When The Siren Calls
by Tom Barry
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author, Tom Barry, through LibraryThing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I requested a copy of this book after I saw it described as "the thinking woman's Fifty Shades." I assumed this meant that it would have a similar erotic plot line, but without all the poor decisions that the characters in the Fifty Shades series kept making. I was wrong.
The story focuses on two main characters, Isobel and Jay. Isobel has become unsatisfied with her marriage and begins toying with the idea of an affair with Jay, a handsome business man she met on vacation. Using the growing attraction he can sense in Isobel, Jay attempts to convince her and her husband to invest in a shady time-share opportunity in Tuscany. Isobel and Jay eventually do begin an affair and Isobel struggles with her conscious as she cheats on her husband both physically and financially.
I think the biggest reason I was unhappy with this story was because I found NONE of the characters likeable. It was very hard to feel sorry about Isobel's marriage woes considering she wouldn't communicate them to her husband at all. I can get how she would be bored. Peter is the definition of a workaholic. He's permanently attached to his cell phone and laptop. He thinks about nothing but business, business, business. But part of this is Isobel's fault. She repeatedly says that she offered to maintain a supportive role in the marriage. Peter would build his business while she maintained their household, and managed their lifestyle. She's done nothing but encourage Peter to continue to work obsessively, and has never complained about it. At least not to him. She gets to keep her fancy horses and spend all the money she wants. But if you're (understandably) bored, just tell him! He's business savvy, he could help her start her own business if it's a job/project she needs. They can go to marriage counseling to help with her decreasing physical attraction to him. And if it's time for the two of you to go your separate ways, that's okay too. But not talking about it isn't going to help anything.
Ugh. I guess I'm just a big supporter of communication in relationships, but COME ON. Just tell him why you're unhappy! He's a MAN. They can almost never figure out why you're mad until you tell them. But then we do that stupid thing where we just expect them to read our minds. SO FRUSTRATING.
And then Jay is just the worst. He's a complete slime ball who is not only cheating on his wife, but also on EVERYBODY ELSE. He's even cheating his friend and business partner out of money. He's got both Lucy and Isobel as mistresses who don't know about each other, plus all the prostitutes he sleeps with in these restaurants/brothels. Where are these places? AND WHY ISN'T ANYONE WEARING CONDOMS?!
Surprisingly, all this sex and cheating stuff seems like a secondary storyline compared to all the time that is devoted to describing the time-share scam. I know WAY more about Italian real estate than I really wanted to. Jay cheats everyone out of millions of dollars and should really just be in prison forever.
The next title in this series is called Saving Jay, but I am not interested. I'm just going to pretend that Isobel and Lucy become really awesome and happy with their lives and that Jay gets life without parole and no one ever speaks to him again.
You can read more reviews on this book at LibraryThing.