Anyone who reads my reviews regularly would know that I am a fan of Sally Quilford's work. So if you're expecting me to give this book a glowing review, well, you'd be absolutely right.
What I love about Sally's work is that she is simply a joy to read. Her writing flows so beautifully that I tend to find myself finishing chapters before I know it. It's a bit like television - effortless entertainment. Her storylines are compulsive.
This book was written with Mills and Boon in mind but apparently, they turned it down. It's their loss. She is such an original writer. She took what is a sort of romance novel 'formula' i.e. an English rose and a handsome Italian. With her original approach, she made something completely different of it. I enjoyed reading about Belinda's awakening and self discovery - okay, she had this tall, dark, handsome hero helping her find her way, but who's complaining? I'm sure the readers won't anyway. I know I didn't.
Incidentally, this is the first time I've read anything by Sally with overtly sexual content in it. Her pocket novels usually steer clear of the dark side of life. They're the kind of books you could safely give to your kids to read without any worry about having their morals corrupted, so to speak. This story, Command Performance, is written with an adult readership in mind. Now me, while I like to read romantic fiction (provided it's good quality stuff) I'm one of those people who would prefer to leave the sexual details on the cutting room floor. I enjoy the spark, sizzle and chemistry when reading about a romancing couple. I have no desire whatsoever to get into bed with them. However, times have changed and many publishers demand that stuff nowadays. So if an author has to do what an author has to do, they should grasp the nettle bravely and this is exactly what Sally does. I've said it before about this writer and I'll say it this time too. She gets straight to the heart of the matter, no mucking about. She delivers her scene frankly and even with a sense of humour which I found rather endearing. Well done, Sally. I know I couldn't do that myself!
I'm rather a slow reader nowadays, but I finished this one within twenty four hours. That, in my opinion, says it all. Definitely paisa vasool (that's a phrase we have in India, which means 'value for money').
Maria (Reviewer for Romance Book Haven)