Rating: 4 Stars ****
Source: egalley from Netgalley
Buy this book:When the Siren Calls
Blurb:Restless and neglected, Isobel is suffocating in a stagnant marriage. Suave and charismatic Jay is fighting for survival. An invitation to visit Jay's resort in the hills of Tuscany sparks Isobel to imagine a life of freedom and excitement.Dismissing her husband’s objections, Isobel pursues Jay to Tuscany on the pretext of searching for a holiday home. After fighting anguished guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate affair, with her controlling lover encouraging Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.But all is not as it seems in the idyllic Tuscan retreat, and Isobel finds herself trapped in a web of intrigue, deception, and betrayal. She is one player in a dangerous love triangle, unsure whether Jay is her saviour, or her nemesis. As her world falls apart, she must choose between the woman she thought she was, and the woman she has become.
Isobel Roberts leads a posh life devoid of passion. This lack of passion is suddenly becomes her sole focus after she meets Jay by chance. Months unfold before the two are reunited and able to explore her feelings.
I could not justifiably give this book anything less than four stars. It was well written, the pacing was flawless and I did manage to lose myself in it.
I read someone state that this book is the thinking woman's Fifty. I can agree to that. It is a much better written book. While not a love story, or even heavy erotica like Fifty was intended to be, the reader can not just lie back and let the events unfold. This is not something that the reader can just let wash over them. The author did heavy research and there is a fair amount of connecting the dots that the reader must do.
Also I might add, Jay for all of his flaws, is not a one note man like Christian Grey. The man certainly knows how to mix it up in the bedroom.
I spent 90% of the book hating Jay. It's only when he loses everything that I came to identify with the man. The same can be said of Isobel. During the final scene between her and the two men in her life I wanted to stand up and cheer for her. I knew how Isobel felt for Jay from her scenes in the book. However, the writer never lets us see Jays true motivation when it comes to her. For the other women it is perfectly clear what Jay wants from them. He has his wife, Rusty, for money and comfort. He fears divorcing her because of their prenup. Lucy is clearly around because of her looks and her sexual prowess. I think he has affection for Lucy but not enough to stop himself from stringing her along.
The scenes in Italy were by far my favorite. I hung onto every detail when the characters where romping around in this beautiful background. Everything seemed clearer when they were there. It was only when Isobel returned home that doubts would slip in. It becomes very clear that Jay is taking advantage of a lot of people throughout the book.
Overall, I found this book engaging and fun to read. I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a slightly erotic non-romance romance book. It is definitely worth a shot if you are tired of the plug and play contemp romances.