Book 4 in the Original Sinners: The White Years series
Author Tiffany Reisz
Narrated by Elizabeth Hart
Published by Tantor Media
Publication date Oct 27, 2015
Running time 14 hrs 1 min
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Out of money and out of options after her yearlong exile, Eleanor Schreiber agrees to join forces with Kingsley Edge, the king of kink. After her first taste of power as a Dominant, Eleanor buries her old submissive self and transforms into Mistress Nora, the Red Queen. With the help of a mysterious young man with a job even more illicit than her own, Nora squares off against a cunning rival in her quest to become the most respected, feared Dominatrix in the Underground.
While new lovers and the sweet taste of freedom intoxicate Nora, she is tempted time and time again by Søren, the one man who refuses to bow to her. But when Søren accepts a new church assignment in a dangerous country, she must make an agonizing choice. Will the queen keep her throne and let her lover go or trade in her crown for Søren’s collar?
Contains mature themes. https://tantor.com/the-queen-iffany-reisz.html
While, ostensibly, this is BDSM Erotic fiction, Reisz’s brilliant writing elevates the form to literary stature in the way that D. H. Lawrence’s work. Reisz’s work is destined for legend. It is sexy, it has BDSM, but it is the humanity, the pathos, and the story that makes her brilliant.
In this particular series, we start off in a present tense, then we have one of those wavy flashbacks. At times in this series (The White Years) I have felt little connection between the flashbacks; in this the narrative holds and it was nearly perfect.
This entry in the series, with the narrator holding true for all the voices, is as close to perfect as I can imagine a story being. After aborting a pregnancy both Nora and Kingsely have run away. Kingsley rang from demons of which I feel he was not entirely aware, and Nora ran from anger, from fear and from Soren, in both Kingsley’s and Nora’s a nearly omnipotent force.
In this story, Soren is limiting Nora in the expression of her sexuality; he refuses to recognize, to allow, Nora’s true switchiness.
Now, I don’t “get” the mindset; I am vanilla and not even French vanilla. But, I recognize both the pathos of BDSM in life and as a fictional device. But, I do recognize the fall of an icon, a power. When your idol collapses it’s a trauma all around. And, that is what Reisz brings out in this highly nuanced story line.
I can’t say this stands alone; you would at least need the other parts of The White Years series. But this is a masterful and exciting look into the character’s humanity and sexuality.
Also in question herein is Soren’s continuance in the priesthood. There are at least two things other than his 20 year relationship with Nora, and a longer relationship, even, with Kingsley. I have always found it hard to reconcile his priesthood and his behavior. But, the religious belief feels genuine. It’s a conundrum.
I highly recommend this entire series, and this book is a particularly good example of Reisz’s abilities.