Monday, July 3, 2017

"The Red" -- Pushing Boundaries + Giveaway!

romance novel covers, contemporary erotica, The Red by Tiffany Reisz
The Red by Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: 8th Circle Press; 1 edition (July 11, 2017)
Genre: Erotic -- Contemporary with some PNR elements

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. 

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Today I have a cool swag giveaway (details at the end of this post) that goes alongside The Red. But first, how about a little . . . well, not quite a review, but more like a discussion of the book and my experience with it. Plus some quotes, because you know I'm not going to leave you hanging when it comes to quotes! :)

Pushing Boundaries and Trusted Authors

We all have our limits, our preferences, the things we find sexy versus the things that make us run away. But sometimes those limits can be blurred while reading romance. By that I mean, you may not like X done to you IRL, but reading about it between two consenting characters in a romance novel is a-okay! I know I've had this happen a lot over the years, and it's one of the many reasons why I love reading romance: the ability to explore the world -- yes, including, or perhaps ESPECIALLY, sexuality -- without actually having to explore it in a hands-on, personal way, you know? I love reading about other people's kinks and likes, even if I don't want to take the heroine's (or hero's) place in the bedroom for that particular scene.

From the start, Reisz has always been an author I trusted to let me explore things that are outside of my comfort zone in a safe (and often fun, complex, and sexy) environment. The Siren was one of my first -- maybe my first, period? I can't recall -- BDSM read, and while I didn't want to join the kinky group myself, I fell hard for the world, the characters, and yes, the kink -- at least fell in love with reading about it. After that, I never looked back, and the Original Sinners series is one of my all time favorites, kink and all. Of course, that series is so much more complicated than just "kink and erotica", but that's a different discussion!

Well, once again Reisz pushed me a bit outside of my comfort zone. And once again, I very much enjoyed the ride.

“You smile like the devil,” Mona said.  
“The devil doesn’t smile,” he said. “The devil smirks.”  
“You speak as if you know him.”  
“Would it shock you if I said I did?”  
“It might be the least shocking thing you’ve said to me tonight. One million dollars simply to fuck me? Really? That’s absurd.”  
“I’m not paying you a million dollars just to fuck you. Fucking you is the least of what I’ll do to you. What I’m paying a million dollars for—minimum, mind you—is to fuck with you. Pardon my French.”

The Red is not going to be for everyone.

To be clear, it's definitely an erotic tale, not so much a romance (and I don't want to give everything away, so I will leave it at that vagueness, sorry!). If you go into it knowing that, I don't think you'll be disappointed. But if you go into it thinking it'll be a kinky romance like many of Reisz's other novels, then yes, you will reach the end and feel like you didn't exactly get that.

The Red is contemporary . . . and yet not. It's a bit fantastical, a bit dream-like, with a touch of magical weaved in. Again, I'm being vague, but I truly don't wish to spell out the entire book for you!

Through the course of the story, we follow Mona as she plays a very kinky fantasy roleplay, if you will, with the mysterious Malcolm. Each of his visits is inspired by an erotic painting. It starts out simple enough, but the scenes do get more . . . well, more. A lot more. And while the first scene involved a glass bottle being used as a dildo on her (which is not really my thing, but all things considered it's pretty tame, and was well written and pretty hot, really!), later scenes move into playing around with a sex slave at an auction (also not my thing but I can't deny it was hot when Reisz wrote it here) to a reenactment of the satyr and the nymphs orgy (which had a very light-hearted feel to it, and plenty of silly dirty jokes and puns, which I always appreciate). And that's not all -- oh no, there are more scenes after that, but again, you'll just have to read it for yourself to find out what other filthy things these two get up to!

So my point is this: The Red is definitely filthy, and kinky, and a bit out there at times, as these erotic fantasies are explored. It's a bit of a mindfuck, both for Mona and for the reader, but it's satisfying and engaging. Admittedly, I do adore Reisz's writing voice and her humor, period, so even while I was a bit hesitant with some of their fantasy playing, I was never afraid of where Reisz was leading us. I quite liked being able to try something a bit different alongside these two characters, and even though I wasn't turned on by some of the actions being depicted, I was still more than a bit curious to watch. Because Resiz knows how to write good, erotic scenes. And while it's hard to explain the difference, they are definitely erotic; I don't usually read any of her scenes and think "That was so hot!", as in "I'm turned on, BRB", but I do read it and think "That was undeniably erotic, a filthy temptation that I couldn't look away from even if I wanted to".

“Wicked girl,” he said. “You almost made me spill all over your face.” “Oh no,” she said. “Anything but that.”  
“You modern girls are so hard to scandalize.”  
“Is that what you’re trying to do?” she asked. “Scandalize me?”  
“Is it working?”  
“You’ve turned me into a whore and made me happy about it. Consider me thoroughly scandalized.”  
He chuckled and it was a sinister mad scientist sound. “If you think you’re scandalized now…wait until I’m done with you.”

Promises, promises . . . though ones that he definitely follows through on! That scene continued with 100 strokes before she could orgasm, the torture/treat from taking 100 strikes from his riding crop earlier.

Like always, Reisz gives us not only a great story and erotic filth, but also social commentary that hits right to the core:

The painting had shocked viewers for the forthright way Olympia held up her head. Shameless, she was. Unapologetic. Why should she apologize? It was the men who paid her for sex. She was merely doing what she’d been told to do all her life: submit her body and will to men. How dare those men judge her? They’d created her. A woman can’t sell her body without clients to buy it. Olympia would laugh all the way to the bank and then likely spread her legs for the bank president in exchange for free checking.  

What a girl.

And there were also moments that would make me snort -- even in the middle of a sex scene:

“Do you have children?” she asked.  
He laughed softly. “I have four fingers in your cunt and you’re asking me if I have children. Do you think I’m checking to see if there’s room for one more?”

So if you want to try something a little different, explore some darker, more unusual erotic fantasies, and have a story that keeps you guessing until the very end, I think you'll find The Red fits the bill very nicely indeed.

If you want to read more quotes that I highlighted, check out my Twitter!


What authors do you trust to push your sexual boundaries?


There are 11 collectible cards in the set — one for each painting in the book — plus an exclusive author autograph card.

They are full-color front and back, 2.5 x 3.5 inches (i.e. like baseball cards). 

Please note: Prizes will be sent out in August!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep an eye out for other blogs, from other countries, also running this giveaway; you may luck out and find a blogger covering your specific country! :)


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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