tl;dr: amazing from start to finish
I almost hate to review books that I loved. I feel like I can’t say anything besides some unintelligible squawks, babbling nonsensically about how much I loved this book and about how everyone needs to read it. I’ve been hooked on this series from about the second chapter of The Siren, and I keep proselytizing my love for it, and I’m sad to say, have gotten very few takers. (You’re all on notice.) I can’t even begin to describe my love for the characters, their arcs, their well-being. It’s a world that I under no circumstances would want to be in the middle of, but I’m enthralled by.
The Mistress picks up immediately after The Prince, where Wes, Søren, and Kingsley are all looking for Nora, who has been captured by someone, someone that Kingsley has just recently figured out has been playing mind games with them all summer. The chapters go between the three of them, plus Nora, Søren’s niece Laila, and Grace, who we met briefly in The Siren.
This book is masterful. Sincerely. The reason for Marie-Laure’s revenge makes so much sense, even as it is parceled out over most of the book in bits and pieces. The part that I was most interested in was why now, why after 30 years? And Reisz answers that question to full satisfaction. The climax where Nora and Søren are staring death in the face, and their moments together in that scenes are some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever experienced. And I say experienced, rather than read, because it is was so moving I needed to step away from it and come back, otherwise my kids would have been concerned about me breaking down into uncontrollable sobs.
Flawless. I noticed a few typos near the end, but those happen. This book made me sob like a baby, laugh hysterically, and I am only not moving on to the next book because I’m savoring them (also I have other books that need reviewing, damn them).
“You shouldn’t have done all this,” Nora said. “I hate my birthday.”
“Tough. We’re celebrating whether you like it or not.”
“I don’t like it. Can I safe out?”
Ugh, can I just stop being a responsible adult and read these books all day long?
I highly recommend starting with The Siren. Find it at your local library!
I’d like to recommend more books like this, but it’s so great that none can compare. Maybe try Jenny Trout/Abigail Barnette’s The Boss series. Book 1, The Girlfriend, is free if you want a taste! It includes a May/December romance with BDSM elements.
Also, Sierra Simone’s Priest: A Love Story includes a sexy Catholic priest.