Sunday, July 29, 2012


AUTHOR: Tiffany Reisz
Pages: 400 (paperback)
Date: 28/07/2012
Grade: 4.5
Details: No. 1 The Original Sinners
            Received from Mira through
Own / Kindle

Every so often I finish a book and find myself at a complete loss as to what to say about it, or even, quite what I thought about it. And, you’ve guessed it; this is one of those times.
On the surface this is a story about Nora Sutherlin, a famous and very popular author of erotica. Her latest work in progress is different from her previous steamy novels though. This book is more personal and serious and because Nora is convinced this could be her break-through to the mainstream market, she is looking for a new publisher.
Enter Zachary Easton, an English man in New York and editor with a prestigious publisher. When he is asked to edit Nora’s book he is both sceptical and reluctant. He doesn’t believe erotica can ever be a serious work of fiction and with only six weeks before he leaves New York he doesn’t believe there is enough time to turn the book into something that would live up to his exacting standards.
When Zach meets Nora he is barely polite with her but Nora is not easily deterred. She convinces the editor to make a deal with her; if she can rewrite the book into something he approves of within the six weeks available, he will sign her contract.
Both Nora and Zach are tortured souls. Both of them have left the loves of their lives because, as Nora says:

"There are only two reasons why you leave someone you're still in love with - either it's the right thing to do, or it's the only thing to do".

As the two of them work together and seem to get closer, the reader discovers more about Nora and Zach, their pasts and their (lack of) hope for the future. Through ups and downs, shocks and revelations the story and their lives unravel; easy endings do not appear to be an option.

The reader gets glimpses of Nora’s writing, the book within the book, as the story progresses. Some of what we read is meant for Zach and publication; other parts of her writing are only for Nora, memories of times gone by. It serves to give us a better understanding of the complex character that is Nora.

This book is almost impossible to categorise, anything but predictable, shocking and heartbreaking. Nothing is exactly what you expect. This author doesn’t aim for easy answers or convenient happy endings. Tiffany Reisz managed to make me re-assess many of my conventional truths about love, lust and sex. She made me feel deeply for characters who are flawed in ways I couldn’t even imagine, made me root for those who, in another context, I would have labelled villains.
Most characters in this book have secrets they hold very close to their hearts, dark secrets that will change your perception of them as you read along. And yet, despite their pasts and the decisions they make about their futures I couldn’t help feel for the characters by the time the story ended.
This book is probably not for everyone. The contents of this story will stretch the readers comfort levels as far as they will go, and for some, a lot further. Some of the sexual relationships and encounters in this book are beyond extreme. And yet, now that I’ve finished this story I wouldn’t say it was a book about sex. This is a book about relationships, about love, about accepting the truth about who and what you are. This is a story that will have you experiencing virtually every emotion known to men; a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.
I had no idea this was the first book in a planned series when I started reading it and I’m not at all sure where a future book might take me. I do know though that when the next book comes out, I’ll be one of the first trying to get my hands on it. Because, to put it quite simply, Tiffany Reisz tells an intriguing story very well.

Update: You can have a look at what my husband thought about this book here.

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