☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
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.
Guest Reviewer Jeannie’s Thoughts:
Fair warning, fair reader: “The Red” Tiffany Reisz’ latest book is straight up erotica. That being said it is some of the most well written erotica currently published. Not only in the titillating, push your buttons, one-handed-read sense, but in a literary, lyrical, creative sense. This book is going to make my best of list for 2017 guaranteed. It pushes all of my buttons. An exploration of deathbed promises and, maybe, even a little bit of grief, the story takes art and sex and debauchery creates some of the most inventive mesmerizing erotica I’ve come across in ages. Tiffany Reisz is the Mistress of the filthy and taboo. You don’t need to know a lot about art to truly enjoy the way this book is set up, so don’t let that scare you off.
Mona is a gallery owner saddled with the burden of a deathbed promise to her mother. The titular “Red” is the gallery her mother devoted her life to and that Mona grew up in. Since her mother’s death, The Red has floundered financially and Mona is on the brink of losing her mother’s beloved gallery. That is, until late one night Malcolm appears at closing time with an offer. That offer is an utterly debauched trip through the looking glass. Is it ghosts? Is it a fever dream? Or is all of this really happening?
Mona and the reader can never be sure. The deal consists of one night per month with Malcolm for a year. During that time he will have his way with Mona. And after every night Mona receives a valuable piece of artwork that helps her dig her way out of financial ruin. It’s not a love story. Or is it? What starts out as a deal with the devil, perhaps, turns into Mona coming to terms with her own sexuality and falling in love, just a little bit, with mysterious Englishmen who showed up at her door one night.
Mr. Reisz structures Mona and Malcolm’s story into 12 vignettes, very, very kinky vignettes, based on various artistic masterworks. It’s brilliant and unlike anything I’ve read before. Sexuality has always inspired art but when Ms. Reisz turned the tables and uses art to inspire sexuality you’re in for a wild, debased ride. It is hot and boundary pushing and absolutely filthy in spots. I can’t possibly articulate all of the reasons I love this story and, if I tried, I would ruin the journey. I’ll stick with the top four.
This story is courageous. Ms. Reisz threw caution to the wind and wrote from her heart – marketing be damned.
This story is the ultimate fantasy because it defies description. It has a spooky supernatural vibe, without being anything close to “paranormal romance”. When you add in Mona’s internal monologue, it becomes a beautiful psychological journey of a woman finding her true self – emotionally and sexually.
Ms. Reisz’ turn of a phrase is so artful; I couldn’t be sure whether Malcolm was a kinky stranger, a hallucination, fever dream or the devil himself. It’s tough to keep a reader guessing and engaged the way “The Red” did.
The use of art as the inspiration and framework for each of Mona and Malcolm’s encounters was provocative and inspiring. It gave depth and texture to the story and took it beyond the realm of gratuitous, raunchy erotica and made it so much more.
It’s sexy and mysterious, nasty and hot. The Red is a kind of book that creeps into your dreams and, occasionally, your waking moments. I can guarantee you’ll never walk through museum and look at the art on the wall the same way. If you’re open-minded and love a great, sexy, thought-provoking read, pick this up immediately.
About the author: Tiffany Reisz is the international bestselling author of the Original Sinners series for Mira Books and Mills & Boon, including the RT Book Reviews Best Erotic Romance 2012 winner The Siren and the LAMBDA Literary Award-winning The King. Her novel The Saint won the Romance Writers of America RITA® for best Erotic Romance in 2015. Find Tiffany online: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram