The Red by Tiffany Reisz
Published by 8th Circle Press on July 11th 2017
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Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.
Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.
The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...
The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
A woman in red always attracts attention!
Never had one woman been so happy to be in The Red. My patience was tested as life kept producing hurdle after hurdle for me to clear before I could begin reading.
Mona is in the red, literally and figuratively. Sufficiently so that when a stranger offers her a solution to resolve her financial struggles she has no choice but to accept his proposal. After all, she vowed to her mother she would do anything in her power to save The Red Gallery. What transpires is a story about survival of self as much as it was about property.
I adore visiting art galleries, delighting in the imagination and talent of others. Combining reading and a virtual art gallery trip with Ms Reisz as a tour host was a wonderful treat 🙂 Her storytelling brought the two dimensional art works described to life, which will make my next visit to a gallery an interesting experience! The erotic tales were reminiscent of the walking through the grounds of Norman Lindsay’s Gallery, located in the Blue Mountains (Australia). The whimsical adventures incorporated an abandonment of society’s polite and refined expectations of the day. Limitations are at the whim of the actors and artist in this playground.
Mona’s reason for entertaining Malcolm’s proposal became secondary to my fascination with the blurring between fantasy and reality. Therefore, when the lines of propriety were crossed, I experienced a surreal notion of acceptance. As I was swept up in Mona’s adventures my focus was fixated on where she was, rather than why or the consequences of her decisions. My acceptance of the unacceptable continually surprised me as I became lost in Mona’s world.
My ongoing inner struggle with the dreaded C word was challenged again in this story. It’s use is limited and emphasised the moment when added. This is a personal peeve and as such I feel compelled to mention it. Slowly I feel myself being desensitised and I can tolerate it in context, just not in everyday talk. You would think for a lover of dark reads, I wouldn’t fuss – but everyone has a line they draw and this is mine. In contrast, I didn’t blink at the descriptive scenarios except to occasionally read over the positional outline wondering how on earth can what they be doing work in reality. Eh, a lot of the shenanigans I wouldn’t recommend you try at home – heck forget limiting it to home, anywhere would be a worry!
The Red was suspenseful, unpredictable and not for the faint of heart. Where some stories fill you with fear to discover what lurks in the dark corners, this story evoked anticipation and thrill of what the unknown held. An amazing journey which led me to experiencing an emotional destination. Given the elaborate detail put into each scenario, the ending in contrast felt rushed. All the answers were there but it felt offered rather than discovered. The ending was quick in comparison to the rest of the story and wrapped up a little too quickly…or did I not want the story to end?
4.5 Artfully Detailed/Red Hot Stars
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