[487]: Warlord by Lana Grayson

warlord GOODREADS SUMMARY
Tika Lake Publishing | E-book via Net Galley
November 28th, 2014
Series: Anathema, #1
Adult Fiction | Romance | Erotica
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


Admittedly,  my reading choices as of late have veered towards indulgence. Since recently shedding any care to other people’s opinions about my selections, reading has gotten even more fun. While Warlord isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, it was for the most part, something that I used to read in the darkest crevice of my closet.

I don’t really know what  evil possessed me to request this on Net Galley. Even though I used to be a fan of books set in this world, I’ve haven’t read one in the longest while.  After reading Madeline Sheehan’s Undeniable three years ago, I’ve kind of been traumatized.

Warlord, for all intents and purposes has everything you would expect from a novel that features warring Motorcycle Clubs. In the middle of the melee, is one Rose Darnell. For most of her life, she’s avoided being caught up in that world. But when she found herself in the wrong side of a territory war, it left her no other choice but to accept Anathema’s protection and the mercy of its leader, Thorne Radek.

Thorne is your stereotypical alpha male. He’s a brute; he’s unforgiving, and one who has a tunnel vision when he sees what he wants. While he didn’t really exercise gratuitous force in overpowering Rose’s will, he had moments where he’d shown tenderness was not his strong suit. In any case, he played the part to a T.

Being an Anathema is in Rose’s blood, but she chose to live away from all the bad things associated with the stigma. In fact, she’d rather worked as a paltry-paid diner waitress than never have to worry about rent money. But as most people in her situation would find out, something cataclysmic always happens to pull them back in.

In most cases with these type of books, readers will be put through wringer. I was always on tenterhooks; waiting for that moment when the story would show its monstrous teeth. It didn’t disappoint. If you’re like me, one who is  squeamish about sexual abuse, Rose’s story is as stomach-churning as they come.

For the most part, I think Ms. Grayson started off on the right foot with this series. Though you’ll be hard-pressed to find originality with this book, it’s still amazing that this is her debut work. I’m still on the fence on whether I’ll continue on with this series, but if you’re a fan of bikers, Warlord is a good addition to your collection.

 

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Spin [Songs of Corruption, #1] by C.D. Reiss

WARNING: Mature review for a mature book.

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GOODREADS SUMMARY
Self-Published | Paperback, 233 pages
March 12th, 2014
Adult Fiction | Erotica
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I tend to find some treasures when I do my rounds around the blogosphere. I’ve bought some books that come highly recommended by trusted friends. Some work out for the best; some not so. Lately, I’ve been feeling the gentle persuasion from a couple of bloggers. And in their defence, the nudging is usually unintentional. They don’t force my hand, per se. But man, do they ever make the best cases through their reviews. This book, in particular, came with the stamp of approval from the ladies of Nocturnal Book Reviews. Those ladies know a thing or two about steamy Erotica, so I tend to listen when they say, “buy the book!”.

Antonio Spinelli may be construed as a dominating, overbearing man, but he’s putty when it comes to Theresa. His fascination with her ran deeper than physical attraction at first. In fact, his curiosity about the fiery but level-headed woman was rooted to the fact that she’s always composed in the face of adversity. Having just been publicly shamed by a cheating ex-fiance, Theresa maintained her cool as a cucumber disposition throughout the whole ordeal. She faced members of the intrusive media with such poise, and was not afraid to answer difficult questions. But that’s not all where she’s shown some fearlessness. She’s fiercely loyal, which led her to some precarious situations involving a loan shark, a member of a rival mafia, and near deaths on a couple of instances. In short, the girl is deemed worthy of the “life”.

Of course, Theresa was initially apprehensive about the charismatic man’s attention . He’s dark and mysterious, and to some extent, could sense the dangerous air about him. It didn’t take long for her to find out exactly how dangerous he is. To be perfectly honest, Theresa’s back and forth about Spin was a bit irritating, but once she got over her hang-ups, the fun times begin *winks*.  Yeah, so these two win the award for dirty talk during sex; they back that up with pornographic er, sex (somewhat redundant, but oh well). The only reason why I mentioned that is to warn readers that this is indeed, Erotica. It’s not pretending to be something it’s not, and the author knows a thing or two about realistic, raunchy sex. Theresa is a contradicting character, in my opinion. While she could set the feminist movement some years back at times, there are also instances where she ran circles around Spin. It’s all about distribution of powers, I say. And I don’t have any problem with that.

If Erotica is your thing, this book will not disappoint. As for the writing, and plot? She’ll have you wanting the next book now. Their story just began, and I feel that there’ll be a lot more action, gore, and yeah, heartbreak in the coming books. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next one, for sure.

 

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The Professional [The Game Maker, #1] by Kresley Cole

The Professional [The Game Maker, #1] by Kresley Cole
Pocket Star | E-book
Publication Date: December 16th, 2013
Adult Fiction, Erotica
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

My first venture to Kresley Cole’s written world came with fireworks – and I mean that this slight book exploded in all its erotic glory. Regardless of how I felt for its ending (if I had blue balls, they’ll be violet), it’d left me just enough to salivate for the next series of novellas.  


Quick Story:

Natalie Porter hired an investigator to find her biological parents. When the PI lost contact, she’d just about lost all hope. But an encounter with the immovable Aleksandr brings about a family history and legacy that she may not be ready for. It turns out that she’s the lone daughter of a powerful Russian mob boss and Aleksandr is his right hand – which means that she’s off limits and vice versa. If word gets out that she’s alive, her father’s enemies will be chomping at the bits to take down the Mafiya boss through a long lost daughter. With her life in danger, she’s whisked away to Russia against her will.  

Before they even landed on Russian soil, Aleksandr and Natalie indulged in a game one of them was not ready to finish but will continue until one of them breaks. “Are you ready to play?” seem a little mild of an invitation for what Aleksandr has in mind though.
My Thoughts:

This book must’ve caught me on a good day because I normally would be rolling my eyes at the copious sprinkles of cheddar in the dialogues and some situations but I have to admit that I ended up enjoying this.  Oh heck, who am I kidding? It was the most erotic, non-sex, sex, all right? It was such a tease! The foreplay was just too much of a preamble for the ‘real thing’, and what’s worse? They didn’t even get  there. Ugh. It’s the primary reason why I’m jonesing for the next book. I did request it from Net Galley but they didn’t get back to me. Sob.
There is something inherently dangerous charming about a big bad russkie and Aleksandr fit the fantasy to a t. Surly, possessive, hot and cold and frustrating as hell [see blue balls]. 

Other than that, there’s not much to say about this book. If you’re looking for some mindless entertainment, well, you’ve come to the right place. It’s funny and sexy. 

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Tampa by Alissa Nutting

Tampa by Alissa Nutting
Ecco | Hardcover, 266 pages
Published July 2nd, 2013
Adult Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

The story of a pedophile who preys on young boys, Tampa is a cringe-worthy read that will push your gag-reflex to its limits. When I picked up this book, I knew what I was getting into; it is  shelved under “morbid-curiosity” shelf in my Goodreads, after all. Regardless of the disgusting subject matter that’s a normal repellant for me, I opted to pick it up because I’ve always been a believer that no one could learn by being comfortable. Sometimes, you have to test your boundaries. Well, this book, had me shifting uncomfortably and sweating under the collar.

I wasn’t expecting love; not even the sweet thrill of forbidden romance. Instead, I got this story of an unscrupulous, unrepentant woman whose hunting style rivals that of a serial killer profiling her next victim. She’s got it down to Science – everything from maintaining her teen-boys-wet-dream’s appearance to drugging her husband to avoid sex (that happens pretty regularly); not to mention the way she meticulously picked her victim. It wasn’t just that they have to be somewhat appealing, but the boys would have to have the right psychological make-up. She’s cunning and – dare I say it – brilliant.

There’s nothing else to be gleaned off this story but the flimsy divide between love and obsession – sickness, too. Her sole focus was on her selfish need to satiate her desire to have sex with fourteen-year-old boys. She was repulsed by the mere thought of having sex with her husband, who incidentally, was much older than she. Her obsession with little boys started when she was a teenager herself. I guess you can say she never really got over it.

I’d imagined pedophiles to be contrite once they were caught. Not Celeste. Her sickness didn’t stop. Even while briefly incarcerated the sexual fantasies didn’t stop. She looked forward to getting out not to  create a different life or to seek help. She looked forward to being around children once again.

This is a story of a one-sided love; one that predictably ended badly. Celeste loved only herself; while her victim loved her in a way that’s no less motherly.

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The Barker Triplets by Juliana Stone

About two weeks ago, I finally gave in and replaced my iPad. It was the original iPad that my kids have long since inherited. This thing is filled to the hilt with games. Needless to say, it’s slow as molasses.

I decided to buy an early Christmas present for myself and picked up the iPad Air. It’s slight. Slim. Speedy. I’m in love. So the first thing I did after I set it up was to explore iBooks and all the freebies that are available – something that I never really did with my old iPad.

After I downloaded the requisite Classics, I explored some more and found some romance, paranormal, and even some Young Adult. Well this is how I found Juliana Stone.

The first book of the Barker Triplets got me hooked. I’ve always been a fan of sports and romance and Offside features a retired hockey player who had no choice, but to hang up her skates due to a concussion.

The second book, Collide is about the middle Barker, who used to be the other half of a twosome trouble. Years go by; life happens. She then reinvented herself and became the responsible adult that everyone wanted her to be. But when her ex-partner in crime comes back, she starts craving for the reckless things she used to do.

The third book, Conceal is about the most troubled Barker. A former supermodel who lived way too fast and had fallen with a resounding thud from the life she used to know. When a big shot Hollywood actor sets his sights on a has-been junkie, she can’t help but think that he’s got an ulterior motive…and he does.

It only took one book. One freaking book to fall in love with Stone’s characters and stories. Sure they are romance and slightly veering towards Erotica (okay, yes, it’s Erotica) but man, when you’re stuck in a reading rut, and you need something quick and dirty, Juliana Stone was the cure all for my slump.

Her characters have layers and personalities entirely their own. The male leads are hot and the sex even more so. But that’s not the only draw of Stone’s books. She’s got some depth to each and everyone’s stories: their father is losing his battle with symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but their grandfather is far from going senile. The heroes also has problems of their own that just made them a bit more real and less than perfect. And of course, the triplets.

Billie-Jo has always dealt with the sexist perception that women are not allowed to play professional hockey. So she took her talent to Sweden (they allow women to play in men’s league over there. Go Sweden!). But when she suffered a career-ending concussion, she had little choice but to go back to her hometown. Her book explores all the idiocy of men: sexist, chauvinist, no-girls-are-allowed-in-our-club attitude.

Bobbi-Jo didn’t have a choice but to stick around while her older and younger sister goes off and have the lives they’ve always wanted. She grew up and became a no non-sense practical girl who is willing to marry a man slightly more exciting than a rice cake. But when prodigal son, Shane Gallagher gets out of prison, she starts thinking about what was waiting for her after she marries a man for practical reasons. Yeah well. That’s no biggie, isn’t it? Why would you hang around a guy who doesn’t give you O? This one’s a no-brainer.

The third book, Betty-Jo’s story was one that I was dreading reading. Let’s just say that the woman gets around in the first two books…that is, that’s what Juliana wanted you to believe. Her story is heartbreaking and I think favourite among the three.

Sorry this has gone on too long. Just…just read them, will you?

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Wild Card [Elite Ops, #1] by Lora Leigh

Gratuitous sex couldn’t save this dense novel from mediocrity
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Wild Card
By Lora Leigh
St. Martin’s Griffin | Paperback, 418 pages
Let’s give credit, where credit is due. Lora Leigh knows how to write suspense and action. And though I give her props for writing some pretty steamy sex scenes, I have to say that after three or four of them, I was reduced to a yawning, bored reader. But if you’re looking for the type of Erotica that features an aggressive alpha-male who seems to be angry at all times, then this book is exactly your cup of tea. 
Let it be known that I like sex…er, in books. And while I get that Noah was still dealing with the after effects from an overdosed (not self-induced) of a Viagra-like drug, I have to say that I overdosed myself while reading this book. The sex, the dirty talk…but mostly the sex. It was gratuitous and repetitive. At one point, I think Lora Leigh even managed to borrow a line from Nine Inch Nail’s Closer song (I wanna fuck you like an animal). Er, okay. 
I also couldn’t make heads and tails of the characters. I understand the metamorphosis that they both went through but most of the time, they puzzled me. They contradicted themselves so much that their characterizations became too fluid and not in a good sense of the word. It’s like they can’t make up their minds on whom they wanted to be for each other. Noah was jealous of his dead former self and expected Sabella to move on and yet he wouldn’t let her. Ugh. Frustrating man. I also could not tell the difference between the new and old Sabella. But apparently, the difference was startling. I didn’t get it, man.

As previously mentioned, Lora Leigh can write suspense drama. This book in particular feature a group of white extremist militia who kidnaps people of another race to use as prey. Meaning, they set them out to the woods and then hunt them, torture them and eventually kill them. I liked this story arch of the book. I like the process in which they built a case against the members and how it came to a head.

This book is a bit thick and could’ve used a bit of trimming. But as always, to each to their own and I found out that there is such a thing as too much smut. Who knew?!

My rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

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Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren

Sinful, delectable, addictive.
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Beautiful Stranger
by Christina Lauren
Gallery | Paperback, 341 pages
I will not admit to reading Beautiful Bastard; I will, however, admit to reading The Office. Let’s not even get into the whole fanfic thing because it’s been discussed and argued many times over. Beautiful Stranger is a by product of BB. And I will be honest and admit that this is 99.99% better than its predecessor. Max Stella didn’t collect ripped unmentionables nor did they resort to angry sex for the entirety of the novel. In fact, if there was anything missing from this book, it was just that: the conflict was pretty loose and somewhat lacking.

But hey, these books are meant to be guiltily enjoyed without the usual trappings of what many would consider a novel, Literature. And preferrably, in the comfort and privacy of your own bedroom. Admittedly, I found myself reading this book anywhere: parked car, conference room at work..etc. It was hard to put down and even harder to ignore. Max Stella kept popping up in my head at inconvenient times. I even made up an impromptu “appointment” just so I could get away for an hour or two. I skipped my part-time job because of this delicious man. Anyway, the point is, Max Stella snuck up on me. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this book as much as I have.

Sara Dillon fled Chicago and a cheating ex. In New York, she sets out to find herself without the shadow of a scandalous relationship and the family legacy. On a night when she decided to let go and let live, she meets Max Stella, play boy extraordinaire, venture capitalist and a British to boot (damn). In Max, she learned that she’s an exhibitionist. She likes getting her picture taken while in the throes of passion and most of all, she likes the no strings attached thing she’s got going on with him. That is, until the inevitable happened: the anonymity and the sex became addictive. Soon, they were breaking their own made up rules and one day a week was just not enough.

I’m glad that the writing duo toned down the aggressive sex. I’m all for angry sex but only in moderation. Too much exhausts me. I also like that there’s more substance to these characters, because in this book, they actually interacted and held dialogues, or talked (ingenious, right?). Max is made up of a combination of sex god material and romantic inclinations. He can pin point Sara’s idiosyncracies and nuissances with scary precision. Sara Dillon held her end of the bargain but not enough to make her a remarkable character. Max Stella eclipsed everybody else.

Overall, a surprising bundle of enjoyable, steamy read.

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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Rush by Maya Banks

Predictable, forgettable romance.
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Rush [Breathless, #1] by Maya Banks
Berkeley | Paperback, 396 pages
This is not my first foray into Ms. Banks’ work. She popped my  muliple-partnered-relationships cherry with her Colter’s Legacy series. At the time, I didn’t know what to do with myself because the books featured siblings sharing the same woman. I think I’ve pretty much decided then that I was ready for anything in this genre.
Compared to those books, Rush is just another romance in the melee of novels that feature a billionaire Dominant breaking in an inexperienced, innocent sub. And while there wasn’t any extensive details involving whips, chains and latex, Rush is every bit as predictable and forgettable as the other books that have been sprouting out like mushrooms in the dark coves of the Erotica aisle of your bookstore.

This series stars three billionaires about to find the women who would bring them to their knees (so to speak). Jace and Ash is the duo that shares their women like they share neck ties. This book is the story of Gabe and Jace’s sister, Mia. Long story short, little Mia grew up to be one desirable woman that Gabe wanted to covet. He waited for Mia to reach a little past the age of legal then pursued her like Wil E. Coyote would Road Runner. He drew a contract, stating all the rules and requirements of their relationship like it was a business transaction; and because Mia have always had this obsession with Gabe, she signed her heart and liberty away on the dotted line. Fifty Shades of Grey it is not and I think  this book had that going for it at least. While you’ll hear echoes of that book for sure, I’d like to think that Ms. Banks’ is a trifle better than a copy cat. In retrospect, I haven’t read any Erotica lately that doesn’t suffer the same fate.

But hey, if you’re looking for a quick read and a fast jolly, pick this series up. As much as I want to lie and say I didn’t enjoy this, I can’t. Because the perv in me couldn’t be silenced. This had an almost gang bang and a whole slew of I want your eyes on me while you er, you know. He also makes her walk around the whole day wearing a uhm…plug and not the kind you use for your ears. This man is not nice at all…except when he’s all tortured about corrupting the innocent girl. But then again, aren’t they all at some point of their sinning?

I’m still going to continue on to this series because apparently, I’m interested in menage. Heh.

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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Never Too Far [Too Far, #2] by Abbi Glines

From emotionally-heavy to sexually explicit. 
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Never Too Far [Too Far, #2] by Abbi Glines
Self-Published, Kindle Edition
Whatever the reason that made me like the first book was beyond my reach in this instalment. It was palatable for the most part. But reading this story was like hearing about an old flame that you wish you never met and yet you couldn’t help but be interested in finding out whatever happened to him. 
I anticipated the angst; expected the reunion and looked forward to the make-up sex bit, but man, this book was pornographic, almost. She went a little over-board on this one. Forgive me if I sound highly censorious. Don’t get me wrong. I love smut as much as the next perverted person. I read them in all forms. But the scenes and language from this book was a bit of a stretch – too much for my taste. It just felt out of place and forced, somewhat. I feel like re-reading the first book just to see if it was as raunchy. This is coming from a girl who  has a stash of M/M Erotic romance in her Kindle. I don’t know what sub-genre this is but it sure isn’t New Adult. It’s freaking Erotica, no ifs and buts about it. Nothing wrong with Erotica, mind you. I love one-handed reads (winks). But let’s call if for what it is so the readers like myself don’t get shell-shocked when a character develops a case of diarrhea of filthy words. 
And yeah, judging by the popular opinion of the Goodreads’ audience, I’m terribly alone on this one. This book was, well to put it mildly, disappointing. The dirty talk was cringe-worthy; the sex, copious and overdone. Rush was sporadic and borderline cray. I mean the guy was like a mine of explosive emotions. I can’t remember what I liked in him from the first book but it sure wasn’t this version of crass brashness. 
I think this book was rushed. And that’s unfortunate because I really think Ms. Glines could put out stellar novels with characters whose thinking made sense. I feel so bad because I tweeted Ms Glines about how much I’m dying to read this book and she linked me to Amazon because it wasn’t showing in my searches. I literally stalked the site the whole day waiting for this book to pop up. She’s one of those authors whom I eagerly watch for and that would not change just because of one bad apple from the bunch.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

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The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

Publication Date: July 24th, 2012
Harlequin MIRA
Format: Paperback, 425 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

SUMMARY
Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she’s sure it’ll be her breakout book…if it ever sees the light of day.

Zachary Easton holds Nora’s fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it’s no deal.

Nora’s grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him…or returning to his bed?

Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.

Truth be told, I’ve been sitting on this review for at least a week now. No matter how much revisions, aditions, edits I made, I just can’t get it right. I’ve been trying to find ways to cut it down so anyone interested enough wouldn’t be bored to tears to read my ramblings but I just can’t articulate my thoughts with the proper eloquence I’m going for. So, forgive me and I hope you’ll at least get the gist.

I’d like to consider myself an open-minded reader; in fact, there are not a lot of books that I refuse to try just because I’m dead set against a topic or the author’s beliefs (except maybe for Ann Coulter’s books…coz she’s just…yeah. I’m not touching those.). Gone were the days when books about Sadomasochism, and M/M relationships were taboo on my shelves. I’ve long since shed my inhibitions and announced to the world that I shouldn’t be ashamed to admit I read these books. But if there were some out there that I wouldn’t read, it’d be the ones with graphic rape and torture in them.
And maybe I’m still a freshman to all these but sometimes, extreme S & M reads like torture scenes to me. This book in particular, saddles that line. Trying to understand the mindset of the Dom and the sub in a relationship is something I’m still trying wrap my head around. It’s fascinating, infuriating, frustrating to read how the characters equate pain and humiliation to love. How could you love a person whose declarations of their affection is directly proportionate to the number of welts and bruises you’ve received in his/her hands?
The Siren blew that topic wide open. For the first time since I came out of the Erotica closet, Tiffany Reisz actually drew a clearer picture of a person’s mental state as a Dom and as a sub.  I’m not saying that she was successful at making me understand it better but her characters certainly made me think. I was able to see the innards of a strong woman who would resort herself to submit. It was a difficult relationship that started when she was fifteen years old; in need of direction and discipline, and falling hard for man who had no business corrupting the mind, soul and heart of a screwed up child. And on the other hand, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how Søren could justify carrying on with her as a way to save her especially when it only condemned her to another hell altogether. Based on how she felt about it all, the very thing that corrupted her was the same thing that saved her. If that’s not a mind fuck then I don’t know what is. This was my problem with this book; I went back and forth and in circles trying to understand their love. Who corrupted who first? I head-butted my desk so many times out of frustration because I allowed myself to give a shit. It was like a puzzle, a riddle that I just couldn’t solve and the faint bruises on my forehead only made me feel even worse.
More often, I found myself arguing with the characters, futile though as it were. They were all stubborn – steadfast in their fucked up definitions of love. Theirs was the one that died when they stopped talking (Zach’s and Grace’s). Theirs was the kindest, gentlest, generous, safest  (Wes’ and Nora’s). Theirs was the all-consuming, tumultuous, violent, constant mind fuck, abusive one (Eleonor’s and Søren’s).
I soon realized after taking my hundredth breather from the book ( trust me, I needed to step back from this more often that I care to admit), that I’m the one who’s stupid. As cheesy as it sounds, love is as undefined as it is infinite. What is the ideal? What is the norm? Zach’s and Grace’s was the kind that rips couples apart because they’re so out of reach, there’s an ocean separating them. Wes’ and Nora’s was the ideal in my book but it’s a platonic one that if consumed would perhaps break them.  It was the easiest choice but Nora has a tendency to play the martyr. Eleonor’s and Søren’s? I just…I can’t even begin to describe how messed up that is. As much as I’d like to ignore Zach’s and Nora’s, I really can’t. I don’t know what they were. Theirs was the kind that was over before it even started or the type of relationship that didn’t go anywhere. Too many baggages, too much love involved of which was sadly, not directed toward each other.
Wesley. God. This boy made ache in ways that’s grotesquely perverse. He’s nineteen and so over the moon in love with the sinner.
He is the saint who was in constant agony and penitence over Nora’s sins.
He is Jesus to Mary Magdalene. 
His self-deprivation is obscene and so innocent. 

But one thing’s for sure, and I probably would sound like one of those in the crowd who stoned Magdalene in the Bible, Nora didn’t deserve him.

You could try to understand each and everyone’s relationships and state of minds and you would probably fail. You could tell me that their respective relationships are both wrong and right and certainly not perfect but you cannot convince me that the reason Nora allowed all the abuse was because she was into it. Abuse is abuse is abuse. I am just now realizing that perhaps I am not as open-minded as I’d like to be. My mind is closed to the idea that hurting the ones you love physically, whether in pleasure or punishment, is an act of love itself. And there were too many declarations of such love in here – especially from Nora and Søren. I just…I don’t understand. I’m terrified of pain – any kind of pain. And this is probably why sadomasochism is not in the cards for me. Reading about it is as far as I would go but that doesn’t mean I’ll be emphatic and understanding of the characters in the book.

VERDICT: The Siren is a close second to A.N. Laroquelaure’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty; a book that I barely finished. But where The Claiming solely focused on the acts themselves, The Siren tackles the suggestive psychological and religious subtexts of sadomasochism. This book tried my patience; forced every ounce of my empathy for its characters that I wasn’t very forthcoming to give. Regardless of how flawed they were, the characters’ natures were as real as they come, relatable in a sense that they’re not the type you’d put on a pedestal. It was an exhausting read – emotionally and mentally. This is a book where readers get to see the demise of all the relationships. Don’t expect a happily-ever-after here, folks; because this is not a fairy tale romance you sigh in sublime happiness for. I think that Tiffany Reisz wrote something that would either turn readers into S&M in admission of their nature or leave them in bed with their partners assuming the missionary position and perfectly happy having as much vanilla sex as possible.
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