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Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel
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The Siren

The Siren - Tiffany Reisz THE SIREN came suggested to me by Ashelynn of Gypsy’s Book Reviews, and I took her suggestion on a whim and downloaded it. I didn’t know what to expect other than BDSM, erotica, and an editor/writer relationship. I’ve already told Ashelynn this, but I must thank her for turning me onto this book. Turning me on… Okay, the pun wasn’t intended, but I’ll take it. Anyway, I played some music and dove into this with no clue what I would find, and turns out I enjoyed every second of the dark world Reisz portrays in this deep, sensual story that is not a romance novel at all.After the fiasco that was FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, I wondered, “Should I even try to read erotica?” My forays into the genre haven’t been great. After the Anita Blake series became erotica, I gave up on it, and then FIFTY SHADES rolled around and I found myself cringing. I mean, I’ve seen better porn than FIFTY SHADES. But THE SIREN was everything that FIFTY SHADES wasn’t – it was compelling, it was dark, it actually had a real D/s (Dominant/submissive) relationship, and it had characters I rooted for versus rooting for an alien to come and eat them.THE SIREN is a story about an erotica writer named Nora Sutherland who is more than she seems. With a new publisher comes a new editor, a man named Zachary Easton who it is made known from the acknowledgements was inspired by Jason Isaacs (although probably not Jason Isaacs playing Captain Hook, but I liked this picture). When Zach throws Nora’s book out and tells her to rewrite the entire thing in six weeks, we have a story that delves into the dark parts of relationships. This is not a love story. Don’t go in expecting a happy ending, because quite frankly I wanted to strangle someone at the ending. It’s not happy. At all. For me at least.Our side characters are colorful and well-constructed, from Nora’s live-in intern Wesley to the cast of characters at the publishing house. And there were characters I genuinely hated – not because they were poorly constructed, but because Reisz wrote them to be hated, or if she didn’t mean it she accidentally did a good job doing it. And the sex! I’m fanning myself just thinking about it. We explore sensuality from the vanilla to the dark, with chains and pain and nipple clamps that double as clip on earrings. There is pain in this, real pain that causes euphoria and hospital trips. But the conundrums Nora faces in deciding between which lives to live, which people to love, which world to accept is what drew me in, along with Zach’s entry into this world and his own realizations about his love and life and the people he wanted to be with. There is rejoicing and heartbreak and slaps abounding.After this book, I promptly had to go take a shower and do some Tobias Funke-style crying.I cannot recommend this book highly enough. This book picked me up and slammed me against the pavement and slapped me around and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every page of this book, every well-constructed sentence, every word that drew me in and held me tight. This book was the erotica I needed. And avert your prudish eyes for this sentence. This book got me all hot and bothered before that damn ending dried me up. Damn you, Tiffany Reisz. You made me cry.VERDICT: This is the book that FIFTY SHADES OF GREY fans should be reading. It’s sad, dramatic, confusing, and sexy all at one time. A must read.