The Angel

Image of The Angel
Author(s): 
Release Date: 
September 24, 2012
Publisher/Imprint: 
Mira
Pages: 
416
Reviewed by: 

“The tenderness with which Ms. Reisz writes the love story that develops between these two men belies genre and stereotype. . . . This is not your mother’s Harlequin romance.”

With a closing sentence that is laugh-out-loud funny, Tiffany Reisz continues to surprise with The Angel, the second book in The Original Sinners series.

It’s been a year since erotica author and renowned dominatrix Nora Sutherlin pushed young housemate Wesley out of her life and returned to her priest and former lover Søren as his submissive. Trying to forget the fact Wesley has taken residence in her heart, Nora accepts the physical pain Søren, a sadist, requires to express his love.

The novel opens with a tender scene between Nora and Søren, a rare glimpse of their absolute ease with one another. Their tranquility is shattered by the sudden prospect of Søren’s promotion to bishop, and the arrival of an investigative reporter tipped off to a potential conflict of interest.

To protect himself, as well as Nora and a young parishioner named Michael who knows their secret, Søren arranges to send them upstate for the summer to the luxurious home of Griffin Fiske, a wealthy member of their underground BDSM community.

At 17, Michael is suffering the consequences of his family’s disapproval, and Søren and Nora know this might be their last opportunity to help him learn the lifestyle that could ease his suffering.

“Angel” is Nora’s name for sweet yet desperate Michael, who fantasizes about the famous author but falls hard for Griffin’s irresistible charm. Griffin is equally captivated by the beautiful, damaged young man, but standing between them is Søren’s order that Griffin keep his hands off the boy.

The tenderness with which Ms. Reisz writes the love story that develops between these two men belies genre and stereotype. Love is universal, and author Reisz reminds us that acceptance should be, too.

Unapologetic in her portrait of BDSM, Ms. Reisz offers explanations but does not demand understanding. She shatters convention with characters who crave pain with their passion, and it’s impossible not to be moved by their stories.

As Nora’s mother entreats her to consider giving up Søren for the vanilla love offered by Wesley, she asks “Can you just try to love someone or even let someone love you who doesn’t want to hurt you? Is that too much to ask?”

When Nora and Søren reunite after the investigation ends, Søren risks his own heart by pushing her to acknowledge her unresolved feelings for Wesley. Infusing the darkness of Søren’s obvious pain with the bright light of his overwhelming love for Nora, the story closes with a delightful line.

Tiffany Reisz’ writing is as intelligent and skilled as her storytelling. Well written and meticulously edited, her work is raising the bar for erotic fiction. This is not your mother’s Harlequin romance.