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When the Siren Calls Paperback – 1 Nov 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780883102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780883106
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,559,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A pacy, racy romance novel that simultaneously feels like a critique of a particular social scene. --Tom Fletcher, author of 'The Leaping'

Grabs you by the throat from the start. --Kathleen Patel, Amazon Books

The sex scenes in 'When the Siren Calls' are vital, pacy, and never gross or uncomfortable - as the annual Bad Sex Awards shows, this is rare in fiction. --Matthew Branton, author of 'The Love Parade '

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Isobel is a rich Surrey housewife adrift in the world of 'husbands, airports and business'. She has it all yet has nothing.

Peter, her alpha male husband, pays more attention to his phone and doing deals for his high powered international business clients than he does to her.

A chance encounter with a suave stranger who saves her from a sticky situation in a Marakesh souk leads Isobel on a sexual and romantic adventure that turns her life on its head.

Egged on by Maria, her adulterous confidante, Isobel swallows her scruples to embark on a steamy affair with Jay, another but very different sort of wheeler-dealer buziness man to her ice-man husband.

Tom Barry's WHEN THE SIREN CALLS chronciles Isobel's erotic liberation and subsequent fall as the net of lies she plunges into closes in around her.

The story-telling is strong throughout with the romantic lives of the players set against the fortunes of a decidedly questionable time-share complex in Tuscany.

The characters are skillfully drawn, especially Isobel, who felt very real in her hopes, ways, flaws and responses.

A couple of the chapters were also richly witty, farcical almost as the characters sought to further their romantic hopes and dreams.

And sex. There is plenty of sex. But this is not primarily an erotic of sexual story because the sex always feels secondary to the charachters' quests for fulfilment. Lucy, the most overtly sexiest player of all wants marriage and children. The main men, Peter, Jay and Andy, are motivated as much by winning their business power plays as by sex. Indeed, the story is as much about male power as sex. But then don't men seek power as a means to achieve sex, too?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was recommended and I have to say I found it a really good read. It was interesting that none of the characters were particularly likeable. The serially unfaithful wheeler-deeler Jay, the workaholic Peter, the neglected and self-absorbed wife Isobel and the nymphomaniac Lucy with her eye on the big prize. However,in bringing all these characters together Tom Barry managed to weave a great plot. I did tend to get a little bogged down with all the detail concerning the finance of building luxury homes abroad, but it was crucial to the plot and I guess in the end I found this did not really intrude on the story too much. A really good read which I would recommend.
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Format: Paperback
When The Siren Calls was, for me, the perfect escapism from the grey British weather and the daily routine. In fact, I thought it was so ideal for 30-something women (like Isobel - the lead female role in WTSC) that I recommended it to my book group and they're now all reading it (and enjoying it immensely according to the text messages I've been getting from them telling me they've gone to bed early to catch up on the latest happenings in Tuscany!).

This is categorised as a 'romantic business thriller' and it has its fair share of steamy scenes, but all are extremely well written and most definitely not over-the-top. I found myself wishing Isobel would just shake her husband and wake him from his perpetual work daydream, but in the end she didn't need to, he did that all by himself. I'm still unsure whether he actually cheated on her, whether he knew about her love affair with Jay (I think he did on both counts) or why she didn't prolong her time with Jay, but I think she made the right decision in the end. I never really warmed to Jay, although think he must be a fairly troubled soul and imagined him to look like Robert Pattinson...but then again, anyone vaguely gorgeous in a novel these days seems to be R-Patz in my mind! This is the fun thing about this book though and a question I'll be asking the girls at the book group: who would play Jay Brooke in the WTSC film? Other questions will be: Have you ever considered if you're on the right path? Would you be as brave as Isobel and give up the life she was expected to lead, if you were in her circumstances?

I loved 50 Shades of Grey and this has been compared to that, although I think, personally, the fact that it has been written by a man and an Irish born man now living in England, makes it even better...
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Format: Kindle Edition
This story focuses on relationships: within marriage, between business partners, between friends and lovers - and describes how lies and discontent can ruin relationships and the lives of those involved.

Isobel, married for fifteen years to workaholic high-flier, Peter, has a chance meeting in Marrakech with Jay, a wheeler-dealer property investor, who is looking for funding for his dodgy tourist complex in Tuscany. While nothing happens between Isobel and Jay, she finds him hard to forget and, when invited to a presentation of his tourism project, she is unable to resist attending. Her discontent with what she sees as an unsatisfactory marriage, sexually and in respect of her husband's addiction to his work, leaves her vulnerable to Jay's obvious attractions.

Jay's life is an unrelenting mixture of juggling marriage to Rusty and his responsibilities to their children with his mistress, Lucy, and his desire for Isobel, while Isobel is hung up with the whole issue of infidelity at the same time as desiring Jay.

With a brilliant opening in Marrakech, and set in the beautiful scenery of Tuscany and Middle England, these characters play out their lives against rising tension in the Tuscan tourist complex between the local Italian population and the mainly British owners of apartments and houses within the complex, who discover they've been taken for a ride by Jay's property company.

Tightly written and with a cast of strong characters who, while not particularly pleasant are certainly memorable, this novel is a potent and thoroughly enjoyable mix of sex, romance and big, bad business.
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