Today I Learned, Top Hats Do Not Make A Story

The Last Good Knight Part I: Scars and Stripes (The Original Sinners) - Tiffany Reisz
”I do see a lady in this room, the most beautiful lady I’ve seen in a long time. She’s strong, smart and completely comfortable with who and what she is. She also understands the men who want to serve at her feet.”
“I’m going to beat the shit out of you tonight and fuck you. And then probably fuck you again.”

All that.

And a top hat to boot.

So an Original Sinners novella that takes place between the The White and Red Years. Roughly after Eleanor left Soren to work as a Domme in The 8th Circle but before she got her clit ring (I need some clarification on the timeline based on this one). So of course it’s going to be The Eleanor/Nora’s Fantastical Vagina and It’s Sidemen Show kind of thing, so this is me picking my battles with our kinky heroine.

I’m guessing with Nora’s vague references about Soren during her session with the club noob Lance plus the amount of googly eyes Soren and Nora make at each other being all sexual tensiony the break up has been pretty recent. Having read The Saint and finished The Red Years, I think this is as good a jump off point to get introduced in the series as The Siren. Though, fair warning, it hardly showcases Tiffany Reisz strong points of clever dialogue and intriguing heroes.

”I knew it. SEAL,” she said. “Give me a second to pat myself on the back.”
She reached her arm around her shoulder and swatted herself awkwardly.
“This is harder than it looks,” she said. “Don’t laugh at me.” Nora switched arms and tried patting herself from around and behind her back. “I’m going to keep doing this until you admit you’re a SEAL.”

The wit felt a bit flat for me bordering on cheesy try-hard while the dialogue came across robotic. But then Kingsley hasn’t made his requisite appearance so there’s hope yet. Scars and Stripessuffered the generic issue I have with BDSM books where the kink play scenes veers towards operation manual procedure. Of the ‘go here, kneel there, give me a number, make me come’ variety. Which is unfair to The Original Sinners canon because it hardly falls prey to that pitfall, undoubtedly.

I like that this addressed that little conundrum in my head about the fine line in the Sub-Dom dynamic. When the sub’s desire ceases to be his/her own’s and defers to satisfying his/her dom’s, it makes the entire exercise, in the aspect of the giving and taking of pleasure, too tricky to follow coherently. This also provided some vivid detail on the 8th circle as a business establishment, something I always appreciate in Reisz’ novellas from this series. 

Being familiar with Reisz' oeuvre, I can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed with Scars and Stripes but I do confess that the promise of more Soren just makes it impossible for me not to continue.

Review Copy provided by the publishers.