So this book… I have had this book for a while, sitting on it, occasionally taking a peek at it and then putting it to the side. Mostly because anytime someone mentions it on twitter this is all I see in my tweetline
I have joined that group of people. I tend not to believe the hype about a lot of things, so keep that in mind when I tell you that this lives up to all the hype and more.
I wasn’t riveted so much with the bdsm and smut of it, instead, Reisz dragged me in with the characters she has created. Kingsley, Wesley, Soren, Zach Nora and even Grace are all incredibly layered and fascinating.
This book isn’t so much about bdsm as it is about love and its many varied forms and the way we perceive it. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always easy, it doesn’t fit in a certain sized box and it can certainly be heartbreaking.
Nora… I was afraid of her in the beginning, much like Zach. She’s this incredible woman, an erotica author and domme, she is revered and she has grasped her femininity and her power and sexuality and makes no excuses for her behavior. She’s strong, she’s intelligent and she is powerful.
This book starts with her attempting to become a respected author, and she need Zach to do that.
Zach… Zach is Nora’s editor. I think I fell in love with him in this book. While he certainly didn’t start out that way, as I got to know him in this book, I found him to be wonderfully brilliant and devastatingly charming. With issues and problems of his own, he manages to form a bond with Nora and I absolutely loved the chemistry between these two.
“Why my personal life is of such fascination to you, I cannot fathom.”
“I’m a cat. You’re a shiny object.”
“I am, aren’t I? Somebody should spank me.” She sighed. “So you’re kind of an asshole. No offense.”
“And you appear to be two or three words I don’t feel quite comfortable saying aloud.”
But then again, I loved Nora’s chemistry with every man in her life.
One of my favorite editor notes he left for her:
Forgive me for copy editing, but it must be said-you have raped the semicolon yet again. Stop it. It wasn’t asking for it no matter how it was dressed. If you don’t know how to use punctuation then do away with it all together, write like Faulkner and we’ll pretend it’s on purpose.”
Wesley, her nineteen year old ‘intern’ revealed a whole different layer to Nora. What is this femme fatale doing with a nineteen year old, innocent country boy … and she almost became this other person when in his presence.
Soren is so incredibly complicated. I found myself wanting to hate him… hate this power he seemed to have over Nora, but by the end of the book I respected him. Soren is her Ex … ex everything, the man that she will love for the rest of her life whether they are together or not. He’s like this hovering presence all the time for her. You will find yourself wanting to hate him like me but I think that once you read this, your mind will change.
Here is one of my favorite passages in this book:
To him Grace was the open arms he fell into when he crawled into bed at 2:00 a.m. after staying up reading a new manuscript. She was the laughing water thief in the shower at least once morning a week. She was the quiet comfort and the hand he’d been unable to let go of at his mother’s funeral three years ago. Unable to get the words past his throat, Grace had taken his notes from his hand and read his eulogy for him. She was every evening and every morning and every night, and during the day when they were apart he was always happy knowing evening and night and morning were coming again.
I keep finding myself writing something and then deleting it in this review simply because I want those who haven’t read it yet, to experience it as I did… as it unfolds.
As I said above, the story isn’t pretty and at one point I was so angry at Nora, but even now as I type this up, my thoughts on the situation are ever evolving and I get it, I truly do – but I didn’t want it LOL (that will make more sense once you read the book!)
I won’t lie, this book isn’t for everyone – there are some definitely jarring scenes that occur and it’s not for the faint of heart – but it’s (what I would guess) a realistic view of BSDM. (not that glossed over shit called FSoG) And this book shows you the beauty of this type of relationship… it’s not something to fix, or correct – they embrace it and enjoy it and live it. And what Reisz shares with us is beautiful.
Thank you for a kick ass ‘shero’ (she + hero lol) and telling a story that really pulled me in and made me think… I’m still thinking about it even though I finished reading it 8 hours ago, and I’m sure I’ll still be thinking about it for days to come.