The Angel ~ Tiffany Riesz

  • Title: The Angel
  • Author: Tiffany Riesz
  • Series: The Original Sinners #2
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  No safe word can protect the heart. Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.

Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.

But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  If I had to describe the book with one word, it would be uncomfortable. The story isn’t about rosy love. The elements that make up this novel are similar to the one before: dark, edgy, painful, luxurious, decadent, devious, delightful, sad, terrifying and a different kind of happily ever after.

Michael is a young man whose father labeled as a monstrous fag when he found his son looking up information on bondage and erotic pictures of men. In despair, Michael tried to kill himself and Soren helped to pull him away from the edge with a promise. Several years later, Nora and Micheal are sent away for the summer as the church becomes a political hotbed. At Griff’s family home in the wealthiest boonies, the trio spend a riotous time together as Michael learns about BDSM and how to be a good submissive.

Soren lives in the shadows and pulls strings upon the complicated web that he weaves amongst those he loves and guides.

Nora must face her heart but she won’t until Soren gives her no choice but to see.

I wasn’t shocked by anything that came up in the story but man I felt really uncomfortable with certain aspects. Sexual abuse is terrible! Especially abuse with young children. To read that Soren & Elizabeth had an incestuous relationship when they were children was profoundly icky. Marcus raping a nanny, his wife and daughter. Terrifying.

Soren. Too brilliant for his own good. He’s intelligent, caring, twisted, and really horrifying. Definitely someone I would want to hug and kick at the same time. His need to cut and bleed Nora is not okay. It’s not normal and it’s not something even Nora is comfortable with. In the first book, I came away with the thought that while Nora may not be entirely into BDSM, she does love it and enjoys it quite a bit. Sex isn’t sex without the violence for her and I can get that. I can understand that’s how it is and that’s what she needs. That’s why the relationship with Soren is the only one she thinks she needs. After reading the entirety of this book, I’m not sure BDSM is what Nora wants or really needs. The cutting? Oh, she doesn’t like it at all. She justifies why she won’t hate it and why she will do it. All for the love of a man who has been the very foundation of her life and heart.

I didn’t care for Suzanne at all. She was in the story as a tool to move the plot along. She should have made the story more alive, interesting, complicated, etc. Instead, those scenes felt mostly forced, whiny and not really necessary.

Going by the first two books in this series, I’m not sure if the relationship between Soren and Nora will work. If he needs her to be his slave without question 24/7, she will die from not being able to grow into her potential. She’s a very strong character, and Soren does know how to push her to certain points but he is blind to how much she will sacrifice to be with him.

The pregnancy. Hm. That scare was talked about before and brought into entirety here. I don’t think it was enough to make her leave him. I don’t believe it. That memory, the scenario as Nora told Micheal… it’s harsh, painful and vivid but it doesn’t really resonate with how I see Soren or Nora in my mind.

I’m guessing the next book is going to describe how Nora is going to try to have both of the men she loves in her life but it won’t work. Their love, in their shaded ways, are too possessive and devouring in its need for the whole of Nora’s heart, mind & body. If the three of them could live together, that would be what Nora wants the most but there is no way in hell Wes will be able to stand seeing the damage on Nora’s skin that Soren needs to inflict.

There are beautiful moments! Watching Mick and Griff fall in love was tender, loving, raunchy and heartbreakingly awws. Wes remembering Nora and why he loves her. Soren meeting Suzanne at Adam’s grave. Nora playing with Owen.

This book was difficult for me to read because there’s a lot of dark elements. Love is complicated. However, I don’t think it’s a wound that never heals. I don’t like that imagery. I do like how this story shows that love is complicated, comes in all forms, some you understand and others you won’t but it’s all in varying shades of light and dark.

Beautiful.

Devastating.

I may have to hold off on reading the next book. I think I rather have the last one in my hands before I read the next. That way, I won’t have to wait to see what happens!

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License to Ensorcell ~ Katharine Kerr

  • Title: License to Ensorcell
  • Author: Katharine Kerr
  • Series: Nola O’Grady #1
  • Genre: UF, Mystery
  • Format: ebook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 2 out of 5

Description:  Psychic Agent Nola O’Grady isn’t sure returning to San Francisco, and living near her unusual family, is a good idea. Her job, with a psychic agency so obscure even the CIA doesn’t know it exists, can be perilous, and she’s afraid of the relatives getting involved.
Then the Agency saddles her with Israeli secret agent Ari Nathan, and she has a bigger problem on her hands, because tact and compromise are not Ari’s strong points. Their mission is to track down a serial killer obsessed with werewolves. He sees them everywhere and shoots whenever he thinks he has one in his sights. Ari assumes the man’s psychotic, but in truth he’s murdering actual werewolves. Nola should know. Her younger brother Pat, a lycanthrope, was the first victim. Can Nola’s psychic talents and Ari’s skill with guns keep them alive long enough to unravel the greater mystery behind the killings? Can they save the werewolves and the world while stopping Nola’s family from running headlong into danger?

Review:  2.75 Stars

Nola O’Grady is from a large family with peculiar quirks & talents. She works for a unnamed branch of the government that keeps an eye on Chaos and maintains Harmony in the US. Her latest assignment lands her back home in San Francisco, right in the midst of family love & squabbles and joining forces with Ari Nathan to track down a killer. A killer that may have also been the one to kill her brother Patrick, a werewolf.

I’ve had this book listed to read in my pile of books for a while and brought it up as a something to share in a Buddy read with a friend. When asked to pick a book between this one and another, I picked License to Ensorcell because it made me laugh with the very first line! I took that to be an excellent beginning. However, as I read the story, I found myself fighting to read the book. The premise has a lot of potential and the O’Gradys are fascinating group. The mystery or the family should have been the driving force but it’s not.

The setting takes place in San Francisco but I’m constantly thrown into a loop by Nola’s speech. She sounds like a Brit half the time. The slang in the story doesn’t vibe with being in the States. Too much of the story takes place inside Nola’s mind as she worries in a vague manner about the case and her family.

I’m much more fascinated by Michael, the seventh child of a seventh child and the youngest of the O’Grady clan. Kerr’s short “observation” about Michael’s potential of becoming a stark, hard man of intelligence, honor and outsider intrigued my interest more than the whole book.

I think I need to give the series another chance and read the next book. I’ll take a while before I come back to this series. What a disheartening way to react to an author that I love! I’ve been reading Kerr’s work for a good chunk of my life. It’s odd to dislike something she’s written.

Seven Day Loan ~ Tiffany Riesz

  • Title: Seven Day Loan
  • Author: Tiffany Riesz
  • Series: The Original Sinners #0.5
  • Genre: Erotica, Short Story
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  A trained submissive, Eleanor will do whatever her master commands…even spend a week with a stranger. Daniel has been a recluse since his wife’s death, and Eleanor’s lover thinks spending time with her will be therapeutic–especially since Daniel is also a Dom.

Despite her defiant streak, Eleanor can’t resist giving in to Daniel’s erotic demands. But while she’ll let him have her body, she’s determined to keep a guard around her heart. Even if Daniel wants to make Eleanor his permanently…

Review:  The first small tale of Eleanor and how her exuberant, rebellious spirit charms a lonely man to run heedlessly past the gates he imprisoned himself within. I grinned, snorted, rolled my eyes, grimaced, felt warm & fuzzy, and wistful as I read this short story. I kind of wish the ending was different but if it was, that would change all that follows and that wouldn’t be right.

Little Red Riding Crop ~ Tiffany Riesz

  • Title: Little Red Riding Crop
  • Author: Tiffany Riesz
  • Series: The Original Sinners #0.6
  • Genre: Erotica, Short Story
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewer: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  BDSM erotica writer Tiffany Reisz fractures the famous Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale in this sexy short story, a free prequel to THE SIREN (Mira Books, August 2012).

Mistress Nora needs a vacation. She might be the one flogging the clients, but Kingsley, her sexy French boss, is the real sadist who rarely gives her a day off. They strike a backseat deal: Nora gets one month off and a trip to Europe if she can sneak into a rival BDSM club and get the dirt on the owner. But she’ll need more than her little red riding crop when she comes face to face with Brad Wolfe, the one man who stands between her and freedom.

Only readers 18 and older please.

Review:  3.5 Stars

Two complaints:

1. Too short!
2. Ha! The sex was rather tame & a little vanilla–considering. 😉

Nora’s the best and King knows it. He lures her with a promise of a month long break if she’ll do one favor for him. With very little thought, Nora agrees to infiltrate a rival BDSM club and find out it’s secrets. Dressed to kill in red leather and protected from the drizzle-pouring rain with a red cloak, Nora charms her way into the club by agreeing to submit to Brad for one hour.

Nora may be the one willingly submitting herself to Brad, but he is the one who ends up being caught in Nora’s unbridled response.