I downloaded a free copy of Nine Lives by Terry Tyler and enjoyed it so much that as soon as it was finished I downloaded What It Takes as well.
I finished reading What It Takes during the Christmas / New Year period and it was ideal holiday reading. I found that the talent Terry Tyler displays in her short stories is even greater in her extended writing.
The main character in What It Takes is Karen: a person with low self-esteem but a high level of self-pity. Although you feel sympathetic towards her, she's a difficult person to like. At times you want to tell her to pull herself together which is the last thing she needs. You empathise with her situation but know that she's bringing a lot of it on herself. Which is what her two sisters think but they don't know how to deal with her either. And this is one of the great strengths of the book: the characters are so engaging that within a few pages you are completely involved in this family's complex relationships and rivalries. Author Terry Tyler brings reality to her characterisation so well.
The support characters are well developed too: for example, Lois. She has an important contribution to make to the plot but stands as a really interesting character in her own right. She has a questionable moral compass and could so easily have become a stereotype: a tribute to the author that she hasn't.
I particularly liked the way the author uses shifting viewpoints. This keeps the interest level high; enables the reader to become immersed in the lives of the characters; and ensures that the pace of the novel is sustained right through to the end resulting in a "can't put it down" read.
What It Takes is a romance novel but it also explores some of the more complex aspects of relationships within families and between individuals. Sibling rivalry is one of the main themes of the plot and these three sisters couldn't have more: Karen's feelings towards Ava and Saskia are jealous, envious, and embittered. As the plot develops she can, with some justification, add betrayal to the mix.
The ending to the story is satisfying, unexpected and, like real life, not necessarily a happy one.
I really enjoyed reading What It Takes and recommend it highly.
You can find details of all Terry Tyler's books on her Amazon Author page and don't miss her entertaining Blog which is sure to make you smile.
Thanks for reading.
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