Review

The Red by Tiffany Reisz

“decadently deviant ride filled with jarringly explosive sexual encounters and mysteriously compelling characters that will steal your heart. ”

by Scandal
The Deets Genre: Erotic Fantasy  | Series: standalone  | Publisher: 8th Circle Press  | Source: ARC  | GoodReads
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Leave it to Tiffany Reisz to drop some words that leave me speechless. Ok, that’s a lie, I’m not speechless, I’m full on ranty about it. If you recall, Reisz is one of my Top Three Authors, authors that never do me dirty, whose books never disappoint. We did a podcast on it, check it out. When I cracked open this book, I had zero idea what I was getting into…okay, that’s a lie, too – I knew I was getting into something filthy and delicious because Tiffany Reisz wrote it and 8th Circle Press published it – that’s her company, with her husband Andrew and that means it those books can be as decadent and deviant as they want to be. THE RED is different from anything else I’ve read this year…hell, maybe in forever so let me tell you why you should give it a try.

As I mentioned in my June Cherry on Top pick, THE RED is actually a book Nora wrote back in Reisz’s Original Sinners series. In that series, our heroine Nora is an erotica writer, banging a Jesuit Priest in the bowels of NYC’s most exclusive BDSM club and at the rectory, as you do. If you’ve not read that series, I implore you to get off the fucking stick and read it. You do not need to read that series or know anything at all about it to read and enjoy THE RED so don’t sweat that, you just need to read that series because it’s that fucking good. I’ve not read a lot of erotic fantasy, in fact, I naively didn’t realize that is even a category until I read THE RED. You might be asking yourself right now, what that even means. Without giving anything away, I’ll tell you – THE RED has an almost supernatural feel to it, with its dreamlike sequences and scenes, it takes you to a different world, almost. But, I caution you, do not count this book out just because I used the word supernatural to describe it – that would be your loss. We are used to reading BDSM sex scenes, in those you can see things like pony play to daddy stuff and literally every damn thing in between. Well, in THE RED, the sex scenes begin by mimicking some subversive pieces of art. So it’s artsy without being exclusionary – have no fear, you also don’t need an Art History degree to read and enjoy this tale.

So Mona Lisa St. James is the daughter of an art gallery owner, the name of the gallery is The Red. On her deathbed, her mother made Mona promise to do whatever it takes to always and forever keep the doors of The Red open for business. Well, her mom’s death was not quick, it was one of those savings draining, long drawn out illnesses that leaves behind a woman, Mona, all alone and completely drained of her finances. Mona does the best she can to keep the gallery open for a while but eventually, the bills and creditors force her to move towards closing up shop. Enter Malcolm. This devilishly handsome and somewhat cryptic patron of the arts saves the day with an offer Mona can not refuse. The method of payment comes in the form of art…this is uninhibited Tiffany Reisz writing so naturally, Mona has to earn this saving grace on her back. Malcolm is a huge fan of the art world, so the scenes they play begin with images from famous, or perhaps infamous painting. Things like The Slave Market, Nymphs and Satyr and Roman Charity are depicted in their scenes. This stuff is high brow artsy kinky and originality in its prime. This is also where the fantastical element comes into play. Don’t try to overthink it, just go with it. I mean, you might even encounter a minotaur along the way. I feel like I’ve already said too much, so I’m going to stop and suggest you just open your mind and trust me on this one.

We already know Reisz can craft a story that is unique. We already trust her stories to expose her seemingly effortless pacing and writing style. She opens a portal to her beautifully twisted brain much like a junkie opens a vein. If you are willing to trust Reisz, she will take you on a decadently deviant ride filled with jarringly explosive sexual encounters and mysteriously compelling characters that will steal your heart. I challenge you to read it and come back here to tell me your favorite parts. To sweeten the pot, we have a giveaway to share with you. As I’ve stated, this book revolves around the art world. Tiffany is giving away a set of 11 baseball-esque cards with images from the works of art mentioned in THE RED. There’s also a special autographed card in each pack. Now, I can only open this up to US residents but, if you look for it, there are bloggers all around the world doing this giveaway – they will have it open in your neck of the woods, even you, Natalija, in Italy!

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Smooches,

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8 Comments

  • carissa says:

    ella frank’s book “obsession” deals with an artist and I loved it!

  • Maggie&Teddy says:

    Scandal! I really loved The Red. I gave it 4,25 stars, but I keep thinking about this book! Thank you for putting it in the The Cherry on Top. I scored an ARC. I’m a new Tiffany Reisz fangirl. I bought The Night Mark & The Bourbon Thief. I gotta make time for them.
    I can’t think of the name of the artsy book that I liked- but there were flashes back & forth (which I don’t usually like )& it was set in So Calif. Gah, It’s driving me crazy.
    Oh well-it wasn’t as GREAT as The Red -by a mile.

    • Scandal says:

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I can’t stop thinking about it too – Reisz is such a boundary pusher, it’s amazing. While I really enjoyed The Bourbon Thief, like really, really enjoyed it – I think the Night Mark is my fave but I’m a known lover of time travel books, so there’s that!

  • Karen Stobbe says:

    This was a very interesting and unique concept. There were many things I liked about it and only 2 that I didn’t. Without giving anything away, the Dislikes revolve around 1) October & 2) Spencer’s final vow. I didn’t like it in the park either. That being said, There were many things I liked about it. Especially combining the art. I kept my smart phone handy so I could look up each painting and it really helped to be able to SEE what was being described. Plus I feel like I took mini art lessons mid the book that were actually fun and didn’t take away from the story at all. No, you don’t need to look them up to enjoy the stoy as Tiffany does an excellent job describing them but I am more visual and realling enjoyed taking a few minutes to see. I’m also the girl who will stop in the middle of a Kristen Ashley book and listen to the song she mentions during a scene to absorb the feels more.

  • I have never read a book centered around art before. Here is my opinion though if Tiffany writes it then I will always read it. She is my favorite author. I attended my first author event in April and it was a bucket list item to meet her. Awesome review, and I agree, everyone needs to read TOS series, all time favorite series!! These cards would be awesome to win for the die hard sinner fan 🙂

    • Scandal says:

      Priscilla, you are going to love The Red. Remember, this is the book Nora wrote and we all know Nora is filthy!

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