For my contribution, I've gone back and re-read some openings of books that have stayed with me long after reading.
When I read any book - spanking or otherwise - if I'm not hooked within the first four, five pages (and that's long), I'm out. I always download samples before hitting the 'buy now' button but am more than willing to suspend my disbelief if the author can set the scene right and hook me immediately.
Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts I think this was an Amazon recommendation that I read two summers ago. I've read it five or six times by now. This one has a gorgeous cover, probably one of my all time favorites, and the premise is immediately intriguing. There were some editing issues in the book but easily forgivable as the story is just amazing. The book opens from Caleb's POV and within a few paragraphs, we realize he's sitting across the street in his car watching Livvie, the girl he is planning to kidnap and sell at the Flower Sale as a virgin sex slave. This book is done so well that I loved Caleb and wanted him to have Livvie right from the start. I mean, if you fall in love with the kidnapper as a reader then the author has done something right.
Judgment by Denise Hall is another one like that. As wrong as I knew it was, I wanted Thane to keep Mischief. I didn't want her to be rescued. It was written in such a way that even through Thane's cruelty, I wanted him to have her!
Breeder by Cara Bristol has a great, simple opening that immediately, within the first paragraph, caught my attention. "If not for the sneeze, Dak would have exited the musty, dank corridor. When he squinted into the darkened cell, he spotted a female crouched on a straw mat in the corner..." a few sentences later, Dak asks, "what about her?"
OK, so I'm in. I can hear the sneeze and it's very cute for some reason, it opens immediately with something happening and instantly, I want to know about her too. Before Chapter One ends, Dak has already inspected Omra, spanked her and has bought her. "No one, and I mean no one, is to use her for his pleasure. She belongs to me now. Do you understand?" This closes the chapter and I've just hit the buy now button.
The Dark Highlander by Karen Moning I've read most of Karen Marie Moning's books. First the romances then the Fever series which I would whole heartedly recommend to anyone. They are not spanking romances and aren't erotic but wow does it get hot in between those pages! This particular book opens with not one but two prologues. In the first one, Adam Black, who is "a man - of sorts" is delivering news to his queen that the compact is broken. I have no idea what a compact is at this moment nor do I have any clue how to pronounce the queen's name, but I love anything having to do with the Fae and in this case, something big just obviously happened as the queen's words to Adam are "Summon the Council" in a voice that "dripped ice." This prologue is seven lines long and it's enough to have me wanting to know what is going on.
I'll stop here as I keep getting caught up in the books and forgetting what I'm doing! I am not sure I've done much with the topic but point out some examples of books that hooked me right from the start. As far as the why, I think it varies. If I know an author, I'm willing to go a little longer if it doesn't grab me from the start, but if not, if you can get me to feel or to want to be there and even - maybe most importantly - if you can make me want to be the heroine, right from the first words, then you've sold me.
There are several participants in today's hop so make sure you drop by and visit them all!