Sacrifice gets Kirkus thumbs up

SACRIFICE (reviewed on May 15, 1991)

Sex clubs, sadomasochism, and quasi-incestuous relationships fill the pages of this latest scandal-romance featuring a successful novelist and her oft-derailed search for true love, by the author of the paperback Labels. As the wife of young Wall Street hopeful Harry Winton and mother of two, voluptuous Marcella Balducci Winton chafes under the oppression of a lousy sex life (except for an afternoon encounter in a meat locker with her local grocer), and the fact that her desire to become a writer has so far been thwarted. Marcella's life really explodes, however, when she wins a million-dollar contract for her first novel, a steamy romance so hot her editor is forced to seduce her on his office rug. Harry, unable to deal with his wife's newfound power, disappears with the kids, leaving Marcella wealthy, professionally fulfilled, but bereft as a mother. Though her son, Mark, soon returns, daughter Sonia prefers to stick with Harry, who must flee the law as well when his underhanded financial dealings are discovered. Why can't she ever have it all--success, love and happiness--at the same time, Marcella sighs, as she enrolls Mark in music school, goes out on author tours, writes another romance, and visits a local sex club for an occasional mÇnage Ö trois to satisfy her abnormally strong sexual cravings. She's hardly the one to complain. Masochistic Sonia, who grows up to become a Vogue model, will be murdered by her lover before she's 21; Mark, a musical prodigy, will continue sleeping with his mother until he's 18; Harry will die of cancer in a nearby prison; but Marcella will emerge triumphant, her books topping the best-seller lists and a new, spiritually inclined Spanish lover on her arm. Curiously thirtysomething, hard-core romantic fantasy, littered with obnoxious stereotypes (black studs, predatory homosexuals, etc.), but so sexy it's bound to sell