Back in 1996 Portia Da Costa wrote an erotic novel called Gothic Blue. This novel told the story of Jonathan and Belinda, an enchanted priory, and a cursed immortal who was fated to suffer an elongated lifetime of sex without love. To quote Woody Allen: “Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best.”
Gothic Blue was a fantastic piece of erotic fantasy. It was sufficiently credible to carry the story; as stylishly sexy as any Portia Da Costa title on the shelves; and rich with detailed characters in both the major and the minor roles.
One of the minor characters in Gothic Blue was a young lady named Paula. Paula ended her involvement in the original story with a few days missing from her life and no recollection of what had happened. Gothic Heat follows Paula’s story of what happened next and it is just as fantastical, equally sexy, and not to be missed.
One of the fascinating things about this story is that it’s a sequel that was written a dozen years after the original was published. The writing style of any author is likely to mature over such an extended period but that only makes this novel all the more enjoyable.
We begin the story meeting Paula and discovering that her life has been changed following the events of Gothic Blue. Paula is disturbed by broken sleep, she is “hearing voices,” behaving out of character, and generally acting like a woman possessed. The prospect of salvation comes in the ruggedly handsome form of Rafe but Rafe has his own problems and he needs to address those before he can devote himself to splitting Paula’s personality.
The sex in this novel is, as is to be expected from Portia Da Costa, explicit, well-crafted and highly arousing. Paula and Rafe’s relationship is charged with passion and energy and the developing dalliance between these two protagonists is skilfully drawn. Reintroducing some old favourites from Gothic Blue, yet carrying this story along so it can be read as a standalone novel, Gothic Heat is the perfect blend of erotica and fantasy fiction from one of the best purveyors of erotic fiction in the UK.
© 2008 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.