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Monday, October 15, 2012
11:27 PM | Posted by Marnee Bailey | | Edit Post
GO OUT AND BUY THESE BOOKS!!
So… have I annoyed you all yet with my fangirl gushing about how Tiffany Reisz is an erotica writing goddess?
If so, look away now. Nothing to see here.
But I really can’t say enough about this series. I loved THE SIREN and I worried that the second book wouldn’t live up. I often feel let down by the second books in trilogies. Sometimes they have identity crises, as if they know they’re not the exciting beginning and they’re not the nail-biting end, they’re just the part you have to slough through to get to the good stuff.
Like how I used to have to eat my vegetables before I could have dessert. To me, middle books risk being the cold, mushy carrots of the trilogy.
That is definitely not the case here.
THE ANGEL picks up a year after THE SIREN ends. Erotica writer and dominatrix, Nora Sutherlin, has returned to Soren, her master and a Catholic priest. But he is under investigation by a journalist thanks to a possible promotion to bishop of his diocese. To try to keep their love safe from prying eyes, Nora flees to the country with budding masochist, Michael, in tow. Soren wants Nora to take Michael under her wing, to show him how to embrace his natural tendencies and to train him in the BDSM lifestyle.
The two stay with Griffin, a wealthy socialite. But while Griffin expects to spend the summer enjoying Nora, he finds himself drawn to young Michael.
Where do I start? I think trying to explain how all Reisz’s plot lines are intersecting would take a master’s style dissertation. So, I’ll focus again, as I did with THE SIREN, on what I find the most fascinating about her writing: all her wonderful, flawed characters.
While SIREN dealt with Nora, this book offers readers a deeper view into the complex Soren. After I finished THE SIREN, I didn’t like Soren much. I love a good alpha, don’t get me wrong, but Soren seemed to cross the alpha line and careen towards ass-hole. But, part of Reisz’s genius, I think, is her ability to keep every character flawed yet lovable.
This book gives us Soren’s heartbreaking backstory. Wretched, awful stuff. But, what really softened me towards him was his unconditional love for Nora. She is having a crisis of faith in their relationship. She’s been unable to forget Wesley, the intern she set free to keep them from hurting each other. While many lovers would face wandering thoughts with jealousy or insecurity, Soren thinks instead about Nora’s happiness. His final selfless act in the book made my heart ache for him.
It’s hard to remain hardened when a character acts so selflessly. And though I’m still firmly Team Wesley, I’m sad now as well. Because I can’t see how Nora can keep them both.
The most intact romance plot in the story is Michael and Griffin’s. Griffin is a bit of the been-everywhere, done-everything kind of guy. Born privileged and seems a bit spoiled. Or at least like he was in the past and he’s been in the process of growing up. And Michael…. Good lord. I just wanted to hug Michael in every scene. He’s young and sensitive. He’s been bullied his whole life by family and friends who don’t understand him. When these two meet, it’s as if they fall in love at first sight. This is a sweet love story, folks. I won’t give too much more, but they are what I look for in my romance—two souls who complement each other.
I’d also like to mention the journalist. There were times I was frustrated by her, but I couldn’t help but sympathize with why she was dogging Soren. And Soren can certainly hold his own.
This book pushed a big boundary for me. Doesn’t happen a lot these days as I read so much and in so many genres. But there’s blood play in this book. I’ve never read blood play and I admit I felt a little like a deer standing on some train tracks, watching an oncoming train. (“Must look away! But I can’t move!”) The way the scene is written, though, so character-driven, I was along for the ride. And I’m glad I was.
This is another fantastic read by Tiffany Reisz. Honestly, even if this isn’t your usual genre, give her a shot. I think you’ll be glad you did. I personally can't wait for THE PRINCE, out in November.
Are there any scenes you can recall that really pushed a boundary for you?