Before I can begin my review of The Siren, I need to confess that Erotic novels are not typically at the top of my list. Yes, I’ve read plenty of books with steam but I’m the type of reader that will throw myself into a heavy mind bending thriller one week and then drown myself in a gag-me cutesy Happy Ever After story the next. My favorite part of reading is the ability to leave the world in which we live and dive head first into the world the author has created. I never found an Erotic novel that could do that for me…at least not until now.
I stumbled upon The Siren purely by accident. I guess Amazon knows me better than I do because I received an email suggesting The Siren based on my previous views and purchases (kind of makes me wonder what I was looking at online). Typically I delete these but that day I went against my own habits and opened it. I read the synopsis and thought…hmmm…interesting but let’s see how she writes. I’m not going to lie and tell you I fell in love after the first paragraph or even the first 5 pages. No, where Ms. Reisz dangled the worm in front of this fish was this exact line in Ch. 1: “I don’t want to write this story any more than you want to read it”. All the doubts I had about those cheesy hot-flash inducing erotic novels vanished and I didn’t bother to read further before clicking Buy Now. How can a simple line from a book within a novel make me feel like she was talking to me? I don’t know how she did it but I was determined to find out what else she had to say.
Ms. Reisz doesn’t throw her characters at you and expect you to keep up. She presents them with dainty little bows and a bat of the eyelashes before she reaches in her pocket for another. She lets you get close enough to feel like you know them, all the while keeping you at a distance while the others lurk in the shadows. First there is Zach and my, oh my, he’s British. A grumpy, ill-tempered book editor who’s only goal is to make those around him feel terrible while keeping his nose pressed to the glass wishing he was somewhere else is not exactly sexy but I was drawn to him. I have a soft spot for Brits, little known fact, so the minute he was introduced I wanted more of him, his posh attitude, and to see why this man was so angry with the world *insert sexy British accent here*.
Next we have the infamous Nora Sutherlin. What can I say about her? She’s everything you want to be and not at the same time. Nora is not the typical sexy protagonist who teases and tantalizes but has no real substance. No, she’s undeniably brazen, wildly sexy, fascinatingly funny, openly flawed, and above all she’s also a notorious erotica writer. Her stories alone are worth looking danger square in the eye and telling it to take a hike and my only wish is that I could get my hands on her novels. Not only did she take me into a world few can imagine but she took me even further into her world with brutally honest writing that rocked me with her revelations. It’s where these two worlds blended together that I became completely spellbound and unwilling to leave. Of course along with Nora comes her incredibly handsome and humble “assistant” Wesley. A young virginal teenager looking to share his heart with only one woman for a lifetime full of love, devotion, and affection that can make Prince Charming look like a doofus. Yes, he’s THAT guy that we’ve all been looking for and apparently they’re from Kentucky.
Now we have the conflict triangle in place. Or do we? As I suspected, Ms. Reisz was nowhere near finished introducing her cast of Sinners and the more she gave, the more I craved. By chapter 3, I was vaguely introduced to the catalytic character that immediately changed the pace at which I read this book. Again, Ms. Reisz did not throw more characters at me than I could handle. Instead she grabbed me by the throat with a slight whisper of one name…Søren. Not only does the name invoke extreme curiosity but even I ached for him as Nora did in that moment and I didn’t even know why. Who was this man? How did he get under my skin before I even knew him? Or do I truly know him now? Weeks later and two more trips through this book, I still don’t know how I feel about him. To say he’s pivotal is the same as calling an earthquake a good massage. He shook up my world like no other has before and with a terrible case of gluttony, I want more and more.
I love him.
I hate him.
I fear him.
I respect him.
Yes, this character conjured all of these feelings causing quite a clash in my head but trust me when I say, the list can go on. He pushed my boundaries and forced me to see religion and power in a light that scared me but kept me in its grasp and surprisingly, I didn’t want to be set free.
It was but a moment later that the intriguingly exotic man by the name of Kingsley was ushered into my world. As if we didn’t have enough heart-stopping men in the picture, she then tosses in the equivalent of a French orgasm into the mix. Yes, I just said that…out loud…and on the internet. I won’t say much about him, I’ll let him do all the talking for me and here’s another accent you will want ringing in your head, so listen closely. He is suave, debonair, and just oozes sexuality even through a phone.
Of course there were others that were brought into this web of a world but if I delve in to each one here, I might as well hand you the plot of the story too, and what fun would that be? I won’t go into details of the story line, but I have just introduced you to an Erotic writer, her short-tempered editor, a young virgin wiser than his years, a Frenchman with his hand in everything, and then there’s the enigmatic Søren. Intrigued yet?
To label this as simply erotica/BDSM erotica does not do it justice or give this story the opportunity to reach a wider audience. I want readers to ignore these labels, look past them, and just enjoy something for what it truly is…a superbly written story of faulted love, strengths and weaknesses of both the mind and heart, devotion, and of course perseverance. If there happens to be some steam, that’s purely a bonus in my book, then believe me when I say there’s plenty that will cause your face to flush, your heart to pound, and you will unintentionally make noises you have never uttered before! Ms. Reisz has developed a multitude of characters that are enticing, richly realistic, and whom are beautifully flawed both inside and out with a depth that you will feel well beyond the last page. She has given me more than just a taste but not enough to feel sated and for that, surprisingly, I love her to bits for it. Her style of writing is unlike any other I have experienced. Not only did she take me on a journey, she made me a part of a world that I didn’t want to leave. I was not just an observer. I was there, in those moments, feeling what they felt, seeing what they saw, and even hearing what they heard. I should hope by my words here you feel compelled to curl up with The Siren just as I did. I hope more readers can embrace it, absorb it, only to go back for more just as I have.
Ms. Reisz, you have managed to invade my mind, my heart, and a very short list of favorite authors and I am patiently waiting for more. Begging is not beneath me and I will continue to be your book pimp for as long as you continue to feed my hunger for The Sinners!