Banned Review: The Red by Tiffany Reisz

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.


The Meta Details:
Source: Netgalley
Format: eBook
Length: 248 pages
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance, Art Porn
Content Level: Adult
Banned/Contested: All the sex
Pearl Clutching Content: Seriously, all the kinky, BDSM, subservient, sadistic, minotaur sex you can imagine.
Trigger Warnings: under negotiated kink, assumptions of drugging (not actual drugging), using the word whore, and one toxic man with an ego so fragile… (He’s the real asshole. And no, it’s not Malcolm)
Featuring: Paintings, art history, squirming, self-discovery, and the best gallery cat in the world.


Scorecard:
Recommended for: Art lovers who love BDSM smut. BDSM smut lovers who love art.
Rating: Must read. Eggplant, eggplant, peach, peach, kissy face, winky face, broken heart, mended heart, single tear, happy tears, eggplant.


Ginny Lurcock’s Thoughts: I have a confession to make… I’ve never read a Tiffany Reisz book before. Despite the knowledge that she is one of my better Ginny’s favorite authors. I’m a terrible friend, and a terrible connoisseur of fine smut to have skipped out on her thus far.

But I’m so glad my exposure to her writing was The Red.

Billed as a paranormal Training of O, at least in some tweet I cannot now find, this book does not disappoint. The journey that Mona undergoes from modern independent woman to sexual submissive, lusting after powerful men who seek dominance is not a journey I would want to take. It’s not something I feel like the feminist in me should enjoy, either. But everything was consensual if under negotiated, and just because their kink is not my kink…

Well, it doesn’t mean that my kink isn’t reading about their kink, I guess… because fuck my life I loved every minute of reading this book. The agony of Mona’s pain, the ecstasy of her pleasure. I feel like I should repeat that line like five or six times to get the point across…

It was a lot of pleasure. And pain. And just a rough as fuck transformation into a personal whore.* The hedonism involved would’ve been enough for my emotional trip wires without adding in the soul-flaying pain as well.

And that’s without mentioning the fact that Reisz writes with such grace and seemingly effortless beauty. I know from experience writing a title with explicit sex can be difficult. Balancing sexual acts and personal growth is like walking a tightrope. Too much one way or the other and you’ll fall. The Red manages to saturate its pages with (don’t say semen…) erotic encounters that drive the growth instead of detracting from it. It becomes the plot, instead of obscuring the journey.

It… It’s fucking brilliant. And I’m in awe of Reisz, the mistress of BDSM erotica.**

(*I still flinch at the word whore, it’s a knee-jerk reaction after spending so long correcting to sex-worker. I’ve used it here, though, as it’s the word used in the story. And used not a shameful title, but a lofty goal to aspire to.
(**I couldn’t help myself)

A complimentary copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review via Netgalley.


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