WHAT’S PLAYING: Pussycat Dolls “Tainted Love”
This week’s book is The Siren by Tiffany Reisz.
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.
Let me be clear, I’m not a huge fan of erotica. I tried to read Fifty Shades of Grey, but gave up after twenty pages. I know there are plenty of people who love the book, but I found it painfully bad. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the reason on of my kidneys recently decided to shut down. (That’s right, EL James! You killed my kidney!) I met Tiffany Reisz at the Chicago Spring Fling Writers Conference, and was so impressed by her speech that I just had to read The Siren despite my previous, kidney murdering experience.
This book is everything Fifty Shades wasn’t: funny, touching, sexy, and most importantly, well written.
Let’s start with what this book is not. It is not a romance. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word. There are no happily-ever-afters and the course of true love most certainly does not run smoothly. In fact, I would liken this book to the emotional equivalent of being hit in the back of the throat with a claw hammer. You will laugh. You will cry. You will most certainly flinch.
The Siren reminds me of an old sparring partner. Stepping into the ring with him was like stepping into a maelstrom of vicious kicks and punches that seemed to come from everywhere at once. More often than not, I found myself flat on the mat, wondering what the hell happened.
Despite the emotional turmoil, I couldn’t put this book down. Reisz’s raw, vivid prose, sardonic wit, complex characters, and intricate plotting held me captive until the very last page. I was so taken with this book that I commissioned a Choctaw/Braille copy for my mother, and plan to do the same with the next book in the series.
This book is not about sex, though there is plenty of sex in it. It’s about love, respect, and pushing boundaries.
Provocative and disturbing, with scorching hot BDSM scenes, The Siren is everything erotica is meant to be.
Favorite Line/Image: “Master Griffin Fiske, meet my editor, Zachary Easton,” she introduced them.
“A pleasure to meet you.” Zach reached forward to shake Griffin’s hand. But Griffin kissed the center of his palm instead. Zach yanked his hand back.
“He’s gorgeous, Nora. Hot accent, too. Fucked him yet?”
Nora shrugged. “Just a blow job.”
Zach had the sudden urge to throttle Nora.
“Blow job on a British guy?” Griffin asked with some concern. “You’re a braver bitch than I. No offense,” Griffin said, turning to Zach. “I have a foreskin phobia.”
Griffin nodded his approval. “Mazel tov.”
Bottom Line: This book will haunt you long after you’ve put it down.
Coming up next: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew Shaffer