Title: The Test
Author: Gregg Bell
Genre: Romance/ contemporary
Series: Stand alone
Publisher: Thriveco inc.
Rating: 4 stars
It's the last chance for law intern Mary Maloney. Twice she's failed the bar exam and if she fails again, she'll lose her job, her home, and her self-respect. Only love keeps her going, but that too seems to be slipping through her fingers.
Tom Falcone has always “the guy” for Mary. He’s kind, thoughtful, wants a family, and he’s all Mary ever wanted. But Mary always seems to have a way of failing. Even at love.
Now, needing everything she’s got to come through, a stunning revelation sends her reeling. The life she’s always dreamed of is still within reach, but only if she can somehow pass one final test.
As always with Gregg Bell's books, from start to finish I was hooked. This by far is my favourite aspect of this reading experience as it is so vital when writing Romance otherwise I find it just ends up dragging on and being overpoweringly cheesy and slushy. The Test succeeded in avoiding this and was easy to read simply because it was so gripping.
The plot was easy going and fitting for the genre as it made it an easy light read and not too much concentration was needed to follow. I thought in places it teetered on the edge of being predictable, but then again I have an uncanny ability to guess exactly what's going to happen next, so if you're not an easy guesser then it shouldn't be too much of a problem, and again for a Romance novel not too many DUN DUN DUNNNN moments are needed, so this was a very minor issue.
I enjoyed the writing style and thought the characters's dialogue was smooth and realistic, there were no wooden bits of speech that left me groaning internally at the stupidity of what had just been said, another trap many Romance writers fall into. The language also didn't go overboard with the imagery and descriptions so cheesiness was again avoided. The balance of Romance, description, Dialogue and the Character's thoughts was pretty much perfect.
I liked the characters, they were all realistic and easy to picture. The varying personalities in each of them was also expressed really well and the interactions between characters was fluent and played out well. I thought Mary was an admirable heroine, yet at times I found some of the characters a little unrealistic and like part of them wasn't exposed. For example, Rachel. I felt more about her character was needed and that she was only really there as a plot device rather than to be an actual person - very little was ever about her in any situation and she was praised little for the good she did do. Apart from that, I thought the characterisation was awesome.
Overall, If you fancy a really great love story that's easy to follow and has some awesome moral stories and characters, I highly recommend The Test!