The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz
(Harlequin MIRA, 2013, 464 pages)
When I picked this up I assumed it was a stand-alone title. Only after I finished it did I realize it was book 4 in a series – whoops. While I was able to follow the story and characters pretty well, it definitely would have made things easier if I’d had more background. If you can’t tell from the cover this is definitely a “steamy” read – not for those looking for a traditional romance and not for those who aren’t fans of detailed sexual “interactions.”
Obviously I have no problem reading books that are on the steamy side, but I wasn’t really prepared for the specific focus of Reisz’s novel. Part of The Original Sinners series, BDSM relationships are a central focus of the books. This wasn’t really my cup of tea, and just so we’re clear, this is not in the Fifty Shades of Grey category. Reisz channels the “real” aspects of this world and depicts true-to-life elements of those kinds of relationships. There’s also a religious element in the book that some people might not be comfortable with… I think I’ve addressed most of the concerns people might have before deciding to read or not read Ms. Reisz’s titles 😉
A quick summary:
Nora has been kidnapped by a woman who is seeking vengeance. Nora’s life is of little or no concern to her, she’s simply a means to an end. While her captor waits for her true prey to come forward Nora plays a present-day Scheherazade, keeping her captor’s interest with stories of her sexual exploits.
There are a number of individuals who will do whatever they can to get Nora back safely. Søren – who Nora has the closest ties with and who she has known the longest; Kingsley – who runs the business-side of Nora’s life, but still has a personal connection with her; Wesley – who is Nora’s fiancé and who claims Nora as his first love; Grace – a close friend of Nora’s who credits her with saving her marriage.
Timing is key here, but in this situation the stakes are such that freeing Nora without bloodshed is more or less impossible…
Obviously this book has some sexual elements interspersed with the drama of rescuing Nora… If you’re looking to branch out and this sounds like it might interest you, Reisz writes much better than E. L. James 😉 Just keep in mind the information I provided above.