Monday, July 21, 2014

The Siren (The Original Sinners #1) by Tiffany Reisz

Captivating. I think that's the best word to describe this book. Half pun intended :)

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but what I DIDN'T expect, is I won't be able to put it down for a second. That I would fight myself to keep on reading and not go to sleep just so I'll read another chapter and yet another. 

The story, the characters, the plot and all the missing bits and pieces keeps you utterly captivated. The writing was beautiful, had so many laugh out loud moments I could have highlighted half the book. Nora Sutherlin (AKA Eleanor Schreiber) the main character in this book was a joy to read. I do enjoy reading  a smart and feisty woman! She keeps all men (almost!) on their toes around her. That being said, Nora wasn't always who she is now, her past haunts her and as the story continues we learn about what and especially WHO she wants to keep in her past (or does she?).

Nora wants to be a writer, a good writer. Technically she already IS a writer but the Erotica books she has written were good but she believe she can do better which leads her to a dignified publishing house and more specifically to Zachary Easton who is an excellent editor, but not really impressed by her or by her book. Determined to publish her book she makes Zach agree to give her 6 weeks, the 6 weeks before he leaves LA to his promotion, if she can transform the  book to something he'll accept then he will sign her contract and her book will be published.

Zach has a past of his own he left in London. His wife. You have to wait a LONG while before you get to hear THIS story and I must say I didn't figure it out AT ALL. Zach was an interesting character, it was interesting to see how he changes from the moment he meets Nora and the amazing and positive effect she has on him. After being sort of living dead, he starts living again even if half the time he feels insane. 

The last piece of the puzzle is Wes which is my absolute favorite male character in the book. Maybe it makes me as vanilla as he is, but what attracted me about him is how much he loves Nora, how much he takes care of her, but also the small sensitive moments they have together. I do think HE is her safe place even if Søren (her ex) is where she says she belongs. I find her love for Søren to be more of an obssession and a need of a strong figure to guide her way than a real love, one that comes from truly loving oneself and opening up to another person, one you love almost as strongly as you love yourself. 

So I say - she can keep her Søren, I'll GLADLY "settle" for Wes! YUM!

Søren is a very complicated character. I'm saying this mosly because there is more I don't know about him then I DO know. But I really don't find the appeal everyone keeps talking about. I generally find him, well, annoying. I'm probably the only one who thinks that, so I'm not worried I'll offend anyone with my personal opinion :P Thing is, I was never attracted to the "know it all" kinda guys. The "smart ass" in a way. I find his mental power over people alarming more than having a submissive effect on me. I"m not sure if it's because I have a real alpha personality, because I'm a very independent person who can't take a straight order from anyone or is it because as it seems I have to rebel against anything that is mainstream.. pick your pick :P

There's quite a lot (but not overly too much) of a reference to the bible and religion. I'm not into religion myself, and some of the stories I didn't know since I'm not christian. It had an interesting aspect I must say, but I could have passed some of it even if it DID have a strong significant to who Nora is or was and where she came from.

One last thing I want to say,  This has been very "educational" for me in the BDSM part since I haven't read any book like THIS one before. I read of bondage, sex toys, mild violence and other "games" during sex, but never this violent in the physical AND psychological sense. Never of someone putting the person they love in the hospital because they got "carried away" during the for-play, never glimpsed degradation and humiliation that is accepted by a submissive inflicted by his Dom. "Lucky for me" there aren't a lot of full explicit scenes in the book describing this kind of extreme (in my eyes) behavior. 

I'm going to sound like a prude but what the hell, this is something I find quite sad. Sad that people enjoy and crave this kind of behavior, from both sides (D/s). I should say that I find the physical less disturbing then the mental part of the submission, The part that makes them crawl on all fours (literally or/and figuratively) doing their Master's biding. 

But maybe you shouldn't take me that seriously I find it sad that people listen to mainstream music.. so.. The rule is hurt don't harm. Who am I to judge if a person says he or she are unharmed. 

What the last paragraph DOES mean is I'm quite reluctant reading the second part of the series "The White Years Quartet" referring to Nora or rather Eleanor when she was a submissive. I have to think about it, have to see how it goes with the next books in this part ("The Red Years Quartet") because it sure does takes me out of my comfort zone (which isn't always a bad thing ;)). 

It was an excellent smart, funny and capturing book. Yes, I was surprised and taken a bit out of my comfort zone but this one sure as well deserves 5 bloody stars.

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 432 pages, 19-20 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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