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When the Siren Calls

When the Siren Calls

3.0 11
by Tom Barry

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A story of seduction, deception and betrayal...

When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat, owned by the enigmatic Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business


A story of seduction, deception and betrayal...

When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat, owned by the enigmatic Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business intrigue, and ruthless ambition, while controlling Jay encourages conservative Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.

But all is not as it seems in the hilltop paradise and as her lover battles for survival, she finds herself a player in a dangerous love triangle. Unable to know who she can trust, she must fight to control both her own cravings and to save what little of herself is left. As her life falls apart, she is torn between the consequences of infidelity, her love for Jay, and fear that he will be her nemesis. For both Isobel and Jay, the excesses and confusions of an uncertain and largely amoral age are about to be brought home to roost, right in the heart of their lives.

Witty and smattered with the best sort of irony, with twists and turns that keep you guessing, When the Siren Calls is a sensual and moving emotional drama that titillates the senses while racing along like a Grisham thriller. The novel will appeal to adult readers of romantic suspense and to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey.

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Matador Publishing Ltd
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443 KB

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When the Siren Calls 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
bucmjt More than 1 year ago
When the Siren Calls by Tom Barry was a bit too convoluted for my taste. Lots of details and story lines that went no where. It felt more like playing a board game with a seven year old, where the rules change depending on the situation. The character descriptions were good, but they did not fit the actions of the characters. almost DNF.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Someone compared this to the Fifty Shades series - no way! It moved slowly, was terribly boring, about halfway through I read the last chapter - glad I did! Also glad it was really cheap. It will be deleted.
TheLifeofaBookAddict More than 1 year ago
When reading a book I normally enter the story with an understanding that there will be characters that I adore, like, feel lukewarm about , love to hate, and just plain hate. I would have to place the characters in this book under the just plain hate category. They basically have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. That was a little disappointing for me… Isobel is supposed to feel restless and neglected. Her husband works a ton of hours and has little to no time to spend with her.  Knowing that, I can understand why she would feel neglected, but to me she was spoiled. I didn't think that she actually cared about anyone other than herself and she has no moral compass. I just could not bring myself to feel sorry for her. Peter, Isobel’s husband doesn’t have a huge role in the book until the middle of the book or around there, so Jay and Isobel take center stage mostly. Jay is a true con artist. He is involved in shady business practices and attempts to con Peter into one. The ultimate playboy; he cheats  on his wife for no apparent reason to me except for the fact that he ‘loves’ women and likes to keep things interesting.  It isn't long  before he and Isobel cross paths and their so-called ‘friendship’ is taken to a new level. From then on there is no turning back… The writing was good. The details of Tuscany had me picturing it all in my head as I read. I think I was expecting more of a romance story than there really was though. If cheating, lies, and characters you hate are what you enjoy reading, then you might like this. I wasn’t hooked on the story and ultimately this book was not my cup of tea. I’m sure there will be readers out there who will feel the  opposite and love it. I would recommend checking out a sample of the book to see if it suits your reading preference first. **I received this book from Author/The LibraryThing Giveaway in exchange for just my honest opinion. Thank you.** 
Cherryreads More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book. I read some of the reviews and saw the cover (yes, I do judge my romance novels by their covers) and I was excited to read another captivating romance. I was not captivated. I had a very difficult time reading this book. There seemed to be so much going on at once and I often felt that some parts of the story lines were lacking. I am willing to admit that I haven't read a lot of literature from English authors so there might be some cultural idiosyncrasies that may not have come across well. The author does do a wonderful job of describing Tuscany (the main setting of the story); I could envision the vineyards and the cobblestone streets as I was reading. He also has a vast vocabulary and I found myself every so often wishing that I performed better on my SAT's and didn't have to keep looking up different words to understand what he was trying to convey. I found that most of the romantic entanglements seemed to be glossed over. Just when you think you are getting to the good bits, the author has fast forward to another scene. This was true with all of the romantic liaisons except for the one with Isobel and Jay in chapter 37. I don't know if this is the norm for all English prose, but as an avid reader of romance I want to be a voyeur. I want to be swept away by the passion and romance. When I am reading a great story, I am so caught up that the characters seem real. I have to know will happen next. I didn't feel that with this novel. I wanted there to be a happy ending I wanted there to be some redeeming quality to Jay. I wanted Isobel to find her true passion in a forbidden romance or maybe discover that there could be a deeper truer love with her husband Peter. I felt that was what I was promised by the brief description given, but that wasn't what was delivered. I did find that the author seemed to find his footing a little more than halfway through the story. It was at that point that I felt drawn in. However, I was disappointed when it came to the ending. It seemed a little unrealistic that all of a sudden Isobel has a back bone, when there didn’t seem to be an indication that through her turmoil she found an underlying strength in the process.
kcody03 More than 1 year ago
An intriguing read that delved into the darker side of society. This was not the type of story that I usually read, but it was one that caught my attention and got me thinking. The setting was the perfect set up for a typical woman who is just tired of the same old issues day after day. I actually felt that Isobel had the stereotypical mid life crisis. Although she did take things a bit too far in my opinion I can certainly empathize with her feelings of being stuck in a rut. I believe many of us do at some point even when we are younger. It was interesting to see how she handled all of this and some of the dangers of living life on the edge. The book was fast paced and was full of intrigue and a bit of a mystery. It was hard to tell who was friend or foe many times in this book and I felt this perfectly portrayed how people can feel when they get in over their heads. The characters were relatable and believable which helped to make them be more lifelike in my mind. I really enjoyed seeing how everything turned out even when I was afraid for them at times. All in all this was a provocative read that really put you through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Find out what happens when you give in to temptation.
Morgan_Drake_Eckstein More than 1 year ago
When the Siren Calls (by Tom Barry) is a mixture of business drama and romantic suspense. Honestly, I am not sure what to label it--I guess drama is as good of a term as any. Maybe contemporary is the term that I am looking for. I found the first third of the book hard to get into. I am not sure if I was just having a bad reading day--something that every English major is familiar with--or if it was the book itself that the cause. It may have been the fact that one of the characters, Isobel, was moping around about being unloved...I tend not to like rich (or even just well-off) people complaining about their problems. And there was that point where I realized that two years had passed between two scenes--it was a shock to realize how quickly time was passing in the book. At the end of the first third of the book, I thought that the best the author could ask for was a three star review. I was wrong. The second third of the book sucked me in. And the third part just knocked my socks off. As the book progressed, the action speeded up and the emotions of the characters got more intense. I actually came to like the character of Isobel by the end of the book. The one character that I had absolutely no sympathy for was Jay. I find this interesting because When the Siren Calls is the first book of a trilogy, with the next book entitled Saving Jay. I wonder how Tom Barry is going to make me a fan of that book...I presume that he can win me over for a second time. So much to my surprise, I am actually giving When the Siren Calls a full five stars and looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy. [Disclosure statement: This review is based on a NetGalley galley copy that was provided to me by the author.]
LostLenoreLL More than 1 year ago
Review for members giveaway at LibraryThing I have conflicted feelings about this book. I like it and the plot, even a current one, is cleverly and beautifully written. I must say that for a new author, Tom Barry, has a poetic way of telling the story that really catch your attention. Congrats for that. I didn't feel empathy for any of the characters or even a small likeliness because, for me, something was missing. Their entire world was full of lies, betrayal, sex and money and they seemed, maybe Isobel is some sort of exception, doted with a lack of remorse or even consciousness. For me, this novel is a satire and I can't put a label on it but. All in all, it was an interesting reading.
Stace35 More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting read. Thanks to Tom Barry, I had the pleasure of reading this book via NetGalley. I also look forward to reading Saving Jay. :)
lrjohnson13 More than 1 year ago
I was first intrigue by this book solely because of the cover and then I read the description and thought why not. Well, it was 50 Shades of Grey gone wrong. The characters were overly annoying. There was nothing redeeming about Isobel, she was purely spoiled and naïve. She does everything in her power to act stupid and get into dumb situations. Jay is just a jerk, and NOT in a good way. Basically everything he says is just to get into her pants and his choice of career is less than honorable. There was just nothing to the characters making nothing come out of their relationships. This should not be described as romance either, its just something else entirely. Note: won through LibraryThing Member giveaways.
beanieboo78 More than 1 year ago
First up let me just thank the author Tom Barry and his publishers for sending me a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This story begins with Isobel being chased through the streets of Marrakesh by the street kids in the hope she will give them money. She is rescued by a local shopkeeper who then tries to force her to buy something from his shop as payment for saving her. When things turn sour she is rescued by the handsome Jay, who just happens to be staying at the same hotel as her. They have a chat/flirt at the side of the pool, say their goodbyes and go their separate ways. Isobel is unhappy with her marriage, her husband is so caught up with his work that he ignores her at every turn and soon she is dreaming of that day in the Souk and fantasising about what could have happened. At this point in the story i am hooked... when the story skips forward a few months I had anticipated a steamy affair had already been started but instead found they had shared an email or two where Jay had invited Isobel and her husband to come and look at his new investment opportunity in Tuscany. Which she finally agrees to simply so she can meet him again. The entire premise of the book is thus... Jay is setting up a time share in Tuscany, he knows its not going to work the way he is marketing it, and has set up an old friend as a scapegoat so that when it all falls he can walk away scot free. His team encourage Isobel and her husband to buy not one, but two apartments at the unfinished complex, and even though Jay begins an affair with her he doesn't try to warn her that she will be losing a lot of money.. he even tries to get her husband to invest heavily in the scheme.  There seems to be a lot missing from this story. While I was more than happy with Barry's style of writing (its the only reason I continued to read if I'm honest) I found the story line itself lacking. I had made it to roughly 60% of the way through, and we had skimmed over sex scenes, making me go back and re-read them just to be sure it had actually happened. There was no sign of romance from Jay and his wife, Jay and his girlfriend, Jay and Isobel or Isobel and Peter. At this point I was very close to giving up, but it was at this point that the story kicked in and I found myself reading the last half of the book in one sitting (it has still taken me 5 days to finish though which is rather unusual for me). The ending seemed rushed and maybe I was too tired by the end but it didnt really have a conclusion, there didnt appear to be any repercussions for Jay from a legal standpoint. Isobel seemed tortured by her feelings about Jay trying to scam them and her passion for their relationship. Im actually really happy with her decision at the end of the book and feel it was the only option for her.  This is the first in a trilogy but i honestly dont know if i would bother picking up the second.
Rich_Hayes More than 1 year ago
NOTE: I received a copy in exchange for a honest review. This book, although well written, was not one that this reader could get interested in. It was not one that you would start and just have to see what happened the next day no matter what the time was. Again for this reader it was start to read, read a paragraph or two or page or two, stop and do something else and if I hadn't received a copy for a review and feeling honor bound to read and review; I would have probably quit reading it but it would not surprise me if many readers disagreed with me and if they do, great for them. The main characters are Jay and Isobel. They first meet when he "rescues" her from being lost in and berated by a salesman in the market in Marrakech and helps her get to the hotel she and her husband are staying at. It turns out that Jay is also staying there and they meet again later at the swimming pool. There she finds out about a party in England, which later she decides to attend and meeting Jay again where he tells her about a resort he is building in Tuscany Italy. She and her husband go there and later she and Jay becomes lovers. In this book this reader was asking, who is Jay and what are his true feelings toward Isobel? Is he a real believer in the project? Does he have real feelings toward Isobel or is he just after her money? As for Isobel, does she have real feeling towards Jay or is she just bored in her marriage? And the project, is it something real or just a scam? In a star rating I would give the book 4 stars just because it was well written and maybe other readers will enjoy it more than I did. A warning, there is sex in the book and while it is not explicit, it is there and perhaps the book should not be read by anyone younger than 17.