Friday, September 22, 2017
Book Review: The Red
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Page Count: 235
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017
Plot (from goodreads):
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.
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...
The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.
First off trigger/content warnings, cause this book is a lot: dubious consent, magical drugging (possibly? definitely magic altering perspective without the person knowing fulling that's going to happen), minotaur sex(I don't know how else to describe that scene?).
I don't even know else to mention - if you're hesitant, put yourself first, but if you've got any clarifying question I don't mind answering here or on twitter. (you can even ask me to follow so you can DM me and it isn't public, completely fine).
I was enjoying this book at different levels at different points. Up until the halfway point I was just kind of like meh, the characters felt more flat then her others have, and the plot felt predictable. And, even predicting it, the minotaur sex scene was weird. And I'm good with weird, fine with weird but... it was almost weird for me? Not weird enough I DNFed the book, though, which... you have to go far for me to do that, I'm pretty meh.
I did like that it kind of fucked everything up, though, plot wise. Overall, besides that scene we're not mentioning again, the sex scenes were pretty well written. Not as good as some I've read by her, but I think that's just because she used the word 'prick' a few times, which is not a sex scene word to me and made me wince. Why. Don't use prick in a sex scene, it's not sexy.
Otherwise, I wasn't attached to either of our main characters through out most of the book - Mona and Malcolm - but, by the end, I did really like both of them. Didn't love either of them, but I would 100% read a prequel about Malcolm's life before this book, it sounds bonkers. And I'm just in that?
Tiffany Reisz I hold to higher standards then I probably should, just because I love her Original Sinners series so much - a ridiculous amount, I'm not even kidding. I'd get an eighth circle tattoo, probably, after it's been a few more years. I just love those characters so much. This was still good, even though I was hesitant to go into it because she compares it to Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series, which I put the first book down after ten pages. Phew, those are... hard to read.
This one isn't as hard to read as that, things start off consensual and it does feel muddied at points. However, I did appreciate that when she does tell him to stop and leave, he does stop and leave. He doesn't stay away forever, but the ball is more in her court to start things again then is.
Overall, if you want a fun and weird as fuck at points erotica book that's written well, I'd definitely recommend checking this one out. However, I'd recommend checking out her other series more. Her Men at Work series - Harlequin style romance series, super cute and pretty steamy. If you don't mind a trigger/content warning list as long as my entire body, I cannot recommend Original Sinners highly enough. The characters, the writing, the sex scenes are not cringey. There is some bloodplay though in the very beginning of the second book, just to give an example of how real it gets.
If you end up checking this one out, or any of her other books - or you already have - please let me know, I'd love to talk to you. Especially if you, too, worship the ground that Kingsley Edge walks on.
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