Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Source: Grace of Books of Love
Genre: Contemporary Erotica
In the beginning, there was him.
Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn't want to break. She's sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they're apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can't be right.
But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets.
Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.
Oh Tiffany Reisz, the things you do to me every time I read your books! *Le Sigh!*
I read THE SAINT early this week and until now I'm still unsure of my ability to share my thoughts and persuade you to pick this up and read it. I briefly had a Twitter convo with Ms. Reisz and she forewarned me that so far, THE SAINT is a fan favorite and most everyone is in love with Søren. I'm sure that I will love this latest The Original Sinners installment but once again, I underestimated TReisz passion for this story and her skill with the pen because I find myself loving this more than any of the books and short stories so far. Impossible some of you might say but if I can give THE SAINT 100 gold stars, I will.
By now you've probably read a few reviews for this book and all the mad gushing is on point. Søren will steal your heart and Eleanor/Nora will endear herself to you more than you thought possible. One thing that stood out the most to me is how TReisz skillfully crossed genres with THE SAINT: it's YA, NA, horror, thriller, and erotica among others. Now before I ruffle your feathers and start assuming that there's some sexual assault, rape and what-not that had happened... reign it in and indulge me as I expound on it a bit.
IT'S YOUNG ADULT: If you've read the other books you probably know that Søren met Nora, then going by her given name, Eleanor Schreiber, when she was 15, when Søren became her church's parish priest and bailed Nora out when she got in caught stealing 5 big ticket cars one night in NYC.
Eleanor's family life is far from ideal and despite having an easy going attitude, Eleanor can't deny the hurt she feels from having a dysfunctional childhood. Her parents are divorced, her father is a criminal and her mother is a religious nut who frequently remains Eleanor that she wants to be a nun and that getting pregnant got in the way of that dream. Eleanor's childhood isn't necessarily angsty but one can tell that she's trying so hard to gain her parent's approval and love and sometimes her efforts came out wrong despite having good intentions.
Søren became Eleanor's Mr. Miyagi, he easily became her mentor, counselor, and friend during a time where Eleanor could've easily lost her way. I loved learning more about The Beginning and knowing the story behind the anecdotes such as the 6-month stick watering and reading Eleanor's first foray into the world of erotica, writing her own version of 1001 Nights, which was hilarious by the way. I'd also like to highlight that Søren was very proper and wasn't predatory despite Eleanor's flirty advances towards him. Søren was never inappropriate and he may be a sadist but he's no child molester.
IT'S NEW ADULT: This is my favorite part of THE SAINT, it's wrought with emotions and the heart of this novel. You'd expect that once Eleanor turned 18 that Søren would be on to her like white on rice. Sorry to disappoint but Søren waited for Eleanor to be emotionally and mentally ready before introducing her to his world and all the trappings that go with being a submissive and a priest's lover at that.
It's also here where I finally understood why Eleanor/Nora is so very much in love with Søren. Aside from his killer good looks, brilliant mind, charm, and magnetic personality, Søren is a romantic! When Eleanor turned 20, Søren surprised her with a private concert and told her in music how he feels about her. It was the sweetest, most thoughtful and romantic gesture I think I've ever read in a long time. I'm not very appreciative of classical music but TReisz had me listening to Ode To Joy (I guess this is their theme song) a few times and allowed Ludwig Van Beethoven's notes to transport me to that moment, allowing myself to feel its swells and troughs and translate that into love and feelings for me to comprehend Søren's love for Eleanor.
Your nightmare might turn into your best dream someday.
IT'S HORROR, THRILLER, EROTICA: I guess these genres also serve as adjectives to describe erotica, after all pain and pleasure mix seamlessly in tales like THE SAINT. To be specific, what could be more horrific than falling in love with a Priest, and a sadist at that, and yet its forbidden aspect is both thrilling and erotic.
I apologize for this lengthy review, trust me this is already the condensed version. The Original Sinners never fails to make me ramble and get me tongue-tided at the same time as there's so many great scenes and delicious tidbits that make up this decadent installment. I keep on putting the book down not because it's boring but I want to savor the words and delay its inevitable ending. Another good thing is if you haven't started this series yet, you can do so with THE SAINT since The White Years' arc is independent from The Red Years, which is already concluded. Also there's not a lot of BDSM that went on here, it's very sparse and was mentioned/shown more in passing than in detail. Just thought I'd mention that in case you're wondering
Anyway, if you're in a rut and would like to read something SPECTACULAR, please heed my advice and read Tiffany Reisz, she won't disappoint!
The Novella & Serial
The Red Years