Publisher: Bella Books
Jessica has it all. An expensive condo in the city of dreams, San Francisco. A high-powered, prestigious career as a management consultant that takes her all over the country… to passionate Roberta in Chicago, to delicious Marilyn in San Antonio… To all those cities and all those willing women Jessica has recorded in her well-used little black book.
Sex with these women doesn’t really mean a thing, Jessica tells herself. It’s all just good times. Because she is not really a lesbian. No, of course not. Her sexual adventures are merely keeping her occupied until she decides to settle down with a man.
Then she meets Cat, the alluring young hotel executive who lives across the hall from her new condo. What is Jessica to make of her chaotic feelings, her yearning—and yes, her deepening love—for the sensuous, captivating Cat, who offers entrancing friendship, but nothing more?
Originally published in 1989 by The Naiad Press.
[Originally posted on Amazon 1/11/12]
I just re-read In Every Port, using my Kindle for the first time, and figured I’d slap up a review while I’m thinking about it. This was Kallmaker’s first novel and I read it the first time when it was originally published in 1989. It remains one of my favorite lesbian romances, and reading it is like putting on comfy old slippers and snuggling in for a visit with an old friend.
Re-reading it again now I can see that Kallmaker has definitely grown as a writer, but In Every Port is pretty solid. There are a few things here and there that betray that she was a new writer at the time she wrote it, but it’s much more polished than a lot of first novels, especially in this genre. It certainly demonstrates why Kallmaker went on to become the Queen of Lesbian Romance.
What I like most about the novel is that the romance is organic and believable. Nothing feels forced or fake. Jessica and Cat start out as new neighbors and become friends before feelings deepen. Jessica goes through a long transition, first admitting who she really is, coming to terms with that, and then deciding how it will affect her future and what she wants out of life.
One of the things that I really enjoy is that the story is set in San Francisco in 1978, the era of Harvey Milk, the Briggs Initiative, and women’s libbers. These things don’t have primary importance in the plot, this is strictly a romance, but they do provide an interesting and textured backdrop. Readers who only enjoy very contemporary settings may not like that aspect, but I think the romance will appeal enough to overcome reservations.