Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Angel (The Original Sinners #2) by Tiffany Reisz

My friend Eleanor who recommended this series to me (yeah, I find it amusing as well :P) told me this series is a total mind fuck. Well, I'm not in the end YET but I think I would have said it a bit differently - "and the plot thickens....".

In the previous book we got to know Nora Sutherlin and also - to use her own words against her - the one who owns her heart - Wes and the one own everything else - Søren. Søren received an honor he didn't really want - an opportunity to be elected to a higher office. Well, he isn't there yet but he is considered to the part and lets just say that not wanting it is an understatement. Being in a higher office means he won't be able to spend his free time doing as he chooses especially not fucking his "little one" Eleanor (AKA Nora) who finally returned to him a year ago after 7 years apart (note - the book takes place a year after the previous book ends). Therefore Søren decides the best way to deal with this "problem" is while both she and Michael (whom he rescued from a suicide about two years ago and brought into the S&M world) wouldn't be there when the sharks comes to pray (to see if he is fit for the job). Not wanting to get the job is one thing, getting the truth about his extracurricular activities is entirely a different one! 
Here the plot divides to two sub plots. The first one being Søren and Suzanne the reporter. Where we get to hear a lot about Søren's past and the other sub plot is of Nora "hiding" in clear sight with Michael at Griffin's luxury summer house. There's a little bit of Wes in here too, the little I read of him made me love him even more. He has one very touching conversation that for me, shows exactly who he is and why Søren doesn't really have a "claim" to be with Nora. To me it was just another confirmation because I really don't see what she is doing with Søren (hot sex or not..)  btw we do get to hear why she left him which was another confirmation for me that Søren has been there for her from age of 15. She doesn't know any other way of living, but it doesn't mean this is the "right" way for her to live or the way she wants to live. I do get that it's nice sometimes for someone else makes the decisions for you, but I would never choose to live MY life this way and as it seems neither does she.. since she DID leave him.

Søren's past is no unicorns and daisies as you can imagine from the little we heard of it in the previous book but i's A LOT more horrific than you can imagine. I guess you could understand why he is the way he is from his past and I really do believe (as I did before) that Eleanor is everything to him and he will do everything to keep her but will do so only if she chooses to stay with him. He is not a "bad man" in my eyes, I might not get his (too) sadistic side and his over controlling side but I do think that he is truly and utterly in love with her and he WILL do the best he can for HER. 

But this book, giving me more than a glimpse into who he is, explains to me in the best way there is why oh why I hate his character so much. I call it the EST symptom :P If you've read my review of "Lover Unbound" (hardy har har..) of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward you might remember that I had my issues with V. It wasn't about the bondage or his sex preferences. NO OH NO, it was all about the "est" issue. I do like guys that are gorgeous, intelligent, successful, loving and all that. We all do. But when a character is TOO good in right about everything its annoying beyond words.. and no, I'm not going to give the fact that he is a sadist who beats the woman he love any "points" making him "less perfect". Back to the "est" thing, if you haven't realized yet - Søren is the sexiest man alive, he is simply irresistible to any man or woman, he is also the most sadistic (sadistiest ;)), strongest, meanest, most composed (composest ;)), highly intelligent(est ;)) who can speak and write countless languages... and really, I could go on here for half a page explaining how everything about Søren is EST as possible.. NO I do NOT find this appealing. I find this ANNOYING and also unrealistic and mind you, I wouldn't want to be with SUCH a pompous ass! I do believe you get just HOW megalomanic he REALLY is in the end of he book. GOD! I would have slapped him if it was the last thing I EVER did! 

Back to more pleasant parts of the book (not I didn't enjoy Søren's part AT ALL, I just thought that it tended to have to much of an "est" to everything). Our "banished" Nora takes Michael and goes to Griffin's summer house. By Søren's orders she is to train Michael being a sub and make sure the playful and never serious Griffin doesn't lay a harmful (or hurtful, or lustful) hand (or any other body part) on the beautiful angelic Michael. Michael is a total and absolute sweetheart and I'm not the only one who noticed that fact.. Griffin did as well.. and oh.. how interesting that Michael is actually bi.. Love floats all around Nora but both Michael and Griffin doesn't do anything about it, Griffin because of the direct order (let me barf right here for THAT fact, yeah, this is Søren's EST as well here, dominantEST) and Michael doesn't do a thing because first he couldn't believe Griffin will be into him and also he is worried that he is going to lose both his parents if they learn he is not only a freak who enjoys pain he is also gay.. I must say I really enjoyed this part of the story. Seeing the both of them crave for each other, seeing how it worked out between them but also how it was concluded with his family. It's obvious the problem is the father not mother. His mother might be detached in a way but I think she just doesn't know how to be his mother anymore, he has been a different person since he tried to kill himself, he became this gloomy teenager she doesn't really know or understand. 

While all this happens around Nora she is thinking about Wes especially when Griffin shows her something that shocks her. Wes haven't been honest with her for some reason and even if she haven't been answering his calls in the past year since they "broke up" she is still in love with him. Søren's order to her for the summer apart from him is find peace with her decision to leave Wes but it's not working for her..  In the end of the book we are left sort of hanging there about her and Wes but since the next book is suppose to be of her being with him in Kentucky I guess we'll get our answers there. I'm not sure how they could really work. She IS who she is, and I don't think she can really do vanilla for life but as soul mates go, they are it. 

The ending is sort of a mind fuck I guess, so I might agree with MY Eleanor there ;) but it's mostly as I wrote above "the plot thickens" - it's putting a lot of pieces together. You get to understand who Søren is and why he is the way he is, his family's past, his relationship with Kingsley Edge which is FAR more complicated than anyone could even try to guess. You also hear a little about Nora's past and understand the reasons she left Søren which were in a way selfless and selfish put together and somehow a midst all those shocking discoveries there is also a sweet love story between Michael and Griffin. 

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it would be like the first one, impossible to put down. I guess it would have been that if I would have read this one apart from the first. This isn't my comfort zone reading after all and I guess I need my time to digest everything, think about it, understand my feelings. Maybe if I decide to read the white years I'll read them apart so I'll have more of my comfort zone reading in between. 

I feel in a way stupid writing the previous paragraph. Nothing totally shocking happens in this book that I can't handle. There are no scenes I read that I wanted to close the kindle and hide away. I just don't know, the general feel of the book, the general subject and mostly having to deal too much with the estiest character of all - Søren. Even when he isn't there it's like everyone is his pawn. Nothing happens unless he says so or approves. I don't get that. I think if anyone would even try to order me around I'll do the opposite, not really of spite but because this is who I am. I make 100 excuses to my diet consultant why I ate what I shouldn't ("It was the weekend, Friday's meal is special, it doesn't count"), I stop doing what my personal coach tells me to do ("You were explaining.. I was resting till you finished"), hand down I'm THE most undisciplined person I know.. So how COULD I get this in a "positive" way? A strong woman like Nora doing a man's biding because she loves him. I love the people around me, I listen to them, I take their ADVICE but I do as I please in the end. 

One last other thing is that I don't "get" religion. AT ALL. I believe, well, in nothing really.. As my biology teacher used to say "we are the dust of the stars". So all this talk of religion and faith and all that, all the importance of having a priest, a confessor, I don't understand it in the most basic way. I don't mind people having fun being religious. Good for them. I just don't really understand what they "get" from it. Besides of limitations I don't really see the plus side. 

So that's my review here. Too long for my own good.. but well, this is MY blog and I do just what I please (a ManOWar quote sort of) :)

Yeah this is a 5 star review. Take yourself out of your comfort zone (if you have one) and read it :) oh, start with the first one, a good idea ;)

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 411 pages, 21-25 July 2014 / On GoodReads
The Original Sinners ("The Red Years") by Tiffany Reisz is an excellent Erotica series. I'll be the first to admit I wasn't sure I'm going to like it, wasn't sure I'll feel comfortable reading it or somehow be able to sympathize with the characters. I"m not sure that I DID sympathize with ALL of them, BUT my initial uncomfortable feeling passed as the series continued and I just feel like I got a strange entrance pass as well as a very informative brochure to a world I wouldn't have visited without :)  

I recommend this series to all Romance lovers even if BDSM and S&M isn't your "thing". I think I mainly consider it "different" now, I find that I "get" it more than I did before and my revulsion of some of the staff somehow subsided. I mainly have a problem with the psychological side of things (like humiliation) and much less with the physical harm (like beating). In my eyes harming a person, really harming, is never about putting them in casts in the hospital it's breaking their spirit.

While this IS a series, in a way it's a whole tale written in 4 parts. Don't expect a HEA before the absolute ending and till all the pieces fall into place. Also don't believe everything you read or think. Most things are A LOT more complicated than they look.

The series is separated into 2 sub series - The Red Years which relate to the present and The White Years which relate to the past. I've read the first 4 books in the Red Years, in the White Years only the first book was published (out of 4).

The story in the Red Years is sort of a love triangle between the Main Character Nora Sutherlin (Also known as Eleanor Schreiber) a submissive in her past, a writer and dominatrix in the present, Søren (her Dom and lover for almost 20 years) and Wesley (her young and vanilla roommate). There are few more important main characters in the series that makes it colorful and interesting.  

My two main reasons for being reluctant to read The White Years are I'm not sure how I would feel about reading Nora as the submissive Eleanor. Also, if the White Years are like the Red years, the whole story will be told only when then last word on the fourth book is finished so I might wait for it all to come out then read it. 

There are a TON of short stories in this series, haven't read any of them yet, but all are listed either on GoodRead here or/and in Tiffany's website right here. I will probably read them when I feel I miss Nora Sutherlin and her fun and kinky world. 
There are 4 more books "The White Years" of Nora's time as Eleanor. Haven't read those. I'll probably get to them but I'm not sure when. 

The Red Years
1. The Siren (published 24 July 2012) ★★★★★
2. The Angel (published 25 September 2012) ★★★★★
3. The Prince (published 20 November 2012) ★★★★★
4. The Mistress (published 30 July 2013) ★★★½


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