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Review: Rewriting the Rules

Rewriting the Rules audiobook cover. A bare-chested man caresses a woman in black underwear from behind. Rewriting the Rules by Morganna Williams.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐
Duration: 3 hrs 14 mins.
🔥Steamy content! 🔥

Rewriting the Rules by Morganna Williams is an erotic novella about a reclusive, submissive, writer who is taken to task by her Dominant editor.

Audible summary: "Ever since her last relationship ended in heartbreak, things have been going downhill for romance novelist Aurora Kane. Determined to revive Aurora's career, her publisher Donovan Tate decides to take matters into his own hands.

Upon visiting Aurora at home and finding her wallowing in misery, Donovan makes it clear that he will be taking charge of her life, whether she likes it or not. When she tests his resolve, he does not hesitate to bare her bottom and spank her hard and thoroughly, and she cannot help begging for more as Donovan brings her to a quivering, shameful climax after the punishment.

Donovan's bold dominance and masterful lovemaking rekindle Aurora's passion and inspire her writing in a way nothing else has before, but painful memories of the past still lurk in her mind. Can she dare to hope that this love story will have a happy ending?

Publisher's Note: Rewriting the Rules contains spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don't buy this audiobook.

©2017 Morganna Williams and Stormy Night Publications (P)2018 Morganna Williams."

Content Warning: There's an issue regarding lack of consent at the beginning of this story. It's a fairly common problem in D/s erotica with DD/lg undertones, but Aurora's definitive refusal regarding some of Donovan's advances does make the protagonists' initial meeting a bit uncomfortable and may cross the line for some.

This book is a brief fantasy with an HEA; a Cinderella story of sorts, only this time the princess doesn't spend any less time on her knees than she did before she was rescued!

Like Aurora's own work when Donovan takes over as her editor, the writing could do with a little bit of polish but it doesn't interfere with the story. (Though I'd be perfectly happy if we could outlaw the use of the word "weeping" for anything other than wounds or sobbing, because it never sounds attractive when used in an intimate context.) As with many books in this genre it isn't intended to be especially literary, and the important part is that the sensual scenes are colourful and the intensity between the characters builds throughout.

Reviewing erotica is always tough because preferences are so individual, but I would have liked the story to include more scenes from Donovan's perspective, describing his desire and pleasure in greater detail instead of the focus being almost exclusively on Aurora's. Also, I wasn't particularly keen on the pigtails-at-the-zoo section of this audiobook, as that starts to creep a bit too much toward feeling like littles age-play, which is an instant turn-off for me.

Jack Calihan has quite a talent for narrating naughty books, and once again lends Williams' words an enticing richness and depth. He always performs with plenty of enthusiasm, and the results speak for themselves. Calihan is especially adept at conveying the smouldering yet controlled passion of an experienced Dom, bringing these brusque and brooding men to life time and again. I was particularly pleased to hear him purr his trademark "good girl", (which I may also have mentioned in my review of Her Stern Doctor) and is always a highlight.

This novella could be a good place to start for anyone wanting to understand more about the scene, as it explains much of Donovan's behaviour as a good Dom and contrasts it with her previous bad experiences as a sub. I'd also recommend it to anyone who enjoys the themes mentioned in the summary and review (which I have to skirt around to spare my newsletter recipients' blushes).

*I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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