Review: To Have and To Scold (The Sons of Johnny Hastings) by Mary Wehr

February 9, 2015 2.5 stars, 2015 DNF Graveyard Challenge, 2015 Review Challenge, alpha male overload, Book Review, Boring Main Characters, damsel in distress, domestic discipline, ebook, Enemies/Frienemies to Lovers, Erotic Romance, Historical, Meh, Romance, series, spunky spitfire heroine 0 ★★½

Review: To Have and To Scold (The Sons of Johnny Hastings) by Mary Wehr two-half-stars
To Have and To Scold by Mary Wehr
Series: The Sons of Johnny Hastings
Published by Blushing Books on June 7, 2014
Genres: Historical, Romance, Spanking/DD
Pages: 158
Format: eBook
Annie's sweet on her neighbor, Matthew Caine, but the stern rancher treats her like a bratty child instead of a woman. Each encounter always ends with a trip over his knee.
Matthew's fed up with Annie's childish behavior. Her latest prank ruined a brand new pair of boots! While he sets her britches on fire, he refers to her as a nuisance and warns her to leave him alone. For once in her life, Annie obeys.

"Bratty" Annie has grown into a beautiful woman and Matthew realizes that he's fallen in love with her, but she's unsure of his feelings. When he learns about her stepmother's evil plan to marry her off to a man Annie despises in order to settle a debt, he steps in and takes her to wife. Annie's happy to be married to the man of her dreams and learns that no matter what her age, her disobedience and sass will be dealt with an old-fashioned spanking.

Meh. I picked this one up because the blurb sounded pretty delicious but I didn’t get exactly what I was…looking for? Expecting? IDK but it didn’t quite do it for me.

The heroine, Annie, is a brat – I’m not a fan of brats. She seems to have a tendency to let her mouth (and actions!) write checks that her ass can’t cash. Which isn’t always fun to read.

I was expecting a more traditional romantic courtship – in that [a least one of] the couple would slowly recognize their love/desire for the other, etc. The “falling in love” part of the relationship. That, I did not get. Anne and the hero, Matt, get married very, very early in the novel because of the stepmother/marriage situation. Annie runs away to a saloon where Matt comes to rescue her – the day she gets there. They are married that very night. Meh.

I’m trying to put my finger on what it was that I was missing in this story – I’m not 100% sure but I *think* it’s conflict. There just didn’t seem to be very much conflict or tension (sexual or otherwise) in this novel. Everything happened at a very easy pace. There IS action in this book – I’m not going to spoil it – but it felt a little predicable considering Annie’s previous actions. The sex was rather fade to black and the discipline wasn’t…overly described? Meh. Not a lot of sexy times here.

Neither character was memorable to me which surprised me because I normally attach to at least one of the heroes of the story. I ended up DNF’ing To Have and To Scold back in October 2014 but finished it up this year for my DNF Graveyard Challenge. The ending is “meh,” too – but neatly ties the story into the Sons of Johnny Hastings series.

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