“It was a dark and stormy night,” Nora began…
The Virgin is the third book from Reisz’s TOS:The White Years series. I think everyone who’s loved this series are excited about this one because we would finally know what made Nora ran away from Soren. This event has been hinted and talked about throughout the whole series but it hasn’t been fully revealed why. Also, this is the book where we finally get to meet King’s Juliette.
Elle is twenty-six years old and she’s about to leave her master. It was a heart-wrenching moment when Elle finally broke and decided to leave, which pushed Kingsley to leave as well. Readers knew something very bad happened. So bad that it made Elle run and hide out in her mother’s convent in upstate New York. This event became the catalyst for Elle becoming the writer and world-famous dominatrix Nora Sutherlin.
“I told you the first night you and I spoke that your shepherd was a wolf. He is a wolf on a leash and that leash might break someday. When that happens, you take care of yourself. I’ll take care of him.”
Aside from Elle, The Virgin is also about Kingsley and Juliette. I’ve read about Juliette and heard of her being mentioned in the previous books but I never really got to know her character personally. Until this book. Her story along with Kingsley is my favorite part in this book. Their story was equally beautiful and sad. It’s also full of passion and Kingsley owned my heart. This book reminded me how much I love his character. His love for Juliette was simply breathtaking.
Apart from Juliette, we also get to meet Kyrie, the novice that Elle met in the convent. Their relationship evolved from friendship to lust to love. And although, I really do not understand Elle’s fascination with her but I very much loved the banter between them. I understood their friendship and I do feel that they genuinely loved each other. But it wasn’t Kyrie’s presence in Elle’s life that made the convent parts of the book resonate with me. It was the much needed exposition of the relationship between Elle and her mom that really touched me. The moment Elle realized she had no one to turn to, she ran to her mother. It was, of course, the perfect hiding place.
There weren’t a lot of bombs thrown in this book but I got to give it to Tiffany Reisz, as always, for adding another rich layer of flesh to her characters. The dialogue as always was crisp and the prose perfection. And the narrative flows smoothly from past to present and then back again. Very few writers can slip in and out of the past and present as smoothly as this author does. Her storytelling is simply entrancing. She could be writing a grocery list and I would read it. The combination of her writing style and the flawed characters made this a winner for me.
But as much as I love TR’s writing and these characters, there were parts in this book that just lagged for me especially during Elle and Kyrie’s parts. In hindsight, maybe it shouldn’t have surprised me since they were in a convent after all. So yeah, some of those parts dragged a bit but Kingsley and Juliette’s story more than made up for it. That plus Soren and Kingsley in kilts. KILTS.