The first erotic novel that ever made me need to read the next book, was Tiffany Reisz‘s The Siren – before that I read, enjoyed and moved on. But Nora changed all that.
For it is the main character – Nora (or Elle, depending on the stage in her life) – who captured my heart and imagination.
That’s not to say that I don’t adore the cast of supporting characters, and when each made their appearance in this final installment, I gave a little “hurrah”. (NB. I’d have liked a little more Wes, but that’s because I can always do with a little more Wes.)
But Nora’s at the heart of these eight books. She’s feisty and strong and feels so damn much. And I think that’s what I loved about her best. When I read the first couple of books, I tweeted adoration to Reisz who replied “I try to make their sexuality the LEAST interesting thing about them. My secret to good erotica characters.”
Of course, the sex scenes are still flawless – the kind of scenes that the majority of Soren’s Catholic congregation would be shocked at, but they’re clever as well as sensual, and seem to be far more than literary porn (though why that would be bad is beyond me).
I suppose, in some convoluted way, I felt a kind of kinship with Nora; I discovered the series when I was going through a transformation of my own – finding myself instead of being what others saw. And in some ways, it seems right that this final book in the series is released now, at a stage where I feel so much stronger in who I am, and how to be myself with someone else.
Perhaps that seems a little self-important, but I’ve always stood by what I used to say to my students, back when I still taught: a good book will reveal more to you about yourself, than you ever would have expected.
And this is indeed a good book.
I found myself rather sad at its end. The characters have been through so much, and peering in on their lives has been an immeasurable pleasure.
Reisz is an outstanding author, whose writing bites as well as it caresses, and I can’t wait to see what she produces next.