The Portal in the Park
by Shara Bloodstone
Contemporary/ fantasy/erotica/(m/f)-(f/f)-(f/f/f/m) bisexual
Ebook- Amber Quill Press
Buy it Amber Quill Press, Fictionwise, ARe
Springtime is blooming in Manhattan when Julie Daniels takes a break from her dance research at the Lincoln Center library. Her visit to an unfamiliar coffee shop renders an eccentric gentleman who serves up more than the average latte. After blending a little magic in her drink, he sends her to a grove hidden deep in Central Park. In addition to the usual flowers and trees, Julie discovers the woodlands also contain mythological creatures. The lusty fauns and seductive nymphs who appear have traveled through a portal in the park. The exotic creatures entice Julie into a realm of passion beyond her wildest dreams, and she embraces the carnal pleasures they offer.
When evening approaches, Julie awakens from a nap to find the magical beings nowhere in sight. And even more frightening, neither is the coffee shop, where the strangeness all began!
Julie would like to write off the bizarre occurrences as a dream, or perhaps an hallucination. But her sated body and spirit convince her otherwise. She’s left to wonder how and why this strange day began—and if it’s really ended...
I have many mixed feelings about this book. But unfortunately, mostly not very good feelings.
From the blurb: “She’s left to wonder how and why this strange day began—and if it’s really ended...”
Yeah, me too.
This story is classified as erotica, so I’m not going to get on its case for the sexual content that really had no rhyme or reason to it. It’s a pure sexual fantasy. What I am going to gripe about is what I consider to be funky writing.
The first thing that jumped out at me was the constant thinking out loud that Julie does. Most often in stories we get insight to what the character is thinking internally but not in the literal sense of saying exactly what they are thinking. When thoughts are written as if the character is actually speaking these things to themselves, verbatim, it’s just awkward. It really kept throwing me out of the story. For example:
Nothing. Just wind over tall grasses, I guess.
Arms akimbo, she completed the circle without seeing another human being.
Nobody. Then why does it feel like somebody's near?
She slid her knapsack down her back and let it fall to the ground.
Maybe I'm picking up on the two lovers getting it on, up in the cherry trees.
She let out a little snigger of laughter and froze.
If I didn't know better, I'd swear somebody just laughed along with me.
Hairs on end, she cocked an ear to the wind...nothing.
Man, I'm losing it. Let me lay down here for a while.
I mean, who does that?
The next issue I had with the writing was the awful prose during the sexual scenarios. I usually have no problem with blunt, in your face graphic sexual language, but this was over the top bad and in places, corny. Or maybe because the set up was not that great, it read more like porn than erotica. Example:
He slid her down to stand and embraced her before turning her toward the tree. He then stroked her bare ass, drawing his hand in and out of her crack.
"Mmm, this is so beautiful. I want to be inside you, in each of your holes."
He spoke between the sultry but relentless forward motion he was using to stretch her pink hole wide.
"You are such a healthy, beautiful human, strong enough to have me in you. Let me fill your beauty up in a way you have never known before. Open your precious ass for me."
While Tichi suckled her breasts and kissed her neck, Fila finger-fucked her, and Faunus pressed his cock halfway down her throat.
Her vaginal lips were swollen, pulsing with a tom-tom beat of excitement, and she thought he had to be stimulating her clit with his hand.
"Look," he said, motioning his eyes down toward his groin. "Look at what I have for you. See how great my tool of awakening."
"Yes, but that...you're so big."
Although this is erotica, meaning there doesn't need to be a big love story, I still feel that erotica should contain some sort of emotional connection between the characters or it's basically porn. In this case, I do give kudos to the author for coming up with a creative scenario for Julie to get her freak on without consequence or need to justify to herself anything she’s done. And I actually liked this part. However, I really didn't feel much of an emotional connection between Faunus and Julie. And the main excuse it seems that the author gives for Julie getting to be part in an orgy is that it’s for her “sexual awakening,” as if there’s something wrong with her.
The words “sexual awakening” are mentioned many times in this story. First by the coffee shop owner who hints to her about her sexual awakening. Then when she slips through the portal and is in portal land, she gets her “sexual awakening” by several wood nymphs and a Faun.
Apparently though, “sexual awakening” in this instance mostly means having butt sex. Really, does having anal sex constitute a sexual awakening? This is why I feel the “sexual awakening” as an excuse is pushed on the reader by reinforcement:
Julie blushed even before asking, "And what would that be?"
"Playing, of course. Laughing, drinking, lusting. These are the things we are sent to attend to. Therefore, let us concentrate on them--and, in so doing, attend to your sexual awakening."
These words sent a shiver down Julie's spine.
"My sexual awakening? Why did you say that?"
When he smiled, unabashed sexuality gleamed in his expression.
"Bringing nubile creatures to their sexual awakenings."
She had allowed herself to get into the throes of a "sexual awakening" today, and any hesitation on her part would spoil the effect. She spread her legs to let Fila finger her, gyrating her ass as Fila plied her deeper.
"Shh, I know that," the faun coaxed. "This is your awakening, remember? I promise to pleasure you in all ways. You will be opened after this. In touch with your sexual prowess."
"All right," he said, "I'll awaken you from here."
She felt him dribbling more oil into her crack.
"Now, I will anoint you," he said.
"That's right, Amorfos, let me have you in a way no human man has ever dared. Let your awakening come. Open wide to me."
The trouble for me in this whole “sexual awakening” thing is why does Julie NEED sexual awakening? There was no background story to indicate that Julie was in need of any sexual help or that she was an uptight person sexually. Were her past lovers complaining she never allowed butt sex or sex with women? Was she herself feeling like she wanted to explore her sexuality before all this? Was she frigid? Does not having anal sex and orgies mean that you are not sexually awakened? All this interference by others telling her she needs sexual awakening was a bit weird to me. I would have felt better if Julie had just been seduced only without the insinuation that something was wrong with her.
With no reason that I could see that Julie needs this help to begin with, I also don’t get why she in particular was chosen for a “sexual awakening.” Therefore, to me, this was all a lame excuse for a whole sexual scenario that had no bearing on anything.
For me, it turned what was a good premise into something a bit more corny. Like the short beginnings to a porn flick that pretend the flimsiest excuses for the sex to happen.
Then there was the issue of Julie having sex with a Faun. During the sexual encounter, Julie notes how his fur feels against her skin. And of course, several references to Faunus digging his hooves into the ground for more leverage.
I’m sorry but the descriptions of his humongous cock and his waist down being furry like an animal kind of squicked me out. I just kept picturing Julie having sex with a goat. Not really a turn on. Maybe I’m not sexually awakened enough. Heh.
On the bright side, I rather enjoyed the beginning and ending. The set up of her finding a special coffee shop with an eccentric owner, the whole portal idea, and the end when she goes looking for where she had been, was nicely written. I feel that the author started and ended in the right direction but really veered off course throughout the whole sexual part of this story.
There’s a small part in which there is some f/f, and that’s kind of hotly written. But this is basically a m/f fantasy.
Personally, I’d have pass on recommending this book unless you like raw sexual language and descriptions and or you just want something to titillate you sexually. If you need an emotional connection, I can’t recommend this.
Sex rating: Orgasmic- very graphic sexual language, anal, DP with dildo, f/f, f/f/f/m, m/f, toe sucking, *bestiality* (if you consider sex with Pan bestiality)