Monday, 12 August 2013

The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz

I received The Prince for review on the basis that I didn’t reveal any spoilers; there wasn’t any such condition on receipt of The Mistress, but I’ve decided to keep my summary and review spoiler-free anyway, just because I enjoy being cryptic. Plus, you need to buy this and read the series for yourself.

The Mistress (2013) (Harlequin MIRA)
Tiffany Reisz
Grade: A+
Genre: erotica and so much more
Sex scenes: will blow your mind
Source: NetGalley
The Original Sinners (The Red Years): (prequel) Seven Day Loan (1) The Siren, (2) The Angel, (3) The Prince, (4) The Mistress

This was the perfect answer to end the mindfuck of all mindfucks.

The Siren saw Nora Sutherlin use her Siren’s call to bewitch her uptight English editor as he hones her book to perfection while estranged from his wife, Grace. In The Angel, Griffin, one of Nora’s many lovers and a Dominant of the New York Underground finds true love in Michael, a damaged teenage submissive, who becomes the Angel that saves him. In The Prince, Nora and Wesley escape to Wesley’s home in Kentucky where Wesley is the Prince of his world, richer than beyond even Kingsley’s dreams. And as they have their fun, Søren and Kingsley are on the trail of an enemy who knows too many of their secrets, that if exposed, could destroy them all …

The Prince closed with a proposal, kidnapping, a dead dog and someone back from the dead …

That enemy has shown her hand and Nora was her target. Søren will do anything to protect his Little One, and Kingsley will do the same for any one of his people. The death of Nora would mean the death of them all … Søren can’t live without his Eleanor, and Kingsley can’t live without Søren … as they retreat to the country and take up camp in the house of Daniel, a fellow Dominant, along with their entourage of Wesley, Grace and Laila, Søren’s niece, Nora must play Scheherazade and trade stories of her life with Søren for her life …

Was there any doubt that I would love this book? How could I not? I practically worship Tiffany Reisz and everything that I’ve read and reviewed has received glowing recommendations. She’s sky-high on my favourite author, book and series lists and after my taste of The Siren, if I hadn’t received the other books for review, I would have definitely bought them. I’m likely to buy the whole series in the future, now that my review copies have expired.

So many questions are answered, including some that I didn’t even know the questions to! I don’t think there could have been a more perfect ending and I’m amazed (though I shouldn’t be) that Ms Reisz managed to find a solution that really gives everyone what they want, no matter which couples they ship. I read a recent interview with Ms Reisz about the process she went through in writing The Mistress and for such an elaborate series, I can’t believe she managed to tie up all those loose ends – and create new ones to be answered in the prequel series. She’s a fabulous and ingenious writer.

The series has slowly been getting darker and while it still maintains Ms Reisz’s classic style, it just serves to show what fantastic breadth she’s got in her: from the (comparatively) light and funny The Siren, through to the darker and mystery-laden The Mistress, Ms Reisz can do it all. This is not a romance novel; and erotica is not just about sex – Ms Reisz single-handedly makes me love, and restores my faith in the genre.

Despite being the end of this series of the series, Ms Reisz has left us with the most frustrating of cliff hangers. Of course, it’s classically sadistic of her, but that doesn’t do anything to reduce my frustration. She’s definitely a writer who knows how to play her readers like a concert orchestra, and I have a feeling that this is a question that she’ll take a very long time in answering.

While this is the end of this period of Nora’s life, there’s still another four books in the series to go, plus many more short stories, I hope. Books 5-8, or The White Years (books 1-4 are The Red Years) will follow Nora’s life as a submissive from when she first met Søren, to presumably where The Siren starts. This is a much lighter period in Nora and Søren’s lives – they’re young(er), in love and all the shit of the future has yet to happen. I’m curious about what the books will be about. Books 1-4 have had this overarching plot that culminated in The Mistress, but I’m not aware of anything this major or drama-tastic that could run through all four prequels that we haven’t heard about already. There is the matter of what made Nora leave Søren and become a Dominatrix (so looking forward to reading this ‘live’) but we already know it’s going to happen, so it’s got to be bigger. I’m having a lot of fun speculating, so I’m definitely expecting a good surprise/mindfuck.

By far the best series and new-to-me author that I've discovered and read in years. Nobody ticks quite so many boxes as Ms Reisz (funny, fantastic heroine, great plots, hot sex, boggling mindfucks - the list goes on) and it's been a pleasure to receive The Siren through to The Mistress for review from Harlequin at NetGalley. Very few authors can remain as fantastically consistent as Ms Reisz over the course of a series, especially considering that each book has topped 400 pages. Keep them coming (ha! Pun not intended!), Queen Tiffany.

Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction.

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