Wild in the Country by Portia Da Costa
Latest edition, 2017
Leggy, creamy-skinned redhead Flora Swain longs for something new—something more exciting than her well-paying but tedious job and her well-meaning but prudish boyfriend Ian. While Flora has daring fantasies and longs for sexual variety and kinky exploration, Ian is strictly a missionary-position, don’t-make-too-much-noise sort of guy.
When she unexpectedly inherits a chunk of money, Flora throws caution to the winds. Handing in her resignation, she moves from the city to the picturesque country village of Marwick Magna, where she takes possession of charming Pennyroyal Cottage and its resident feline Arnold. Little does she know that she has joined a community of libertines whose salacious activities far exceed her wildest dreams.
As she starts to meet her neighbors, including the seductive and mysterious Morwenna Carfax and Declan McKenna, a renowned artist who lives next door, every social encounter seems to turn intimate. Flora has never been with a woman before; she’s never masturbated in public; she’s never been spanked, or been bound and teased. With the eager assistance of the attractive denizens of Marwick Magna, Flora rapidly expands her repertoire of erotic experience. Meanwhile, almost every day, she receives explicit letters from someone who signs himself (or herself) “The Scribe”. The Scribe seems to know about all her naughty adventures, almost as if he (or she) were constantly watching Flora’s experiments with pleasure. Who is her secret admirer? It could be any of the village’s outrageous inhabitants—anyone, that is, except sweet and sexy Declan, who is illiterate.
Wild in the Country is pure, vintage Portia Da Costa, the sort of erotica that first inspired my own writing. The book was originally published in the nineties, in a more innocent time. It gleefully includes a huge variety of sexual situations and activities, including M/M and F/F interactions. Set against the lush background of a bountiful English summer, the novel brings Flora, her desires and her not-terribly-effective doubts to vivid life.
I love women like Flora, women who aren’t afraid of their own carnality. That’s the way I was, during my “sex goddess” period, so I really identified with her. Meanwhile, the author populates her fictional village with distinctive and likeable characters, each one attractive in his or her own way. There’s the deceptively prim shopkeeper Lucy, bare-bottomed under her ankle-length skirts and buttoned-to-the-throat Victorian blouses—intellectual, middle-aged author Marshall Fox, with his predilection for kink—Lord and Lady Rawnsley, the local gentry, who excel in the arts of discipline—Jack the handyman, with his hairy limbs and unlimited horniness. And of course there’s Declan, who seems to want more from Flora than just her body.
Eventually, Declan and Flora fall in love and commit to one another, but honestly, I can’t call Wild in the Country a romance. It breaks every rule of the genre.
You’re probably not surprised to learn that didn’t bother me at all. I adored the novel. It took me back to a simpler time, when desire was magic, and all you had to do was imagine what you wanted in order to have your wishes granted.