Publisher: 8th Circle Press
My Copy: NetGalley
Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.
Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.
The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn’t mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…
After finishing The Red, I immediately had to take a minute to process what I just read. If you’re looking for a straight erotica book, keep looking because this one took several off the beaten path turns and deviated into territory the back cover blurb gives no mention of.
The story starts out normal enough with Mona Lisa St James (who works in the art business and is named after the famous painting) facing a sure closure of her gallery due to limited funds. Having promised her dying mother to do anything to keep it open, she’s struggling to find a way to make good on that promise. A mysterious man turns up in the gallery one night before closing and makes her an offer to become his submissive for one year, and one year only. No feelings, no entanglements, just down and dirty sex in any way he pleases. With her agreement he’ll save her gallery and ensure she never has to worry about it again.
Going into it you know Mona is going to say yes, and say yes fast because as an erotica book, not much of a back story is generally given. This holds true for The Red but after the first sexual encounter things go off the rails rather quickly with each subsequent coupling ratcheting up the “WTF” meter. Before I knew it this became a very convoluted paranormal erotica with no warning. Some weird shit goes down people…very weird shit.
Towards the end it comes back to normalcy with an ending that suited the story line. I was satisfied with the conclusion yet still perplexed at how I got there. The Red is definitely well wrote with the signature Tiffany Reisz style yet I was left feeling bereft for the book I was expecting and didn’t get. I just wish I had known what I was getting into before I was faced with some playful wood nymph orgies and borderline bestiality…
I give The Red by Tiffany Reisz 3 stars