Series: The Original Sinners #5
Published by Harlequin
Published on June 24th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Erotic Romance
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In the beginning, there was him.
Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn't want to break. She's sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they're apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can't be right.
But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets.
Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.
I want to start off by stating that it is very important that you start this series with The Siren (if you haven’t already done so). Though this book is a prequel to the first 4 books, please be aware that The Saint is book #5 of The Original Sinners series. Though this review is spoiler-free (pertaining to The Saint), there may be spoilers for those who have not read the previous books. Consider yourself warned. :) (For the series reading order click here.)
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:
“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl named Eleanor who had secrets she wanted to keep…”
Before I started this book, I was apprehensive about how the story would be told. If you’ve read the first four books, you’ll know that we get glimpses of past events via flashbacks throughout the “Red Years” (books 1-4). Going in, I thought I knew what to expect because “The White Years” (books 5-8) were meant to fill us in on what life was like “back in the day” with Nora and crew. With that in mind, I had a little trepidation about reading a book highlighting Nora’s virginal years, through the eyes of young Nora. I was worried that I’d come away from reading this book with a severe case of ‘blue balls’ (as we know from “The Red Years”, Nora and Søren don’t get romantically involved until she is older), and a desire to be back in the “present” to see what the gang is up to now (from where The Mistress left off).
Now, I wish I can go back and slap myself in the face for ever thinking any of those things. Shame on me. True to form, Tiffany knocked it out of the park with this book. It exceeded all my expectations, and once again, the bar was raised when it comes to her story-telling ability.
I absolutely LOVE the format in which The Saint is written. The book opens up in the present, and then we are transported to the past as it the events are recounted by present-day Nora. Think of it as a bedtime story that is told to you as you get tucked into bed with a little kink-laced nightcap. (Best storytime EVER!)
Just like the books that preceded this one, the story is told in Third Person POV. The narration bounces back and forth from the present and the past, and even though I thoughtI wouldn’t been as keen on learning what the earlier years were like through the eyes of “Young Nora”, I came to realize that younger Nora was just as compelling as the more mature Nora we’ve come to know and love. She was just as snarky, sarcastic, bold, vulgar, and unapologetic as always. This book wasn’t just about filling in the gaps, or getting better acquainted with her and Søren’s relationship– it’s about falling in love by truly using your heart, your mind, and your soul.
I wasn’t only captivated by the romantic aspects of Søren and Nora’s relationship, but also by the development of their platonic relationship as well. There were moments that my I had to “clutch my pearls” as my heart swooned out of control by Søren’s words:
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not your average “girl-meets-boy” romantic tale. As we know from the previous books, Nora and Søren’s relationship is unconventional in every way possible. In The Saint, we get a first-hand look at all of the obstacles they had to overcome prior to being able to be together. Nora had to learn to crawl before she could walk, and Søren was there to take her through the motions, and to put things in perspective.
If you couldn’t tell from all my gushing, I was blown away by the writing in this book. Tiffany Reisz is truly a wordsmith. Her stories are powerful, enthralling, and all encompassing. Every word, every scene, every Psalm & Proverb, every character, and even every collar has a purpose in her books. She leaves no stone left unturned with her plot. Tiffany’s writing goes beyond being just words on a page that you are meant to read with your eyes, and process with your mind. Her words leap out at you, and tugs at your heart, to the point where they are meant to be felt with your heart. While reading The Saint, I felt the love, the desire, the fear, the indignation, the hope, the heartache, the wonder, and the happiness. I laughed, I swooned, and I over-heated. There were even some parts in the book that I would feel a wide array of emotions all at once. For example:
“My definition of foreplay is usually classified as assault.”
“Obviously you and I are reading different dictionaries.”
“You don’t seem to understand the gravity of this situation. I am a sadist. I cannot escape that.”
My feels after I read that: amusement, fascination, uncertainty, and if I’m being honest, even a little excitement, and full-on anticipation. I mean, when it comes to Søren, I’m all in. To know Søren is to love him…and what’s a little sadism amongst friends? Amirite? Black sheets, anyone?)
When you pick up your copy of The Saint, throw out any preconceived notions that you think you may have about what you think is going to happen in this book. Yes, it’s primarily about Nora and Søren, but it’s so much more. Yes, there’s debauchery, there’s kink, there are cameos from some of our favorite characters, as well as some new faces. There are plot twists and turns, and as even a little mind-f*ckery in the mix…
“You have fallen in love with the king of all the mindfuckers.”
“Mind-fucking? Is that when you stick it in her ear?”
“Not quite. It’s when I stick it in her brain.”
Bottom line: I adored this book. Bottom line: Søren is officially my all-time favorite literary sadist, and Nora is one of my all-time favorite characters. Bottom line: With every new book in this series, I find myself more and more converted by the gospel of Tiffany’s writing. Her books completely alter your conventional (aka “Vanilla”) views of love and life.
I wish there were more stars I could give this book. This was one of my top reads of 2014. I can’t wait to get my hands on the audiobook so that I can relive this story all over again.
Add The Saint to Your TBR:
Want a sneak peek of The Saint?
Read the scene where Nora meets Kingsley, as well as an excerpt from The Saint here.
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