This is a very complicated book to review.
It's not an easy book. It's uncomfortable at times. It's a hard read.
It's not a love story, it's not classic erotica either.
However, this novel is one of the most original books I've ever read. It's has it all: sex, love, kink, humor, drama, heartbreak, pain, BDSM, S&M, and a little horror.
I'm going to be blunt here. It's a book about fucked up people doing fucked up things. It's about the screwed up human condition and redemption wherever you can find it.
If you want to read a classic love story with classical misunderstandings, a little kinky sex, and a neat ending, do yourself a favor and skip this book. This books does not follow any tropes. It will slap you around and leave you dazed (pardon the pun here). It will probably make you bleed and there are no safe-words here.
If you like erotica with BDSM and are reading mostly for the kinky sex, skip this novel. The sex in this so-called erotica novel is not the focus here. The sex is incidental, the motivations of the characters are the driving force. There's not even that much sex in it. Also, if you are the seriously religious type: STEP. AWAY. FROM. THE. BOOK. NOW. You can thank me later for warning you.
BUT, if you like complex characters, complicated relationships, being surprised and horrified, having your own morals and values questioned, and examining the wide range of human flaws and issues when it comes to love and sex, this is the book for you. Tiffany Reisz doesn't pull any punches. The woman is fearless. I bow to her courage. She can write, and she doesn't shy away from complex topics. I respect her, even if "kinkery" is not my thing. I'm as vanilla as it comes, but that doesn't mean I don't like to read about certain things, and that I cannot appreciate what she does here.
Nora is a fantastic character. I love her, but I don't agree with her most of the time. I respect her immensely, even though I'm her complete opposite. It takes skill to make me sympathize and connect with a character that is so unlike my own. Even Soren, the most controversial of her characters, I couldn't even hate. That, my friends, takes talent.
So, think about before buying/reading this book. What are you in the mood for? If you want a fast and easy read, chose something else. If you don't mind feeling uncomfortable and having your mind spinning in various directions and questioning your own prejudices and preferences, RUN TO YOUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE AND GRAB A COPY OF THIS BOOK. NOW. You'll laugh, cry, cringe and gasp. You'll be thinking about it long after you're done. Just don't come crying to me if you can't deal with the subjects in this novel. You've been warned.