The Siren - Tiffany Reisz



I'm going to have to wrench and pry something out of me to write about this book.


*stands up and shakes it out*


I want to recommend this, but I'm terrified to take that step. I hated everything about this book. I LOVED this book. I'm still a little wrecked.


If I had known what this book was about, read any reviews, read the synopsis, basically did anything other than go into this book blind, I would NOT have cracked the spine (or swiped past that title page). So I say this; if you're to read it, I beg you to read it that way, completely unspoiled. You have one singular chance at discovery.


Nora, a erotica author and paid Domme, wants nothing more than to get this very personal story on paper in a way that does it justice - she turns to a celebrated lit fic editor, Zachary Easton, to help her create something worth reading. The Siren is so multi-faceted that it's impossible to really give a worthy synopsis, but suffice it to say that Nora's struggle to create this piece of her heart is one that could very significantly change her life, and one that does change Zach's. I felt for each character in so far as I wanted them to be healthy and whole, but I didn't get emotionally manipulated and pulled into their negative space.


And there is a lot of negative space.


My personal opinion is that this story could only have be written once - only needed to be written once. Unlike so many other erotica books on the market that are regurgitations of the same story, this is painfully, uncomfortably original. Even though it's not a romance, and it doesn't have a traditional HEA, and most everything about it is non-conventional, this is a heart breaking read that doesn't really break your heart - it followed the first rule in S & M :


It hurt, but it didn't harm.




MAJOR SPOILER here where I'm just going to get out what I want to say for the record about my feels:




I was so horrifically fascinated by the use of theology and psychology that I could not let go. My entire evening was blown reading. I couldn't believe what was happening - all the things that I was saying "NO" to - Nora's beatings by Soren, the reveal that Soren is her Priest, the underage boy, Wesley, Wesley, Wesley, every scene Nora wrote to demolish her demons, Nora's dungeon scene with Sheridan.


Her faith in God.


Soren's faith in God.


The fact that theology, faith and the trinity was part of a book about Sadism. Can I just copy and paste that entire exchange that blew me away!? I understand that nuances of this are as old as the hills - but to read it in this format? It worked and I'm really distrubed that it did.


I just hated all of it, and to be confusing and contradictory, the thing I loved most is that NOTHING was romanticized. I actually am in tears about that little fact - this was full of painful and harmful things, but it was UGLY. Reisz really lifted me right out of the story somehow from the beginning and I was able to keep my distance and not get emotionally attached. I was eager to read about them, and I felt for them - but I was always kept at arm’s length somehow. The only really emotional part was Zach reuniting with Grace and that a marriage was healing. Such a brilliant play on Reisz's part in my opinion - after reading a book of pain to have that moment of effervescent joy, leaving the reader with pleasure? Yes, that.

(show spoiler)