Command Performance by Sally Quilford
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand
Length: Short Story (127 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fennel
Wealthy Vittorio d’Este believes in protecting his family, which is why he does not want his nephew, Marcus, to marry songstress Lindi Baker. On the pretext of finding out if she is a suitable mate for Marcus, he orders her to his private island for a command performance. But Lindi is not what he thinks she is. She, too, brings out all his protective instincts and teaches him how to love again. But how will he react when he learns that she has lied to him?
Singer Lindi Baker has been bullied for years, so she is in no mood to be commanded by Vittorio d’Este, no matter how gorgeous he is. Lindi agrees to accompany Vittorio to his private island at the behest of Gemma, who is the one really sleeping with Marcus. Unsophisticated Lindi does not realise until it’s too late that her own heart is at stake.
Ms. Quilford has a wonderfully gentle writing style that carries you along with her story. Lindi Ms. Quilford's heroine is portrayed as more than slightly gullible, incredibly naive, cowed by everyone around her, and I could truly feel her timorous approach to life. I was rooting for her to grow and learn from the new experiences bombarding her when Vittorrio, the author’s hero, came into her life.
The whole story revolves round misconceptions, false accusations from Vittorio, and what truly amounts to kidnapping. I found myself wondering why Lindi simply fell in with his plans when he was less than pleasant to her. She may not like her mother’s partner (and how could she not know they were lovers too?), but up to that point she’d never rebelled against anything she was told to do. At this point, it disappointed me I was not behind Lindi as solidly as I had been, especially as I was enjoying the author’s wonderfully vivid description. I have seen Chesterfield’s crooked church spire, and I’ve visited Venice and loved how Ms. Quilford took me back to those places so easily.
Unfortunately I never came to like Ms. Quilford’s hero. Yes he was a man at the top who let nothing get in his way if he wanted something, but he didn’t grow or change as the story unfolded.
It still didn’t stop me from enjoying the sweet romance involved until suddenly without warning the timid beleaguered heroine turned into a dominant sexual partner who resorts to mild bondage all within one night, and then as quickly as the sun rises, reverted back to character.
While this may not have been my favorite book, that will not stop me looking out for more books by this author. I love her vivid descriptions; she has a writing style that appeals, and characters that bring out reader emotions whether they are negative or positive, and since that is what most writers strive for, Ms. Quilford has definitely achieved her aim with this book.