Task 13: A Romance: The Siren

Wow. Let me start there. So for task thirteen we were supposed to read a romance. I had a Sarah MacLean all picked out on Oyster, Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord. I’d read MacLean last year for the first time and her books convinced me not all romance novels were the stuff of my early twenties, silly names for genitals and rapey scenes. You know the ones I’m talking about. And if not her, then one by Tessa Dare, another historical romance author who MacLean herself had recommended.

Then I started thinking. The whole reason for me to do this challenge was to widen my horizons. Why not jump into a romance category that was new to me. So I jumped off the deep end right into BDSM. Whoa. From the title of the post you know I didn’t pick up that one EVERYBODY can name. That one was problematic from what people I actually trust in books were saying. So I listened to those same people I trust and found The Siren by Tiffany Reisz. I am not sure this is a genre or category that I’m going to jump into regularly, but I’m glad I did it. Not all romance is created equal. Not all relationships are either. The word “consent” is crucial here. This is a complex book. For that reason I absolutely adored it. I read a lot of romances back in the day and they were pretty boring. This book isn’t just one thing. It’s going to probably make you uncomfortable. I know there were scenes that made me cringe, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. Nora was pretty great. Wesley. Oh I adored Wesley. Zach? Zach had shades of every romance novel hero ever, but I think Nora rattled him pretty well. And that made it better. He wasn’t as alpha as the trope calls for. Søren? I don’t like him. I’m sorry. But I did think he was interesting. Which I think is more important than liking a character.

This book is not going to be for everyone. It’s not the type of romance novel I’m going to recommend to my mom, but I know a few people who would see the brilliance of it. It was about a range of other emotions just as it was about sexual encounters or even romantic notions. A reviewer on Goodreads said she was “completely not okay with just about everything in it [the book]. And I still loved it.”  I’m not sure I loved it, but she’s pretty close to exactly how I felt. A good way for me to like a book is for it to make me think (or not think, perversely enough) and The Siren did that. I’m still debating on reading the second book to find out what happens to Nora. I’m probably going to wait until I get a little more traction in the #readharder challenge.

Have you read outside your comfort zone before? What happened?

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