Diana Ridley’s All My World

Thanks to Murray Roberts for sending in another extract from his library. This time it’s a 1940s romantic novel that provides the action.

Murray writes:

Even before the eruption of Historical Romances in the 1980s, spankings were scattered more liberally in Romance Fiction then elsewhere. Since these were written for, and largely read by women, perhaps it says something about how they felt about being subject to discipline by their menfolk. The author claims this story was written in response for requests for a ‘he-man hero’.

*****

After many threats, Max finally gets down to giving the troublesome Betsy exactly what she deserves….

“When I want your advice, I’ll ask for it!” she said, her voice gradually rising. “In the meantime, kindly keep it to yourself. You insufferable, conceited oaf! You stand there as calm and unmoved as if you were made of stone laughing at me! Well, I won’t be laughed at by anyone like you; and the sooner you realise, the better! I wonder if you’d still laugh if I were to throw this glass of water at you?”

Max did not move a muscle. He merely looked at her very steadily, his mouth set and his jaw firm.

“I shouldn’t make the experiment,” he said quietly. “I put up with a lot for your father’s sake. and because I realise that you have had a difficult childhood, but there are limits to my patience, and I will not stand much more of it. You are behaving like a spoilt, unreasonable baby, and…”

But he got no further, for the word “baby” had snapped the last remains of Betsy’s self-control. With a little cry she rose to her feet and threw the glass straight at this head. Luckily the glass itself missed him by a mere fraction of an inch, but his face received the full impact of the water, and he recoiled involuntarily, temporarily blinded, whilst the water made havoc of his dress shirt and trickled in cold, unpleasant rivulets down his neck. Betsy stared at him open-mouthed, half alarmed and half triumphant at the result of her action.

Her triumph vanished very quickly, however as, dashing his hand across his eyes, he came towards her. He no longer looked suave and amused: his face was set in lines of grim determination, and there was a look in his eyes that made Betsy feel as if an icy hand was clutching at her heart. She had achieved her original purpose of rousing him. but she was much too scared to feel any satisfaction.

“Very well,” he said, steely purpose in his tones ” you’ve asked for it often enough, and now you’re going to get it!”

Betsy realised his intention, and turned to escape, but he was too quick for her. His hand shot out and grasped her shoulder in a grip of iron, and before she had time to take in what was happening he had sunk on to the seat and she was lying face downwards across his knee.

“Max! Stop it!” she gasped, her voice shrill with fright and humiliation. “Please don’t! I will be good, really I will! Please, Max!”

But Max took no notice of her tearful pleas for mercy, nor of her frantic kicking and struggling, and screams of rage and terror. Holding her as in a vice with his left arm, he used his right hand with stinging effect – not viciously, and certainly not playfully, but as if she were a naughty child. Her frock was very thin, and his hand was very hard, and before long every shred of temper had deserted her, giving place to sobs of mingled pain and shame, whilst in her heart there dawned the beginning of a happiness that was as real as it was mysterious.

She was being hurt more than she had ever been hurt in her life before, but she knew that it was a punishment well deserved and long overdue, and besides – it was Max who was spanking her! He must care for her after all! This proved it in a way that was unconventional but quite beyond all doubt. Any man might kiss a girl – she had discovered that with Sigurd – but only one who loved her with all his heart would take the trouble to spank her if she deserved it!

“There!” Max was panting a little as, at long last, he released her and dumped her on to the seat beside him. “Perhaps that has taught you a lesson!”

But. despite the severity of words, his face was white and curiously gentle as he looked at the abject, tear-drenched little figure beside him; and Betsy, looking at him shyly, knew that her supposition was correct. she was aware of profound gratitude and gladness that at last – although certainly not in the way that she had expected! – her great wish had come true. There was a twinkle in her wet eyes, and the corners of her mouth twitched mischievously.

“I thought you didn’t care what I did, Max?” she said very demurely, a slight quaver in her voice.

“You told me so once, you know.”

Max looked at her very steadily, a faint ghost of a smile denting his chin.

“Did I?” he said.

Betsy nodded.

“Yes,” she told him. “you did. It wasn’t true, was it, Max? You do care. Just a teeny, weeny bit.”

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