Updated: Jan 25
by Tiffany Reisz
Published by 8th Circle Press
Book 1 in the Godwicks Series
Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery.
Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.
Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.
The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Sexually Explicit Erotica Interesting
The Red by Tiffany Reisz is the first book in her Godwick's series, and centers around Mona, a young woman who is struggling to make ends meet fulfilling a promise she made to her mother on her deathbed: no matter what she has to do, save The Red, her art gallery. After exhausting all avenues, and nothing left to do, Nora decides she needs to sell. Until she walks out of her office, and see's a mysterious man, who makes her an offer she can't refuse: For her to become his whore, for one night a month, for the year, where he will be allowed to do anything he wants to her as long as she doesn't come to harm. In exchange, he will pay her in expensive, rare art, that will get her out of debt, and give her a cushion.
The Red has been on my tbr list for a long time, but once I got sent the ARC for The Pearl (the third book in this series), I realized I needed to get my butt in gear and start reading. I gotta say ... Tiffany Reisz is an odd egg. I mean, I knew that. Her Original Sinners series is so out there, you just know she is a bit of an oddball. The Red is further proof of this. It's an insane concept. I wasn't overly crazy over the plot, to which, there isn't much. Tons of sex, and intense, dirty, perverted sex, which is usually what you want in an erotica. Tiffany doesn't shy away from sex. Each chapter is pretty much a recreation of different paintings. Some scenes are great ... others made me cringe. Admittedly though, I gobbled this book up (and no, not just because of all the dirty stuff), but because I knew there was something going on with Malcolm's character, and I wanted to know if I was right (I wasn't. I was close though. haha)
I think one of the problems for me with The Red, is the characters. They aren't very likeable. I love that Mona isn't ashamed of her sexuality, but there isn't anything we really get to know about her other than that. I wish we had more character development. Malcolm's character is the most interesting, but honestly, he isn't all that likeable either. Charming, sure. In the end, his character made sense, (and spoiler alert ---------> Once that scene of the naked picnic happened, I knew that she was going to end up with who we learn by the end is Spencer, Malcolm's grandson. <---------- ), and I loved the twist ... but with all the, lets admit, CONTROVERSIAL sex that happens in this book, it's hard to get over the fact that he -----------> has a threesome with Mona and Spencer. His grandson. And yeah, I know they didn't touch each other, but still. Ew. <------------.
The Red is definitely an interesting read for erotica readers. I love that famous works of art are the setting of many of the scenes in this book, despite it being ... well ... weird. There are things that made me cringe though. And hey, I am a very open minded person. But some things do cross a line.
In Case you are curious, below is a slideshow of the works of art that Malcolm and Mona reenacted.
The "Olympia" scene
The "le dejeuner sur l'herbe" scene
Spencer grabbing the painting off the wall and throwing Mona over his shoulder
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Malcolm: "Fetch it please."
Mona: "Fetch it?"
Malcolm: "A man can get the same thing from his wife as he could get from a whore, but the wife might want to talk after."
Mona: "God forbid."
Malcolm: "You're twenty-five years old, yes?"
Mona: "I am."
Malcolm: "A good age."
Mona: "And why is that?"
Malcolm: "Twenty-five means you're old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway."
Mona: "You smile like the devil."
Malcolm: "The devil doesn't smile. The devil smirks."
Malcolm: "Art should be dangerous, you know. It should say something to society that society doesn't want to hear. Do you know what the opposite of art is? Propaganda. There's too much of that in the world. Not enough art."
Malcolm: "I have trouble respecting a woman who gives away for free what she could sell for good money. Whores are the only women who known their own worth. I mean that."
Malcolm: "I'm not the devil, my darling. The devil wants your soul. I only want your body."
Mona: "Malcolm ... you told me not to love you. Don't make me love you."
Malcolm: "But do you miss me when I'm gone?"
Mona: "The things you do to me ... I'd never dark dream them, much less do them. And yet, when I'm with you, there is no game I wouldn't play, nothing of my body I would keep from you. You leave me and I go mad with waiting. You leave me and you are my every waking thought and my every sleeping dream. And if I knew when you were returning to me, I would count the minutes until I saw you again."
Mona: "No, that's a lie."
Malcolm: "What's the truth, Mona?"
Mona: "I would count the seconds."
Malcolm: "You'll be mine tonight in a way you've never been mine before. It's one thing to allow am an to pleasure you. It's quite another to allow him to hurt you. You'll know real fear, true pain. And I will drink it like wine."
Mona: "You like my pain?"
Malcolm: "I love your submission to pain. It's human nature to race toward pleasure and flee from pain. That you would fight your own nature to please me by suffering my crop arouses me more than anything you've done for me before."
Malcolm: "You feel close to me."
Mona: "I do."
Malcolm: "It's the intimacy of captor and captive. There's nothing like it."
Mona: "Am I your captive?"
Malcolm: "You are tonight."
Mona: "Can you keep me forever?"
Malcolm: "I wish I could."
She believed he meant it. At least tonight he meant it.
Mona: "But you can't?"
He shook his head
Malcolm: "But ... if you want, you can keep me."
Malcolm: "You're tired, love. Go to sleep. It's almost dawn."
Mona: "If I fall asleep, you'll leave me again."
Malcolm: "I've never left you when you slept."
Mona: "But when I wake you're not here."
Malcolm: "When you wake you can't see me. But I'm here. I'm always here."
Malcolm: "You aren't dreaming. But if it were a dream, would you want to wake up?"
Mona: "Devil ..."
Malcolm chuckled fiendishly
The man with the midnight eyes put his mouth to her ear
Man: "He's terrible, isn't he? But do you want to know something?"
Mona: "Tell me."
Man: "I'm worse."
She saw in his eyes he meant it, but where was the fun in taking him at his word?
Mona: "Prove it."
Those dark blue eyes widened in surprise and his pupils dilated with desire.
Man: "I must be dreaming."
Mona: "Why is that?"
Man: "Because you're my dream girl."
Spencer: "You'll love Wingthorn. The most beautiful home in the country. Lady Mona has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?"
Mona: "Look, Lord Godwick or whoever the hell you are -"
Spencer: "Call me Spencer, love. We are going to be married, after all."
Mona: "Turn this car around right now and take me back to my gallery, Spencer."
Spencer: "You can return to the gallery once we're married. If you wish. Although I'd rather keep you at Wingthorn with me. Ever see a Wingthorn rose? White petal, red thorns big as knife points. Beautiful and dangerous, my favorite combination."
Mona: "The minute you turn your back on me I'm calling the police."
Spencer: "I won't turn my back then. I'd rather look at you anyway."
Mona: "You're mad."
Spencer: "And you're lovely when you're furious. I can't wait to make you furious for years and years to come."
Check out the rest of the Godwick Series