The spoiler-free review! Safe to read!
If you have been following my Twitter, you will know that I am a huge fan of Ms Tiffany Reisz and in particular, her Original Sinners series of books. The Mistress is the latest paperback release, being the fourth in the series.
I absolutely adore this series, they are not only well written but they capture your imagination and the depth and humanity of the characters binds you to them so you actually care about what happens to them. They begin to feel like family, as if you’ve somehow always known them.
Even though it had been quite a while since I read Book Three, The Prince, I slid easily back into the story line with The Mistress, thanks in part to an explanatory and teaser page at the front of the book. It gives some facts which were true at the end of the last book and comments that at the end of this book, only one of the statements will be true.
The perfect way to pique any reader’s curiosity!
Resisting the usual temptation to flick through the book and gain snippets of info, I sat down and started The Mistress. Even with my day to day work and a family I finished it in two nights. I couldn’t stop reading.
There are a few specific reasons why I love The Mistress, as well as the whole Original Sinners series of erotic novels. Let’s take a look at these reasons in turn.
BDSM and Kink Element
There are heavy overtones of BDSM in the series and this continues in The Mistress. The main characters are in the BDSM scene, however there are a number of characters who are vanilla and who are exposed to the characters who are into BDSM.
The way the kink and vanilla characters interact show that Tiffany Reisz is on a mission, a mission which has my full support, to bring at least a knowledge of what BDSM really is to the masses. This leads me to my second point rather neatly.
Instead of assuming that her readers understand BDSM terminology, Tiffany Reisz is sure to explain every BDSM nuance and kink mention in the book(s). This is either through conversation between a BDSM and vanilla character, or through the narrative, which flows naturally as thought.
There is also no assumption that the BDSM practices and fetishes mentioned and enjoyed in the book are accepted by the majority either. In fact it is quite an intrinsic element of this book that many BDSM practices are seen by vanilla persons to be at best “freaky” and at worst “vile” or “repulsive”. However this is nicely contrasted by the fact that even those within the BDSM scene have their limits and personal preferences to what they deem personally acceptable or enjoyable.
There is no other option but to conclude that we are all on the same spectrum, a spectrum of humanity, sexuality and psychological enjoyment. We are all different. There is no divide, as is all too often imagined. There are those who are vanilla because they haven’t yet experienced kink, then there are those who are vanilla because they choose not to engage in BDSM.
There are also those in BDSM who wish to have periods of vanilla sex. Choice is everything. Education a close second. Safety is a priority in all things.
There is also an education about polyamory. Those within The Mistress do not practice poly fidelity which is my chosen path, but instead there is an openness which is quite clearly Tiffany Reisz’s personal ideal view of what human sexual relationships should all be like.
I can understand the idea of love and sex being different, but for me they are too bound together for me to ever be happy with my partners going off and having sex with anyone they please. In turn I don’t want to share my body with others besides my partners.
However it was interesting and understandable to read her take on relationships and polyamory, with the open relationship factor a major part of The Mistress, as with the other Original Sinners novels.
SEX. Yes, sex. It’s an erotic novel so there is plenty of it. The sex scenes are beautiful, moving, knicker twitchingly hot and offered in a choice of kink level, from touchingly romantic and vanilla, to flesh searingly kinky, painful and sadistic.
There are too many erotic novels where I can quite easily skip the sex scenes as they bore me. All the same, yawning on, page after dreary page. Peg in hole. Tiffany Reisz always captures a new element, whether a surprising twist in the scene, or a perverse, masochistic or sadistic touch which makes you gasp aloud as you read it.
Love and Emotion
The characters actions are not motivated merely by lust, material assets or because it fits with where the story is going. Every single character in The Mistress has their actions determined by, at times, insanely strong emotion. I can completely identify with this, as the majory of my life’s actions are motivated by my emotions too.
Mostly, the characters in The Mistress are motivated by love… with one obvious exception.
Despite the grandeur of some of the residences involved in The Mistress, the fanciful wardrobe of Kingsley Edge or the overwhelming beauty of Soren, this book does feel realistic. As I have said before, Tiffany Reisz has the enviable talent that all great writers hold in common: to be able to draw the scene in your mind’s eye, perfectly, with all senses catered for.
Who wouldn’t want to write in sublime beauty, a palatial setting and some rocking Regency garments here and there?
The Mistress shows that Tiffany Reisz would also survive on her talents by writing horror, if she ever tired of erotica. Some elements were decidedly Stephen King. Written in the style of a chess game, each chapter titled with a specific piece relating to a character, it’s easy to feel that you’re yet another pawn on Tiffany Reisz’s chess board, being moved forward and back by her teasing fingers as she draws you into a mindfuck here and a word trap there.
I had the sense of being a voyeur throughout the first few chapters of the book, when certain situations hadn’t yet been brought completely to light. Each new facet of the big picture is uncovered slowly, giving the reader time to process the new information and, in turn, develop and decide upon their feelings relating to it.
The Mistress is the story of a hostage situation, with would-be heroes tempered by blood and enemies in love overcoming their jealousies to work together for the best outcome.
By the end of The Mistress, the characters are full rounded in a way that you could never have imagined at the beginning of the series – even at the beginning of this book itself. I spent the last quarter of the book moved to floods of tears!
Threaded with sex, secrets, love, hate and kink, I defy any reader to award this book any less than full marks. A superb and thrilling fourth part to my favourite erotica series.
It doesn’t end there either, there are prequels to look forward to! Hurry up, Tiffany Reisz!
Buy your copy of The Mistress here at Amazon UK in either paperback or e-book edition. It’s usually £7.99 as a paperback/hard copy but at the moment it’s only £3.85! CRAZY!
PS I was recently lucky enough to receive a signed copy of The Mistress as well as some awesome merch – thank you so much Tiffany! I’ve loved your Original Sinners from the start.
– Cara Sutra