By now most of you know that I’ve loved the first two novels in Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series The Siren and The Angel. I’ve loved Reisz’s signature writing style and her ability to take erotic stories and turn them instead into discussions on art, life, religion, and love. There is so much depth to her novels and to her characters that when book three of the series, The Prince, came out I jumped to get a copy and dig in.
Please proceed with caution when reading my review . There may be some spoilers that could ruin the first two books or this book for you.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer…preferably in bed. That’s always been Kingsley Edge’s strategy with his associate, the notorious New York dominatrix Nora Sutherlin. But with Nora away in Kentucky, now it’s Kingsley’s chance to take her place at the feet of the only man he’s ever wanted — Søren, Nora’s on-again, off-again lover — until a new threat from an old enemy forces him to confront his past.
Wes Railey is still the object of Nora’s tamest yet most maddening fantasies, and the one man she can’t forget. He’s young. He’s wonderful. He’s also thoroughbred royalty and she’s in “his” world now. But Nora is no simpering Southern belle, and her dream of fitting into Wesley’s world is perpetually at odds with her dear Søren’s relentlessly seductive pull.
Two worlds of wealth and passion call to her and whichever one Nora chooses, it will be the hardest decision she will ever have to make… unless someone makes it for her….
My first realization about The Prince was that it read much darker than the first two novels in the series. Going in I knew from other advance readers that the story takes a very different road, a more mysterious road complete with a narrative that shifts from the past to the present extremely rapidly. From dropped hints in The Angel I knew a good portion of this book would be focused on my favorite character in the series, Kingsley. King is certainly a character with a hidden deck. We’ve learned tidbits of his past throughout the first two books, but he did a great job of hiding his trump card from us; the depth of his complete and utter undying love for Søren. I knew from The Angel that they had a past relationship, but it’s in The Prince that we truly learn the details.
As I said earlier there were darker parts to this novel. One of them in particular is the first coupling between Søren and Kingsley. For me personally it was difficult to read and I had to put the book down and walk away for a bit. Unlike the first two novels, I was unable to read it straight through. The darkness and sometimes abruptness of the scenes between Kingsley and Søren were difficult to read and forced me to read it in pieces here and there. Now this is not to say that Reisz’s writing was poor or anything negative on her part. What we have are two teenage boys who are exploring the world of kink. One is filled with rage while the other (I think) is filled with an intense need to love and be loved. Without any knowledge of how far is too far and what rules and limitations should be set down, you can expect their couplings to at first be incredibly brutal. They do however both understand what is happening and proceed at the other’s wishes, so I want to make clear that what is occurring isn’t rape. It’s just the brutality of their love was at times a bit too much for me to read. I was thankful for the interludes of the story in which Wes and Nora’s continuing saga were interjected. There was no brutality to their love, and as such it helped create pockets of light in the otherwise dark story that Søren and Kingsley’s love can be.
Speaking of Wes and Nora, I was happy that Reisz began expressively showcasing the inner conflict that Nora was going through in terms of her growing feelings for Wes. We’ve seen her battle her feelings for two books and successfully tell herself that Wes could never understand her world, while she could never understand his. That theory is put to the absolute test and it’s left Nora extremely unsure of her previous conclusions. We begin to see a Nora that sees a “normal” life with Wes might not be as bad or as impossible as she previously thought. She finds that there is a simpleness to their relationship, one that lets her be able to be her true self. There is a point in the novel that she discusses how when she’s around Kingsley and the club folk she’s Mistress. Around Søren she’s his “little one” or Eleanor. Yet around Wes, she’s just plain Nora. Nora who writes in her pajamas all day, watches movies, and lives a fairly normal life. I thought that this was an interesting and poignant comparison to make: her need to play roles with everyone BUT Wes (I truly hope that this bodes well for the future of their relationship!)
I won’t even bother discussing Reisz’s writing skills. I say the same thing in every review I write about her books. Her writing is exquisite, flawless, intelligent, poignant, full of depth, emotionally moving, and so much more. There truly aren’t enough words in the English language to express how much I enjoy her works. With The Prince we get to see how masterful she is at not only continuing her exploration of the human condition but her incredible ability to weave a mystery! Even though I had an inkling as to who the culprit would be before the big reveal at the end, I still count Reisz’s attempt at writing a mystery a successful one! You need to pick up this series. I beg you. Please. Go. Ask someone for it for Christmas. For your birthday. Anything! Just go pick up this series. If you don’t you’re missing out on an amazing ride.
5 out of 5 Stars
The Prince by Tiffany Reisz
Paperback: 416 pages
Special thanks to Harlequin for giving me my review copy through netgalley!