I guess there is a first time for everything. Although this is by no means the first time my husband, Dermot, and I shared and loved a book, I have never before asked him to put his thoughts down on paper. I did this time because I've completely fallen in love with this author and her Original Sinners series and want to share my enthusiasm far and wide. Below, therefore, are my husband's thoughts on The Siren by Tiffany Reisz (and for anyone interested in mine, they can be found here).
Zach Easton is an editor at a niche publishing firm when he is asked to take on a new project by Nora Sutherlin, an acclaimed writer of erotic fiction. As this is outside the normal “highbrow” genres usually covered by his firm, he is more than a little bit sceptical about this new assignment and only takes it on under protest when his boss explains the importance, financially, of acquiring this book. Zach goes to meet Nora content in the knowledge that the project will fail before it even starts. Unfortunately, Zach’s pre-conceived ordered world is shaken to its core by the unrelenting, wild force of life that is Nora Sutherlin, who flirts outrageously with Zach, constantly throwing him off balance. Against Zach’s better judgement, he decides to give Nora one chance at proving to him that she can be a serious writer.
Nora wants to be considered a serious writer but she also has a darker side to her. She gets most of her research for her erotic fiction from her years of experience in the BDSM world of New York’s underground, first as a submissive to the mysterious Sóren, and in more recent years, in her role as the most famous Dominatrix in the city. Nora also has a nineteen year old student, Wesley, lodging with her, who she is extremely attracted to but has to keep her hands off in fear of driving him away.
Although this is a work of erotic fiction, the overriding theme throughout the book is one of suppressed love. That said, the sex scenes and the portrait of New York’s BDSM scene in general are much more extreme then one would encounter in other books of this genre. These, however, take a background seat to the wonderful repartee between the main characters where the dialogue really fizzes of the pages. (I am reminded of Aaron Sorkin). The characters are believable and well developed and I would consider this book an excellent work of fiction with some serious sex scenes rather than a work of erotic fiction, a label I find a little confining for this really very good book.
On a side note, I would love to find out more about Zach’s assistant, Mary; a fascinating character who didn’t get enough of a chance to shine for my liking.
Marks out of 70: 69