I don't usually write reviews for the short stories I read. Too much hard work when the reviewing could easily take longer than reading the book/story did. But, every rule has its exceptions, and this is one of them.
In this story, which takes place several years before "The Siren" starts, Soren has to go to Rome for a week and decides to loan the twenty-three year old Eleanor to Daniel, a friend of his. Daniel lives in a huge estate in New England, a place he hasn't left for over three years, since his beloved wife died. As a trained submissive Eleanor will do anything her master tells her to do, even if it means giving herself to a complete stranger, but that doesn't mean she has to like it. Over the course of a very cold week Eleanor will draw the very attractive Daniel out if his self-imposed shell. When the week draws to a close Daniel and Eleanor are closer than they could ever have expected. But while Eleanor has come to care for the man a lot, her heart belongs elsewhere.
There is so much to love about this story. First of all, of course, there are the characters. Eleanor is a wonderful character, a submissive with a strong backbone and a smart mouth and mind. Daniel is fascinating, and the transformation he goes through over the course of seven days (or 41 pages) is inspirational. But there is more. While this is a very erotic (and dare I say it, hot) story, this is a story with real content and characters you just have to care for. I loved the fact that Daniel is a librarian with a deep love for books and an obsession when it comes to the way in which his books are organised.
Tiffany Reisz knows how to write and how to do it well. Her characters have become so real for me that I wouldn't be surprised if I ran into them. I miss Soren, Eleanor and all the others when I'm not reading about them and find them popping into my thoughts regularly. The dialogue sparkles and the stories are well thought out.
While this is not a story (or series) for everyone I find myself very grateful to have discovered Tiffany Reisz and the kinky and oh so wonderful world she has created with The Original Sinners.