TITLE: THE PRINCE
AUTHOR: TIFFANY REISZ
Details: no. 3 Original Sinners (The Red Years)
Received from Harlequin
“In all things involving Nora Sutherlin, proceed with caution.”
I finished reading The Prince about five minutes ago and am still gathering my thoughts, my sanity and my composure. However, my very first thought after reading the last line was, “Oh you bitch”. And yes, that is very much aimed at the author. This book doesn’t end so much on a cliff-hanger as it does on a self-destruct button. And just in case Tiffany Reisz is still looking for a blurb for the cover of this book, I’d suggest: ‘don’t read this book unless you already have the sequel’.
And that’s enough ranting for now (although I can’t promise I won't do some more before I get to the end of this review) so I guess I’d better tell you something about the story in this book.
Nora has left New York and Søren to travel to Kentucky with Wesley. A year and a half apart hasn’t been enough for 32 year old Nora and 20 year old Wesley to forget each other and they are going to give being together another try. Things are different this time around though. Wesley, as it turns out, is not the poor struggling student Nora thought he was, but rather the only son of Kentucky horseracing royalty. In fact he was once named "The Prince of Kentucky" in a newspaper article. Nora finds herself transported to a huge estate where Wesley and his parents live in a palatial home, surrounded by endless grounds and numerous stables. Nora’s delight at being reunited with Wesley struggles with doubt though. She loves the young man more than she imagined possible, but she can’t quite picture herself in a long term vanilla relationship anymore than she can see Wesley succumbing to her more extravagant tastes. And her doubts are only increased by the more than frosty welcome she receives from Wesley’s father.
In New York Kingsley Edge is delighted that Nora has left town and Søren. The priest was Kingsley’s first real love and now that Nora is gone, he sees his opportunity to re-establish a relationship with the man he has never stopped loving, but had to let go when Nora entered the picture. Kingsley and Søren are on a quest though. Somebody has stolen Nora’s file from Kingsley’s archives and set fire to Søren’s childhood bedroom. Someone appears to be determined to destroy one, if not all three of them and it is imperative that they discover who this is before any real damage can be done. All clues seem to point towards Maine and the Catholic school where the two men met as teenagers and that is where they start their investigation. And as Kingsley and Søren return to the place where it all began, their past gets revealed in all its shocking glory.
I’m not quite sure what to say about this book. The story is shocking, beautiful, heartbreaking, brutal, tender, kinky and violent. This is a love story, although not necessarily of the happily ever after variety, as much as it is extreme erotica. It is also a mystery and a study of human nature and relationships. Beautifully written this book sparkles with clever and witty dialogue and shines with clear descriptions of surroundings and people. Tiffany Reitz is an accomplished and highly intelligent author. Her words flow with an ease that almost makes the reader miss how clever and well plotted the story is. This author loves her characters. Nora, Søren, Kingsley and Wesley must be real for Miss Reisz since her descriptions of them have made them into people I would recognise and be delighted to meet.
The Prince is an inspired title for this book. Not only does it fit perfectly into the sequence of titles for this series (TheSiren, The Angel, The Prince and, still to come, The Mistress) it also references to several characters and motives in this story. There is of course, Wesley – The Prince of Kentucky. But we also have Le Petit Prince (as in the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) not to mention the strong Machiavellian themes in the whole series. And I can’t help thinking that I must have missed one or two other references. As I said before, Tiffany Reisz is one very clever lady.
I really can’t praise this book – and this series – enough. These books are original, captivating and completely addictive. Having said that, I am well aware that a lot of people would be shocked, if not offended by some of the content in this book. This book is nothing like a traditional romance. Heck, it isn’t even like traditional erotica. It is shocking and very graphic – at times painfully so. Miss Reisz has taken my (reading) boundaries and stretched them beyond what I would have thought possible, and has made me enjoy every single word of it. And now I’ve got a wait of at least four months ahead of me before the last book in this quartet is published. Four long months before I’ll be able to get my hands on The Mistress and find out what happens on the other side of that incredibly cruel cliff-hanger. Four long months during which this story will never be very far from my mind.
One final thought: Although I would strongly advise against reading this book without reading The Siren and The Angel first, this book does conveniently start with a file on Nora Sutherlin which would give the novice reader something to go by. Having said that, I would tell anybody to read the two earlier books first. Don’t deprive yourself of the pleasure and revelation that is reading all The Original Sinners’ books.