Review: The Red by Tiffany Reisz

5:00 PM

The Red by Tiffany Reisz | Rating: ★★★★☆

“Do anything you must, but keep me forever.” As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

For quite some time, I've heard about Tiffany Reisz and her prowess when it comes to erotica. I'm a bit picky when it comes to what I read of the genre, and romance in general, so I often took these recommendations with a grain of salt. When I came upon a galley of this latest novel by her, I took a chance and I'm so very glad I did. I own several of her books at the recommendation of others but have yet to really stick it out with one. I will say it now: The Red sold me 100% on her works.

You've already heard how absolutely filthy The Red is but none of it comes to close to the experience of reading it. If ever there were an "I need a cold shower" read that breaks through your own boundaries and desires, it's this one. Reisz pens a crisp and clear tale of sexual awakening and it's full of taboos that you'll find either arousing or uncomfortable. I doubt very much so that there will be a gray area when it comes to The Red because it's that book. I so rarely find myself blushing from erotica or literature in general, but on many occasions I was squirming and flushed from the content of this book.

That being said: HOLY HELL. Reisz is not a lackluster writer by any means. In fact, this is probably the most cohesive and intelligent erotica release I have ever come across. I tend to only like them for the steam and fluff, without feeling compelled or attached to the characters and their lives (I am not saying every release in the genre but you get the idea) but I was so heavily invested in Mona by the final pages of the book that I didn't want to say goodbye.

I absolutely loved how Reisz worked mythology and artwork and twined it with lust, the haze of sex and letting yourself go, and so much more. The fantasy of it. The dream of it. The raw. The bizarre. The ecstasy. It was all so very intense that I can't imagine it having ended in any way than what it had; even if I had not seen everything coming my way. If you had told me I'd be peak interested in such a novel only a few months ago, I'd have probably laughed straightaway and wandered off in boredom. Yet, in all its squeamish qualities and unlikeliness to myself, I was utterly captivated and heated throughout.

The Red won't be for everyone. Beyond the content of all that smut, there are many qualities that simply won't be everyone's cup of tea and that's not something you can work around. Its plots outside of sex and art, too, won't always be everything a reader desires. It's not everyday you read a book about a young woman exploring sex in the manner that Mona is: to save her mother's beloved gallery. Aka, selling herself to a man she barely knows in an effort to get out of debt.

(Mona is such a bada*s though! Her reaction to Sebastian during one specific scene was EPIC.)

If you are, like me, always searching for boundaries to cross and something to test yourself on, something beyond the ordinary, this is going to be for you. I was constantly shocked, surprised, scandalized in the best of ways. Even I didn't fully see that ending until it snuck up on me and knocked me out. I'm officially in love.

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