The Red by Tiffany Reisz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I chosed this book because Tiffany Riesz always writes gripping stories, and The Red didn't disappoint. It's very intriguing, setting the tone for a scorching hot relationship with an unexplained/strange background, from the beginning.
Mona Lisa St James needs money in order to fullfil her mother's deathbed wish :save her gallery, The Red. As all hope of finding enough money to keep The Red from drowning in debts seems lost, one night, a mysterious man enters the gallery. Malcom (whose last name remains unknown for most of the book), a hansome british man with great manners, who seems to know a lot about Mona and her predicaments, comes to her with that proposition: one year of sex, « carte blanche » with her body, no feelings involved, in exchange for very expensive paintings. Malcom visits her every month or so, each time with a new challenge, a bdsm scene inspired by masterpieces of painting.
Tiffany Reisz likes to play with her characters' (and her readers') boundaries, and in The Red it's no different. With Malcom, Mona experiences things she never would have imagined, immensurable pleasure, great pain, and whatever fantaisy Malcom can come up with. Reinterpreting old pieces such as The Slave Market, A Portrait of a Gentleman or The Luncheon on the Grass (my favorites) is erotically beautiful, using art this way is simply brilliant.
The Red has an incredible atmosphere, sometimes reminding me of Story of O, because of the old vibe I felt and Mona's complete submission, maybe, but that's where the similarities stop. The characters' emotions are palpable, their connection and chemistry incredible, most of all, their growing bond. The paranormal part gives the impression of a dream, at first I found it a little disturbing but after a while I really enjoyed the craziness and suspense it brought to the book.
All that intensity coupled with a tight plot which kept me wondering until the end, will immerse you into a divine world !
*ARC provided by 8th Circle Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!*
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