Twice as Nice: Letitia’s Take on The Angel by Tiffany Reisz


The Angel (The Original Sinners) by Tiffany Reisz
Contemporary / Erotica
2012-09-25 (Harlequin MIRA)

Rating: A+
Heat: Sizzling

Heroine: Nora Sutherlin - Writer, Switch 
Hero: Soren Stearns - Priest, Sadist
Hero: Michael Dimir - Teenager, Masochist
Hero: Griffin Fiske - Trust Fund Baby, Dominant 
Hero: Wesley Railey - College Student, Virgin 
Setting: New York, USA


Miz Reisz slays me! Now I have to put all the feelings (read: emotional torment) that she put me through in this book into words. Honestly, I think I loved this book too much to do it justice!


The Angel takes place thirteen months after the end of The Siren.

If I were going to sum up The Angel in two words, I would say it is a tale of secrets and revelations. It explores the characters we grew to love (or, for some, another emotion… perhaps fear or loathing) in The Siren more thoroughly. It delves deeper into them, into their histories and memories... And each one hits you like a physical blow—like a knife to the gut. So real and painful.

The secrets and revelations weaved throughout are brought to light by Suzanne Kanter, a war correspondent moonlighting as an investigative journalist. Led by blind hatred and a complete loss of faith, Suzanne has it out for the clergy. When she receives an anonymous fax with a short list of names for the recently vacated position of bishop, complete with an elusive asterisk next to Father Stearns name, she is positive something hinky is going on at Sacred Heart. And, like a dog with a bone, she will not let it go. The lengths that she goes to... the lines she was willing to cross... made it hard to like her. Violating peoples privacy like that did not sit well with me. And yet, if a child had been or still was being abused, I would applaud her efforts to expose it. Suzanne’s personal vendetta exposes our favorite Original Sinners in ways I didn’t see coming.

Who knew an asterisk could cause so much trouble?

The first such character to be splayed wide open is Nora. The Nora in The Angel isn't the submissive we met in Seven Day Loan or the Dominatrix of The Siren. The Nora in this book is an amalgam of the two, melding and weaving parts of herself from each into the woman that is simply Nora the Switch—feisty, impertinent, and unconventional. She is a lesson in contradictions. Nora manages to have facets to her personality that you wouldn’t think are compatible, such as being subservient whilst also having a backbone of steel. I love and adore her, plain and simple. And with each page, with each look into her past (seriously, Suzanne, you have no boundaries), my girl crush on her grew and grew.

And then there is Soren. He is still every bit the intimidating presence as before. He is dark and scary and sexy as hell. And his dark needs are shown and explored in much, much greater detail in this book—as well as slowly revealing the man behind those desires. Discovering Soren, learning his history... the more you uncover, the deeper you go, the more you become consumed by him. The Angel is such an intimate peak into why he ticks the way he does. When Suzanne goes sniffing for skeletons, well, her senses are bloodhound sharp. Everything she uncovers about Soren—it all adds up to such a complicated and compelling man. Soren… He is one of a kind.

As the titles hints at, as ‘angel’ is the safe word Nora gives him in The Siren, Michael has a big role in this novel. And he is… such a soft character. In this Original Sinners world, there aren’t very many who can be called soft. Michael is quiet and gentle. Scared of so much. Hurt and confused. Because of his bisexuality, his masochistic desires, he has always felt alone… and lonely. I have never read a character who needs affection the way he does—and deserves it. You just want to scream, ‘Love him! Why don’t you all just love him!’ It really rips and stabs at your heart. And Soren sending him to the country with Nora, to shield him from Suzanne’s investigation, was just what he needed. It led Michael to Griffin.

Griffin. This playboy socialite, who is always looking for a good time, really throws you for a loop. Such a transformation in the course of one book. He becomes so much more than a trust fund baby who will do anything to get laid. More important, he discovers for himself that he is more than that. While he helps Michael find his voice, Griffin ends up finding his spine. And the fact that they find them, find themselves, as they’re finding each other... Beautiful and powerful.

In the way that Soren rarely appeared in The Siren, except in Nora's thoughts, this time it is Wesley we see mostly in Nora's mind. I love the way that Miz Reisz toys with us, the readers, by presenting different views and different perspectives, by changing how and when a character is shown. In the case of Wesley, it made it crystal clear for me that though he played such an important role in The Siren, and in Nora’s life, we the readers don’t really know him. Not yet, anyway. The distance made me realize he is as much a mystery as Soren was. One I deeply, desperately want to unravel.

It feels like Miz Reisz writes these characters, constructs them, with the express purpose of gnawing at my heart and soul. They are all flawed and damaged in a way that is believable and relatable—none of them are perfect and pristine. Each character has layers and shades and textures… which adds up to simply human. Over the course of the book, the more Suzanne digs, the more she uncovers, it almost feels like you get to know them as well as you know yourself. Which is to say… intimately, completely, and yet somehow not at all.

There are so many adjectives that I could use to describe The Angel—beautiful, harrowing, consuming. Fantastic, wonderful, marvelous. All of them are true and yet none of them are quite what I wish to convey. Those words are too… conventional. And The Angel is by no means conventional. Rules? Miz Reisz breaks them. Lines? They’re just a starting point meant to be crossed.

Spanking, an underused synonym for good, is now my go-to word for anything Tiffany Reisz writes. No other word will do. The Angel by Tiffany Reisz is spanking! Hardcore spanking. And if you don’t read this book… well, you might just be in for a hardcore spanking of another kind.

Favorite Quote:

“You are my heart,” he said. He’d said those very words to her that morning. But that morning, they’d sounded affectionate and playful. Now he said them as if he were stating a fact of anatomy. “I will not lose you. I’m sending you away to keep you safe. Do you understand? Say ‘Yes, sir.’”
Nora nodded and swallowed a sudden lump in her throat.
”Yes, sir.”
Soren bent his head and kissed her long and slow before pulling back.


Thoughts While Reading:

0.0% - "Nora! Soren!"
17.0% - "Holy revelations...”
58.0% - "Lucky, lucky Suzanne."
100.0% - "A++++++"


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