Terry Tyler

One of my favourite authors right now, and the first author to really surprise and prove to me that I wasn’t pigeon-holed to one specific genre, is the fabulous Terry Tyler. Check out all my reviews for her here. If you want to know more, take a look at Terry’s Blog and Terry’s Book Reviews

last child5 star

Available now from Amazon

Source: Author request

LAST CHILD is the sequel to Kings and Queens, Terry Tyler’s modern take on the story of Henry VIII and his six wives.

Harry Lanchester is gone, his legacy passed on to his children:

Thirteen year old JASPER, who views the directors of Lanchester Estates as Harry Potter characters, and finds out that teenage love affairs are no fairytale.

ISABELLA, the eldest daughter; lonely and looking for love, she returns from a holiday in Spain with more than just a suntan.

Impulsive, independent ERIN, the girl of Transport manager Rob Dudley’s dreams, whose priority is not a husband and family, but the continuation of her father’s work.

You will also meet the ambitious Jim Dudley, ex-nanny Hannah Cleveley, Rob’s long suffering wife Amy, and Raine Grey, whose nine days as PR manager for Lanchester Estates have a devastating effect on her life.

LAST CHILD takes the drama, passion and intrigue of Kings and Queens into the present day, with echoes from the past ~ and a glimpse or two into the future…

Last Child is the sequel to Tyler’s brilliant Kings and Queens. It follows on after the death of property mogul Harry Lanchester and is full of scandal, tragedy, power, lust, greed, heartache…basically imagine if Dallas were well written!

It is written in the same style as Kings and Queens, with narratives from various key characters, and this is very cleverly done. It doesn’t consist of everyone just randomly throwing in their tuppence worth, and it isn’t repetitive at all – it’s more like each narrator hands the baton to the next in order to continue with the story.

I’m the first to admit how surprising it is that a ‘thriller-addict’ like me enjoyed this book as much as I did. There are none of the twists and surprises that I usually crave – I mean, come on, we essentially know what happens to everyone don’t we?! And yet I was hooked! Because yes, ok, we know this one married that one, and this one had it away with that one, and these ones croaked it, etcetera, etcetera. But the pleasure is in Tyler’s interpretations, and the brilliance of bringing the issues of the 16th century into the present day – so that all of those terribly boring people you learned about at school suddenly become fascinating, exciting, and dare I say it, extremely likeable.

And this brings me to what I believe is Tyler’s greatest skill – character development. This is an author who just knows people! This is something I have found in every Tyler book I have read before, and this one is certainly no different. Each character has been afforded a depth of personality that is often difficult to find in novels with so many lead players. Readers will very quickly decide who they love and who they vehemently dislike, and everyone will find somebody that they can relate to – if not for their situation then for their thought processes. It is very clear that a lot of thought went into each character, based on the history of their real-life counterparts and what sort of people they might have been based on their actions. And you cant help but admire an author who can do all that, and put them all in a great story too!

It takes a special kind of author to take real figures from the 16th century, make them authentically current, and make a work of fiction that is so credible it could be a biography, so detailed you could be reading a history text, and yet so entertaining that you lose yourself in the escapism of the drama!

Oh and there’s a brief appearance by a character called Storm in there, so… y’know, excellent!

Many thanks to the author for providing this book for review.

Happy reading x


Round and Round

Published by Terry Tyler

Source: Author request

Four Valentine cards – from four different men!

Sophie Heron’s fortieth birthday is looming, and she is fed up with her job, her relationship, her whole life – not to mention her boyfriend’s new ‘hobby’, in which she definitely doesn’t want to get involved…

Back in 1998 she had the choice of four men, and now she can’t help wondering how her life might have turned out if she’d chosen differently.

The person to whom Sophie had always been closest was her beloved Auntie Flick, her second mother, friend and advisor. Before her death in 2001, Flick said, “when I’m up there having a cuppa with St Peter, I’ll have a word with him about making me your guardian angel, shall I?”

As Sophie’s fortieth birthday draws near, she visits her aunt’s special place: a tree by a river, hidden from the world. Here she calls on Auntie Flick to show her the way forward – and help her look back into the past so she can see what might have been…

Sophie Heron’s 40th birthday is fast approaching, and she is taking stock.

Sophie is filled with deep regrets of a life wasted and potential unfulfilled. She is desperately miserable with how things have turned out for her – and is torturing herself over the decisions she made to bring her life to its current point. One day, 16 years ago, she was faced with limitless opportunities… did she choose the wrong path?

In a ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ meets ‘Mr Destiny’ sort of scenario. Sophie is treated to some very vivid experiences of how life might have been, had she made some different choices, walked a different path; and I felt genuinely gutted for her when some of these parallel worlds that she visited were in fact a whole lot better than ‘real life’.

Round and Round is yet another treasured Terry Tyler creation in my collection. This was a delightful novella again showcasing Tyler’s talents for creating real, likeable characters with ‘real world’ problems.

Focusing on the what-ifs and never-weres that I’m sure everybody considers at some point in their lives; Tyler delivers an authentic account of the human condition, in an enjoyable and endearing way. With no lengthy build up to events, you are immediately drawn into Sophie’s world; and although each chapter has its own focal point, they all blend seamlessly together to reinforce the bitter-sweet message – things may not always turn out how you would have hoped, but the powers that be have got your back!

Many thanks to the author for providing this book for review


Kings and Queens5 star

Published by Cranium X

Source: Author Request

“KINGS AND QUEENS” tells of the life and loves of charismatic Harry Lanchester, which just happen to mirror the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. All the passion and suspense of the Tudor court, but set in modern times.

Harry’s realm is his South of England property developing company, Lanchester Estates, while his ‘wives’ are the twentieth century sisters of their historic counterparts: Anne Boleyn is reincarnated as the equally intriguing Annette Hever, and Henry VIII’s fifth wife with the risqué past, Catherine Howard, lives again in 1999 as Keira Howard, a former lap dancer.

The saga is narrated by each of the six women, in turn, interspersed with short chapters from the point of view of Harry’s lifelong friend, Will Brandon.

Kings and Queens is essentially a modern-day retelling of the romantic life of King Henry VIII. Focusing on the life of ‘Harry Lanchester’, begrudging heir to the family property empire ‘Lanchester Estates’, and ‘serial husband’.

Yaaaawn!!! I hated history at school (there’s just such a lot of it!!) and reciting all the ‘Bred, Wed and Dead’ of the Royal family on a muggy Wednesday afternoon in the early ’90’s was, to me, akin to watching grass grow….

But – I do like Terry Tyler, she is an author who hasn’t disappointed me before. So when I received ‘Kings and Queens’ to review I felt I ought to at least give it a go…

Well she’s only gone and done it again hasn’t she??!! I bloody love it!

The one constant through this story – aside from the main man himself – is Harry’s long-suffering best friend Will, who takes the lead narrative throughout. Other narratives come from Harry’s long line of wives, with a couple of other characters getting there tuppence worth in. With so many diverse personalities, and some very different perspectives of the very same people, every reader is sure to find someone they relate to…or at the very least become fond of.

This is, I believe, Tyler’s greatest skill; her talent for creating very likeable characters. I found myself very quickly warming to many of the characters within this story – Harry himself was a spoilt, arrogant, cheat of course, and the fact that there is no narrative from him further emphasised his grandeur – and yet I still found myself getting quite choked up at his death (Oh come on now that’s not exactly a spoiler is it?!)

What Tyler also manages to do is give a very interesting insight into human nature – and how a person’s opinion of his/herself can be so dramatically different from how other’s view them – and yet both perspectives are completely valid and plausible. You will see what I mean when you read Annette, wife number 2’s, views of Cathy, wife number 1 – they will completely conflict with your idea of Cathy, and yet…hmm since you put it that way…

And that’s another thing – as we are clearly looking back through history, you will find some subtle (and some blatantly obvious) references in there. And although some may find these a bit corny, I happened to really enjoy things like the wives’ names and demises, and other nods to the reader .

Overall the story runs at a good and steady pace, each narrative runs smoothly and seamlessly into the next. Parts where you don’t need endless details are skimmed over briefly, yet not so that you feel cheated by a lazy writer, but in a way where you feel the author is keeping things fresh and interesting. And although history literally repeats itself – the bloke basically treats each woman in exactly the same way, and although they’d argue the fact, they do all pretty much react along the same lines – none of it is boring and repetitive, and this is purely, I believe, down to the depth of each character and how their own views on what is happening do come across differently.

So basically, yes, I am a huge Terry Tyler fan! And I am completely surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. But one thing I’ve learnt – thanks to the likes of this very author – is that no book, or indeed genre, should ever be dismissed as “not my thing”, providing you have the right author delivering the goods.

On that note – I know there are a couple of Terry Tyler titles that I have yet to have had the pleasure of . I’m off to find them… cant wait! Happy reading!

*My thanks to the author for providing this book for review.


WhatitTakes5 star

Published by Terry Tyler

Source: Author Request

A tale of three sisters…

Karen Kavanagh has spent her life feeling like the runt of the family.

Her two elder sisters, domestic goddess Ava and salon owner Saskia, are mini versions of their mother, a gorgeous Danish beauty. Karen has inherited her father’s droopy, dull brown hair and long nose – pitted against two Scandinavian sauna babes, she feels like Cinderella in reverse.

Danny Alvarez doesn’t see her like that. He thinks she’s wonderful.
Lots of women want Danny, but Danny just wants Karen.
He pursues her with the devotion of a stalker – but she pushes him away. Then she realises what she’s done…

Set in Norfolk, Terry Tyler’s sixth novel, “What It Takes”, is a story of insecurity, jealousy, sibling rivalry, love and loss, and the games people play in the search for love – because if you love someone with all your heart you’ll do what it takes to make them yours…

Well the course of true love never did run smooth…

Meet hopeless in love Karen, the ‘plain Jane’ against her two stunning ‘Skandinavian beauty’ sisters. Karen feels like “Cinderella in reverse”. Being the ugly duckling of the family has made finding love very difficult, not helped by the fact that Karen is a bit of an unstable drama queen according to all who know her. She hasn’t been quite right in the head ever since that ‘Spice Girls incident’…

But then Karen meets Danny. The gorgeous, half-Mediterranean hunk who worships the ground she walks on. But the attention is too much for Karen, and they are both on such very different intellectual levels…its not going to work, or so Karen decides, breaking Danny’s heart in the process. Has Karen been too hasty? All she wants is to be loved, and this Adonis does love her!

Is it too late to change her mind…?

Well I can now officially state that I am a bona fide Terry Tyler fan! I loved. loved, loved this book!

Skilfully written from the perspectives of various main players – Karen, Danny, Karen’s sister – Ava, Karen’s friend and colleague – Sam; the multiple narratives are subtly different in tone, so that you get to know each character in depth. This keeps what otherwise might seem a bit of a slow starter, fresh and a pleasure to read. And some fantastic lines in there too – my favourite being “She couldn’t exist on seaweed and dreams.” That there is poetic genius haha!

The story plods along quite nicely, when slowly you realise that something a bit darker may be just around the corner. Admittedly I had very quickly figured out who may be responsible for the disaster zone that is Karen’s love life, and I was so busy waiting for that reveal that BAM! I was completely knocked sideways by another little spanner that got chucked right in there! I mean my jaw actually dropped and I did a strange excited little shuffle and said aloud “Wow, things just got VERY interesting!!” (My husband across the room gave me rather a strange look!)
Well that was it after that, everything else in the world was put on hold until I found out what happened to Karen et al, and I was not disappointed.

What It Takes might not change your life, but its one hell of a good read!

My thanks to the author, Terry Tyler, for sending me this book to review.


 

ninelives

Published by Terry Tyler

Source: Author Request

“NINE LIVES” is a collection of nine short stories, all of which are contemporary drama in the vein of Terry Tyler’s well-loved novels. The first chapter of her latest one, What It Takes, is to be found at the end.

The stories:

“Angel” ~ The perfect wife of the perfect husband is tempted by the fruit of another.

“Shut Up And Dance” ~ Paul says he will love Laura whatever size she is. But will he?

“Mia” ~ The threat of ‘the other woman’…

“Kiss Your Past Goodbye” ~ Zoe finds out what happened to her first love, who broke her heart.

“We All Fall Down” ~ Two old friends meet for a drink – just a swift one, of course!

“Bright Light Fright” ~ A tale of vengeance, a burglary, and a nasty shock.

“Mama Kin” ~ Emma and Melanie have very different approaches to childcare – oh dear!

“Don’t Get Mad – Get Even” ~ Kevin and Marcus have been best friends, yet rivals, since schooldays; who will come out on top?

“Happy Birthday” ~ A forty year old woman looks back over her life.

Nine Lives – nine short stories about real people, with real lives, and real predicaments…

I must confess, that this review is a wee bit late in the writing, because I’ve been really struggling with what to say about Nine Lives.

I have really thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve read of Terry Tyler’s before, so I was excited about her new stuff. However it turns out short stories are really not my thing I’m afraid.

Having said that, I did enjoy a couple of these easy-reads. I felt indignant at the end of ‘Angel’ and just when I thought “Oh dear not another woman-whines-about-husband story” – ‘Mia’ got a good chuckle out of me.

And Tyler’s usual flair for writing entertaining stories about ordinary, everyday people and situations is, as always, evident.

I think the best and fairest I can say is, if you like short stories, then you will almost certainly love ‘Nine Lives’

My thanks to the author for providing this book for review.


Full Circle5 star

Published by Terry Tyler

Source: Author Request

Two years have passed since we left Dave, Ariel, Janice and Shane at the end of DREAM ON.

ARIEL thought her hard work and perseverance had been rewarded when she met record producer Theo Perlmutter ~ then a tragic event turned her dreams to dust.

Newly married JANICE was happier than she’d ever been ~ but the honeymoon ended when born again alcoholic husband Max careered off the wagon and into the nearest bar.

Being forced onto The Jeremy Kyle Show in DREAM ON was not enough to make ladies’ man SHANE learn his lesson – will his philandering ways eventually catch up with him?

Rock band THOR has risen from the ashes…

… but DAVE is unhappy, trapped in a domestic situation not of his choosing.

Will there be a happy ever after ending for any of them?

Those who are used to me by now know that I do NOT give 5 stars lightly… not at all.

So the problem with Dream On ending with everyone living ‘reasonably satisfied ever after’? They all start off in Full Circle miserable as sin! And I felt genuinely gutted for them.

No two ways about it, this book is a rom-com. And surprisingly (to myself mostly!) I don’t mean that as a criticism. Its not a ditsy, shallow rom-com, it has substance. The love you read about is very real, or very not real, depending on which character we’re talking about! Real issues are accurately and sensitively dealt with, the not so ‘hearts & flowers’ aspects of real love.

There were admittedly a couple of those ridiculously frustrating moments in there – you know the kind you see in the movies where its all assumptions and misunderstandings, or he just turns up at the train station as her train pulls away, and she’s so busy daydreaming about how their life might have been together that she doesn’t see him running alongside down the platform…that kind of thing. Not enough to be annoying luckily, just enough for you to shout at the characters a little “COME ON JUST TELL HIM!!” Haha!

There were also a couple of ‘shockers’ thrown in there – which I admittedly had foreseen as soon as they were alluded to. But that was fine, because upon the big reveals I didn’t find myself saying “Well duh!” and rolling my eyes, more like eagerly squeaking “Yes, yes, I know but THEN what happened?”

Full Circle is written well as a stand alone book – enough of the main points of Dream On are recapped so that you know what’s what – but please, you must read Dream On first. It would be a huge injustice to the characters if you don’t. Feeling that stronger connection with them makes it feel as though you are catching up with old friends – and you just care more!

My thanks to the author, Terry Tyler, for sending me this book to review.


 

Dream On

Published by CraniumXpublishing

Source: Author Request

Dave Bentley was born to be a rock star.
He’s a reincarnated Viking warrior, too…
When Dave forms his new band, Thor, there are plenty of sleepless nights for Janice, his on-off girlfriend and mother of his son. Not only must she deal with the thrills and spills of life as a hardworking single mum, but also the imminent return of singer-songwriter Ariel Swan, Dave’s one true love.
Poor Janice. Dave is still the love of her life.
Ariel Swan returns to small town life – and Dave’s heart.
She and her friend Melodie (whose ambition is to be “a celebrity”) enter a TV talent competition, so Dave and the rest of Thor decide to make the most of the opportunity for possible fame and fortune, too. This adventure brings about big changes in the lives of all of them – none of which Dave could have anticipated.
One member of Thor even ends up on The Jeremy Kyle Show…

Dream on – the story of ordinary people, striving for extraordinary lives…

I must admit, it is highly unlikely that I would pick this book up in a shop – if I’m honest, the ‘rock group’ thing would probably put me off (not really my bag!) But I was asked to give it a go and so I did…

I’m a huge thriller fan so it was a novelty for me to read something that wasn’t full of twists and turns, mystery and intrigue…..a very refreshing novelty.

Tyler depicts ‘real life’ in a fascinating way, you KNOW these characters already, or know someone who does. They are not far-fetched musings, they are real people with real lives, real jobs, real relationships, and real dreams.

Sounds a bit dull doesn’t it? The thriller fan in me worried about this as I started to get the gist of where this story was going. And yet, I was hooked!

I loved how Tyler gave each character their own voice in the book, you were allowed into their world and you truly understood exactly where this person was coming from. Tyler didn’t sensationalise these characters’ lives, there were no fairy-tale happy endings nor any huge tragedies as such – things happened, life went on, as it often does, and not in the way you’d always expect….

I cant wait to get started on the sequel!

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