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…
**This review may contain spoilers for the series. Do not read if you have not read the first three books in the series.**
It’s been almost a week since I finished The Mistress and I feel like I have needed that time to fully process my feelings about it. I am usually a big ball of emotions after reading a Tiffany Reisz book and this was no different. I will do my best to put my feelings into words.
The Mistress picks up right where the crazy cliffhanger ending of The Prince left off. Nora’s been kidnapped by Søren’s long thought dead wife and Kingsley’s sister, Marie-Laure. She’s gone off her rocker and has kidnapped Nora in an elaborate scheme to exact revenge on Søren. Nora stalls and keeps herself alive by telling Marie-Laure bedtime stories of her life with Søren, Kingsley and Wesley. Meanwhile Søren and Kingsley are working on a plan on getting Nora back in one piece.
Alright let’s start with the things I didn’t like about this book. The first half of the book was pretty slow for me. Some of Nora’s stories seemed like lessons in BSDM, which seemed pointless since Marie-Laure was never going to understand their world. It wasn’t until about midway through that the stories really started to interest me. I also felt like there was a lot of diabolical posturing on Marie-Laure’s part, which made her a cartoonish villain instead of a menacing one. The appearance of Grace in the story also surprised me. I really like Grace from The Siren and from some of the short stories that are on Reisz’s website, but I didn’t really understand her purpose in this. Dear Wesley fell short of my expectations and I felt that his role in the story was so much less than what it could have been. My least favorite character was Laila. Søren’s niece is a sweet but bland addition to the party and her character’s purpose was apparent as soon as she showed up. I don’t want to give too much away but I thought her story arc was a little too convenient and contrived.
Now that I’ve gotten the negative things out of the way, let me tell you about the good things in this book. After three books, I didn’t really think that these characters could surprise me anymore, but they did. After The Prince, I wanted Søren and Kingsley to be together. Nora’s great but I just felt like Søren and Kingsley belonged together in a way that I wasn’t sure that Nora and Søren did. But Tiffany Reisz managed to prove me wrong and, in The Mistress, she showed me how these three characters fit together. I feel like I finally understand Nora and Søren and what they mean to each other. There is a really touching scene between Søren and Nora near the end of the book that just killed me. I also learned a lot about Nora and Kingsley’s relationship, which added another dimension to the story. And for all of you people who have been waiting for a love scene involving Nora, Søren and Kingsley, wait no more. It’s seriously awesome. There is also a brief appearance by Michael and Griffin which was really sweet. I love those two and enjoy every scene they’re in.
I know these words are inadequate. If you know me, you already know how much I love this series. The Original Sinners series is really unlike any I’ve ever read and these are characters I will not forget. While The Mistress had its faults, I thought it was a fitting end to an amazing series. I think everyone ended up where they needed to and I was happy with the outcome. Luckily, this ending is not a true ending and Ms. Reisz will be starting The Whites Years soon, which goes back to the beginning of Søren and Nora’s relationship. Thank you, Tiffany Reisz, for creating this world of strange and wonderful people and for taking me on this wild ride.
Hi, Tiffany! Thank you so much for coming on the blog today. What inspired you to be a writer and what about the world of BDSM in particular made you want to write about it?
Which of your characters do you like writing the most/least?
They’re all fun to write for different reasons. I feel a deep pleasure writing Søren’s scene. I feel smarter when I write him, wiser. I love writing Kingsley’s dirty cynicism. He says the most awful things but he does it with such joie de vivre. Nora cracks me up so she’s fun to write just to see what comes out of her mouth. Wes is my least favorite character to write because he’s the one so different from me.
If you could have a night with one of the Original Sinners, who would it be and why (my pick would be Kingsley – just sayin’)?
Søren. I love him. He’s my absolute favorite Sinner. We don’t even have to have sex. I just want to sit at his feet and listen to him. But if he wanted to do blood-play with me and have crazy sex, I wouldn’t tell him no.
Your characters are not traditional romance heroes and heroines. They’re damaged and complicated and fascinating as hell. Given that your stories and characters are pretty nontraditional, what do you think draws people to them and makes this series and its characters so popular?
Honestly, I think it’s the humor in the books that make them popular. People will forgive anything of a character if that character makes them laugh.
What’s surprised you the most about this series (whether it’s the characters, the popularity, how you write it, etc)?
I’m most shocked by how many vanilla readers I have. I write for kinky readers which is why I don’t whitewash the S&M. That so many people who have zero interest in BDSM love the books is a wonderful surprise.
Cake or pie and what kind?
Chocolate pecan pie!
Tour-wide Giveaway: **Open to US ONLY** (1) Kindle 6” E-reader, (10) Signed copy of The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz, (3) e-book of The Mistress, (4) e-book of The Mistress Files, (1) 10 minute phone call with Tiffany Reisz, (1) Swag Bag containing: 4 signed bookplates, bookmarks, 1 Original Sinner button, and 1 Original Sinner pen. All winners will be drawn on August 11th and notified by The Novel Tease via email provided.
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