during practice. While the spanking certainly helped to improve Wren’s concentration, it seemed to make it that much harder for Jonathan to maintain a professional distance. I completely agreed with Wren that Jonathan’s hot and cold attitude got old real quick, and I even had the advantage of spending time in his head and knowing why he was doing it. When Jonathan could no longer deny himself, the sex was seriously hot and just seemed to get hotter with each red-bottomed encounter.
Being as my mind kept trying to evaluate the spanking romance elements separate from the sports romance elements, I found myself pondering as to whether or not I actually felt they worked together. As it turns out, they do. At least for me they do. I believe that what it comes down to is that this is my first sports-themed spanking romance, and because I take my sports romances very seriously, I think my mind was trying to compartmentalize the spanking aspects so as not to reduce my enjoyment of the sports romance. But that turned out to be unnecessary because in Wren’s case, the spanking was a vital part of her training program – so it actually worked for me. So what does that mean? It means that I enjoyed the sports romance. I enjoyed the spanking romance. But more importantly, I enjoyed the way Deane combined the two to create Wren’s Redemption.
Katherine Deane is a multi-published, top 100 romantic and BDSM author and romantic at heart.
She loves cheese, red wine, chocolate, and snuggling up with her daughters’ kittens while reading a good book.
When not reading, or writing, you can find her knitting, sewing, crafting, or doing pretty much anything to keep her hands busy. She has taken over the dining room AKA craft room, much to her husband’s dismay. In one of her books, an energetic “craftaholic” would find herself over her husband’s knee for losing an important document in a pile of bi-cone crystals and mod podge. Her real life, and the people in them, give her plenty of ideas to work with.
Katherine has dubbed herself the queen of cheese. Not only is she a former Midwestern Cheese Head; she also loves to incorporate it into her books.
In her opinion, all romance deserves at least one cheesy scene that makes you cry.