This is the final book in the series of re-post reviews of The Original Sinners Series: The Red Years. These original appeared on the website Book Mood Reviews.
Nora Sutherlin is being held, bound and naked. Under different circumstances, she would enjoy the situation immensely, but her captor isn’t interested in play. Or pity.
As the reality of her impending peril unfolds, Nora becomes Scheherazade, buying each hour of her life with stories-sensual tales of Søren, Kingsley and Wesley, each of whom has tempted and tested and tortured her in his own way. This, Nora realizes, is her life: nothing so simple, so vanilla, as a mere love triangle for her. It’s a knot in a silken cord, a tangled mass of longings of the body and the heart and the mind. And it may unravel at any moment.
But in Nora’s world, no one is ever truly powerless-a cadre of her friends, protectors and lovers stands ready to do anything to save her, even when the only certainty seems to be sacrifice and heartbreak….
Since the cliff-hanger at the end of the previous novel, The Prince, I have been dying to see how Reisz intended to resolve what has come to be one of my favourite series in the last year. True, she doesn’t hold back and this book is a hell of a ride, but….. but this book did not meet the dizzying heights of the previous instalments.
The book opens not long after the end of The Prince, with Nora kidnapped by an old acquaintance of Soren and Kingsley. This acquaintance has a score to settle and is intending to use Nora to gain their revenge. While held captive, Nora uses her gift to regale tales of her relationship with Soren and Kingsley, at the request of her captor. Much like Scheherazade of the Arabian Night’s fable, Nora realises that keeping her captor entertained may save her life long enough for Soren and Kingsley to save her.
Meanwhile, those Nora cares the most about are trying to track her down, which is made even easier when Nora’s captor kidnaps and releases Soren’s niece, in order to draw Soren to their trap. As time runs out, Soren, Nora and Kingsley are forced to make the toughest of choices. Who is left standing could either bring them together or tear them apart.
The main plot of the book can’t be faulted for its edge of the seat stuff. I knew that this was the last book in this quarter of the series and that the next book, The Priest, is the first part in a prequel quartet. This meant that all bets were off and the stakes had never been higher.
While no one can argue that Reisz can write some of the best erotic sex scenes in the genre, the biggest surprise for me was how she was able to craft a truly suspenseful book. The antagonist in this book is definitely a few sandwiches short of a picnic and I truly feared for the main characters fate. The conclusion of this tale for Soren, Kingsley and Nora was truly satisfying and I didn’t feel shortchanged with any of them.
For me, the thing that let this book down was the addition of characters we had only heard of briefly in the other books. For those who have read the series, these characters are Grace, Zach’s wife (Nora’s publicist in The Siren) and Laila, Soren’s niece. Though the inclusion of these charcters did result in everyone getting their own happy ending, it ended up seeming a bit false and forced. In the case of Laila and who she ended up helping get what they really truly wanted, I felt that the relationship was a bit too forced and was not at all natural. You only need to look at the relationship that blossomed in The Angel, between Griffen and Michael to see how two seemingly random characters ended up having a positive effect on each other.
Though these issues did diminish my enjoyment of the book slightly, I can’t take away the fact that Reisz wanted to tie up the many loose ends she had created. She must be commended for doing so, I just wish it had been executed slightly differently.
Thankfully, these issues were just the side show to the main attraction that will forever be the Holy trinity for me; Nora, Kingsley and Soren. If this book is to be the swansong of their present selves, then I can’t see a more fitting ending to these characters. This book strips bare their relationship with each other and through Nora’s tales we are given a deeper insight into how these three very different people have become such a tight knit unit. For this fact alone, the book is well worth the four stars I have given it. Yet, the story is not finished there, for Reisz has left so many tantalizing teasers throughout the book, that I am dying to read the prequel The Saint.
Though The Mistress has its flaws, Reisz once again proves that she is the Dom in this genre. She can weave a tale that sucks you in and won’t let go until you are breathless and broken. These books have been a revelation to me and have crashed through my comfort zone with such force, I am willing to try anything.
Reisz is a must read author for me and I highly recommend you take a walk on the wild side and read this collection. It is great to read an author who has sculpted an ending that her characters more than deserve.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER