Laurie Gold's Reviews > The Siren

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz
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's review
May 28, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: contemp-erotic-rom
Read in May, 2012

I downloaded The Siren from Netgalley after reading very good things about it from people I know online. It's a full-length erotic romance, very densely written, and highly disturbing, at least to me. The story involves Nora Sutherlin, an erotic romance writer who wants to spread her wings and write in a more literary fashion. For that to happen she needs a literary editor, and sets her sights on Zachary Easton, a brilliant Brit living in New York and working at Royal House Publishers. Though his boss is keen on Zachary signing Nora, the editor is extremely skeptical about the woman, her writing, and her lifestyle. He will sign her only if they completely re-write the book in the six weeks he plans to remain in New York before moving to the West Coast to head up Royal's L.A. office.

Nora is a beautiful woman who began to write after ending a thirteen year relationship with her Master, seemingly the most dominant of Doms in New York. Reisz details their D/s relationship in great detail. There's a Big Secret involving her Master, and its revelation so shocked me that I found it difficult to continue reading. Actually, the entire book was difficult to read. The explicit BDSM scenes go far beyond what I can handle, and I continued, with great trepidation, only because so many people I know thought this was a phenomenal book.

Nora's assistant Wesley is a young college student from a conservative family. He is in love with Nora. She loves him, but because he is such an innocent soul, they attempt to remain platonic. While not as disturbing as Nora's relationship with her one-time Master, her scenes with Wesley disturbed me greatly, particularly as the story progressed and each pushed the limits they had set for themselves.

Zachary is separated from his wife, who remained in London after his move to New York. Nora and Zachary attract and repel each other, and this push and pull magnifies as Nora realizes her editor remains in love with his wife. As writer and editor fight each other while working together on a book the latter believes could be brilliant, they indulge in sexual teasing, which culminates in their giving in to their desires late in the book, after Zachary has revealed his own Big Secret. As with most of the sex in The Siren their sex is difficult and painful to read.

Nora, of course, has her own Big Secret that she only wants to reveal to Zachary at the right moment, which of course doesn't happen. Three Big Secrets in the course of one book is probably two to many, particularly when they are layered, as they are in this book. Although I've read erotic romance for more than half a dozen years, I learned that I'm too vanilla for this one. OTOH, those who enjoy books filled with damaged people who indulge in deliberately extreme and provocative behavior may have a different response.

While I didn't like this book, its disturbing aspects gave me pause. Because I kept reading until the end, I must credit the author for at least that much.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Shari Thank you for a thoughtful review. I too got this off Net Galley when I read such great reviews. Some of Nora's past was revealed in the book Seven Day Loan, which was well written, but one huge problem that I am sure was Nora's secret in this book. I am about 33% through The Siren and trying to decide if it is worth finishing.

MaryReadsRomance You were right on.. the disturbing aspects only increase. I am sad to say I gave an initial positive review but regretted it by book 4

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