I was approved last week by NetGalley to read not one, but SIX books by Tiffany Reizs!! One of them being The Saint, the highly anticipated 1st book in the White Years series of Original Sinners! I will talk about it later, when it releases by the end of May (I can’t wait!)… If you know me, you know how I feel about Tiffany! The woman is a GENIUS, literary master and I’d gladly be her slave just to have more of her writing and characters!
I have to say I’m still in a book hangover over The Saint, nothing compares after reading a Tiffany Reizs book! I’ve read some books since it, but even the ones I did rate 5 or 4 stars can’t erase Søren and Nora from my mind!!
Since this is a 5 books review, I’ll add all the 5 covers and synopsizes, but I will review all of them together…They are 30 pages or so each, so it’s a 150 pages novella! And they’ll be released next week, but you can already pre-order them by clicking in the covers 🙂
Rating: 4.5 stars
Part I: Scars and Stripes
It’s lust at first sight when Mistress Nora encounters a sexy newcomer to The 8th Circle. She’s happy for the distraction, since she left her lover, Søren, but her session with Lance is cut short when her boss, Kingsley Edge, reveals they’re all in danger….
Part II: Sore Spots
With a potential stalker on the loose, Kingsley hires Lance as Nora’s bodyguard, but stipulates no sex while he’s on duty. Frustrated by the ex-SEAL’s noble chivalry, Nora is driven to seek release with the one man she’s trying to forget….
Part III: The Games Destiny Plays
Shocked to see Nora’s bruises, Lance is furious that she put herself in danger and demands to know where she got them. As Nora confesses her true nature, she’s equally shocked to learn that Lance has some secrets of his own, drawing them together despite Kingsley’s orders….
Part IV: Fit to Be Tied
With her feelings for Lance warring with her recent encounter with Søren, Nora returns to Lance’s bed and finds herself toying with the idea of…toying with him on a permanent basis. But after she gets a glimpse into his personal angst, Nora realizes she has the power to rescue this white knight….
Part V: The Last Good Night
Now that the perpetrator has been apprehended, Nora sadly acknowledges she doesn’t need a bodyguard anymore. She adores Lance and wants to keep him but is faced with a dilemma—if she uses her connections to help Lance, she’ll have to give him up forever…
Well, this five part novella was great, not only because it has the characters we love so much, Nora, Søren and Kingley, but it also brings a lot of insight into how were their lives during the time Nora and Søren were separated and she was the Queen of the 8th Circle (not that she ever quit being it)…
Søren is as deliciously sadistic and great as ever and Nora…well, she is Nora! I want to be best friends with her, she’s just my favorite heroine (specially after seeing her young in The Saint). Kingsley is as funny as ever, but he and Søren actually doen’t appear THAT much. The story is centered in Nora and a new flame of hers…And let me tell you, they were HOT…like HAWT!
Nora is her usually snarky, sassy self and she makes my life better just by existing in the literary world! Her kinky puns are so funny!
“I’ll be here all week.” Nora held out her hand. “I’m Mistress Nora. Nice to beat you.”
Lance is an ex Navy Seal and despite being a submissive, the man was certainly commanding! OMG! How does Nora always get the best ones? LOL He is all gentleman and all but with a kinky mind and an eagerness to serve (not only the military but his Mistresses 😉 ). How could anyone, specially Nora, could resist him?
Nothing could minimize his manhood or his strength. Even his submission to her added to his power. He did it so naturally and without shame or embarrassment. She’d rarely met a kinky guy so totally comfortable with what he is. Søren alone had that same air of “this is me, take it or leave it” that she’d seen in Lance.
In book 4 the mystery behind the attacker is solved and well…Nora and Lance are free to do whatever kinky things they want!! Oh boy, it does sound fun! I don’t have one lesbian bone in my body, but Nora sure makes me want to submit to her and also be her best friend! Honestly, just as she says Søren is the best man (and priest) alive, she is definitely the best female character alive!
“Undressing already?” she asked, not displeased.
“Just the shoes and socks. This is your private dungeon, yes?”
“Then it deserves to be shown respect.”
“Lance, I like the way you kink.”
(HA! I love her little puns LOL)
Well, the story is entertaining and seeing Nora work as a Mistress was great. it’s quite enlightening to see all the characters interact in their day-to-day life!
We meet one of the club’s submissives and a friend of Nora in the first interaction of her and Søren and it’s such an amusing interaction!
Simone looked up at her with eager eyes and the Mistress pressed a long kiss onto her carmine-colored lips. Maybe the rainbow-hued sub had earned more than a beating.
“If you ask nicely, I might beat you and fuck you,” Nora said against Simone’s lips. Simone groaned, but not in an erotic way.
“I can’t, Mistress. I’m booked.” Simone looked heartbroken, devastated and miserable. And utterly adorable.
“Who booked you? I’ll kill him.”
“Now,” came a familiar voice from behind Nora. She didn’t turn around. She didn’t need to. She’d know that cold, pretentious, overeducated voice anywhere. “Simone, shall we?”
“Yes, Mr. S.,” Simone said, and Nora could tell she was trying not to smile – not in front of the Mistress anyway. The only person Simone enjoyed subbing for more than Nora was Søren, and Søren was her ten o’clock. Well, wasn’t that just peachy.
“Eleanor…” Søren said and Nora refused to turn around and look at him.
“Søren. Have a lovely evening.”
“I certainly plan to. Excuse us.”
And Søren and Nora’s feud is so amusing! It’s been 2 or 3 years since Nora left him and start being the top Mistress in the club, so things are clipped between them. Although whenever Søren really needs her and asks for her, she goes to him (and when she needs him – more than the usual every time, I mean 😉 ).
The story is centered in a mystery on who is tracking Mistresses and beating them. A ex-Mistress from the 8th Circle was beaten to the hospital and Kingsley declares a sort of emergency state to all his female employers, but who else, but Nora would refuse to stop working? So she’ll need a new body guard and the hot new chief of security King just hired is the perfect option (although they did considered Griffin, and I’d be very happy if he too was in this book!). But there’s a catch: they can’t have sex…Which for Nora is the same as telling her to have sex with the guy LOL But for a chance, she abides by Kingsley’s rule, not because of her, but because Lance needs the job.
No matter the time, or the many lovers between them, Søren never stops caring for Nora and she him…Even though this one wasn’t centered in them as a couple, the little bits and pieces we get of them (as a couple or just Søren’s) are so worth it!
“It’s not your fault she got hurt, Kingsley. We all get hurt around here.”
“I know,” he said, slipping tiredly into French. Je sais.
“And I also know you know I can’t cancel on my clients. That’s fine for Irina and the subs. They have normal clients. My clients run the world. They’re not going to be happy if I say ‘Sorry, busy,’ without any notice like this.”
“They’ll survive a week or two without you.”
“That’s the problem. They will survive because they’ll find a new Domme. You and I have worked way too hard to build my career. This could kill it.”
“It’s not going to help it, non. But your life is more important than your career.”
“My career is my life.” Nora stared him down hard.
“What would you have me do? I let you keep wrling and le prête will kill me and lock you in a cage.”
“Søren is not into cage-play.”
“It won’t be for erotic purposes, I promise.”
Meeting some of Nora’s clients was also very intriguing, specially because I haven’t read The Mistress Files, the novella that has more about her clients…
One of the most entertaining things for me, in the insight into Søren’s playfull side (which you’ll see so much more in The Saint):
[…] They’d drink, they’d talk, they’d play. One time Kingsley and Søren had even gotten into someth8ing of a Dominant’s duel as they put their flogging and whipping skills to the test. A little alcohol plus a lot of male ego plus far too many beautiful women watching and applauding had made for one hell of an entertaining evening.
I love knowing more of my favorite characters. By her interaction with Lance we can understand so much more of Nora. For example, every single lover she ever has, is a good man, she is attracted by the goodness in people. And she can’t usually see how good her own heart is.
One of the best things, despite liking Nora and Lance’s story and “fling” was seeing how deeply Nora and Søren were hurt by being away from each other. We can see how human Søren is despite we thinking he is everything and above it all. He feels just like Nora does. And I guess, when she was away from him, she didn’t know it or didn’t want to acknowledge it, or else she’d hurt even more. Even though he knows they’ll always belong to each other, he can’t pass the opportunity to have her and even when they are play-fighting, since it’s expected in the 8th Circle that they hate each other, they are perfect together. A love like Søren and Nora’s is so difficult to find. Even with all the sins they can commit together (you’ll see Søren’s opinion of sin in The Saint – I don’t want to sound like a bitch for mentioning it so much, but it’s such a GREAT book, might be my favorite so far), their love is so pure.
“She and I did not get to finish our evening together. We were interrupted.” Søren looked down at Nora coldly with a dark gleam in his eyes. She had to fight off a smile. So he’d forgiven her for their little fight on the porch then? Good. They could never play-fight like this when they were actually mad at each other.
“Sorry. Not my fault.” Nora started to brush past him.
“You know the rules, Blondie. Call Kingsley,” Nora said to Søren. […]
These characters are so complex, but one thing about them is so simple: the fullness of their love and devotion to each other, even when they are not together. How much feel and although they are so complex, in this novella we get to see them in a more simpler setting and in a more simpler way (I don’t even now if “simply” is the right word, because it probably isn’t), but even simple they are never as simple as they appear!
The chemistry between Nora, Søren and Kingsley is off the charts, and even though they don’t interact that much in this books, when they do it’s so intense! It’s love in its purest form. No jealousy, despite everything. Just pure love and trust! You can see for yourselves:
[…] But no, it was one glass of wine – not two- on the counter, They were alone, and she was ashamed of her relief.
We can see Nora is conflicted about Søren, but even in her conflicted mind, she knew he’d be hers and she’d be his, and even thinking about moving on was a sacrilege of hers. Deep down Nora knows there’s no moving on Søren…
Søren topped other women, but he never had sex with them. He beat them, broke them, and if they were very good girls he might allow them to receive his come on their backs. Only with her did he share his body; she knew it had been months since he’d had sex. She felt his need, his hunger, even his loneliness with every thrust She took the pain because it was the only thing she could take from him. Not his love. Not anymore.
One glass of wine on the kitchen counter. What would she have felt if had been two? Would the day come when he stopped waiting for her to come back to him? Would the night come when he took another lover finally and left her in the past? Part of her feared that night more than anything else. Another part of her wished he’d hurry up and do it already so they could both move on.
If you read the complete series so far, specially The Mistress, you might question the first sentence of the quote above…But I don’t think so, even that wasn’t sex. Not in the purest form that it is for him to be with Nora, or even Kingsley…That was a gift he was giving Nora that night…Nora wanted her friends to be happy and Søren made it possible (but this is subject for another book review, I just know fans of the series will question said sentence…).
No matter how complex they are, and let’s face it, they are people and we are all complex, their story is quite simple. Man meets girl. Man falls in love with her. Man introduces her to kink. Man is a priest. Man loves another man…Well…looking at this angle, it’s not simple at all…But if you read them all, you’ll understand what I’m talking about when I say it’s simple. It’s simply love and trust.
Søren didn’t seem to care if they talked tonight or not. She kissed him first, but he kissed her harder, deeper, and with such desperate possessiveness she almost forgot she didn’t belong to him anymore – a dangerous sort of amnesia. Nora could have stopped him with a word but the only word that passed her lips came in the form of a question.
“Now,” Søren ordered and in seconds they’d reached the top of his stairs. Once there he lifted her off the floor, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, her legs around his back. As a Dominatrix she had to be strong, all the time. Men submitted to her, feared her, knelt at her feet and worshiped her. Tonight she needed to be his, needed to submit, needed to be the one on her knees. So she’d come to Søren, the one man she gave up her power to, if only for the night.
We can see on the passage above how much Nora needs Søren, and how, no matter what she gets from others, he is the only one who can give her the most precious thing: herself.
“You’re mine…” he whispered in her ear. “Weather you’ll admit it or not, you’re still mine.”
She closed her eyes and said nothing. To deny him would be a lie. To agree would be to admit defeat. It didn’t matter that she still loved him, that she still missed him. She couldn’t go back to him, couldn’t return to her old life at his feet, obeying his orders, hiding in his shadow, living a lie and counting the days until he got caught and excommunicated.
In both this passages, we can see the depth of their feelings…Søren knows Nora better than she knows herself. We can see it, because even two years after leaving him, she still didn’t know how much he loved her, she might knew it, but it took her some time to really understand it. Nora needed to see that Søren loved her for herself, with all her flaws and all her qualities. But Søren also needed to see that Nora needed to live the other part of her, the part that craved to dominate…I believe both sides might have been wrong at a time, but in here, I give more reason to Søren. He is the one who let her be “free” to find herself, after all he always knew that he could only be himself with her in his life.
“[…]I know you’re a sadist but I don’t think even you are into flaying.”
“I can’t say for sure. Never tried it.”
“Practice on Kingsley. Flaying is my hard limit.”
“You seem to have an aversion to answering my questions, too, Little One. Your body’s naked, but your heart isn’t.” He flicked the tip of her nose. “Would you rather answer me or let me flay you?”
“Let me think about this for a minute.”
“Eleanor Louise,” Søren said in a warning tone. She could only try his patience for so long before he brought out the dreaded first and middle name warning.
“Fine.” She sat up and pulled a pillow to her chest. Søren streched out on the white sheets and waited. “But just remember, you’re making me talk about this.”
“I accept that. Now tell me.”
Nora took a deep breath as she tried to gather her words. She trusted no one in the world as much as she trusted Søren, valued his insight more than anyone else’s, cherished his counsel. But he loved her, wanted her back. To talk about Lance seemed almost too cruel.
“You know you can tell me anything.”
“I don’t want to hurt you…not any more than I already do.”
He pulled the sheet down to display the scarlet scratch marks she’d left on this stomach. Scratches? More like welts. Or worse, claw marks. He would wear them on his body for days.
“You don’t want to hurt me? How do you explain these?”
She dipped her head and kissed the welts.
“We hurt each other.” Søren spoke the words softly as he brushed her long hair over her bare shoulder. “It’s what we do. Hurt me. Trust that I can take it as well as I give it.”
“I treasure our friendship more than anything, even more than these nights when you come back to me. No man in his right mind would spurn your love and loyalty.”
“[…]He kissed her easily, leisurely, as if tonight would be the first of an infinite number of nights together, so why hurry?
“Why aren’t you mad that I have feelings for this other man?” she asked as he moved from her lips to her neck.
“Because you’re here,” he said, holding himself over her. “And I’m here.” He bent and kissed her chest over her heart.
“Why do I feel like Lance I were supposed to meet? Like it was destiny?”
“Destiny doesn’t always play matchmaker,”Søren said, caressing her lips, her chin and nose. “Sometimes destiny plays other games with us.”
With this three passages, we can see an intimacy that speaks a million things about their relationship. That level of intimacy and comfort around each other, even being at oods, shows how deep in each other’s skins they are, it is only accomplished after real deep trust. We have very few interactions between them, but the ones we have are truly beautiful, even the playful, snarky ones. God, I live to find and read about characters like these!
With these passages, Søren’s words can sum up their relationship very well. They do hurt each other, but he knows it and he only wants her trust. After all they trust each other, they know each other in the very core sense of the word. Søren can give her pain, but she is the only one to whom he submits to. He doens’t submit as a submissive would submit to a Dom. No, he gives himself completely to her, without reservations, without jealousy, with only love and understanding.
When he says her full name “Eleanor”, I actually get shills!!!
So yeah, this novella was great! It was great to see them on their daily routine and to see Nora with a new, GREAT and HOT character like Lance, but for me, it was all about Søren and Nora and reading behind the lines to see how was when they were separated, before The Siren started…specially after reading The Saint. I know understand them so much more!
So thank you Tiffany, not only for entertaining and amusing me with a new tale from my girl crush, Nora, but also for giving me more reasons to love the whole series (and Søren, of course!)!!
Note from Blogger: Since this is a 5 parts novella, I used quotes from the 5 books (or four…), but they are not necessarily in order.
P.S.:I hope you enjoy my review and the books and if you ever want to talk Original Sinners with someone, you’re welcome to talk to me! You can either comment here on the blog, message me on the blog’s FB page, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I can never pass a discussion about them and more insight!
This review took me so much time, and it’s for a novella, imagine when I do review The Saint? I won’t review here on the blog the first four books The Original Sinners – Red Years (The Siren, The Angel, The Prince and The Mistress), not for lack of love for them, but because I can’t put my thoughts straight to review them all separetely, it took me a while to finally come down from my Original Sinners high (and I am not kidding…theses books left me twisted in the most pleasurable and best way possible), so I will use my opinion and thoughts on the story as whole in my review of The Saint. I won’t say I’ll never review the 4 first books, but I don’t see myself doing it soon…I will review The Saint first…I like to talk about them all and it’s quite difficult for me to talk about them separately, but I promise I will try later…maybe I’ll do it like this one, review the four books in a setting…