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First in the Original Sinners intense BDSM erotic romance series.
In 2012, Siren won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance.
Hoo-boy. This is intense, and I suspect as truly BDSM as it comes. It is a difficult read as the lifestyle does not appeal to me, and yet Reisz is an incredible writer. I can understand why James’ Fifty Shades is more popular and it’s a damn shame when Reisz is…oh, heads and ears and a zillion anything better than James. James’ is a sweet faux BDSM while Reisz strikes me as the real thing. And not sweet.
That said, it’s witty, emotionally devastating, intelligent, painful, funny, and soul-baring. Yes, all of this with the story revolving around Nora and Zach as they lash at each other and flashback on their individual pasts. Nora has a greater presence both in her character and in her everyday interactions. Zach is caught up in his own drama and is conflicted over working with her, with a genre he disrespects.
Nora cracks me up with her asides:
I do love a man with a big vocabulary.
A well-hung jury then.
She answers the phone with: “Sophocles’s House of Patricide and Incest. How may I blind you?”
Zach is a match with:
But the heartbeat was faint. The patient might be terminal.
“Ms. Sutherlin, you’re obviously emotionally involved in your book. That’s fine for writing, but editing a book you love hurts.”
“I like doing things that hurt.”
“Saturday night can’t happen again.”
“It can, and will in a few days. Saturday night happens at least once a week.”
For all of Nora’s unorthodox need, it’s really Zach who has the problem. One over which he anguishes until the women in his life finally beat him over the head with it.
Whoa, O. Henry’s short story, The Gift of the Magi, has cropped up throughout, and, duh, I finally learned the parallel meaning of it. It saddens me, and yet it’s right.
Some parts of Reisz’s writing are clear and others are simply confusing until you’ve read into a bit. And that is the worse I truly can say of it. I may not like her topic, but I do appreciate her writing!
Nora has written BDSM erotica, enough to get her feet wet. But now she has something truly epic in her heart, and she wants to develop it. It has such promise and she knows it could be truly good, if only she had the right editor.
That’s the pitch she makes to Bonner. She wants an editor who will rip the guts out of her book, force her to write as well as she imagines. But it’s a reluctant editor she gets. One who mourns his failed marriage, and only thinks he’s had a wild sexual past. One who views all romance as garbage.
Zach agrees, but only if she can accomplish a prize tale in six weeks. If not, the book won’t be published.
But editing her book is not the only pain Nora seeks.
Nora Sutherlin, a.k.a., Eleanor, a.k.a., Elle Shcreiber (there’s a back story here that isn’t told), is a switch, The Dominatrix, and a writer. She fled the man who introduced her to the lifestyle five years ago and has been writing erotica ever since. Wes Railey is the very young intern who lives at Nora’s house. He’s also a biochemistry major with some major demands of his own for Nora.
Zach Easton, a.k.a., London Fog, is a brilliant editor at Royal House Publishing. It’s a new job, an escape from what he sees as failure in London. Grace is his wife. The one who left him. Mary is his wonderful secretary with a cheeky sense of humor.
John-Paul Bonner is the chief managing editor of Royal House Publishing. Other editors include Angie Clark and Thomas Finley, a major jerk.
Søren is the ultimate Dominant and sees all, right into your soul. Kingsley Edge, the King of the Underground is Nora’s partner and Søren’s oldest friend. Lex Luthor is Nora’s friend and a bookstore owner. Master Griffin Fiske is a seventh level Dominant, and he’s been a naughty boy. Michael is a boy in trouble whom Nora will help to understand his needs. Robin is a coat check girl at King’s club; she’s also a masseuse.
The Cover and Title
The cover is very simple with its focus on the high-heeled, black patent pumps with the fishnet-wearing ankles, bound by a hank of white rope against the stark white background. I’m kind of surprised the background isn’t black and blue.
The title is two-fold: a reference to what Søren called Nora, his Siren, for her abilities, and her ability with words.