There's punishment-and then there's vengeance.
Nora Sutherlin is being held, bound and naked. Under different circumstances, she would enjoy the situation immensely, but her captor isn't interested in play. Or pity.
As the reality of her impending peril unfolds, Nora becomes Scheherazade, buying each hour of her life with stories-sensual tales of Søren, Kingsley and Wesley, each of whom has tempted and tested and tortured her in his own way. This, Nora realizes, is her life: nothing so simple, so vanilla, as a mere love triangle for her. It's a knot in a silken cord, a tangled mass of longings of the body and the heart and the mind. And it may unravel at any moment.
But in Nora's world, no one is ever truly powerless-a cadre of her friends, protectors and lovers stands ready to do anything to save her, even when the only certainty seems to be sacrifice and heartbreak..
Following directly on from where Nora is taken at the end of the Prince...
Nora has been kidnapped by Kingsley’s batshit crazy sister, Marie-Laure, who was thought to be dead, but was instead, just crazy and diabolical like that. Wesley showed up on Kingsley’s doorstep, confirming his worst fear, that Nora has been taken. Thanks to the bloody message she left him when she killed his dog (damn the bitch, she should die just for that) Kingsley knows that is is she who has Nora, but has no idea where. Soren knows that Nora has been taken, as he was the first one that Wes called. He knows who has her, thanks to the message left in the barn. He has totally flipped his wig, saying he would call the cops and the FBI and the National Guard and the Marines etc etc etc, until Kingsley (who knows better than to call the law) pops him with a sedative and bundles him off to a spare room until he gets his head on straight again. Kingsley knows that if anyone calls the law on this Nora is as good as dead.
Marie (posing as Nora, she has been planning this for a while now) arranged for Soren’s niece Laila to come to the US on a supposed visit to him, just so she could snatch her. She makes her and Nora decide who stays with her (and presumably gets tortured) and who delivers a message to Soren and Kingsley and company. Naturally, Nora covers the girl’s mouth so she can’t volunteer, so Laila is left on Kingsley’s front step a little worse for wear but not hurt. She delivers the message “God says no more sinning” but has a little piece of info that is more helpful. She recognized the room that she and Nora were in. Marie has Nora at Elizabeth’s house (Soren’s sister). Grace Easton (Zach’s wife, Nora’s editor from way back in the Siren) has turned up at Kingsley’s as well. She was in town and left Nora a message hoping to get together and cause some trouble, but when she called back Wes answered her phone and filled her in on what was going on. She has been keeping Soren busy for the last little while talking about Nora and how they met. I’m wondering just what was in that shot that King popped Soren with, cause I have never seen him this chatty. I’m thinking that Grace is just a vehicle for us, the reader - Grace is us. I’m actually quite fond of Grace, so this is fine with me.
Marie is doing the psycho thing to the hilt, telling Nora that she wants to understand why her “husband” would choose Nora, when she previously thought that he loved her brother. It seems that Marie is one of those women that could tolerate her intended being with another man (she could stand it if he just didn’t like girls at all) but is incensed by the idea of him with another woman. She wants Nora to explain all of this, and as a bonus, watch them all scramble around trying to appease her. Nora is telling her stories about her life, Scheherazade-like, and hoping to get a chance to cut this bitch. Kingsley and crew relocate to a house 10 miles or so down the road from Elizabeth’s. King plans to use thes house as a base, so that he can plan a possible foray over to rescue Nora. He was an assassin for many years, remember that, he’s got “a certain set of skills” lol He does some reconnaissance, confirming that it is his long lost sister that is holding Nora captive, but is unable to bring himself to kill her.
Eventually Marie questions Nora about her relationship with Kingsley. We find out what brought Marie back to the states. Seems that she has been living in Brazil all of this time, but not long ago decided to pay a visit to France, to a seaside village that they vacationed at every year as children. There, she tells Nora, she saw a 20ish year old man that was the spitting image of Kingsley. She was shocked. She says that was proof that Kingsley “in his twenties, was bedding women” She made some checks, found out that Kingsley did visit the area around the correct time, and with the family resemblance, that this young man, Nicholas, was his son. Nora is struck dumb with shock, and is ecstatic at the idea of telling King that he has a son, and fiercely protective of him from Marie.
Before long, Marie’s patience runs out, and Nora realizes that her luck is going the same direction. Marie has sent a message to Soren, telling him that if he wants Nora alive he is to come to her, alone. He does, knowing full well that she intends to kill him. Marie gives Nora a choice, since as she says Nora “seems to have such a hard time making them”. She can let Soren live, and know that Marie is taking him with her to Brazil to become her husband, tied in bonds that he cannot free himself from - Nora’s life for his compliance. Or, she says as she hands Nora a knife, she can kill him herself. Big dramatic ending - Kingsley busts in just as Nora turns the knife from the killing blow and stabs Marie in the leg. King didn’t have to kill his sister, Nora did it for him.
Wesley and Laila have gotten together during all of this, and it takes Nora putting her foot down right in Soren’s ass to keep him from breaking them up. Nora is pained to lose Wesley,but she knew good and well that it had to happen that way. Grace - I said before that Grace is probably a vessel for we the reader, and if that’s the case, we the reader got a treat - a night with Soren himself. I can only stomp my foot and wish that the scenes hadn’t faded out when they did. (Dammit, dammit dammit) Her husband had basically given her a free pass, since he spent some time with Nora before hand, but I’m sure he would surprised to find out who Grace used her pass on.
The epilogue picks up many months later -King has retired from everyday kink world, leaving his kingdom in Griffin’s hands. He is moving his new family (!) to New Orleans, and Soren and Nora are following. King and Soren have started back up again, which was best for both of them. Nora is preparing to go to France to seek out King’s son, whom she hasn’t told him about yet. I don’t know where that story is, maybe the Mistress Files, the one book I don’t have yet. That will be changing soon.
Till next time, keep the pages turning.