Type: Erotic Romance
My Copy: Netgalley
No safe word can protect the heartInfamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.
Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.
But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.
The Angel picks up shortly after the conclusion of book one, The Siren. When we last left this group of people Nora was back with Soren, Zach went home to England and his wife and Nora told her assistant and long time desire, Wesley to leave. The Siren had me tied up in knots for days afterwards. I was constantly thinking about the characters, their situations and the impact of their decisions on everyone around them.
The Angel switches gears just a bit and focuses a lot on Soren’s past which is filled with horror, pain and unimaginable love that shapes him into the man he is today. Digging into his past is a nosey reporter whose own brush with childhood abuse and suicide drive her in her quest to take down those she holds responsible for her brothers pain and suffering. What she finds in Soren’s past isn’t anything she (and I for that matter) were expecting. It will make you uncomfortable to the point of having to put the book down and walk away for bit. The draw of the story though is that I always came back. I always wanted more.
In the last book we briefly meet Micheal who Nora de-flowers at the tender age of 15 as a present to both herself and Micheal. He is a complex character whose abusive father drove him to attempt suicide because of his submissive and homosexual tendencies. Micheal is portrayed as incredibly beautiful but also an extreme introvert. Nora decides in the wake of the reporters appearance that she will wisk the vulnerable Micheal away for the summer to a friend’s house in the secluded countryside. Griffin made a brief appearance in The Siren as switch, which like Nora, isn’t very common. Griffin is instantly attracted to Micheal but because of Soren’s “hands off” rule Griffon must sit idly by as Nora trains Micheal to be the submissive and sadist he craves to be. Even though Micheal is at least to the age of consent, he still isn’t an adult so that makes this tricky in my mind. On one hand he NEEDS what Nora and ultimately Griffin are giving him. Having had an abusive father has made him unable to voice his desires and that drove him to attempt suicide because what he craved he deemed as wrong. Soren did the boy a whole lost of justice by enveloping him in his fold and allowing him to flourish under Nora’s care. On the other hand, he’s barely more than a child. His age and involvement in the book that leads him to Griffin is just another way Tiffany Reisz basically tells the entire book writing community to screw off. Her writing has no rules. There are no lines. If the story needs to be told, then she’s going to tell it exactly how it comes to her and damn all the people who may not agree.
Fans of Wesley from book one will only be mildly happy with The Angel as he doesn’t make much of an appearance in this one. Sent away by Nora at the end of book one, Wesley had returned home and has attempted to start a relationship with another woman. He must prefer cougars because she’s older than him as well. Though he still thinks of Nora constantly and hasn’t had sex with his new girlfriend subconsciously still holding onto the idea that Nora will return. Nora and Wesley together. I dunno. Part of me wants them to end up together because Wesley loves her so much and Nora returns those feelings whole heartedly. The other part isn’t sure she’ll be truly happy with anyone. She’s never happy where she is. Never fully with anyone. She wants what she can’t have. While Wesley may make her happy for a time I think ultimately she’d go back to Soren. If she goes back to Soren she’ll always think about what could have been with Wesley. It’s a conundrum and it makes my head hurt LOL.
The Angel sets the groundwork for book three, The Prince (out in November). Characters we’ve only seen briefly in the past two books will step into the spot light. Kingsley and Soren’s past should have more light shined on it and perhaps Kingsley will take his place once again at Soren’s feet. That relationship is one I want to know more about after some of it comes to light while the reporter is digging into Soren’s past.
Reisz will captivate you with her vivid and often sordid story telling. Filled with sex, lies and an all encompassing story arc that will make your head spin and make wish you had a psychology degree, The Angel is yet another winner! Reisz refuses to tow the line in an industry that claims it wants individuality but often gives the consumers recycled ideas. Reisz is a breath of fresh air in the staleness that is publishing. I applaud both her for writing it and Harlequin for taking a huge risk and publishing it!
I give The Angel by Tiffany Reisz 5 stars!