Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA; Original edition (July 24, 2012)
Read a copy from my personal library.
Summary from Goodreads:
The Siren is a modern-day retelling of My Fair Lady with uptight English literary fiction editor Zachary Easton as an unwilling Professor Higgins and well-known wild child Nora Sutherlin as his erotica-writing Eliza Doolittle. Zach only has six weeks left at Royal House New York before he heads to Los Angeles to take over as Chief Managing Editor at Royal West. When his boss orders him to help Nora Sutherlin rewrite her latest novel, Zach agrees to work with her only if he is given complete control over the fate of her book. If Nora doesn’t rewrite it to his satisfaction in six weeks, Royal won’t publish it.
Coloring inside the lines and following the rules of romance is not something that applies to Tiffany Reisz or the story she has written with; The Siren. She has made up her own rules for her characters and the story progress, and I was engrossed by it. The Siren might not be a romance in the traditional sense of the word but it is in fact a story of the heart, of emotions, of conflict and passions. Not every author makes such a story work for me because I need characters whom I care about and whom fit an out-of-the-box story. All I can say is that Tiffany Reisz hit the mark with Nora, she is the epicenter of The Siren in which everything revolves around.
I am blown away by the depth and layered characterization of each character but Nora was fascinating me from the get-go. She is full of joie de vivre, unapologetic in her passions, straight forward in her opinions and with each page I wanted more of her. Her inner conflicts resonated with me, connected me to her and kept me on edge where she would go and what she would ultimately choose for herself. Reisz created such a distinct and memorable female lead with Nora that it is a good thing she created equally distinct and memorable men to opposite Nora.
Zach, Søren and Wesley are three men in Nora’s life for different reasons. Zach is an editor and assigned to Nora’s new erotica book. He is layered and conflicted with an attitude that, in combination with Nora, made the pages sizzle and burn just by their interaction alone. Wesley is this sweet heart of a young man, completely entranced by the woman Nora is. He brings a fresh faced innocence to the story that sharply contradicts the edgy BDSM elements. I liked him a lot, I liked his role in Nora’s life and my heart was touched by him on various occasions. And then there’s Søren. Oh.My.Lord!!! How he pushed my buttons!!! I wanted to fight him, I wanted to scream at him, I wanted him out of the story, I wanted more of him in the story and I was utterly spellbound by him. He got a rise out of me with his self-assured charisma. His past with Nora is rooted in so much emotions and Tiffany Reisz made me feel every bit of the love, the pain, the despair and the utter feel of belonging together. I think the portrayal of Nora and Søren’s relationship was powerful via the memories/writing of Nora and it made it all feel so very personal. With Søren I was pulled in two directions but all I knew by the end of this story is I wanted more of him.
The characters, both major and minor, where everything I ever wanted as a reader. I love to dive in to the soul of the characters and Reisz laid them all bare for me. I wanted to feel and witness the conflicts with each character, and Reisz established that connection full force! I wanted the dialogues to become a live wire between the characters and Reisz made it so! I’ve said it before but the dialogues between Zach and Nora are verbal Viagra. The potency of their animated conversations kept my succumbed to the pages until the wee hours of the night. Their attraction is exquisitely drawn in my mind’s eye via the verbal and physical interaction. I was completely absorbed by the main characters and loving it every page. The relationship development might be out-of-the-box but it has class and finesse!
The writing voice Tiffany Reisz possesses is a luring one. It’s one that kept me focused on these wonderful, complex characters and the emotions they feel. The eroticism is spine tingling hot, edgy but so well drawn it has a mesmerizing allure to it. The eroticism serves a purpose that is aimed at the core of each character and it made them come alive for me even more. My heart was ripped open by the choices they made but oh, how the author made it work for me.
The Siren is a deftly written erotica story that wow-ed me from the first chapter and left me baffled by the end. Nora, Zach, Søren and Wesley are memorable and emotive characters whom come alive in all their strengths and flaws. The interconnected relationship between Nora and her three men is rich in emotion and diabolical in its conflict which makes it very good for the reader to unravel it all. I fell so hard for this story and the writing talent of Tifanny Reisz that she became an instant favorite author of 2012 for me!
And now here he was, hauling his arse into Connecticut to meet some loony smut writer who’d somehow convinced one of the most respected lions in publishing that she deserved one of the best editors ion literary fiction. Yes, some days he hated his job. Today he felt certain it hated him back.
“Writing erotica is like fucking someone for the first time. You aren’t sure exactly what he wants yet so you try to give him everything he could possibly want. Everything and anything…” She enunciated the words like a cat stretching in sunlight. “You hit every nerve and eventually you’ll hit the nerve. Have I hit any nerves yet?” Zach clenched his jaw. “Not any of them you were aiming for.”
Zach & Nora dialogue:
“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Zach shook his head.
Nora leaned in close to him. He was suddenly and uncomfortably aware of the long, bare curve of her neck. She smelled of hothouse flowers in bloom.
“I can.” She breathed the words into his ear.
Zach exhaled slowly, pulled, reluctantly away from her.
“I’m a brutal editor.”
“I like brutal.”
“I’ll make you rewrite the whole book.”
“Now you’re trying to turn me on, aren’t you? Shall we?”
“Fine,” he finally said. “Save me then.”
“Søren,” she said and met his eyes. In those dark, dangerous depths he saw a glimmer of something human - not merely sympathy but empathy. And he felt something inhuman in response – not passion but pure animal need. For a brief moment he imagined his hands digging into her thighs and the bite of her leather boots on his back. He tore his gaze away before her uncanny ability to read him saw that image in his hungry gaze.
Why was he letting himself think about this? He had to stay objective about the book and its enigmatic author with her dark hair and red dress and her words that burned.
He placed his hands on her fluttering stomach and brought them slowly up to her breasts. A night with him meant waning pleasure and waxing pain, waxing pleasure and waning pain. He brought her through the cycle over and over again. The pain brought her body to life. The pleasure was always most acute when it followed the pain.
His mouth was at her ear now. With words intimate and secret he whispered his love for her, his pride that she was his property, his possession, his heart. She was always his, would forever be his. New tears flowed now but they were ones wrenched from her by love and not torture. This was her favorite pain.
“I blew you. You liked it. Get over it,” she said as a naked woman wearing only a tail feather held in place in a way Zach didn’t want to think about sashayed past their table.
It was the strangest sensation. Her instincts told her to throw him on his back, tie him down and have her way with him. Lying there so passively while he touched and kissed her felt so unusual, as if he was making love to her in a foreign language, a beautiful language to hear, but one she didn’t understand.
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