The time has finally come to keep their promises.
Out of money and out of options after her year-long exile, Eleanor Schreiber agrees to join forces with Kingsley Edge, the king of kink. After her first taste of power as a Dominant, Eleanor buries her old submissive self and transforms into Mistress Nora, the Red Queen. With the help of a mysterious young man with a job even more illicit than her own, Nora squares off against a cunning rival in her quest to become the most respected, the most feared Dominatrix in the Underground.
While new lovers and the sweet taste of freedom intoxicate Nora, she is tempted time and time again by Søren, her only love and the one man who refuses to bow to her. But when Søren accepts a new church assignment in a dangerous country, she must make an agonizing choice—will the queen keep her throne and let her lover go, or trade in her crown for Søren’s collar?
I can’t believe it, but I may have finally found a series that ended just as strong as it began. I have been a fan of Tiffany Reisz since I was first introduced to her work by a friend of mine in 2013. I devoured her first four books (Known as the Red Years) in three days. As much as I loved the books, they weren’t perfect and there were times where I would skim through a few pages (i.e. during some of the countless sex scenes, sometimes I just wanted to get back to the story at hand) or wanted to throw my tablet at the wall (i.e. the part where Søren breaks his vow, sleeps with Grace and impregnates her.) But nothing could keep me from continuing on reading her work, because it was interesting, entertaining and sexy as hell.
The White Years have been dedicated to revealing the events that led to Nora becoming what she is, a famous dominatrix and the loving sub to a sadist priest.Once again, there were some minor things that didn’t sit as well with me. For example, I’m still not sold on the relationship between Nico and Nora. While it makes sense in the long run, it felt more forced and not as well executed as most of the other relationships that have been built up. Timing also seems to be another issue, but it’s one I contribute to the fact I haven’t read the original books in two years and I’m probably just a year or two off because of that.
Much like the last three previous books, The Queen is set in the present and is meant to be a moment in which Nora or one of the other recollects important events from their past that later feed into the world in which they now exist in. The beginning picks up immediately after The Virgin, in which we get to experience the wedding of Michael (aka Angel) and Griffin. However, much like the previous books, Reisz does a great job of building up suspense, by having Nora and Søren counting down to a specific time. Nora proclaims that Søren has taken a huge risk by performing the wedding, taking pictures with the grooms and even kissing her in front of two hundred people, many of which they didn’t know. So when she begins counting down the time, you feel as if it’s until the moment he will be removed as a priest. When Nora asks to give her last two confessions to him, I even felt a sense of dread, because it’s been obvious throughout all the books, that being a Jesuit priest was as much a part of Søren as his love for Nora and Kingsley.
As always, Reisz proves she’s a fantastic story teller as she delves into Nora’s confessions: the two times she almost went back to Søren during their separation. But in truth, the stories are about more than that. They are a revelation of exactly how Nora rose to become “Queen” to Kingsley’s underground world. It’s also a revelation of just how much she loved Søren, something that wasn’t always as obvious during the first book, The Siren, and exactly how much their separation hurt her and him both. It’s a tale of two lovers finally giving in to their true selves (Nora’s dominant side and Søren’s love for Kingsley) and the many speed bumps they had to overcome to be accepting of each other.
I’ll admit I’m sad to see this series end. I have been rather fond of the stories of Søren, Nora and Kingsley. And even though the ending was verging on the edge of being cheesy, Reisz managed to recover by having Nora behave in typical fashion, by calling Søren a son of a bitch for doing what he had promised so long before… to give her everything. Thus making it a great end to a great series and definitely a must read in my book.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Pick up your copy on Amazon: The Queen by Tiffany Reisz