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Willaful Review: The Siren

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz. Published by Mira.

Sensuality rating: Blistering, and then some.


This is less a review than a collection of impressions.  I’m feeling too shell-shocked to come up with plot summaries.

The Siren is a complex, fascinating book. I found myself often bewildered by it at first, because I kept trying to read it as a romance, despite having been warned that it isn’t one. Seriously, it isn’t one. It is a love story — or perhaps several — and like all great love stories, has a strong element of tragedy.

“The Siren” is Nora, a popular erotica writer. Writers of erotic romance often seem to stress the stability of their private lives, as if not wanting their readers to think they’re wild and crazy and think about sex all the time. But Nora is wild and crazy and thinks about sex all the time.  She’s heavily into the BDSM scene, as someone who can take either the dominant or the submissive role equally well.  And she’s polyamorous, capable of loving any number of men (or women) with depth and sincerity.

Here is Nora as seen by the person who knows her best: “Eleanor is always joking. Eleanor is never joking.”  Both of these statements are very true: Nora is brilliant, funny, and accomplished at telling the truth in a way that makes it seem like a lie.  Her life is filled with secrets and heartaches and hidden agendas.

I think this is the first BDSM book I’ve read that really includes the S & M. There is some serious physical pain in this book and some serious enjoyment of it on both sides. (Another way in which it differs from romance, which tends to feature men who get off on dominance more than on causing pain.) It was an intense, often shocking read and left me feeling like I’d been gutted, so I had to give it five stars.  Seriously — I’m using that word a lot, but it fits — it is beautifully written and emotionally draining. Do not take it on lightly.

Thanks to netGalley for providing a review copy. The paperback edition of The Siren can be pre-ordered from Amazon here; the Kindle edition is already available here. It can be pre-ordered from Barnes and Noble here.


  • Searock
    July 14
    3:07 am

    Your “impressions” are fabulous. I have already read and loved this book as well. I’m happy to have now been introduced to your blog and will be back 🙂


  • @Searock: Thank you! This is a group blog, so we have a lot of different stuff going on.


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