THE VIRGIN (The Original Sinners Series: The White Years #3)
by Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: Mills & Boon (UK) / Mira (USA)
Publication Date: April 2015 (UK) / March 2015 (US)
Format: Paperback (432 pages)
Source: OWN COPY
Can you ever escape your basic human instincts?
When Eleanor Schreiber’s lover gives her an order she can’t obey, she’s left with two choices—compromise who she is or leave him. Eleanor’s inability to give in makes the decision an easy one.
Without protection, there is only one place she will be safe—her mother’s convent in upstate New York. Now in hiding, could a forbidden encounter set her on a new, dominant path?
Kingsley Edge is grieving for the woman he loved. Withdrawing to a tropical paradise, he’s haunted by the past and desperate to forget.
When a beautiful stranger crosses his path he discovers a sexual kindred spirit. Both of them in hiding, both looking for something they can’t have—could the truth break their bond?
Can either of these relationships work, or will the ties that bind them force them back to their former roles? (Goodreads)
If you have been following me for a while, you will know how much of a fan I am of Tiffany Reisz and her tantalising Original Sinner Series. Each new instalment of the book is waited with baited breath and I have a countdown clock till the release date and I pre-order them as soon they become available. So to say I have high expectations for these books is a bit of an understatement. This makes what I am about to say all the more painful…. The Virgin was just an OK book. There…. I said it… And it really pains me to say this because I love Tiffany Reisz and her books, but she sets the bar so high that if this were any other book or author I would probably say that it was good or great book.
This is a warning for all those who haven’t read the book and don’t want to be spoiled. Normally I refrain from discussing series or book spoilers, I have to discuss the events both in this book and throughout the series. So, if you don’t like reading spoilers please skip down to my verdict. Otherwise please read on
OK…. Final Warning…..
So let’s get on with the show.
Writing this review has been difficult, mainly due to the fact that it has been difficult to pin point the reason that I felt this way about the book. As always, Reisz’s writing is second to none. The overall plot of this book centre’s around Nora, Soren and Kingsley discussing the year that changed all their lives. Having read the full series and working out that this year took place round about the time that Nora was pregnant with Kingsley’s child. I also knew that Nora decided to have an abortion, so I surmised that the reason that Nora ran out on Soren and Kingsley had to do with the pregnancy. Little was given away and for most of the book I firmly thought that this was the case. When the actual reason was exposed, the pieces started to come together and the purpose of the book. This is the book that was the first step in Eleanor’s transformation into Nora, The Red Queen and the successful writer of erotic novels.
And it was then I realised why I found that I only liked the book and didn’t love it. While I was so intrigued and interested in how Nora and Soren first met, in The Saint, and even though I didn’t know it, Kingsley building his empire in The King was a story I had to know; Nora starting on the road to becoming the women we all know and love was a story that didn’t seem to add anything to the mythology of the world Reisz created.
It isn’t that Nora didn’t act in a way that I didn’t expect, it’s just that her time at her mother’s convent was not that interesting. It did confirm that Nora is bisexual, which to my knowledge has never been said out loud throughout the books. Also if Reisz wanted to push the envelope by having Nora’s only confirmed relationship with a woman being a Nun, then it kind of failed to shock. I mean, this is the character who is in a Dominant/ submissive relationship with a Jesuit Priest. Nora’s relationship with the novice nun Kyrie sole purpose appeared to be kick starting Nora’s writing career. Apart from these points, it didn’t really add anything new to Nora’s character development, which is shame and left me disappointed.
The other sub plot in the book was another beginning. The beginning of Juliette and Kingsley’s long standing relationship. This was a bit more interesting that Nora’s plot line and it did show a different side to Kingsley. We were granted that rare opportunity to see Kingsley away from the familiar surroundings of his Kingdom in New York. Kingsley proves his status as a white knight, trying to fight for the underdogs in the world. Yet, he has matured to know when some people don’t want saving and that they want to deal with their problems on their own. Yes, he may help them along, but he now knows that a person has to make the decision to save themselves.
The reason that the “gang” are all together is for a wedding in Scotland and at first I thought might have been between Soren and Nora. I thought that Soren had left the order and had decided to make an honest woman of Nora. Maybe this was just wishful thinking and the little red herrings that Reisz had left for us kind of backed my theory up. So when the real happy couple were revealed, I couldn’t help but have the biggest grin on my face because I loved this couple and have rooted for them. It was nice to see a long standing couple get their happy ending.
As always, Resiz still manages to write a sex scene that is both tasteful and erotically stimulating. Reisz’s books have been educational and thought provoking in so many ways. Her writing continually challenges me and this book still does that.
Though The Virgin didn’t live up to my expectations, I still liked the book. As I have stated time and time again, I would happily read her grocery list because I think that she is such a great writer. It is just that when reading this book, I didn’t have that “must read, sacrifice sleep, go to work as a zombie” feeling that I had with the other books in the series. There was even a few times that I found it difficult to pick the book back up, which isn’t normal for me.
Though this book is clearly a bump in the road, it hasn’t diminished the final instalment in the series, which is The Queen and is due out later this year. This is going to be bitter sweet for this series is one of the must reads for any erotic romance fan.