Renee Rose
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Stormy Night Publications
Release Date
January 2015
BDSM, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance

Sentenced to die at age eleven for stealing a pig, Jean-Claude receives an unexpected reprieve when a young aristocrat girl takes the blame instead. When the mobs of the French Revolution fall upon her château years later, Jean-Claude knows he must save her and repay his debt, but as they begin their long flight to safety he makes it clear he is not her servant and he will deal firmly with any disobedience. Though he initially intends to send her off by ship, the beautiful, feisty Corinne inspires a fierce protectiveness in Jean-Claude that makes it hard to say goodbye.

Corinne is alternately infuriated and attracted to the handsome peasant who has no qualms about turning her over his knee and spanking her bare bottom when she steps out of line. When he ends up joining her on a ship to New Orleans, their futures become inextricably intertwined, but can a common-born blacksmith and the daughter of a lord find enough common ground to make a permanent match?

Publisher's Note: Humbled is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, anal play, graphic sexual scenes, and more. If such material offends you, please don't buy this book.

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Jul 20, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
138 people found the following review helpful
4.5 "Revolutionary Beginnings" Stars for the story and 3.5 Stars for the narration!

If you love well developed, historical romances with a BDSM element, in this case primarily disciplinary and erotic spankings, and are looking for a sensual, quick listen, then HUMBLED may just be the right contender for your next listen. The heat factor in this naughty little listen is off the charts, and the cleverly crafted plot, which could easily have truly taken place during this time period, provides for a captivating and entertaining story.

Set during the time period of the French Revolution, HUMBLED gives us a glance at what life may have been like for both the aristocrats and peasants at around that time. Our hero and heroine meet as children when the heroine, Corrine, a young aristocrat, saves the hero, a peasant named Jean-Claude, from the guillotine.

Having been sentenced to die for the theft of a pig that he wasn't even fortunate enough to catch, Jean-Claude would nearly certainly have died that day had it not been for the courage of Corrine to stand up and take the blame for his offense instead. Many years later, during the midst of the French Revolution, Jean-Claude has still not forgotten that incredible act of kindness by Corrine, and determines to return the favor by saving her from near certain death at the hands of an angry mob that is intent on storming her mansion.

Corrine instantly recognizes Jean-Claude and allows him to lead her to safety. Determined to see her safe for the long haul, Jean-Claude insists that Corrine flee France. Soon they agree that Corrine will board a ship to New Orleans where she can assume a new life. Unwilling to allow possible harm to an unescorted young female, Jean-Claude also comes along.

During this long journey, the couple slowly become aware of their mutual attraction, even as they struggle to acclimate to a new world where their class differences no longer matter. In that regard, Jean-Claude begins showing his dominant side, for both pleasure and disciplinary effect. As their passionate feelings become undeniable, the couple is left struggling with the possible threat that they may still be in danger, never mind have no way of supporting themselves in the New World. Will Corrine and Jean-Claude find their HEA in America? Could an HEA ever possibly take place between two individuals of such different classes?

Having previously read a couple of Renee Rose's books, I was familiar with her unique brand of spanking romances, so I knew what to expect from an erotic perspective. Well, I'm pleased to report that not only does Ms. Rose deliver on this front, but I also very much enjoyed the French Revolution history, and particular attention to the difficulties of class imbalances at the time, as well as the underlying love story that was built on the backbone of the impressive and selfless protective nature of both the heroine and the alpha hero.

Faith Alowyn Alden renders a fantastic performance in HUMBLED. In fact, I would have easily given Ms. Alden a 5-star rating based on her performance alone. Not only does she have a beautiful, mesmerizing voice, but she produced unique, distinguishable and personality appropriate intonations for each one of the many cast members, making it incredibly easy to know who was talking without needing to rely on dialogue tags. Ms. Alden also does a great job of conveying the particular mood of a scene in her narratives and imbues her voice with just the right amount of emotion to act out the dialogue between the characters.

Unfortunately, however, there were some issues with the production and editing of the audiobook that caused me to lower the overall score. Namely, there was a hollow, almost echo-like sound throughout the entire recording. It almost sounded like the book had been produced in a large auditorium or cave. Another effect of the production--that in my experience is atypical--was that I could hear a light amount of static in the background, almost as if it was recorded during a light rain. There were also a few instances of clicks and the like, that I would have expected to have been filtered out in the editing process. It is worth noting that notwithstanding these technical issues, after a while of listening, I was able to eventually tune them out. Nonetheless I did feel that it was necessary to point out these matters, as they are not something you would normally expect in a commercially produced title.

All in all, I thought Ms. Rose imbued HUMBLED with just the right amount of balance between the development of a satisfying historical plot, an enticing romance and an erotically charged love story. Further enhancing this story was Ms. Alden's talented reading which, subject to the noted caveats, makes this a good choice to pick in audiobook format.
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