- 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.
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.
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!