Tiffany Reisz continues her Original Sinners series with book two, The Angel. Reisz’s edgy, innovative story of writer and dominatrix Nora Sutherlin continues as Søren sends Nora to a secluded mansion to train newbie sub Michael, while Søren works on preventing a scandal from leaking. With elements of mystery and the introduction of a few new faces, not to mention scorching hot sex scenes, RT’s Mala and Elisa had plenty to say about this story.
Elisa: I was so happy when the book opened with Nora and Søren happily ... erm, fornicating? Engaging in hot kinkery? Whatever you want to call it, as part of Team Soren, I was pleased.
Mala: I was less than thrilled to see Nora and Søren happily doing anything after the gut-wrenching ending of The Siren. And, okay, blatant member of Team Wesley here, so take that into account. But it was tough for me to reconcile that brutal close with the blissful pair at the beginning of The Angel. Luckily, when Søren’s name comes up as a possible candidate for Bishop, the plot doesn’t take long to thicken! (Make your own jokes here...)
Elisa: The Siren didn’t exactly have your traditional happily ever after with wedding bells and kisses and puppies. (Puppies usually come with HEAs, right? They should.). But you’re right, a year after Nora and Søren have settled back into their old routine, a nosy journalist named Suzanne starts digging into Søren's past, which isn’t a good thing for a Catholic priest in a hot-and-heavy BDSM relationship. Not to mention teenager Michael, who Søren gave to Nora as a “gift” in The Siren, is wrapped up in all of it and Søren could get mistakenly pegged as a pedophile. And Nora, well, her scene with Michael wasn’t exactly legal. It’s a rocky start to the book, for sure.
Mala: Right, but we immediately see our kinky Justice League coming together to solve their problem. I don’t like Søren, but I have to admire how he instantly goes into protective mode, wanting Nora out of town while Suzanne does her digging and insisting Michael, who has finally started to come out of his shell after his suicide attempt, get gone, too. And that’s where some of the sigh-worthy romance in this book comes into play! While Nora and Michael are off upstate with naughty playboy Griffin, Søren and Kingsley focus on neutralizing the threat on the homefront.
Elisa: Kinky Justice League! I love it. They should have capes. And Griffin, oh Griffin. One of Nora’s former playpals, Griffin is part of an affluent family with a lavish estate in the country. It’s just him in a big ol’ mansion with a ornery butler (who Griffin calls Alfred, so the Justice League joke totally works), so he’s happy to have the company. Not to mention both he (and Michael) can’t wait to get Nora alone.
Mala: Best butler of 2012 in erotic fiction? I certainly think so! He made me LOL on the subway as I devoured The Angel on my Kindle. His first appearance, alongside a kilted Griffin, had me rolling:
“Master Griffin, I would marry my own mother for the excuse to stab my eyes out with her brooches rather than see anything under your kilt,” the man’s voice said with elegant aplomb. “Where would you like your guest’s things, sir?”
I wish I could say this book is all giggles, but it gets pretty heavy, as we delve into Søren’s past through Suzanne’s determination to get dirt on him. She’s not a “villain” or a bad person, she just wants to understand!
Elisa: Suzanne’s investigation of Søren, and what she and readers discover, is exactly why those who didn’t like Søren in The Siren need to pick up this book. It will change you! You will come over to the dark side! Ok, maybe you won’t, but you’ll learn a lot more about Søren and why he is the way he is. He’s definitely a more sympathetic character, and his care for Nora and Michael, as well as the rest of his congregation, really comes through in this book. Søren’s past is incredibly twisted and bothersome, but learning more about a character that was previously such a mystery made this book so addicting.
Mala: Yeah, I could not put this book down, both for the mystery and backstory reveal elements, and for the softer side and the unfolding love story at Griffin’s manse. Tiffany Reisz has something for everyone in this book — including scorching sex scenes and love scenes (yes, readers, I do think there is a distinction, and I think Griffin and Michael would agree...!).
Elisa: Yes! I’m so glad you brought up this distinction, because the author certainly separates sex and love scenes in her writing. Her sex scenes are hot, and while her love scenes are too, they’re also passionate. Michael gets to Griffin’s house thinking that he’s finally about to get the woman of his dreams, Miss Nora Sutherlin. And he does (as does Griffin), but he realizes that she’s not entirely what he needed. Let’s just say that this book does get a traditional HEA, it’s just not with who you’d expect...
Mala: Ah, but what does Nora get? Søren definitely wants her to answer that as much as the readers do. It remains the overarching question of the series, and The Angel does address the Søren/Wesley conundrum in depth — with some major surprises along the way.
Elisa: Wesley has been keeping himself busy in Kentucky, where he retreated to after Nora kicked him out. He even has a new girlfriend, but that doesn’t replace the strong feelings he still has for Nora. And — ok, here’s another reason why Søren is so awesome in this book — Søren is pretty insistent that Nora make peace with Wesley, which proves that he really does have Nora’s best interests at heart.
Mala: Man, I want to argue with you on that, but you’re actually right: The biggest reason I’m on Team Wesley is not actually Søren but Nora herself! She is, pardon the pun, Mistress of her own Fate and it’s her struggle, her pathos, that’s driving this seemingly never-ending love triangle. Does she want purity or pain? She has to decide ... and you have to read The Angel to find out if she, or someone else, makes the choice.