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.

Redonk Nutshell: Erotica author & Dom goes head-to-head with her new editor while battling her own inner demons

True story: I read this book MONTHS ago but couldn’t bring myself to sit down and write a review. Sometimes a book comes along that rocks you to the point of excessive excitement and you just have to write about it; other times, you’re rocked in a way that leaves you shaking your head and wondering how in the hell you’re going to pick up your pieces and put them together in a way that others will be able to understand.  The latter? That’s The Siren. Call me a masochist, but I have complete and utter respect and admiration for any work, regardless of the medium, that manages to knock me silly and leave me reeling.

Nora Sutherlin is a well known erotica writer by day and a notorious Dom by night. Her newest work is currently being edited by a new publisher, and her new editor, Zachary Easton, is reluctantly learning the ropes of erotica while juggling the handful that is Nora. While they bait and challenge each other, for the most part it remains on a professional level, though neither hold back their barbs from personal assault:

“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…”

Both Zach and Nora have their emotional demons to wrestle, and with their powers combined, they find that their coming together makes for a most excellent concoction. Now, I say coming together but I don’t quite mean it in the way you’re thinking. There’s a spark between them, but this isn’t a romance story. No. It’s a salvage story.

Adrift and unmoored, she had tried again and againt to throw him a rope to save him from the raging waters. And now he no longer felt like a drowning man at see. Nora…the siren and the goddess, the ship and the wine-dark sea. She would either save him or end him. Right now, with her words singing in his hears, he didn’t really care which.

Despite the chemical reaction between these two, their stories are not going to be resolved with each other. We meet other characters in Nora’s life, the men and women who have shaped her into the curious creature she is today, and we come to realize that Nora has some unresolved ends to tie up, both literally and figuratively.  She has a young, college-aged protege, Wesley, who is completely enamored of her. She returns his sentiment, but she feels her darkness is too encompassing for a person as wholesome and good as Wesley. On the flip side, her previous Dom (she used to be a Sub…well, technically she’s a switch), Soren, has made a re-appearance in her life and has completely thrown her off kilter. Oh, and I should mention that Soren is a priest. Wha-WHA? you say? Yeah. I know!

It’s difficult to summarize this book, as it’s complicated, intelligent, sexy, and dark.  It’s part one of a trilogy, though there are also several shorts floating around offering snippets into the lives of Nora’s friends.  The Siren is most definitely a best-of pick for 2012.  It’s unlike any erotic novel I’ve ever read.  It’ll punch you, kick you, caress you, make you bleed and make you weep, and in the end you’ll be back begging for more.  And I have a feeling that’s exactly what Ms. Reisz had in mind…

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

Rating: A+

Romance: 3/5          Raunch: 5/5

2 Responses

  1. Agree with your review. This book shook me and I’m not sure I would have been able to write a review. It was so complex.

    I think I mentioned this in another one of your comments, but my favorite line of the book was when Zach said “Don’t write what you know, write what you want to know.” That rocked my world. Makes me want to be a better writer. So thank you, editor Zach Easton! You London Fog, you!

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