In the beginning, there was him.
Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn’t want to break. She’s sick of her mother’s zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she’ll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they’re apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can’t be right.
But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets.
Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.
Tiffany Reisz lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her boyfriend (a reformed book reviewer) and two cats (one good, one evil). She graduated with a B.A. in English from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky and is making both her parents and her professors proud by writing BDSM erotica under her real name.
When not under arrest, Tiffany enjoys Latin Dance, Latin Men, and Latin Verbs. She dropped out of a conservative southern seminary in order to pursue her dream of becoming a smut peddler. Johnny Depp’s aunt was her fourth grade teacher. Her first full-length novel THE SIREN was inspired by a desire to tie up actor Jason Isaacs (on paper). She hopes someday life will imitate art (in bed).
THE SIREN was awarded the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance 2012.
If she couldn’t write, she would die.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 stars –
This was how it would be.
This was how it would happen.
This was the beginning.
This was the end.
The Saint is the first of a prequel series to Reisz’s much loved Original Sinner’s series and to say I was excited for this would be an understatement. A story that would take us back to the beginning of Soren & Nora & Kingsley and give us those details that just add even more layers to the characters we know and love … I couldn’t ask for much more.
I wasn’t expecting the format this story was told in… mostly because it is reminiscent of The Mistress. When we first meet up with Norah it’s present time and she’s just traveled a long distance. You can feel her despair and helplessness with each and every page you turn, but you don’t know exactly why. Someone shows up on her doorstep… someone who wants to know everything about her. He wants to know how and why she has become the person she is and so the story begins. This book shifts back and forth between present and past, (and kudos to Reisz for making the transitions smooth and seamless) as Nora reminisces about first meeting Soren and how they came to be who and where they are. But in order to do that she has to start here…
“Once there lived… a priest.”
The white years story focuses on Nora’s transition from the 15 year old girl named Elle who first meets Soren, to the woman, Eleanor, who learns about him and loves him in spite of the things he feels should have her running the other way… We learn more about her family situation and that big mistake she made that puts her deep in debt to Soren. But we also get brief snippets of her time now… with her mystery guest and those parts had me just as riveted to the story.
This glimpse at the young Elle and what some might view as an infatuation with Soren was so wonderful to see. She never holds back and she’s sassy and blunt and wants more than he can give her at the time, but you can see his fondness and adoration for this young girl who has turned his world upside down. Seeing Soren not take advantage of her… seeing him push her to make choices for herself, to know all the information about him up front and look at all her options before choosing him was definitely enlightening.
”Little One, to be with me is to hurt.”
In true Reisz fashion she plays with your emotions
a bit a lot in this one…. And that’s really all I’m going to say about that.
But it’s glorious and you will love every single second of it.
Admittedly this book and this series is absolutely not going to be for everyone. I can understand that. But I think the best part of this story is the way Reisz weaves it all together … bringing in elements from the other books … Nora’s pen name, Kingsley’s sister … we get to know these characters just that little bit more and I think anyone who reads this can appreciate the layered and complex characters that have been created . While I most certainly have no desire to experience this lifestyle, I am intrigued by it and Reisz writes this in a way that helps me understand their need for it. There are some absolutely brutal things that occur, but it isn’t coming out of left field and it makes sense to me.
A couple favorite quotes that I loved:
”I don’t break furniture during sex. I break people.”
”My definition of foreplay is usually classified as assault.”
If you read my reviews for the previous books, you know that I already had very strong feelings about Soren. But turning the last page in this book only solidified those feelings. It was so perfect to have Nora’s story on how they met and how he cared for her and yes… falls in love with her. You already know his feelings for her because of the previous books, but just being able to experience the why of those feelings was perfection.
”Because there is nothing I wouldn’t do to protect you, Eleanor. Nothing I wouldn’t do to help you and nothing I wouldn’t do to save you.”
I don’t know what to say about Tiffany Reisz’s writing that I haven’t already… her characters are captivating and compelling and complicated and always, always, always leave you wanting to know more. More about their lives, more about their choices and more about their feelings, even when the whole story has been told. It’s filled with smart, witty dialogue… moments of humor and definite moments of sadness. Reisz’s masterful storytelling keeps you guessing until the final pages as to what is happening and I can’t express to you any more than I have, how much you need to experience this love story for yourself.
”You’re not a normal priest, are you?” He gave her a smile that hit her like a slap to the face and a kiss on the mouth all at once.
“My God, I hope not.”
Thank you to Harlequin and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.