In Sabbatical, the second chapter of Portia Da Costa’s excellent Continuum, the novel’s heroine wonders: “Were all men into games like that? Did they all have a ‘nasty little boy’ streak just below the surface?”
Students of human nature will already know the answer to that one. Personally, I was screaming at the pages of my open book and shouting: “Yes! Of course we’re all like that. Isn’t that what being a man is all about?” It certainly fits in with my definition and it’s always good to see Portia Da Costa creates characters with which I can identify personally.
Continuum was originally printed in 1996 and has been cited as one of Black Lace’s best selling titles. Reprinted so a new audience can discover the fantastic fiction in this range of stories by women for women, Continuum is an intelligent, articulate foray into an erotic world lurking just beneath our civilised society.
Joanna Darrell, competent young executive, begins the story suffering from work related stress. She is good at her job, gives herself to her career with one hundred percent commitment, but the strain is wearing her down. And, when she finally tells an important client that he is a sad bastard (and should get a life) she touches the spark to a fuse that is pure dynamite.
A brief disciplinary hearing follows, Joanna erupts again, and the reader begins to wonder if we’re seeing signs of the heroine’s genuine overload, or her unconscious desire to earn some form of much-needed discipline.
Portia Da Costa is more than an accomplished writer. She coaxes the narrative seductively from one steamy encounter to another. She never slips away from the important detail of character or plot. Yet she always manages to concentrate on those shockingly attractive moments that make each sex scene so explicit and arousing.
One of the many clever things about Continuum is the level of credibility that supports the story. Joanna’s journey of discovery is continually chaperoned by travelling companions. Each character is richly credible and the situations that lead them to take dominion over Joanna are deliciously plausible.
Lovers of well-written erotica will already be familiar with Portia Da Costa’s stylishly seductive work. But, for those who haven’t yet had a chance to see how well she produces a mystery involving spanking, bisexuality, transvestites, group shenanigans, and a deep vein of romance: read Continuum today.
© 2007 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.