Friday, May 20, 2005

And Some Of Us Even Enjoy It

A couple of years ago I discovered erotica (thank you Emma Holly), and realized I rather liked it. I found it sexy, decadent, and joyfully free of prejudice. Even if many of the sexual acts/encounters were things I wouldn't dream of trying in "real life" (and no, you're not getting a list. Perv.), I still vastly enjoyed the fantasy of it all.

Hence, causing me to go on a Black Lace spending spree over at Amazon. One such title I picked up was The Tutor by Portia Da Costa. I bought this book for a couple of reasons:
  1. An online bud assured me Da Costa was "good."
  2. The heroine is a librarian.
Yes, librarians do have sex. I know, this might come as bit of a shock. Sort of like when you found out your parents "did it." Most people seem to think librarians are dead below the waist. Worse still, romance writers are still gleefully perpetuating the stereotype that librarians are naive, young virgins who desperately want to be conquered by some brutish Alpha male. Or the Harlequin Blaze scenario where virginal librarians decide to "be bad" and proposition some stranger in a bar/their brother's best friend/their girlfriend's brother/their pet goldfish.

Uh, no thank you.

Which is why The Tutor is such a treat! Sure Rosie Howard isn't the most sexually experienced gal - but she knows what she likes and isn't afraid to experiment. Bless her heart.

Rosie has just been dumped by her boyfriend - a rather selfish prig I might add. Looking for a change, this voluptuous gal takes a new job cataloging a private library. Julian and Celeste Hadey have a gorgeous collection of rare books - including a healthy collection of priceless erotica. But cataloging isn't all they want Rosie to do. They want her to school Celeste's virginal cousin David in the art of sex. While the boy is 19, a life living in the country being raised by elderly grandparents have left him a touch on the naive side. Is Rosie up the challenge?

Well of course she is! I loved how Da Costa provides Rosie with a variety of experiences. There's the worldly, experienced Julian - the stunningly beautiful Celeste - and the shy, reticent David who so wants to get it all right. While this is really a story of Rosie, David and the situation they are thrown in - it is also about Rosie's awakening. She is most definitely a different person by the end of the novel. So eager to please the prig in the beginning - by the end she realizes that she just wants to please herself. To make herself happy, and share pleasure with her newfound friends.

There are no villains in this story - also a nice added touch. While Celeste and Julian have an extremely open marriage, one gets the impression they're madly in love with each other. Da Costa takes her time setting up the scenario, with most of the naughty stuff happening within the last 100 pages or so. This works rather well, since it gives the reader time to delve into all the characters - although this really is Rosie's show.

While not quite a keeper (again, I'm picky!), I really enjoyed The Tutor. Da Costa has definitely landed on my "must buy" erotica list.


CW said...

Sounds like a good read...but OMG, it's $30!

*robs a bank* :D

Have you read any of Natasha Rostova's stuff? I hear that's she's up there with PDC and EH. -ish.

Wendy said...

Boy - I better not talk dirty for a while. My comments section to this entry just got spammed! Thank heavens for that delete feature.

Anywho - no CW I haven't read Natasha Rostova, but I think I might have one of hers lying around here somewhere....*digging furiously through TBR*

lost said...

Fantastic. Wendy Woo [aka Wendy Wootton; aka Portia Da Costa] would be pleased to read that. I'll give her a shout. Thanks! :)

CW - yes, her books are incredibly HTF. Her books are extremely popular over here in the UK.

Wendywoo said...

Hi Wendy!

Hello from another Wendy ie. Wendywoo aka Portia Da Costa... Maili directed me here.

I'm so glad you liked The Tutor! It was a fun book to write, and being an ex librarian myself, I enjoyed exploding the myth that us library girls are prim, buttoned up virgins! :-)

I'm sorry the books are getting so expensive. The Tutor has already been reprinted, so I don't think it'll be reissued again, but I do have a reprint of one of my other titles - The Stranger - coming out next January I think, so you'll be able to get that at a reasonable price. I've also got a sub in with the Black Lace editor at the moment, so please keep your fingers crossed for that too!

Thanks again for your kind words!



Wendywoo said...

ps. sorry about all the exclamation points. I tend to get very excited when somebody gives me a nice review. :)

Love, W

sybil said...

hmmm there were six or so 'new' black lace books at the half price books I go too. For some reason this author sounds familar.

I shall go look, cuz god knows I need a reason to go back there. Yes it is bad I live five mins away from the stupid store :).

Wendy said...

I was able to get The Tutor at a reasonible price - because I bought it before the reprint went out of print :-) It's just been sitting in my TBR for an obscene amount of time! I still have Shadow Play sitting around here somewhere.

And exclamation points are just fine ;-)

And Sybil - I'm so jealous you have a Half Price Books near you! You lucky girl!

Candy said...

Oooh, Portia Da Costa is Wendywoo AND it features a young, virginal hero... MUST FIND COPY OF BOOK.

Kate R said...

ta da! I've tagged you with one of those lists of questions you can ignore.