The Angel (The Original Sinners #2) by Tiffany Reisz
Title: The Angel
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Series: The Original Sinners (#2)
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: 1-1-12
Genre: Erotica, romance
Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.
Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.
But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.
I had been looking forward to reading this book for a long time, and it did not disappoint! I really wish that I’d read it sooner, just because I had some trouble remembering specific details about The Siren, but luckily I was still able to enjoy it very much. The author did a nice job of subtly reminding me of how the last book left off, without inundating the novel with awkward, unnecessary plot re-tellings.
The Angel was very different from the first book in the series. Many of the characters are in a completely different space from where they were in The Siren. It was almost disconcerting in some ways, like how Zachary was a major character in The Siren, but only shows up in one scene during the second book. This was a natural progression of the storyline, though, so I was able to appreciate the fact that the author didn’t keep Zachary around solely for the continuity of the series.
My favorite part about this book was the progression of Michael’s story, especially where Griffin is involved. We get to learn a lot more about him and see where he has come from. He almost takes over the role of Zachary in this book, as he and Nora are the two main characters of The Siren, so I kind of worry that he will be set aside (like Michael was) for the third book. His storyline was nicely wrapped-up, though, (just like Michael’s) and I really enjoyed getting to experience his amazing journey — a deep spiritual, emotional, and sexual awakening.
I love that there is a character for everyone to relate to in this novel: the outspoken and sexual Nora, who has qualities of both dominance and submission; the serious and powerfully dominant, Søren; the meek but curious submissive, Michael; the loving and sexually “normal,” Wesley.
I also found it really interesting that Nora was a very dominant character in the first novel, but in The Angel, we are exposed to her more vulnerable and submissive side. My only complaint about this book was that we didn’t get to see much of Søren, although he does play a bigger role than in The Siren, and Wesley has basically disappeared. I really like how the storyline is progressing, though, so I do understand why both of those things were very necessary in order to move the series along — yet, this did not feel like a “only there to move the series along” second book in a series, which is another reason why I was able to really love this one.
Now, about the sex — I find it interesting that, while there is sex and BDSM play in the novel, it serves almost entirely as a plot element. The plot is all about sex, people’s sexual proclivities, vanilla vs. kink, the psychological aspects of sex, how your parents influence your sexual preferences, BDSM as a way of life, how sex and religion intertwine, and sex as just part of modern daily life. The novel is much more a huge commentary (not in a bad way) on sex itself, rather than a normal romance novel. So, I find the sex scenes much more interesting than I do erotic, which, paired with Reisz’s amazing writing and character developments, makes this series extremely good…even refreshing.