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on Oct. 25, 2010 :
Porretto has performed a magic trick, a bit of literary legerdemain that looks simple at first but requires a quick eye to see how he has made a deep spiritual message appear in a most surprising context.
To understand the subtlety of Porretto's slight of hand, consider the alternative. The last "Christian" novel that I read was simply a regular science fiction novel with a few religious adornments tacked onto it. A comment here about the sanctity of marriage, a group prayer before a fight there, a visit from a minister somewhere else.
Porretto would have none of that. Instead, he has taken the archetypical non-religious literary form - erotica - and made his spiritual theme integral to his writing. There's no prayers dragged kicking and screaming into the middle of a plot. Instead, his spirituality is a natural, even necessary, element of his stories - even when he deals with assorted kinks and sexual dysfunctions.
And it works. Isn't sensual love the ultimate expression of human spirituality? Porretto makes one wonder if all erotica shouldn't be ultimately spiritual.
And they are good stories to boot.
(review of free book)
on July 28, 2010 :
'Priestesses' is a book with a moral purpose. If that sounds dull, consider this: as the author says in his foreword to the book, his concern is 'how to locate and orient on our proper desire, including our sexual desire.' In brief, that is the concern of the two 'priestesses' who are the central characters of the book. It is that concern that raises this book far above the normal run of erotica, which is usually mechanistic and predictable. (And boring!) As a result, 'Priestesses' is intellectually stimulating, guiding the reader to think about sex and sex in relationships -- including the variety of ways in which it may be manifested -- in the context of its vital importance to our happiness and sense of well-being.
One of the strengths of the book is the strong depiction of the two central characters, who are vivid and believable, as well as being attractive in their compassion and understanding. Another strength is the fact that the situations with which they are confronted, all arising from some or other shortcoming in desire in a relationship, are not only true to life but are interesting and well portrayed. In other words, each one is an enjoyable and skilfully constructed narrative.
A further strength of the book is that it is well written, well edited, and well presented. It is the product of a serious, competent, and committed writer.
My only criticism of 'Priestesses' is that, as explained by the author, it contains material that is also found in his book, 'A Dash of Spice'. This makes it awkward for readers of both books, especially as it is likely that, having enjoyed one, a reader will probably read the other one soon afterwards. Is there a way out of this? I don't know...
In summary, 'Priestesses' is well written and stimulating. Highly recommended!
(review of free book)
on July 21, 2010 :
This was a very good, very different erotic story. I was pleasantly surprised.
(review of free book)