In Suite Seventeen, lonely widow Annie is concerned about her neighbours' strange behaviour. The couple seem to behave very oddly, disappearing off in the car at night with Maria in a blindfold, copulating over a bench in the back garden and heaven knows what else! Annie pretends to herself she is shocked by their behaviour, but secretly she is aroused, and somewhat jealous. Annie discovers she is ready to have that kind of intimacy with someone again since the death of her husband and after taking the advice of a friend she meets up with Charlie, a young, attractive and financial type. However, he is simply there to talk numbers and discuss Annie's finances - she has been left rather well off since her husband died and Charles would like her to invest the money wisely.
There is no doubt in Annie's mind that Charles is only after making some money himself out of this deal, but she figures she may as well have some fun into the bargain. He is gorgeous after all. And so her adventure begins. Stood up at the prestigious Waverley Hotel by Charles, Annie is propositioned and flirted with all in one evening. She begins to realise that she has plenty of life to continue living, and so when stunning new
acquaintance Valentino disappears off into the darkness behind the hotel, Annie follows him.
Needless to say, they have some down and dirty fun. But it has opened Annie's eyes, and a whole world of opportunities. Now Valentino has shown her another side of sex, there is no going back.
The Waverley Hotel contains the famous Suite Seventeen. Famous, that is, in certain circles. Those into sexual adventure well know that the Suite is special. It contains everything anyone would require for a night of kinky sex with one or more partners, and even more crucial, hidden cameras which film the entire thing. After their fling, it appears Valentino would like to continue playing games with Annie, and he orders her to sleep with Charles in Suite Seventeen. She knows full well he, and possibly others, will be watching. But she no longer cares because she has been truly changed by her experience and wants to learn more about the sexual underbelly of Suite Seventeen, and the mysterious Valentino...
I loved this because it was a love story as well as a bonk-buster! I was genuinely rooting for Annie, and I loved Portia's descriptions of Annie's longing and lust for Valentino, and her fears that her feelings would never be reciprocated. I found it very touching, and very real that our heroine didn't immediately get the hero and live happily ever after. There was enough conflict to keep me desperately reading until the end, which in itself was very satisfying. A bunch of fantastic characters, and those who have read Entertaining Mr Stone will recognise some old favourites. Quite possibly my favourite Portia da Costa novel, followed very closely by Gothic Blue. A must-read.