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4.8 out of 5 stars
What It Takes
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 7 October 2017
An okay holiday read. Interesting enough to keep reading to the end but I didn't really get into any of the characters. They lacked depth. It was like there could have been a tale to tell but then any anticipated incident like at the school, once told, fizzled out, whereas it had the potential to be developed in more sinister and grippingly interesting ways as the main character grew. Almost chick lit in some places. And the way the mother daughter thing which was supposed to be the catalyst of the story, I think, was addressed toward the end I don't think was well done. A superfluous read which promised much but delivered little. But kudos to the author her writing style did keep me reading to the end. Just. Having read some of her other books, this one seemed a bit lazy.
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on 28 November 2013
Terry Tyler's latest novel, "What It Takes" is one of those books which is hard to place securely within a genre. It certainly has romantic elements, but it is also about relationships within families - sibling rivalry, jealousy, misunderstandings. There is mystery within this story and it also deals with the consequences of dishonesty at worst; lack of openness, at best.

The story looks at the lives of three sisters - Ava, Saskia and Karen. Karen harbours a great deal of resentment towards her older sisters; in her eyes, they are more attractive, more successful and more loved than she. Her view of life changes when she meets Danny who falls deeply in love with her. Unfortunately, the path of true love does not run smoothly and after a few months, life becomes very complicated for Karen.

To say more about the plot would spoil the book for others, but I can say that I found the characters to be believable. Although Karen was annoying at times, I empathised with her outlook on life. It isn't always easy to deal with the complexities of life when you feel insecure about your place in the scheme of things.

I loved the setting of this novel! In fact, the reason I bought my copy was because it is set in North Norfolk and mentions many of the places that I know and love.

"What It Takes" is a well-written novel, which I found difficult to put down. I'm not generally a fan of romance, but with the other themes running throughout, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be reading more of Terry Tyler's work, that's a certainty!
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on 11 January 2014
In this book the characters are so real. Within a few pages you are involved in the family's complex relationships and rivalries because author Terry Tyler develops her characters so well. Although What It Takes is a romance novel it also explores some of the more complex aspects of relationships within families and between individuals. Sibling rivalry is one of the main themes of the plot and these three sisters couldn't have more: Karen's feelings towards Ava and Saskia are jealous, envious, and embittered. As the plot develops she can, with some justification, add betrayal to the mix. I particularly liked the way the author uses shifting viewpoints. This keeps the interest level high; enables the reader to become immersed in the lives of the characters; and ensures that the pace of the novel is sustained right through to the end resulting in a "can't put it down" read. I really enjoyed reading What It Takes and recommend it highly.
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VINE VOICEon 17 April 2017
This is a great book about sibling rivalry, lack of self-esteem and how deception affects relationships. Sisters Ava and Saskia have trouble understanding their younger sister Karen, and in turn Karen is resenntful of her older and more attractive (she thinks) sisters. When handsome, but less well-educated, hunk Danny falls for her, it begins a series of complications whilst Karen tries to decide what she wants - I can't say more without ruining the book for the rest of you. And you'll want to read it as it is a very entertaining read.
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on 17 September 2013
Firstly I'd like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review. I have previously read and enjoyed other books by Terry Tyler and you can find my reviews of these on my blog.

The prologue didn't give much away but it thoroughly intrigued me and left me wanting to know more! Ava then began the introduction of her interesting family which consisted of three sisters and their mum. Karen (one of the sisters) was someone who grabbed my attention; she felt like the odd one out of the three girls and I have to admit that I could kind of see why. By the time I had finished reading about the ups and downs of their lives I felt like I knew them all personally, I believe that the authors natural writing style had a lot to do with this.

My opinion of Karen changed throughout the book, there were times when I was concerned for her and times when she annoyed me - her snobbery over Danny's intellect was one of those moments. I constantly felt curious as to where her behaviour would lead her. There were hints of something that had happened during Karen's school days and I couldn't wait to find out what it was - when all was revealed I have to admit that it wasn't what I had been expecting and felt that it showed a worrying side to her character.

I was pleasantly surprised when the storyline switched to Danny's point of view, he seemed like a bit of a lost soul to me at the beginning and there were times when my heart broke for him. I was confused by some of his actions where Karen was concerned though and it wasn't until the end that I was able to look back at those moments with fresh eyes (this will make complete sense if you read it :) ). The supporting characters were strong and I enjoyed reading about them just as much as the main characters.

A huge twist in the storyline towards the end really surprised me, I absolutely hadn't seen it coming! This led to lots of complications and hidden truths being revealed, some of which I had figured out and others that surprised me once again.

Self-image was an important part of this book, Karen thought very poorly of herself and at times I wanted to reach into my Kindle and give her a shake!

This was another enjoyable read by Terry Tyler, relationships with both family and lovers were nicely dissected in this tale of love, regrets and secrets.
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on 10 May 2015
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started reading WHAT IT TAKES. The first part of the book was devoted mainly to introducing the characters, of which there were quite a few. I almost lost interest here, as it was somewhat tedious, but I am thrilled that I continued to read the book. When the author dove into the story, there was magic in her words. The words flew by, and before I realized it, I had finished the book. I was not ready. Even though everyone involved seemed to resolve his/her own character conflict, I wanted more.

I think most people can relate to Karen at one point or another of their lives. She lacked confidence; she always felt she came up on the short end of the stick. Her sisters were gorgeous, whereas she felt she was more of a plain Jane. Karen’s perception was that everyone else got the best of everything in life and in love.

Then there is Danny Alvarez. Danny had good looks, but was that enough for Karen? He seemed less refined.

I give WHAT IT TAKES 4 stars because of the slow start. In the end, the story won me over. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on 22 September 2013
This review is based on a free copy given to me by the author. "What it Takes" is a modern tale of family, relationships, loves and losses, it is very easy to relate to and I could imagine it happening in today's world. The reader is drawn by a human desire to know what goes on in other people's lives and ultimately to sub consciously compare it to your own. The characters are very realistic, dealing with their own hardships and finding ways to survive on their own paths. This is the first book I've read by this author and it won't be the last.
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on 7 September 2013
Well the course of true love never did run smooth...

Meet hopeless in love Karen, the 'plain Jane' against her two stunning 'Skandinavian beauty' sisters. Karen feels like "Cinderella in reverse". Being the ugly duckling of the family has made finding love very difficult, not helped by the fact that Karen is a bit of an unstable drama queen according to all who know her. She hasn't been quite right in the head ever since that 'Spice Girls incident'...

But then Karen meets Danny. The gorgeous, half-Mediterranean hunk who worships the ground she walks on. But the attention is too much for Karen, and they are both on such very different intellectual levels...its not going to work, or so Karen decides, breaking Danny's heart in the process. Has Karen been too hasty? All she wants is to be loved, and this Adonis does love her!

Is it too late to change her mind...?

Well I can now officially state that I am a bona fide Terry Tyler fan! I loved. loved, loved this book!

Skilfully written from the perspectives of various main players - Karen, Danny, Karen's sister - Ava, Karen's friend and colleague - Sam; the multiple narratives are subtly different in tone, so that you get to know each character in depth. This keeps what otherwise might seem a bit of a slow starter, fresh and a pleasure to read. And some fantastic lines in there too - my favourite being "She couldn't exist on seaweed and dreams." That there is poetic genius haha!

The story plods along quite nicely, when slowly you realise that something a bit darker may be just around the corner. Admittedly I had very quickly figured out who may be responsible for the disaster zone that is Karen's love life, and I was so busy waiting for that reveal that BAM! I was completely knocked sideways by another little spanner that got chucked right in there! I mean my jaw actually dropped and I did a strange excited little shuffle and said aloud "Wow, things just got VERY interesting!!" (My husband across the room gave me rather a strange look!)
Well that was it after that, everything else in the world was put on hold until I found out what happened to Karen et al, and I was not disappointed.

What It Takes might not change your life, but its one hell of a good read!
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on 2 March 2014
This is my fourth, Terry Tyler, and it's a good 'un, as they say. On the surface, a story about ordinary guys and gals falling in and out of love in an English provincial town. But the hairdresser's, the pub and family life figure as the backdrops to some much twistier, darker and more complex undercurrents with the truth just out of reach until almost the end. Obsession is the predominant theme, but it comes from some unexpected quarters. That said, it's very real too. Ordinary people really are like this! And what's more, it gives us a good lesson in how to keep life uncomplicated if you want peace of mind. Great reading as always, so well done Ms Tyler!
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on 15 September 2013
Karen has always felt overshadowed by her gorgeous sisters. When handsome Danny sweeps her off her feet, it looks as though she's finally found happiness, but doubt starts to creep in and she pushes him away. Has she made the right decision? Will she ever find true love and happiness?

Many of Karen's insecurities stem from her perception of herself as the ugly sister; having dull brown hair when your sisters are Scandinavian blonde beauties, doesn't do much for your self-confidence. Nor do a couple of ill-advised romantic entanglements and that awful "Spice Girls incident" at school.

The network of family, romantic and work relationships around Karen feel real, with supporting characters and minor ones written with as much depth as the leads. I like the way that Karen has a slightly different relationship with each of her sisters, Ava (happily married with two children) and Saskia (owner of a successful hair and beauty salon).

Each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the main characters, which brings a freshness and lively quality to the story. I think Ava's first-person voice comes over the clearest and is the most compelling. Her comment that her husband says that she and Saskia are "the sort of Scandinavian beauties men fantasise about finding in the sauna, whereas Karen is a faded English rose that drooped before it even blossomed" is my favourite line.

At first this story feels like an indulgent soap opera of a novel about the games people play when they are looking for love, but then it becomes apparent that there's a darker, deeper side to the tale. The two reveals, even if you've guessed them ahead of time, pack a satisfying punch.

What is even more satisfying is looking again at the title of the book and the front cover illustration when you've finished reading, and seeing how apt they are. The choice reflects an author who is confident in her material and has a great sense of humour too.

I'd like to thank the author for sending me a review copy.
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