The Saint by Tiffany Reisz
Series: The Original Sinners #5
Also in this series: The Queen, The Confessions, The Scent of Winter: A Novella
Published by MIRA on June 24, 2014
Narrator: Elizabeth Hart
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Before she became Manhattan's most famous dominatrix, Nora Sutherlin was merely a girl called Eleanor… Rebellious, 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 Marcus Stearns—Søren to her and only her—and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Eleanor is consumed—yet even she knows being in love with a priest can't be right. But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. When she vows to repay him with complete obedience, a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets that will change everything. Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.
Let’s get this straight first up. I adore this series, so you may detect a slight hint of fangirling here. And hello! I had the choice of audio and ebook. So this review is a combination of my musings on both formats of The Saint. For me there is never the notion of too much time spent with Nora…
Before you read on, this is the first book in the White Years but to get the most out of this series, you need to read the books in order. Start with The Siren (The Original Sinners #1). The other important fact you may want to consider before starting this series, it’s about forbidden love and may contain triggers for some. In my opinion it’s all in context with the focus on the characters rather than their actions.
“Saint Nicholas brought me Christmas early this year” she said, smiling as he kissed her throat. “Although sleeping with him will put me on the naughty list for eternity.”
As usual, I await each release with the kind of anticipation that’s akin to a child waiting for Christmas morning to arrive. Why? because I’ve never been disappointed with this series, each book is witty, moving and always entertaining. Knowing that it doesn’t matter whether it be Nora (Eleanor), Søren or Kingsley at the forefront of the story, what becomes obvious is that the POV that Tiffany decides to present to her readers will be relevant and needs to be shared. I have my preferences but in the end, it’s evident that the choice of narrator for each book proves to be the best way to tell each story. In The Saint, it is Nora who reaches back to share how she first met the two men that have played such a significant part in her life and her in theirs. They adore her as much as she adores them.
“All Grimm’s fairy tales start and end the same way.” she said. She took a deep breath and began, “Once there lived…” She paused and let the knife of grief stab her stomach again. She took the pain, breathed through it and let it out. “Once there lived…a priest”
It begins with a solitary moment for Nora, she needs it. Her vulnerability surfaces, something she usually keeps in check but it’s justified as the reason for her dramatic exit from the pages of The Mistress (Book 4 in the Red Years) is revealed. Will she let the moment and the offer of solace go or will she take the risk and seize the moment. Her decision will have a price but this is Nora and you learn to expect the unexpected.
The Saint provides not only an insight of Nora’s youth but the growth that she continues to experience as a woman. Through her avid listener, she begins to understand what it is like to walk in another’s shoes. It made so much more sense the second time, listening to the story, through reliving these early years, with the added benefit of hindsight, Nora and her listener have a deeper understanding of not only her but of those that have been a significant part of her life so far.
“Women and wine always get better with age”
In my mind, this book has illustrated how Nora / Eleanor / The Mistress has progressed to being that of an equal partner when it comes to the unconventional relationship she shares with Søren and King. And in this story, it is the wild child that steps up to play as an equal in their world.
Amusing, contemplative and downright seductive, Tiffany Reisz has again left me with a wonderful warm book buzz and wondering when I may decide to listen to chapters 31 and 32 again…from memory, King says it takes a week to recover!
Well, I can’t recall the time frame but I couldn’t resist reaching for the audio version which had me spending the most indulgent days listening to The Saint when shopping, cooking dinner and driving. I should suggest that it’s not a good idea to listen to this when driving, it is far too distracting 😀
Listening to the story again allowed me to enjoy this book on another level. Eleanor’s voice was not as I had imagined it. I had to keep reminding myself that she was younger. In my mind, Nora has a seductive, slightly deeper voice and it would have been good to have heard a little more distinction between the girl and the woman. Not a big issue, merely an observation. What added to my enjoyment the second time around was realising I’d missed a few details and notably picked up on the thread of The Road Less Traveled’ a lot more the second time.
What I loved:
- Everything but that won’t tell you much, so I’ll share a some of my favourite moments that aren’t too spoilerish
- Sanctuary – how can it be denied…
- Her reflections on how it all began
- Learning a new way to pray…the chair
- Her story, One Night with the King & his trade…A King for a king 🙂
- Meeting his family, getting to drive there & bonding with Claire
- Chapters 31 & 32, trust me it was a long but worthy wait…
- The lake
- Commitment…even temporary, a big leap of faith into the unknown for all
What I struggled with:
- Knowing that this will all come to an end eventually. Fortunately, these books are layered in a way that each time you read them you pick up more than you did the time before and the time before that…
Rating: 5 Fan Girl Stars
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