When the Siren Calls
Published by Troubador Publishing Ltd
Genre: literature; romance; mystery
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.
3.5 / 5 cupcakes
I am obsessed with Italy. It doesn't take much to stoke the fires, either. So when I learn that a book is set there, I'm already inclined to like it. But inclination only lasts so far. The book does need to be good - fun to read, interesting, entertaining.
When the Siren Calls does not disappoint on any level. Not with its Italian setting, not with its story and not with its characters.
In a fit of pique with her husband, Isobel heads out, unaccompanied, to a Marrakech marketplace, where things get a little complicated. The dashing Jay rescues her, and Isobel immediately is attracted to him. And he to her. Uninspiring though her marriage to the driven and successful Peter may be, however, Isobel is not one to cheat.
Well .... not quickly, anyway.
Jay is a developer, or involved in some sort of real estate developing, and has a property in Italy - a sort of time share thing for rich folks. Isobel and Peter head to take a look, and Jay convinces them to buy in. Peter has to return to work, though, which leaves Isobel rather alone. And Jay rather interested. Alas, Jay has a girlfriend - the hot, comely Lucy, who does not take to competition very well. (There is a hilarious scene in which she confronts Jay very publicly.) Oh, and Jay also has a wife, although she is safely ensconced in the US.
Jay, as you can see, is a lover. He enjoys the ladies (boy, does he ever), and he finds Isobel irresistible. She doesn't make it very difficult for him, nor does she struggle with guilt over cheating on Peter. Both Isobel and Jay share that commonality: they each feel somewhat entitled to pursue their concupiscent desires.
Dovetailing with the romance is a story of financial intrigue, sort of Bernie Madoff-esque in nature. Jay is not all he appears to be, but then again, neither is Peter. And Isobel is more than just the woman in the middle. She will frustrate you with some of her decisions, yet there are times you want to give her a high five for locating her backbone. Then there is Jay. When you read this, come back here and tell me what you think of him. I don't want to give away much, but Jay is ... complex.
This is a good book. Not great, not bad. I couldn't stop reading it, which says something, and I really wanted to know what would happen with the financial story line, as well as with Isobel and Jay. Tom Barry knows how to pull you in, and he develops his characters with humor and irony. Oh, and the sex scenes. They are HOT. Jay - well - Jay can get it done, people.