Twice the Novice by Debra Glass
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Length: Short Story (99 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Violet
Shamed by secrets, Anne Meredith will do anything to fulfill her marriage contract to a mysterious Bavarian count. Even if it means submitting to Axel von Sommerhalder, the handsome stranger the count has enlisted to train her. She thinks the intimate punishments her trainer metes out will be a humiliating ordeal. Instead, as she finds herself surrendering to the dominant desires of a man forbidden to claim her, she discovers even more about herself than she ever dreamed possible.
Axel demands that his novice abandon every inhibition. But in doing so, they both embark on a dangerous journey, tempting each other’s flesh, relishing every forbidden touch—and breaking every rule.
"Twice the Novice" is like an edgy, dark, carnal fairy tale that will tantalize you, send chills down your spine, seduce you, raise your temperature, leave you gasping, and finally melt your heart.
“To be the wife of a von Sommerhalder you must learn passion. You must learn how to demand others meet your desires. You must learn to bear yourself with the decorum befitting a noblewoman. … You will learn everything about your body. Everything. And I will teach you how to pleasure a man.”
Axel von Sommerhalder tells Anne Meredith this as he begins to train her to be the perfect wife for his uncle Count Georg von Sommerhalder. Due to family shame and a humiliating secret, Anne sees no other option but to marry the count. As agreed in their marriage contract, Anne “must submit to—and pass—training”. She can refuse any part of the training, but she will then be sent home. Anne’s surprised to not only find out how ready she is to be trained, but how much she enjoys training.
By family tradition, Axel must train Anne. When Axel meets Anne he sees something special. So special he doesn’t want to train her. He’s disgusted by the venality of the past candidates and scared she will be like the rest. To further confound him, although he must train her, he may not violate her in any way. Violating the novice is punishable by death, even if she asks him to. I have to admit I loved Axel’s internal torment/conflict.
To protect her secret Anne disobeys Axel. This leaves Axel no other choice but to punish her. Over the knee spankings and other instruments come into play. Dildos are also extensively used. However what starts as punishments invariably results in Anne gaining pleasure. I have to confess this was delicious, the punishments had me blushing with my temperature rising. As Anne finds pleasure she learns to trust Axel. Once she trusts Axel, she finally reveals her secret to him. Axel’s reaction to her secret was just beautiful.
Finally the day comes when Axel declares Anne trained. The twist here is unexpected and clever.
I was easily able to identify with Axel and Anne’s emotions, conflicts, and motivations. I was invested in them from the very beginning. Their relationship just swept me away. The pacing was perfect. The setting was picture-perfect for a romantic gothic fairy tale.
Ms. Glass has outdone herself with Twice the Novice. This is one of those rare books that I read in one sitting. Darkly erotic, it wrapped a web around me that kept me hot and bothered for most of the book, and finally left me with a smile on my face. I wouldn’t change a word in this book. It was that good!