Return to USA Today bestseller Tiffany Reisz's Original Sinners series with Winter Tales, a collection of three fan-favorite Christmas novellas plus a brand-new novella exclusive to this anthology.
In December Wine, the long-awaited story of Nora Sutherlin's first meeting with Nico can finally be told. Nora enlists her editor (and sometimes lover) Zach Easton on a mission to track down Kingsley's long-lost son. Nicolas "Nico" Delacroix turns out to be young, strikingly handsome, and very French. He wants nothing to do with his father...but everything to do with Nora.
This special holiday-themed collection also includes the novellas Poinsettia, The Christmas Truce, and The Scent of Winter (previously available only as ebooks). A bonus short story starring Søren rounds out the Winter Tales anthology.
I step into the Original Sinners world and I never want to leave.
When I closed my copy of Winter Tales, all I wanted was more OS tales. I had the urge to go back to The Siren again and reread everything and anything that is Original Sinners related. It would be lovely to get away from the world and get lost in these books once again. Until I manage to do that, a few words about these wintery tales from me are long overdue.
Tiffany Reisz has been gifting us with Original Sinners Christmas stories for a long time. They've always been something to look forward to in the cold, bleak winter time, especially in the years after the series ended the first time with the eight book. It's really nice to have them collected in print form. I love having them in print on my bookshelf. It makes the book lover and the OS fan in me very content.
There are five winter tales in this collection. Three I've read before, and happily reread, and two are new.
This series has introduced us to a lot of characters, but at the heart of it is the unholy trinity: Kingsley, Nora, and Søren. All three are present in one way or the other throughout the collection, though I would say Søren here has the lead role. That's how it felt to me, at least.
The tale that comes first chronologically is Poinsettia . Poinsettia is the story of a Christmas many years ago. Christmas that young Søren spent in the house of a sadistic madam that was a great teacher to him. Magdalena was quite mean to him. It's something I enjoyed reading the first, second, and the third time. Søren was lovesick over Kingsley. I enjoyed that even more. If only Kingsley knew about it.
Next comes The Christmas Truce in which my dearest trio put their differences aside for one night. The story is set at a difficult time in their relationships, but they let it all go for a little while and celebrated in style. Original Sinners style. With a flashback to an even earlier and even more difficult Christmas for Nora and Søren, this was two Christmas stories in one. It was sweet, emotional, heartwarming, and a bit kinky.
Next in line are the two new additions: December Wine and Blood and Snow.
December Wine has a few elements to the plot. It is about finding Kingsley's son Nico. It is the very start of Nora and Nico's relationship. It's a glimpse into Nico's life and personality. More than that it is Nora and Zach's last tryst. Nora bargained a night with Søren for a week with Zach, and this is that week after which they're friends and friends only. So, it was sort of a goodbye to Zach and hello to Nico. The story is also filled with uncertainty of what the future will be for them all. Lots of changes happened at that time. New city, new children, new relationships.
That brings me to Blood and Snow . It's another Søren and Magdalena story. It takes place at the same time as December Wine, and as such it is also filled with uncertainty. Søren was in such a mental state he sought out Magdalena. A nice bonus short.
The last and my favorite story of the five is The Scent of Winter . It comes as no shock the story entirely from Kingsley's POV is my favorite. I'm nothing if not consistent when it comes to my fangirling. In fact, my original review for this novella was:
Yeah, that summed it up nicely.
The Scent of Winter was Kingsley and Søren's. Two winter stories in one: one from their teenage days, and one from their fifties. All quite romantic and bittersweet.
And that's all five lovely winter tales. I look forward to the future ones, and revisiting the old ones, because as I said at the beginning, I step into the world of the Original Sinners, and I never want to leave.
***An ARC was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, but I also got a paperback copy from Amazon in exchange for my money, sooo...***