Saturday, July 13, 2013


US edition
Pages: 407
Date: 12/07/2013
Grade: 5
Details: no. 3 Original Sinners
            The Red Years
Own Kindle/Paperback

The blurb from Tiffany Reisz’ website:

Two worlds of wealth and passion call to Nora Sutherlin and, whichever one she chooses, it will be the hardest decision she will ever have to make. Unless someone makes it for her…

Wes Railey is the object of Nora's tamest yet most maddening fantasies, and the one man she can't forget. He's young. He's wonderful. He's also thoroughbred royalty and, reuniting with him in Kentucky, she's in his world now. But this infamous New York dominatrix is no simpering Southern belle, and Nora's dream of fitting into Wesley's world is perpetually at odds with the relentlessly seductive pull of Søren—her owner, her lover, the forever she cannot have. At least, not completely.

Meanwhile Nora's associate Kingsley Edge is only too happy to take her place at Søren's feet during her hiatus. Søren is the only man Kingsley has ever loved, and their dark, shared history has forged a bond that neither the years—nor Søren's love for Nora—can break. But a new threat from an old adversary is forcing Kingsley to confront the past, reminding him that he must keep his friends close, and his enemies closer.

“In all things involving Nora Sutherlin, proceed with caution.”

And so I come to the end of re-reading the first three Original Sinners books and find myself almost ready to, at last, start on “The Mistress”. And I have to say that the whole process of reading these books again has been an immense pleasure. I honestly think I enjoyed “The Siren”, “The Angel” and “The Prince” more on this second read than I did the first time. When I encountered these books first I got too caught up in the excitement of the stories, was in too much of a rush to get to the end, too desperate to find out what would happen to these characters to pay a lot of attention to the actual writing and any hidden hints or clues.

If I’m honest, I still had trouble slowing myself down while reading. Knowing the story, being well prepared for what was about to transpire didn’t make my need to witness it all again any less. But, I do think I got more out of this book this time around. Not only because I had read this book before but also because I was now more familiar with all the characters in the story which meant that references which had been meaningless on the first read suddenly took on a deeper meaning.

This review, like my reviews of the re-reads I did of “The Siren” and “The Angel”, will be loosely based around quotes from the book.  And to be perfectly honest, this is a rather random collection of quotes. I could have copied twice this amount of fragments with ease and they would have been just as powerful, beautiful and/or inspiring. But, since this is supposed to be a review and not an exercise in copying most of the book, I tried to restrain myself.

This is very clearly the penultimate book in this series. You can feel things coming to a head while the story progresses. The tension is definitely building, the sense of danger getting stronger and the clues as to who is threatening our Sinners easier to decipher. At the same time, this book gives us an insight in to Kingsley and his relationship with Søren as well as a close look at Wesley’s background.

Nora has once again left Søren for Wesley and has travelled to Kentucky with the young man she knows is probably wrong for her but can’t resist:

“Life with Søren seemed like a beautiful prison most days, a prison she would never leave. Only Wesley’s absence had made it feel like a punishment, not a palace...”

And while she misses Søren and the kinks only he can provide her with, Nora is delighted to be reunited with her former intern:

“God damn, she had missed this kid – so fucking much that being back with him hurt almost as much as letting him go had.”

For Wesley things are more straightforward. He loves Nora, he wants Nora and he desperately needs to keep Nora away from Søren and the pain the priest inflicts upon the woman Wesley adores.

“Damn. No other word for Nora Sutherlin. Just damn” (Wesley)

And, at long last, Nora and Wesley have their moment of intimacy; a first for both of them. Wesley loses his virginity and discovers a world of pleasure he never imagined existed:

“He worshipped at the altar of her body and for a moment he felt the power of their union as a communion” 

But it’s a first for Nora as well. As experienced as she may be in everything kinky, it isn’t until she gets together with Wesley that she experiences “vanilla” sex.

While Nora and Wesley are getting to know each other far more intimately, Kingsley and Søren are trying to figure out who is threatening their secrets and way of life. This journey will take them back to the school where they first met, the place where young Kingsley submitted to and fell deeply in love with Søren.

 “There is nothing you could do to me now that I wouldn’t want” 

And their coming together is a brutal one, without restraint or mercy and at times shocking but also powerful and heartbreaking.

“He’d run because he’d wanted to get caught. He’d let himself be stripped and violated. And when he surrendered himself to Søren, that had been the moment he became himself.” 

Yes, the scenes describing Søren and Kingsley’s affair where at times, for me, difficult to read. In fact, when I read the following quote I couldn’t help thinking that trying not to watch would probably be a wise decision on God’s part, although I couldn’t have looked away (or skimmed the pages) if somebody had paid me to do so.

“It did have the scent of destiny on it – you and I. God did bring us together. Only when we were that, I think He tried not to watch” (Kingsley to Søren)

UK edition
Because the way they share their love for each other may be way beyond my comfort zone, I can’t deny that it is also beautiful and intriguing. And I love the stark contrast between Kingsley and Søren’s relationship and the one between Nora and Wesley. 

And so I have once again the reached cliff-hanger that ends The Prince only this time I won’t have to wait ages before I find out how it will all end. I have my copy of “The Mistress” waiting for me and will be starting it in just a few days. I can’t wait to find out how Tiffany Reisz is going to pull all the story-lines together and how she will manage to give happy endings to most, if not all, of these characters.

Just because I can't resist and did enjoy linking a song to my review of "The Angel" I decided to include another one here. The links to the story in "The Prince" are tentative at best, but since the song includes the line "I think it's time to run" I figure I might get away with it. I hope you'll enjoy "Fever Dream - Fight or Flight" by Tara Kennedy.

And then there is one quote that I had to share just because I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment:

“A library should be a palace” (Søren)

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