Friday, April 13, 2007

Sweeter than Wine - a sneak preview of Suite Seventeen by Portia Da Costa

In the kitchen, Annie admits a transgression to her exotic and playful master, Valentino...


'So, have you obeyed me, Annie?'

Suddenly I need more than an indifferent red wine to fortify me. A hefty belt of gin would be better. My head goes so light that I seem to be floating towards the ceiling. Everything until now seems to have been all in my imagination, and only this moment of erotic connection is reality. I blink at him, imagining that I can see an invisible, silvery link between the two of us, forged by the strange interplay of an ever-tilting power balance.

I lower my head, staring into my glass, and twisting at the folds of my skirt between fingers that are a hot, sticky echo of far stickier zones.

'No… No, I haven't.' My voice comes out tinny and nervous, echoing around the kitchen as if we’re in a cathedral.

When I risk looking up again, Valentino's sculpted face is a picture. He's perfectly stern and his carved, elegant features are formed into the cool lines of a wise mentor who's mildly disappointed with an increasingly hopeless pupil.

But his eyes… oh, his eyes are luminous. They’re as dark as sin, yet brilliant with joy and anticipation. Despite the façade that form demands of him, I know he's elated by my answer.

He takes a measured sip of his unremarkable wine, still watching me. A past master of ratcheting up tension without any apparent effort, he makes me wait, for what seems like an age, before he answers.

‘Now why does that not surprise me?’ His voice is quiet and conversational and I doubt if a casual acquaintance would notice anything untoward about it.

But I do. To me it’s as if he’s just made the most obscene and explicit suggestion, and I blush so hard that I swear I can hear my ears sizzling.

‘I… I’m sorry…’

‘Don’t be. I’m not.’ He allows himself a smile now, and suddenly my heart turns over.

Oh hell… Again, the stark simple truth is hammered home to me, even as his dark eyebrows lift in provocation.

I love him. And my heart twists with bitter-sweet joy as I watch as his glorious face straighten in an obvious effort to get back on track again. He’s no solemn, serious, po‑faced master who’s hung up on rituals. This is all fun to him. A sweet, life-enriching game. And he wants to share it with me, and enrich my life too.

‘Lift your skirt,’ he orders quietly, ‘Show me the evidence.’

Abandoning my glass, I ease up the crinkled turquoise folds of my cheap skirt, feeling sweat break out all over my skin as it rises. He’s seen every bit of my body, and sampled it as both a lover and a master, but every time I reveal myself to him has all the impact of the first time. My face heats up like an embarrassed teenaged virgin’s showing herself to a boy she’s crazy about. Clumsily, I bunch my skirt around my waist.

‘Come here… I’d like a closer view.’

I take a step towards him, but he halts me.

‘Bring your drink.’

Skirt in one hand, wine in the other I walk towards him, feeling strange and disorientated. Holding the glass somehow makes the exposure of my barely covered crotch a hundred times ruder. When I reach him, I hang my head, unable to face the brilliance in his eyes. I’m a penitent. A miscreant. Deserving of punishment, not the beneficence of wine.

He reaches out, lifts my chin and makes me look at him, ignoring my exposed crotch and the incriminating thong, and concentrating solely upon my eyes.

He heaves a mock sigh, clinks his glass to mine, and takes another sip from his. ‘Drink up,’ he murmurs, then he switches his glass to his right hand and with his left, he pushes my flimsy underwear aside and dives two long fingers magisterially between my sex-lips.

It doesn’t come as a surprise to me that I’m sopping wet, and when he strokes me, I groan out loud, unable to stop myself.

‘Your wine, Annie,’ he prompts, and I raise the glass to my lips, terrified I’ll choke.

But I don’t. I swallow the rich, fruity fluid, savouring its slightly rough bite as Valentino’s fingers glide back and forth, and my hips weave like a trollop’s, working in sync with him.

He licks a droplet of wine from his lush lower lip, still watching my face as he flicks rudely at my clitoris.

'Delicious…' His head tilts a little and his tongue sweeps again, back and forth, caressing his lip as his finger caresses me.

I can't take it any more. I shove my glass down precariously on the counter, and clasp my fingers over his in defiance. My skirt drops down to cover our hands and I close my eyes to shield them from his gaze.


I hope you've enjoyed this preview of Annie and Valentino's naughty relationship... Suite Seventeen will be available in June in the UK and August in the US. Visit my WendyPortia Weblog for the latest breaking news.

Read another excerpt from Suite Seventeen here

NB. one lucky commenter will get a download of my 2005 ebook 'Lessons and Lovers'!

Happy reading!

aka Portia Da Costa
Celebrating 12 glorious years of Black Lacemaking!


Erin the Innocent said...

WOW That was a hot excerpt *g* I can't wait to read the rest of the book. The first book of yours I read was The Tutor. So far your books have never disappointed me *g*

Nikki Magennis said...

Blimey, Portia!

Love it.

Gorgeous cover, too! Congratulations!

Olivia Knight said...

Whimpering... Can I have him, please? Oh - he's lovely - and that picture makes me melt... The one thing that usually troubles me about dom/sub relationships is the artificiality - whereas this is just transcendant. Mixing roles and sincerity is a masterful achievement. (Mmm, masterful...) Now I must go shopping. Again.

ann said...

oh this book is top of my wish list

Janine Ashbless said...

Hot excerpt!

Can you tell us a bit more about the plot Portia? And how you came to write it - what inspired the characters - is it different from your earlier books?

Amy S. said...

Very hot! Adding to my wishlist!

Portia Da Costa said...

Glad you like the excerpt, guys! It was a fun book to write and Valentino has turned out to be one of my favourite ever heroes!

Plot? You're kidding me, Janine... this is PDC, remember, the queen of the plotless wonder! LOL

It's sort of spinoff from Entertaining Mr Stone... just wanted to do more in that world, really, but needed new characters as Stone and Maria's story is resolved.

Valentino = Vincent D'Onofrio in The Velocity of Gary

Annie = Me

That about sums it up, really. :)

ann said...


Annie = all vdo/valentino lovers and I want more more more Robert Stone

lotsa luv ann xxxx

Eliza said...


Thats another one on my wishlist,then...

So nice being able to picture exactly what a character looks like :-)

Have to say I agree with Ann...Annie=each and every Valentino lover

Eliza xxxxx

Portia Da Costa said...

Ann, don't worry, Clever Bobby Stone is in Suite Seventeen as well... as a key supporting character, along with Maria.

Basically, Annie is the nextdoor neighbour of Maria and Stone, and she visits one of their favourite haunts, the Waverley Hotel, where she meets Valentino. As Maria was a fairly young heroine, and Mr Stone older, I wanted to try the other dynamic. Annie is older than Valentino... she's middle aged and he's over a decade younger, but infinitely more worldly in sexual terms.

The book started out as a 'woman's sexual quest' book, but very quickly metamorphosed into an erotic romance, as Annie couldn't help falling in love with her outrageous younger master! :)

Ack! Shit! I've given away what little plot there is... LOL!

Hope you'll all still reader the sucker! ;)

Saskia Walker said...

I've had the (absolute!) pleasure of reading the whole novel, and I can tell you the steam you see here is CONSTANT! Oh and there is a plot, despite Portia's insistance that there isn't. ;)

What was interesting and an unusual hook for me was reading about a widow heroine who thought she was past her prime, and discovered she most definitely wasn't!

Love the cover too.

t'Sade said...

Oh, damn it, another book to put on my to buy list. Hot and steamy with hints of submissions, oh, I think I'm in love.

Joy said...

younger master ?? one please

Alison Tyler said...

Oooh, I just love these Friday excerpts.
What a delightful post to wake up to!
Congrats, Wendy...


Janine Ashbless said...

I've had "Entertaining Mr Stone" on order from Amazon since January and the sods keep saying delivery is delayed.


Madeline said...

I'm with Alison - yummy way to force my eyes open - coffee and Valentino, please...
maybe a coffee shop with erotica excerpts and special coffees, 'A cafe au lait with chocolate sprinkles and Chapter Eight of "Suite Seventeen" please.
"Oh, waiter, another cafe au lait and Chapters nine and ten..."
and so on into the lunch specials and dinner hour. Midnight comes...make mine a decaf and the whole damn book, to go!
Thanks Portia. You're an inspiration, as always, and I hardly have to visit my VDO youtube bookmarks, cause you do all the work for me.

Portia Da Costa said...

Wow, thanks, Saskia! I'm glad you liked that hook... The 'past her prime' sentiment is taken from real life, though alas, in my case, it's true!

I'm so glad people are enjoying this excerpt, because it's another of those books that's a little bit a book of my heart, 'cos of the hero. But then, all my books have been that way because I always have some huge crush on somebody or other! And in the past, some of them have been very embarrassing... shudder...

Grrr, indeed, Janine... Maybe I should petition our esteemed editor for a quick, same jacket reprint of Mr Stone if they've all sold out already?

Dream on, Portia!

Anonymous said...

That's it?! That's where you're leaving us/it/us? Thanks, I have to work now...Maria

Kate Pearce said...

Ooh, lovely excerpt to read first thing on a bright sunny Friday morning! Valentino sounds scrumptious-and I'm very partial to that name!

Lucy Felthouse said...

Ooh very sexy Wendy! Can't wait to read the rest!! Lucy x

May said...

Fab, Wendy!

Something else to add to my post-exams book list. ;)

Madelynne Ellis said...

I'm late to the party, but wow, wonderful teaser. You know I'm looking forward to this book, and not so very long to wait now :-)

Madelynne xx