Review: The Siren (#1, The Original Sinners) by Tiffany Reisz

My Thoughts

Fearless. Provocative. Seductive. Intense. Enthralling.
It’s 432 pages full of deep-seated emotion and sinful eroticism.
The Siren is uniquely constructed with layers upon layers of subtext
and feeling. Unforgettable characters indelibly leave a mark as
their entwined story unfurls across the pages.
Tiffany Reisz’s brilliant and masterful writing is remarkable.

5stars

Synopsis

9781921797750-0912-the-siren1Notorious 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.

My Review

“Romance is sex plus love. Erotica is sex plus fear.”

Wow. This book. It consumed me. Captivated me. Blew me away. Yes, it’s steamy, but not really in the way I expected. It was emotional and multi-faceted, even inciting tears at one point. It will be difficult to expound on this book, but there are a few key points I’d like to convey.

  • The writing is spectacular. Crisp, yet brimming with emotion, meaning and intent. Her word choices are unexpected, yet flawless and the flow is engrossing. Tiffany Reisz’s mastery of the English language was exceptional.
  • The story is told in alternating POVs with scenes that vacillate between current and past tense, between reality and what happens in Nora’s book.
  • This isn’t your typical erotica… it’s so much more. And don’t expect this to be a romance either. It’s deeply emotional and although there absolutely is love between the characters, there is no happily ever after. It’s real and raw and it comes full circle.

So what’s this intense book about? Nora Sutherlin is a “notorious erotica writer whose books were banned as often as they were translated.” She convinces arrogant and talented editor Zachary Easton to work on her latest book, partnering with her to improve it and finish it in six weeks. Nora is “uncomfortably alluring” to Zach, her demeanor unsettling, her language always sexual, her wit sharp and her personality, completely engaging. Zach does not work on erotica books (ever) and continues to doubt whether he should be working with her on this project.

“Writing erotica is like fucking someone for the first time. You aren’t sure exactly what he wants yet so you try to give him everything he could possibly want. Everything and anything… You hit every nerve and eventually you’ll hit the nerve.”

I found the discussion around what constitutes an erotica book both didactic and intriguing. As they discuss their project, I was learning, my expectations being set by the author.

“A smart horror writer will never put too much detail in about the monster. The reader’s imaginations can conjure their own demons. In erotica, you never want you main characters to be too physically specific. That way your readers can insert their own fantasies, their own fears. Erotica is a joint effort between writer and reader.”

Without irrefutably knowing what Tiffany Reisz intended, to me it felt like there was so much layering and subtext in the content of this book. I felt like many times she was talking directly to the reader, not overtly, but through the plot of the story… working to set expectations, prep emotions and seed fear and doubt to what was to come. Plus, in getting to know Nora, you couldn’t take what she said at face value, there always seem to be some deeper meaning threaded in her words.

Her characters are impeccably developed, flawed and tortuous and still evolving throughout what transpires in the book. I loved the complexity of each character. They each grapple with their pasts as they attempt to define their futures. Nora is a particularly intriguing character. She is so splendidly complicated that I’m not sure I truly understood her to the core at the end of the book. Zach wavers between hard and soft as his internal battles march on. And then Søren. Wow.  I hated him. He was undeniably bad, but yet, as the story evolved, I begin to sense more to who he was, began to understand Nora’s connection to him.  To Zach, however, Nora is disconcerting… both alluring and terrifying.

“You’re beautiful enough and wild enough that you make me think things I never thought I would think again and feel things I didn’t think I’d ever feel again. And you make me afraid I’ll start forgetting things I don’t want to forget. You’re dangerous.”

I can’t tell you too much about what happens, and as I mention above, it would be difficult to fully convey the  ingenuity of this book. For me, this is a story about internal battles. Turbulent. Complicated. Dependent. The characters work to understand who they are intrinsically. Their stories are inexorably entangled, each influencing the next choice, the next move. It’s a beautiful, captivating, erotic book. It’s emotional, heartbreaking and raw and I loved every word of it.

Zach said this below about Nora at one point in the book and I would say the same thing about Tiffany Reisz…

“The words had simmered on the page, flared into life and burned. He’d gotten so engrossed in the story, he’d forgotten that he was supposed to be editing it.”

I can’t wait to continue reading the books in the series. I have a feeling we are merely scraping the surface of these characters.

addseriestogoodreads

READING ORDER
http://www.tiffanyreisz.com/storytime/order

THE ORIGINAL SINNERS

About Tiffany

authorphotoTiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name. She has five piercings, one tattoo, and has been arrested twice.

When not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed).

If she couldn’t write, she would die.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Related Reads:

Comments

  1. Great review! You will LOVE the rest of the novels and novellas in the series if you haven’t already read them! I’ve been patiently waiting for the next ones! 🙂

    -Bec

  2. the book looks interesting. i will have to get a copy of it when i have enough money

  3. AMANDA RAY says:

    Tried to enter rafflecopter but says Not Started Yet 🙁

  4. Wow. Fabulous Review. I had never really given this book more than a passing glance but your Review has me sold!! I like raw & emotional books(:

  5. This is one of my favorite series, you are going to love it. Just be careful, one can’t help but fall in-love with Soren and Wesley. 🙂

  6. Great series

  7. Laura Lovejoy-Brunk says:

    LOVE this series!! I had shamefully never heard of this series and stumbled upon it by shear accident…..and i’m sooo in love with Soren, Kingsley, Wes, Griffin and Angel and YES even Nora. What a wild ride this books are. I can’t wait for The Mistress !!!!

  8. Jennifer Shoemaker says:

    I cannot wait for The Mistress!!

  9. Vita fratarcangeli says:

    The novel is wonderful, it’s just too hard to out down:)))) love the series and you feel for each charecters story!!!!!

  10. Kamla L. says:

    Great review! I’ve been fiending to start the Original Sinners for a while now. Thanks for being part of the Hop!

  11. jessiel62 says:

    I have read this book & it hooked me from the beginning. I would love to have a signed copy of it. Thank you for the giveaway!

Leave a Reply