Friday, August 3, 2012

My take on: The Siren

That front cover is very suggestive. It's not a kiddie story!! If you don't like erotica, I suggest you stop reading right now. I'm not sure if I even like erotica. I've only read two books in the genre. Unlike With My Body by Nikki Gemmell, The Siren kept my attention from start to finish.

If you're still here great!!! I'm still trying to process what I just read. The Siren by Tiffany Reisz opened my eyes to a culture that's very hard to wrap my brain around. How anyone could find pleasure in dominance, pain, humiliation, bondage, and submission is hard to understand. I came into this book thinking people like that are weird or crazy. I still have some of those thoughts, but Tiffany Reisz made this whole culture and the people in it seem more human, more relatable.

Famous erotica writer Nora Sutherlin is looking for a change, another challenge. Her latest book has the potential to be the best, if she can get it published. She has shopped around her book to several publishers before it lands on the desk of Zachary Easton, an editor at Royal Publishing. His immediate reaction is to reject it. Zach likes serious writers who write serious books. How can an erotica writer be taken seriously by the masses when Zach doesn't himself? A writer like Nora is totally outside of his comfort zone. But his boss J.P. knows Nora's book in Zach's capable hands can be magic. Her book could bring Royal a higher profile. Zach takes on the challenge but only if Nora can rewrite and edit the book in six weeks. After six weeks Zach is off to a new life at the West Coast office.

Nora accepts Zach's challenge, but it doesn't come without consequences for both. An editor becoming emotionally and sexually attracted to a writer isn't supposed to happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does happen. Only Nora is no ordinary writer. She has a much younger live-in intern, Wesley, who does his best to concentrate on school but Nora doesn't make it easy. They swear their relationship hasn't crossed THAT line.

At times, it seemed like Wesley was the parent and Nora the child. He wants to protect her in every way possible, but Nora doesn't believe she needs protection. She can be vulnerable whenever she's around her ex-lover Soren. Their relationship was all about dominance and power. Soren had all the power. Nora found pleasure when he punished her. The bruises hurt Nora physically, but not emotionally which is what Wesley can't understand. But Nora can also be powerful and dominant in her side career as a dominatrix. Yes a dominatrix!!! I'm not going into details on that one, but after reading it I can see how someone could be empowered by dominance.

Zach has no idea what he is getting himself into. Compared to Nora, Zach lives in a very straight-laced world. But when they meet, Zach is instantly smitten by Nora. He's been separated from his wife for months, and Nora awakens feelings Zach hasn't felt in a long time. But he's afraid of these feelings. If he embraces them, does that mean he is like Nora? Like Nora, Zach has his personal demons. He's running from his relationship with his estranged wife. Nora, despite years of separation, is still running from Soren. Zach and Nora have to face their demons or they will always be running.

I was thoroughly engrossed in this book. Yes there are graphic sex scenes, but they're not gratuitous. My fear in reading books like this in the past was gratuitous sex scenes. Ok they went to dinner, now sex. They talk for 20 minutes, now sex. They take the trash out, now sex. That is what's keeping me from reading Fifty Shades of Grey. To me, the sex scenes in The Siren are more of a backdrop. The relationships between the characters are what drive the book, not the sex. You want to see if Nora, Zach, and Wesley can find happiness or at least some middle ground. In the last 80 pages, I was wondering if there would be a happy ending. I guess that comes from reading so many traditional romance stories. This isn't a traditional story, but everyone seems to have found their way by the end.

Rating: O.M.G. !!!

Note: I received a copy of the book from Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

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