The Siren by Tiffany Reisz (pub date 7/24/12)
I’ve never reviewed a Harlequin book before, but I figured it might be good to branch off to other genres. Plus I could use a little light reading this week! I heard about this book through NetGalley and seeing that it seemed similar to Fifty Shades, I thought I would give it a try.
The Siren is the first installment of a new romance/erotica trilogy called “The Original Sinners.” One review quoted on Amazon said this book is as dangerous and subversive as Fight Club. Um, not really, and let’s not get carried away, shall we? Still, this book was a decent erotica story, short and sweet, and pretty fun to read.
In The Siren, thirty-something erotica author Nora Sutherlin is working on her fifth novel, and is on the verge of securing a deal with a new publisher, Royal House. This deal will make or break her career, and she wants to work with Royal House’s best editor. Enter Zach Easton, an editor with a reputation for being demanding and controlling, and who is anything but excited to work with a “trashy” writer like Nora. Though reluctant at first, Zach finds Nora’s quirks (like living with a teenage boy) oddly appealing, and agrees to work with her on the condition that she rewrite her entire manuscript to his satisfaction.
This manuscript turns out to be more personal than anything Nora has ever written before. It’s her way of expressing her confusion and guilt about love and her past relationships. She reveals to Zach that she still has feelings for her ex-lover Søren, with whom she had a long-term D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationship. Zach, still hurting after his wife left him, soon starts to wonder if he has feelings for Nora. Unable to resist her charms, Zach allows Nora to introduce him to the secret world of BDSM, and finds himself taking on more than he thought.
Though not as steamy as Fifty Shades in the bed department, this book has an OK story and some pretty fun sex scenes. The “book within a book” format was a little distracting at times, but for the most part it was effective at conveying Nora’s character traits. The main plot revolves around a typical love triangle, or in this case, a love quadrangle. What I did enjoy most about this book is that it explores the psychology of the BDSM lifestyle and the D/s relationship, something that Fifty Shades quickly glossed over. Nora’s character is decently developed, but most of the other main characters didn’t blow me away. Honestly I thought that Søren was the most interesting character in the whole story, but I can’t say why without giving too much away. The complexity of both his character and his relationship with Nora was the best thing about this book.
The second book in the trilogy, The Angel, is due out in September 2012, and I certainly hope that Søren is featured more in it. It would give me an excuse to keep using that awesome little ‘ø’ symbol.
Since reading the Fifty Shades trilogy and The Siren, I’ve become more interested in reading other erotica titles and doing a giant post on which ones I enjoyed the most. So stay tuned for more kinky fuckery ahead!