Erotic fiction is all the rage these days, if Fifty Shades of Grey is anything to go by. But if you're new to the genre, finding books other than the trilogy about Christian and Anastasia Grey can be a challenge.

After all, while the uninitiated may be unaware of it, there's a big difference between hot erotic fiction and porn on paper. So if you're interested in a little guilty reading, let FN introduce you to a few steamy romances and elegant erotica (trust us, that's not an oxymoron!) with our new book review series. Keep reading for Racy Reads Book #1.

(Image courtesy of Harlequin MIRA)



TITLE: The Siren
AUTHOR: Tiffany Reisz
SERIES: The Original Sinners
GENRE: Erotic Fiction
PUBLISHER: Harlequin MIRA
eISBN: 9781459241312
PRICE: $8.13 for paperback and $9.69 for Kindle edition on Amazon.com; $7.99 for e-book and $11.16 for trade paperback on Harlequin.com.

SYNOPSIS:

Nora Sutherlin is a best-selling writer of erotica who's looking to write something a little more serious, if still in the realm of BDSM (bondage and discipline/dominance and submission/sadism and masochism)—a sort of antiromance novel. But to do it, she needs an editor and publishing house that's a little more serious, with an eye to the artistic side of literature as well as the profitable one.

Enter Zachary Easton, a British import of Royal House New York, the only serious publishing company willing to take on Nora's book. He's one of the best editors around, but he’s earned his reputation with his autocratic methods. He reluctantly agrees to take on her book on the condition that he gets the final say as to whether or not it gets published at all. To add a little pressure to the situation, he's leaving for the LA branch of the publishing house in six weeks, which means that Nora must rewrite the entire novel for his approval in a month and a half.

Fortunately, Nora is a woman who is intimately acquainted with pain as passion play, so she thrives under Zach's ruthless editing style. For his part, Zach finds himself learning more than he ever thought he wanted to about the world that inspires Nora's novels. And as Nora pounds out her pages, things start to heat up between writer and editor as well.

Yet both are struggling with secrets that could leave them both hurt and miserable, whether or not they end up together.

(Image courtesy of Harlequin MIRA)



REVIEW:

If you're looking for a traditional romance with a little kink thrown in, The Siren is not for you. Don't get us wrong—it is a love story, but it explores a side of love that has nothing to do with flowers and rainbows and has everything to do with pain so exquisite you are forced to hold even tighter to that which causes it.

The novel is told from multiple points of view, which works well because readers get to experience the poignant intimacy and beautiful torture of the BDSM world both through the eyes of Zach, a D/S "virgin," and of Nora, who not only embraces the lifestyle—she's BDSM royalty.

The story is well-developed, "a modern-day retelling of My Fair Lady," as it is described on TiffanyReisz.com. Despite having parts of the main character's novel inserted between the scenes of this one, the metafiction factor is handled skillfully. In fact, we found ourselves wishing the author would write Nora's book in its entirety so that we could read it alongside this one! None of the characters are simply who they seem to be when we first meet them, and all of them have secrets they desperately want to keep from each other—and themselves.

For someone who has never read this type of erotica before, the first volume of Reisz's The Original Sinners series is a wonderful, intelligent, and remarkably gentle introduction to a lifestyle that, contrary to popular opinion, is not all about chains and whips and lashes, but is an elaborate exploration of the boundaries of trust, guilt, pain, and, yes, love. For someone who knows the terminology and is familiar with the drama and constant contrasts of the lifestyle, it offers a unique and often even philosophical perspective of the intimate relationship between pleasure and pain—both in an emotional sense and a sexual one.

(Image courtesy of Harlequin MIRA)

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