Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review | The Man Test

The Man Test by Amanda Aksel
Sent for review from Mark My Words Book Publicity.
March 2014 by Elephantine Publishing
310 pages (Kindle)
Amazon + Good Reads

"Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancé is having an affair. After nursing her broken heart with Kleenex and break-up songs, she adopts a new brand of thinking when she uncovers a tell-all book that proves all men are liars and cheaters who will do and say anything so they’re not found out. No exceptions. 

In an attempt to convince her friends of her newfound truth, she begins a fictitious relationship with James, a do-gooder from Montana. Marin seeks any means necessary to catch him cheating from hiring a PI to enlisting the help of a fidelity tester. Will her new "boyfriend" beat the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right?"

-Good Reads

FTC Disclaimer: This book was sent to Alyssa for review from Mark My Words Book Publicity in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are those of the reviewer and the reviewer alone. 

Literally from the very beginning of this book, all I could think was, "This could be a movie. This could definitely be a movie." And, I'm serious - think How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days - and you have invoked the feel for Amanda Aksel's The Man Test. I've drawn this comparison with the very best intentions in mind. I am an absolute sucker for feel good, romantic comedies!

Like the Good Reads synopsis says, The Man Test is about thirty-something Marin Johns' venture to prove that all men are cheating a*****es. After walking in on her fiancé nearly cheating on her mere months from their wedding, Marin desperately searches for the reason as to why her supposedly perfect relationship failed. She is a couples' therapist, after all, and if she can't make a relationship work - who can? In a misguided attempt to wrap her brain around her ex-fiancé's infidelity, Marin clings to a self-help book that triumphs the "scientific" thought that all men are cheaters because its in their nature. 

And what's the only way that Marin can prove this newly discovered theory? By testing it out herself, of course. Enter sweet and naive James - the quintessential nice guy who just happens to be one of the first men Marin dates after her broken engagement. 

I'll just leave it at that - I'm sure you can guess what happens next.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was light-hearted and very easy to imagine. (Like I said, this plot is rom-com movie material.) I enjoyed Marin's internal dialogue as well as her interactions with both James, her family, and her friends. The action was fast paced and I never felt a lull in the story for a moment. 

My only complaint was that Marin's character sometimes grated on my nerves. I couldn't get it out of my head that she was supposed to be a mature adult with a degree in psychology. So why, oh why, couldn't she see how ridiculous her new belief system was and how potentially damaging it could be to James? However, the fact that she witnessed her fiancé very nearly cheating on her was enough to allow me to suspend my disbelief... I think that would seriously screw up the most level headed person and I could give Marin's behavior a pass. 

Overall, this was a cute little read. I would recommend The Man Test to fans of chick lit and romance, or to anyone who is looking for a fun beach read! 


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