Review: The Chateau – Tiffany Reisz
by Tiffany Reisz
Series: The Original Sinners #9
Publisher: 8th Circle Press
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
As the Jack-of-All-Wicked-Trades for a secretive French military intelligence agency, 24-year-old Lieutenant Kingsley Boissonneault has done it all—spied, lied, and killed under orders. But his latest assignment is quite out of the ordinary. His commanding officer's nephew has disappeared inside a sex cult, and Kingsley has been tasked with bringing him home to safety.
The cult’s holy book is "Story of O," the infamous French novel of extreme sado-masochism. Their château is a looking-glass world where women reign and men are their willing slaves. Or are they willing? It’s Kingsley’s mission to find out.
Once inside the château, however, Kingsley quickly falls under the erotic spell cast by the enigmatic Madame, a woman of wisdom, power, and beauty. She offers Kingsley the one thing he’s always wanted. But the price? Giving up forever the only person he’s ever loved.
This is, apparently, the ninth in a series, but I read it as a standalone. I’m sure I missed a lot of backstory, especially as it’s framed as two lovers having a conversation about an event from one man’s past that he’d never told the other about. This is not a romance – there’s no HEA or HFN – but it is an enjoyable romp of an erotic spy thriller.
“I told you they fuck with you here,” Leon said. “Didn’t I? They fuck with all of us all the time.”
“Then why do you want to stay?”
Leon looked at him like he was crazy. “Everyone fucks with everyone all the time. Might as well get fucked with by beautiful women who let you fuck them after. Really, what’s there to complain about?”
Kingsley shook his finger at the boy. “You make a point.”
It’s set in the late 80s, mostly in France, and stars Kingsley, a cynical spy for a nameless French government organization. Unlike his usual assignments of killing Nazis or KGB, instead he’s sent to find the nephew of his boss, who’s disappeared into a femme-domme sex cult in the French countryside. OK, the plot sounds absolutely bonkers when put like that, and honestly it is a bit over the top, but Kingsley is such a fascinating character. He’s intelligent and observant (he is, after all, a spy) but he also has some surprising soft spots, including one for an ex-boyfriend he still loves.
“Life had given him so much pain and suffering, it made no sense to him that he craved more of it. Maybe that’s why he’d called Madame. Because if anyone knew the answer to why he craved pain when life had given him more than enough of it, it would be her.”
The book is chock full of kinky sex. Kingsley is into masochism, several of the women are into sadism, and there’s some other random kinkiness thrown in for good measure. Most of this is completely not my thing, but a lot of it is about discovering who these characters are through their actions – sexual and otherwise – and I loved the thriller plot. Why is the colonel so worried about his nephew? Is the nephew actually being held against his will? Why did all of the other operatives sent to infiltrate the cult fail?
Overall, this was quite enjoyable, and I’ve put the first in the series on my TBR. Recommended if you’re looking for a bit of kinky spy erotica!