May 10, 2020

ARC Review: THE PRIEST (The Original Sinners, #9) by Tiffany Reisz

New Orleans, four months after the events of THE QUEEN...

Søren has been suspended from the Jesuits for a minimum of one year after confessing to fathering a child. To say he's struggling with his newfound freedom is an understatement.

Kingsley is about to be a father again and is convinced something very bad is about to happen. Nerves? Or is he right that the time has come for the Sinners to pay for their sins?

And if things couldn't get worse, a handsome private detective shows up and tells Mistress Nora that a priest has just committed suicide, and she was the last person he tried to call. He would like to know why...

She doesn't know, but Nora and her new detective friend will turn over the city to find out, meeting liars, vampires, and witches along the way. When she finds what she's looking for, she may wish she'd never stepped foot in New Orleans.

Even after all these years, and all the novels, novellas, and all the short stories, I still drop everything to read the new book in The Original Sinners series.

And even after all these years and all those stories, Tiffany Reisz still surprises me.

When I first read The Siren, I was left speechless. So many surprises held the chapters of that book. Then I thought I knew what to expect from The Angel. I was so wrong, I couldn't have been more wrong. With two books read, I once again thought I knew what to expect, this time with The Prince. Cocky youth! I was wrong. I was wrong again with The Mistress. I think that was when I learned my lesson: Always expect the unexpected. It's served me well. By the time The Priest came around, I knew better than to try to answer the question What will happen in the book?. I expected the unexpected, and the unexpected I got.

It says this is the beginning of a new era in The Original Sinners series. It felt that way. Our Sinners are in a new place, geographically and mentally. After all the ups and downs, the fights, the drama, the life-threatening situations, they are living new lives. Happier lives. Calmer lives. How weird it was, after everything, to read about Nora and Kingsley arguing about paint colors. It was nice. Sweet. But still weird.

Also nice, sweet and weird was Nora and Søren's relationship. Now that Søren is suspended, he and Nora were spending more time together, and they weren't doing it in hiding. It was like a normal-ish relationship.

And I can't say sweet without thinking of Kingsley's fussing over the people in his life. He was adorable. I was somewhat disappointed there wasn't more of him in the novel, but I understood it. Since it says this is the beginning of a new era, I'm hoping there will be books focusing on him in the future.

Keeping with the theme of good stuff from the book, when I started reading The Priest, I was reminded of The Siren. The Siren started with Zach, then introduced us to Nora, and we learned about their complicated lives, and we got to meet her kinky world through both of them. In the later books that were solely from the Sinners' perspectives, I admit I missed reading about them and their world from an outsider's perspective.

Well, The Priest introduces us to Cyrus Tremont with a happy love life, as opposed to Zach's when we met him. Cyrus's private life filled him with joy. His work as a private detective helping women and children was satisfying.

Then -- and now we're heading into murky waters -- a priest committed suicide.

Cyrus was asked to investigate further, because the police wasn't going to. The officials were to rule it a suicide caused by depression and be done with it. One officer sensed there was more to the story, and asked Cyrus's help. His investigation led him to our very own Nora Sutherlin, as she was the last person the priest had called before he killed himself. That fact was enough for Nora to join Cyrus on his mission. They were fast friends. I loved their interactions. His and Nora's, his and Søren's. Plus, it was interesting reading about them uncovering clues. The people they met along the way were even more interesting.

Then it got sad. Horrific, really. The truth Cyrus and Nora uncovered was horrific.

See, you can never guess where Tiffany Reisz's story will go.

After the discovery of what led up to the priest's suicide, surprises didn't stop. Nora's decision. Søren's decision. Søren's... something else. The talks they had. The huge question marks about things I held up at the end.

Well, this can't be THE END, right? It's THE BEGINNING. I'm holding onto those words and not letting go. The Original Sinners: New Orleans has only just started!

What can I say in the end? I loved reading something new about the Sinners. (Next time, more about Kingsley, please.) I loved meeting new characters. And I loved that the story had it's twists and turns, though some of them hurt.

There's a quote in the book: Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid.

You could easily say:

Here is the world of the Original Sinners. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. Just read.

I started with

And ended with

***ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading! 


May 9, 2020

Review: WINTER TALES: An Original Sinners Christmas Anthology by Tiffany Reisz

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.

Especially now.

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...***

Until next time, happy reading! 


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