Ladies (and gentleman) after you inevitably give in and read the Fifty Shades Trilogy because, like me, you are a glutton for punishment, cleanse your palette with a REAL mainstream erotica novel (and one that is actually well written). Really one of the best fictional novels on BDSM I’ve read in a while. And excitedly part of a trilogy.
Nora Sutherlin is an author of erotica romance who is hoping to land a publishing deal with a big name publishing firm, thus launching her career to the next level. She is assigned to Zach Easton, a man who’s life is falling apart and has no time to cater to a gutter trash writer. Yet, something about Nora’s tenacity – and enticing beauty – causes Zach to give her a chance. He’ll sign her contract and allow the new book to be published if she makes all the changes he asks and does as he says. Once the last word is done, if Zach feels the novel worthy he’ll give her the chance. Nora is up for the challenge in more ways than one. Of course what Zach doesn’t know is that outside of an erotica author, Nora is one of NYC’s best Dominatrix’s. She gained her talent after being the sub for the Dom in NYC. How will this all play out?
The few things I disliked: The fact that Nora and Zach actually wind up getting physical with each other. I get it as part of the plot, it’s not out of the realm of believability, but sometimes it is nice to have a man and woman with that kind of sexual tension still recognize that a fling would just be that and their friendship could be so much more. The way Zach’s estranged wife comes back and that culmination is just…flat. Lastly her return to her former Dom is a bit of a let down. In some ways, to me at least, it reads like she let life beat her in a way. However some may argue she just realized who she really is. I don’t know…something was just off about it.
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What’s great about this novel is that not everything ends happily. Some relationships are strained if not destroyed all together and that realism is a nice change of pace. The author does a great job of being objective to her subject by having a range of characters with varying views on the “lifestyle” while never getting too preachy or depraved. It’s all handled well and realistically. In my most humble opinion. And there is some flavor of sex that will appeal to everyone’s palette. Yum, yum.
However, as Nora points out to Zach, Erotica is not a Romance it’s a Horror novel and she is correct. Erotica is not meant to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, it’s meant to leave you slightly disturbed. The best Horror novels are one’s that make you examine yourself and your morals, real Erotica works the same way and this novel does a tremendous job of giving you the differing levels of sexuality to explore and know when you’ve reached that moment you’re past, not just your comfort zone, but your human code as well.
The Siren is going to be the standard against which I measure all mainstream Erotica moving forward.
****eGalley provided by Harlequin courtesy of Netgalley
Five stars are like six-pack abs on a really tan, hunky guy not wearing much. They make us drool, we stroke them (the books, not the guys! - sometimes the guys...) and want to make sweet, sweet love to them. Five stars is the hottest, we mean, highest honor.
Four stars is a total hunkalicious of burning love, but maybe we didn't like his hair for some reason. We still think he's hot, and we're still going to recommend him, we mean, the book, to readers because it's a damn fine ass, we mean book.
Three stars = that awkward guy at the party. He's cute and you know he's cute, and if you look at him the right way, he even looks like Brad Pitt a little, but there are flaws. Surprisingly, he's good in bed (because you got drunk and shit happens).
Remember that - yeah we don't either.
One star is like expecting a somewhat attractive guy and being sent a Grumpy cat meme. We appreciate the effort, but no. This book was not for us. Grumpy cat might want to use it for litter though.