0
Posted December 13, 2012 by davincikittie in Genres
 
 

Decadent Deviant December Review: The Siren (Original Sinners #1) by Tiffany Reisz


TLDR Recap:

Erotica writer Nora Sutherland needs an editor for a project that is very close to her heart, and she sets her sights on Royal House Publishing to make that happen. Assigned to the American ‘guttersnipe writer’, Zachary Easton rolls in ready to tear her work apart and put her in her place.  He doesn’t expect to be charmed by and attracted to her, nor to be drawn into the private world of underground pleasures Nora survives on.  With a shifting cast of complexly appealing characters, Nora’s manuscript becomes the prophet that guides her actions and predicts the inevitable heartbreak and healing she’ll bring to her men.  Poignant and provocative, The Siren is a “must read”!

  • Title: The Siren
  • Series: The Original Sinners book #1
  • Author: Tiffany Reisz
  • Prominent Characters: Norah, Zach, Wesley, Soren
  • Recommended Reader Age: 16+
  • Genre(s): contemporary romance, bdsm
  • Sexual Content Level: moderate

*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***

Thoughts:

“I don’t want to write this any more than you want to read it.” From a novel defined by its subtext and constantly shifting relationship focus, one thing I am absolutely certain of is that I did want to read it; right from the very start I couldn’t put it down.

The book-within-the-book that serves as the premise for The Siren is probably my least favorite part of the story, which is saying something, considering I enjoyed most of the ‘manuscript’ nearly as much as the actual novel. There were a few instances where the dialogue excerpts felt dry and overly-literary, but I attribute that  mostly to my general disdain of all things “high literature” (If I have to work to read it, I’m not interested; if story comprehension requires me to remember the 19th century lit I suffered through in high school, you’ve already lost me!).  The basis for the story is that Nora is writing a book she feels very strongly about personally; it’s obviously paralleling something in her past or present even though the names of the characters are different.  What makes this such a masterpiece is the depth of the comparisons between her real life and those of her characters, the way it seems to predict and shape her actual relationships, and the ease with which it flows through all the men in her life to represent each of them at one time or another.  I actually felt a little dim when I neared the end of the story and realized who the manuscript was truly about.  ‘How did I miss that?’ ‘Shouldn’t that have been obvious?!’ I beat myself up over that a little until I thought back on it, which I’ve done a lot since I finished it over a week ago, and realized that while yes, the story-within-the-story was primarily about one couple, it also embodies the spirit of each phase Nora travels through on her personal journey for freedom.  It’s poignant, heart-breaking, and right.  Never before have I been so content to be so conflicted about so many characters.

And with that segue, we absolutely must talk about Soren. I both hated and respected him, and sometimes even liked him.  That man is a sinfully complex puzzle of layer on layer of authority, responsibility, generosity, gentleness, cruelty, and wisdom.  He’s the kind of man I hope I never know, yet somehow envy Nora for having in her own life.  Soren cares deeply and completely, and his focus is absolute… and therein lies the danger of loving Soren because, as an alpha sadist, god help any woman who chooses to submit to him!  Wesley is the perfect vulnerable young attendant; puppy eyes, boundless optimism, morally strong, and endlessly forgiving, I liked him from his very first scene.  Zach, the main male character in the story, was also immediately likable, though much more for his presence of personality and initial staunch refusal to compromise than for any friendly overtures.  As Nora’s hard-ass editor, Zach is a man with a razor-sharp tongue and a quick wit, and damn if that isn’t sexy as hell.  He’s also a little broken, and his storyline kept me reading even when Nora’s became too overwhelming to try to relate to.

Nora Sutherland.  Vivacious, intelligent, driven, self-assured, and provocative on multiple levels, our heroine is the epitome of a “siren”.  Men flock to her, whether to submit to her, to dominate her, or just to love her, and her personality is so beautiful that you just know it must be fundamentally flawed.  She’s the kind of friend I wish I had until I realized I’d probably wither in the shade of the sheer force of her magnetic brilliance.

Ms. Reisz warns us up front that this is no love story; there are multiple instances of this theme being debated by various characters throughout the book.  It leaves the reader wondering and hoping for a happily ever after, while privately preparing for the worst. The Siren doesn’t just have the right ending, heartbreaking as it might be for some, it has the only ending… and is beautiful in all its sadness and joy.

Memorable Quotes

Ouch! The only way to go from here is… up? *wink*

Zach threw Sutherlin’s bio and sales projections in the trash.

He’d stolen his philosophy of editing from the old New Critics—it’s just about the book. Not the author, not the market, not the reader…one judged a book only by the book. He shouldn’t care that Nora Sutherlin’s personal life was rumored to be as torrid as her prose. Only her book mattered. And his hopes for the book were not high.

Hats off to the sexy walking thesaurus…

“I’ve got a crisp new Benjamin for the first person who can give me a good synonym for thrust, noun form. Go,” she said, her voice both honeyed and sardonic.

Although irritated by her cavalier attitude and her unfortunate attractiveness, Zach couldn’t help but scroll through his substantial mental thesaurus.

“Push, lunge, shove, attack, force, jab,” he rattled off the words.

“His slow, relentless jabs sent her reeling…” she said. “Sounds like commentary on a boxing match.”

Such a flirt, that Zach…

“Why my personal life is of such fascination to you, I cannot fathom.”

“I’m a cat. You’re a shiny object.”

“You’re insufferable.”

“I am, aren’t I? Somebody should spank me.” She sighed. “So you’re kind of an asshole. No offense.”

“And you appear to be two or three words I don’t feel quite comfortable saying aloud.”

“I’d tell you to say them anyway, but I promised Wesley I wouldn’t let you flirt with me. But I digress. Tell me what’s wrong with my book. Say it slowly,” she said, grinning.

Apropos to nearly every relationship in this book…

“A love story is not the same as a romance novel. A romance novel is the story of two people falling in love against their will. This is a story of two people who leave each other against their will. It starts to end the minute they meet.”

Truer words…

“Although two people can love each other deeply, sometimes love alone doesn’t cut it. We can only sacrifice so much of ourselves in a relationship before there’s nothing left to love or be loved.”

Still ‘not about the author’, Zach?

“You said he was a virgin. How do you know he isn’t like you?”

“K-dar,” Nora said and tapped the side of her nose. “Kinksters can smell it on each other. And my Wesley smells like warm vanilla.”

“Wonder what I smell like.” Zach cursed himself for accidentally speaking the words aloud.

Nora cocked her head at him; Zach’s heart started to race.

She rose up out of her chair and slid onto the top of the kitchen table. She stretched across it and put her nose at his neck. Slowly, she inhaled. A slight rush of air whispered over Zach’s skin and he immediately knew what every muscle in
his body was doing.

“Not kink. But not vanilla, either. Smells like…curiosity. It killed the cat, you know.”

A little sentimental for Zach, but I have to agree…

“Tell me something, boss. What do you think is the highest form of art?”

“Literature,” he answered without hesitation. “Painters and sculptors require elaborate supplies and tools. Dancers must have music. Musicians must have instruments. Literature needs nothing but a voice to speak it or sand to scrawl it in.”

Pride? What American pride? *grin*

Americans were a fairly charming group of people. Even New Yorkers, not known for their friendliness, were more immediately affable than most Europeans. He’d decided Americans were quick to like people because they couldn’t conceive of anyone not liking them.

Final Thoughts:

Zachary may quip that cleverness is the last recourse of an amateur, but Tiffany Reisz is the real mastermind, schooling and twirling her prose like a sleek whip… oh so sexy and it hurts so good.  From the very first page, The Siren drew me in and spun me up in threads of wit, tenacity, desperation, need, and strength. Both halves of the focus couples are dynamic and appealing, in their own, scintillatingly individual ways.  For those interested in BDSM or who already live the lifestyle, The Siren is magnetic and heart-breakingly essential, and a “must read”!

@~~~ Did you enjoy this review? Rate it up on AmazonGoodReads | Barnes&Noble! ~~~@

Rating: The Siren

Recommended


davincikittie

 
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.