Series: Original Sinners bk 1
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Erotic Romance
Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she’s sure it’ll be her breakout book… if it ever sees the light of day.
Zachary Easton holds Nora’s fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it’s no deal.
Nora’s grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining… and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him… or returning to his bed?
Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.
Thoughts: I literally just finished reading this book and my thoughts are all over the place. But the one thought that has stuck with me, that kept me reading when I should be working, had me ignoring my kids, was that this was one of the best pieces of literature I’ve ever read.
Yes I said it, literature.
I’ve been in love with literature ever since I can remember, so much so that when my family went and saw Beouwulf in the theater’s and Angelina Jolie spoke in Old English I clapped. You see I’ve read them all. I’ve not liked them all, Tolstoy was to much, Shakespeare was overly dramatic, Cervantes brilliant, Austen groundbreaking. I was the only in my high school literature classes that loved reading Homer and Plato.
Next to my language classes, I’ve taken more literature classes than anyone I know.
Because of this I can honestly say that what Reisz has started in The Siren is a series of books that break open everything we thought we knew about the BDSM world and human nature and make us rethink everything. If I was to ever go back to teaching literature this book will be one of my required readings simply because of how it takes those emotions we thought we knew and so well and shatters them into a million pieces and puts them back together the way they were always supposed to be.
Nora is one of the most compelling characters I’ve ever had the privilege, yes privilege to read. On the outside she is perfectly in control of her world. She has her intern, Wesley, a boy she’s desperately in love with and yet has a very platonic relationship with. Then there’s her editor Zach who beats her words up and makes her work for every single word she puts on the page. To both of them she’s powerful, fearful, brash, and the most fascinating person they’ve ever been around. So much so that they are both completely captivated by her.
Then there is Søren and Kingsley, who we only know vicariously through Nora. The scenes with these two men are the only times where we get to see the real Nora. I found those scenes naked and raw with emotion. So much freaking emotion.
Zach is a at a crossroads in his life. Him and his wife, who he’s still in love with, are separated. Everyday he doesn’t know if that’s the day the divorce papers come. When he’s assigned to be Nora’s editor he does it against his will. He has no idea just how much Nora will change his life, and he hers. He’s rude, he’s critical (of her writing), and he’s attracted to her against his will. As they start to work together he finds himself rediscovering parts of himself he’d lost over the years and battling with himself over his desires.
Wesley, he’s Nora’s best friend and one hundred percent vanilla. He hates Nora’s lifestyle, he hates Søren, and has made Nora promise to never submit to him again, he’s his hard limit. Nora also loves him with everything she has to give him. As much as it pains her, its no where in the vicinity of how much she loves Søren.
Søren, where do I even start. I didn’t think I was going to like him, in fact everyone including Reisz told me I was going to hate him. And yet I found myself feeling bad for him. Having read the The Saint first (don’t worry that review will be coming soon) every time he was with Nora my heart broke for him, because you could see that even though he was the most feared DOM in the community his heart was broken because as much as needs to be a priest he needs Nora, and he doesn’t have her. My only complaint was we had no scenes from his POV.
Kingsley is a mystery I can’t wait to discover more about.
Now to address the one reason I didn’t read this book a long time ago when several friends who I trust when it comes to books told me read this series. You see other then them the only things I knew about this book were two things. The first that Søren was a priest, the fact he was having sex with one person over the age of 18 and 100% monogamous with her never bothered me, because over the course of my studies into history and literature I knew the real reason priests became celibate and I have major issues with that whole thing, so I actually liked Søren more because he wasn’t celibate. Also my family hasn’t been Catholic since Henry kicked them out of England so that whole thing with him being a priest and off limits didn’t bother me. The second that he gives Nora an underage boy to have sex with. I won’t go into details about this story line other than to say that once you understand why, and how much it helps the young man, and keeps him from harming himself you will see that it wasn’t done to abuse him, to exploit him, it was done to save his life.
In all honesty it took reading The Saint and discovering Søren’s past that allowed me to see why Michael’s (the boy) pain was so personal to him. Because of this I loved what he did for him and didn’t find it repulsive.
As I was reading this book a poem written by a 17th century nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz titled Expresa los Efectos del Amor Divino came back to me. The first time I read this poem it reminded me how I felt about my husband. Even after I realized she was expressing her love for Christ I still felt like it was written for us. Now I attribute this poem to Nora and Søren.
I’m not going to lie this book isn’t for the faint of heart, it covers a lot of topics that make a lot of people uncomfortable, it’s also one of the best books I’ve ever read, and in my top 10 of erotic reads this year, even though I thought the sex was rather tame when it did happen.
Reisz is firmly in my auto-buy list so long as she’s writing, and one of the most talented authors across all genres writing today.