Review Blitz: The Man Test by Amanda Askel

Author: Amanda Askel
Publishing Date: March 24th 2014
Publisher: Elephantine Publishing
Blurb Description: Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancĂ© 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?


About Amanda Aksel
AMANDA (ah-MAHN-dah)- Latin- Meaning lovable or worthy of love.

Fitting. I've always had an affinity for love.

Being born in sunny San Diego in the mid 80’s to a young military couple gave me plenty of insight into the dynamics of a romantic relationship. Somewhere between moving coasts every three years, I found myself engrossed in fairytale romances and dressing up like a bride.

My first real love was writing. By my sophomore year in a new high school in Virginia, I had a slew of short stories, songs, poems, and articles to my name. Writing was fun. It was a way to get the emotions, dialogue, and pictures out of my head, and create a destiny for my characters.

I had no intention of making a career in writing, because it wasn’t what I did, it was who I was. In reality, I wanted to be an actress. Ah, to be the face of someone else’s authored story. The plan was to move in with my aunt in L.A. after graduation, but had a change of heart. Instead, I stayed with my high school sweetheart (now husband) and attended a film school in Norfolk, VA. It was at this school that I discovered my love for writing screenplays and felt compelled to follow that path. But…as the practical girl I was brought up to be, I decided to go to a real university. While working full time, I completed my BA in Psychology in four and a half years. Becoming a couple’s therapist had always been my “backup” career and there I was on my way to solving love's most complicated quandaries one couple at a time.

With all my new free time after graduation, I decided to turn my full-length screenplay into a novel in hopes it would help my screenplay sell. I think I was in the middle of writing chapter two when I realized that everything I had ever written was to prepare me for that moment when I knew I was a novelist. Talk about the affirmation of my life. Now my plan is to solve love's most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.

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The Man Test, or books like the Man Test have always fascinated me. You know, the ever present question of whether happily ever afters are something that only existed when Ranpunzel let down her golden hair- or whether they do in the brutal, harsh and tough (in comparison) world we live in today.

So, you know, I had to click to sign up for the tour- and a huge thanks to the author and Mark My Words Book Publicity. (Receiving this book has in no way influenced my opinion)

Of course, The Man Test, like almost all contemporaries started off a bit predictably. You know, something you can get off of the blurb. Anyway, the book picked up pretty quickly- but the beginning was void of emotions.

Referring to herself in third person (almost), our protagonist, Marin, is over the top, but portrays herself as grounded, a couples therapist helping couples overcome issues including infidelity but herself is on the war path to prove that all men are, well, cheating scumbags.

Like I said, the book soon picked up and you learn, or more like empathize with the fact that Marin is just dealing with the situation that her cards have dealt her. James, we kind of get a clue as to whom he is before he actually becomes Marin's "Man Test Subject"

Well, you know, I'm not really going to tell you more. The entire point is to not give what happens *ahem* away. All I can say is- the book will definitely be a fun one- with lots of drama, plain stupidity and even have you questioning like Marin (for a little bit, anyway!)

My Verdict:

A little perspective, about love, in the world we live in today!

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