All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

The Siren – Tiffany Reisz

on August 6, 2012

The Siren
Tiffany Reisz
Harlequin SPICE
2012, 425p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Nora Sutherlin is an author, famous for her raunchy erotic tales. For her latest book she’s leaving her publisher and coming to Royal House Publishing, a serious publisher, a literary publisher. Royal House knows that Nora will bring her hordes of fans with her, outselling probably everything else they publish put together and they need that injection of cash to keep publishing their obscure literary fiction and poetry. But Nora has stipulated that for her latest work, she wants Zachary Easton to be her editor.

Zach is one of the best editors there is – a literary editor who prides himself on the work he produces. He thinks that being asked to edit Nora Sutherlin is a joke but eventually he agrees but only when given complete editorial control. He has to sign off on every single word and if he doesn’t like it, the book won’t get published. Now Nora must write the entire novel over to his specifications and she has just six weeks to do this before Zach departs New York for LA.

Zach is taking a more hands on approach to editing this novel than he has in the past but he’s intrigued by Nora and her unusual life. Everything he uncovers about her is more curious than the previous thing – her 19yo virginal assistant Wesley, the fact that she fled a lengthy relationship with the most revered Dominant there is but still loves him greatly, and perhaps the most surprising of all – the fact that she can actually write. And her novel is going to be seriously good. But six weeks can be both a lifetime and no time at all and everything Zach will uncover about Nora will threaten the working relationship as the personal takes hold.

This is a very hard review to write, for lots of reasons but I’m going to start off by saying that I enjoyed this book a lot. In fact, I loved it. The first reason is the writing, which is superb. Zach is a literary editor, known for shaping serious books and he’s quite a typical English uptight snob but peeling back the layers of Zach was a wonderful experience. Behind all that he’s a man feeling guilt and grief and it seems that Nora is just the person to help him expose it, deal with it and move on. Their relationship is exceptionally drawn and utterly believable. They go through various stages of admiration, lust, exasperation, genuine friendship and countless more emotions as they work together shaping Nora’s book. Because of Zach’s job, the reader learns a bit about the editing process and I’m sure that Reisz possibly opened herself up for potential criticism, casting a literary editor shaping an erotic novel which could’ve laid her own prose bare for judgement. But there’s nothing to criticise here, I found the writing perfect: shocking, informative, racy, fun and also emotional. This book isn’t just about some raunchy sex, tying some people up and maybe a few spanking scenes. It explores BDSM and the people that are in the lifestyle in a far more deeper way than that.

Nora was groomed at 15 by her Dominant and they remained together for over a decade before she left him. She bears the scars of this decision, because she still loves him and she also knows that he still loves her but their being together is incredibly difficult – and the reason why for this was not what I expected and it did pack the punch I know the author intended, when he was revealed. Every year she spends their anniversary with him which is difficult for both of them. Nora enjoys shocking people however so her assistant is a 19yo college boy from Kentucky named Wesley. He’s a virgin, shocked by her lifestyle at times, often disapproving as well. Theirs is a relationship which is interesting – they both love each other, but there are a lot of things that prevent both of them from taking the next step.

What I enjoyed was the BDSM element to this story and the way in which it was handled. I am mostly like Zach – I know only the basics, mostly from literature and blogs. I don’t understand the need to feel pain, or how giving someone pain means showing love but I do understand that people who do feel this way are perfectly able to engage in these activities safely and with absolute consent and that true people within the lifestyle do employ measures to ensure safety, mutual enjoyment and respect. Nora is a Switch, which means she can play either Dominant or submissive and even though she does have a kind of love for Wesley, it is a big part of the novel that she not harm him in any way (first rule of BDSM: hurt but do not harm), because he is not in the lifestyle and he can’t understand her need to feel pain. Ultimately even though she will hurt him, it is because she is trying to do what is best for him and not what suits her own needs.

The Siren is a wonderfully complex novel with fabulously drawn characters that challenged my thoughts on many levels. I like how I went into the book thinking that there were two possible outcomes and ended up really being wrong on both counts (or more 1.5 counts). It took all the ideas I had before opening the book and completely turned them upside down and gave me new thoughts – this is the first of a quartet and I am utterly hooked. There’s so much I want to know about what happens next! If you like some serious emotional depth and a complicated web of characters to go with your side of kink then definitely pick up this book. There’s so much here, it will suit a lot of readers, not just those who read erotic fiction.

8/10

Book #148 of 2012


9 responses to “The Siren – Tiffany Reisz

  1. Danielle says:

    I just sort of glanced at your review (and 8/10 rating!) because I’m currently 150-ish pages into it.
    I’m really, surprisingly, enjoying it. I would never have known it was going to be this good from that *awful* front cover! But I am struggling to figure out if this is a story about Nora & Wes, or Nora & Zach or Nora & Søren … and then I realized that, like the book Nora is writing, ‘The Siren’ is not in any way your typical ‘romance’.

    • I wondered that at the beginning too, I thought it was going to be about Nora and Zach and that Nora’s book would sort of mirror what happened with them! Then I had other theories and I like that it’s quite non-traditional in terms of pairings and endings. I hope you enjoy the rest of it.

  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I couldn’t fit this one into my reading schedule – glad you are enjoying it though – I’m posting an excerpt of it on Saturday 🙂

  3. This sounds wonderful, Bree, and definitely my kind of book. I’ll have to look out for a copy, cheers.

  4. Marg says:

    I have been offered this a couple of times now and still haven’t decided if I am going to say yes!

  5. […] your responses were generous and amazing! I absolutely loved The Siren (you can read my review here) and I’m waiting anxiously for the next installments of the series. Learning that there are […]

  6. Michelle says:

    Great review Bree, now I really want to read it. 😉

  7. […] “The Siren is a wonderfully complex novel with fabulously drawn characters that challenged my thoughts on many levels. … If you like some serious emotional depth and a complicated web of characters to go with your side of kink then definitely pick up this book.” All the Books I Can Read […]

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