Entertaining Mr. Stone by Portia da Costa

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Entertaining Mr. Stone & Lessons and Lovers by Portia Da Costa

Entertaining Mr. Stone by Portia da Costa

In Entertaining Mr. Stone, Portia Da Costa has uncovered one of the greatest truths of our time. Portia Da Costa is a skilled author whose work has appeared in countless magazines, anthologies and web sites. Her short story “It Had to Happen” is included in Lisabet Sarai’s collection Sacred Exchange. Portia’s novel, The Stranger (Black Lace; August 2005) was awarded the accolade of Best Erotic Novel 1997 and was re-released in January this year. Two of her previous bestselling Black Lace titles, The Devil Inside and Continuum, will be re-released later in 2006.

She is an exceptionally talented and prolific writer and this month I took the time to settle down with two of her new titles: Entertaining Mr. Stone and Lessons and Lovers.

Entertaining Mr. Stone by Portia Da Costa
(Virgin Black Lace; May 2006; ISBN: 0352340290)
Available at: Amazon.com / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

Entertaining Mr. Stone is published by Black Lace. Black Lace have a worldwide reputation for the high standard of erotic fiction they produce and this is yet another title that shows why that reputation is so well deserved.

Entertaining Mr. Stone is built on foundations of strong characters and description so vivid the scenes rise three dimensionally from the page. Coupled with a witty and engaging narrative (a narrative that reads with a joie de vivre that makes the heroine adorable) Entertaining Mr. Stone brings erotica into the unlikely world of Britain’s local government offices.

Until reading this novel I would have argued that there was nothing erotic about local government offices. Dry, dusty, bureaucratic and dismal: council offices are the antithesis of all that is sexual and erotic. Maria Lewis, the story’s heroine, sums up her working environment in the first chapter when she explains it is a “crap job” and she is “bored, bored, bored.” Anyone who has ever visited a council office will realise these simple words convey an accepted and universal truth.

The story’s necessary excitement appears with the introduction of the seemingly ordinary Mr. Stone. Portia describes his physical appearance so we see him as the unlikely lead for a story of erotic romance. But Entertaining Mr. Stone is filled with surprises and nothing in this story is as mundane as it should be in the sanctuary of a local government office.

I’ve dealt with local government offices a few times in my life. I recently emailed two dozen of my local representatives to make a minor complaint. Only one of them responded: and that was to tell me that he no longer represented my borough. None of the others ever got back to me.

Previously I’ve been in touch with the same council, applying for jobs, trying to obtain licences or understand their draconian policies on one point or another. Every time I’ve been amazed by their inability to satisfactorily deal with a single issue.

I’d always thought their lack of productivity was down to incompetence and institutionalised stupidity. Yet I can see now that my judgement was unfair and, in some cases, it might have been wrong.

The truth is — a truth that Portia Da Costa has proudly uncovered — the employees in local government offices are too busy to work. Far too busy. If it’s not spanking over the Director’s desk, or cunnilingus in the file room, then it’s almost certain they’re getting physical in a private meeting room. Who could possibly expect a government worker to do anything productive when their entire day is filled with trysts, liaisons and licentious encounters? And, while this may sound fanciful on the surface, can you really think of any other explanation to validate the uselessness of a typical local government office?

Entertaining Mr. Stone is absorbing, entertaining and brings an element of fun to good, clean and kinky sex.

The adventure of the story’s main protagonists is continued in the story “Are We There Yet,” included in the Wicked Words anthology Sex on the Move (Black Lace; May 30, 2006).

If you like your erotica witty, hot and full of surprises, Portia Da Costa can supply exactly what you need.

Lessons & Lovers by Portia da Costa

Lessons and Lovers by Portia Da Costa

In Lessons and Lovers, Portia shows off her flair for writing about unusual romances. First and foremost she creates credible characters. She effortlessly throws them together, and then allows circumstances and emotion to try and tear them apart or force them closer together. With her distinctive knack for capturing eroticism, this can make an otherwise urbane encounter into something deliciously exciting and sexual.

Lessons and Lovers begins with the heroine, Hettie, coming to terms with widowhood. Hettie is beautiful, passionate, diligent and kind. By the end of the first chapter, the reader is already convinced of the therapy she needs to deal with her loss.

But then Darryl arrives.

Forced to stay with Hettie due to an obligation she can’t escape — an obligation that someone of Hettie’s character would never try to escape — Darryl turns up and reveals that he is in need of an education. And, although Hettie goes out of her way to teach Darryl everything she knows, events transpire so that we soon realise Darryl is providing the lessons and Hettie is bending backwards to accommodate his learning curve.

Portia shows an understanding of sex, psychology and all her characters in a story that is beautifully crafted and perfectly executed. Lessons and Lovers, is already available in ebook format and will be released as a print title later this year.

But I was telling you about the secret she’s uncovered, wasn’t I? The secret that has been kept from so many of us for so long? The truth is no longer “out there”. The truth is contained within the pages of Portia Da Costa’s Entertaining Mr. Stone.

© 2006 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

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