Hello everyone!! To start off the week, it's my stop on the Blog Tour for The Man Test by Amanda Askel. I have my review and tour giveaway.
- Publisher: Amanda Aksel
- Publication date: 3/24/2014
- Source: ARC provided by the author for review
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?
When approached by a blogger friend about reading this, I decided I would give it a shot. I am glad I did. It's a lot deeper of a story than it would appear to be by the cover and synopsis. It covers a lot of issues and surprised me with how serious it was. I went in expecting a fun and light book, but I got so much more. That's a good thing. Marin is a smart woman, but I couldn't help but shake my head at some of her really stupid decisions sometimes. I understood why she was that way though, so I let it slide. I really did like her. And her friends were fabulous. The romance whether fake or not was great!
Marin is a successful couples psychologist and is months away from getting married when she comes home early from a girls weekend away to find another woman in her bedroom. She is heart broken, angry, and wondering what went wrong. She is spiraling down in the depths of despair until she comes across a book exposing men for the lying cheaters they are. .She then decides she is going to prove the theory to her disbelieving friend. Her first subject proves her right, except they weren't really exclusive so it doesn't count. Then comes James, who is pretty much perfect. She still believes that she will catch him doing something wrong, and even goes as far as private investigators and an escort type service that does "The Man Test" to see if the guy is a cheating tool or not. She is so wrapped up in proving that every guy is the same so she won't have to face the reality of her situation, that she doesn't realize that she may be hurting those around her, and even herself in the process. I did like her though. She is just really hurt and trying to find an easy answer to why this happened to her. She does know that what she is doing is wrong, she just doesn't think it through very well.
James is so sweet and perfect. Well, I guess not perfect, but pretty close. He doesn't do anything to make Marin think he is doing anything wrong. (Besides her paranoia and suspicions at everything) He takes it slow with her, he's a gentleman, he even brings her flowers that are her favorite. He has a past and is not the type to give his heart away easily, so it's a shock to others that he is so smitten with Marin. He gives his all to her without hesitation, and takes it slow because he knows what she has been through. He has no idea that she is using him. I really felt bad for him knowing what she was doing. I really liked him and knew he was a great guy. I wanted him to win her heart and make her see that not every guy is a jerk.
That brings me to the romance. Even though it's "fake", it's really not. You can see them falling for each other. The sweetness and the caring. Marin keeps saying that he's a nice guy and keeps being proved wrong about all guys being the same, but she still is convinced she will catch him in some unfaithful act. It's frustrating that she won't let it go, but also you can tell that she has more underlying issues. She needs somewhere to put the blame. James is nothing but wonderful to her and I loved how he treated her. He is not easy to be trusting toward another so it made it even harder to know that she was lying to him. My heart ached for him, for them. I wanted them to be together. To realize they were right together. Even though Marin was in the relationship to prove a point, she was definitely falling for him. She was just too stubborn to stop her "project" while she still could.
This was a wonderful story about a woman who has been hurt and is trying to rediscover who she is. She is suffering from a heart break, and is placing blame anywhere she can. She can't except that her relationship just failed. By thinking that all men are the same, it made her safe. She couldn't get hurt if she knew that guys would just lie and cheat right? This was a great book at showing the stages of her grief and how she affected her whole world by the decisions she made. How she completely falls apart, and then manages to fix herself with the help of others. Some very unexpected. While I thought this would be more of a fun story, I was happy that it was more in depth. I really enjoyed getting to know Marin, especially when she finds herself again. This author did an amazing job at getting to my emotions, without overdoing it. This was a fabulous book!!
*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.
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