The Rose

Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9780778307921. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488088575. EROTICA
OrangeReviewStarLia is the head of an elite escort agency known as the Young Ladies' Gardening & Tennis Club of Wingthorn Hall. She is also the daughter of an earl in a long line of self-admitted "deviant" family members and a fervent devotee of Greek mythology. At her graduation party, sardonic Lia finds her usually steady demeanor thrown by the arrival of gorgeous Greek collector August Bowman—along with a 2,500-year-old kylix, an ornate ceremonial cup used in rituals honoring the goddess Aphrodite. But August comes bearing secrets and even more truth: the artifact is the original enchanted cup of the Cult of Eros, and drinking from it brings one's deepest sexual fantasies to life. Rising to that outlandish claim, Lia suddenly finds herself exploring new heights of pleasure through the kylix, with August by her side playing the lusty lover to her goddess personae. Readers will be drawn in by Lia's conspiratorial tone, and her banter with August crackles with the pleasing tension crafted by the wry, rhythmic writing that is characteristic of Reisz's work. Following the stylistic tradition of its predecessor, The Red, this novel beautifully blends high art and absorbing prose with the sensual rendezvous of famed pairs in Greek legend, including Andromeda and Perseus and Eros and Psyche.
VERDICT An otherworldly, titillating endeavor. Highly recommended for fans of the author and for readers seeking luscious erotica with more than a touch of magical realism.
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