Review – The Test – Gregg Bell
Available at Smashwords and other outlets
I’m not very experienced with romance novels, but let’s give it a try.
The Test, by Gregg Bell, is what he calls a “clean” romance, meaning no actual sex. Our protagonist is Mary, who is burdened by longing and doubt. Does she want Tom, the self-centered professional golfer, personal trainer and budding author? Should she choose Jack, the self-centered and highly successful lawyer? Or should it be Evan, the attentive but essentially self-centered wealthy doctor? They all have their attractive qualities, but she only really loves one of them.
Mary’s life is a shambles. Her house is run down and she can’t afford to fix it. Her mother needs to move out of her bad neighborhood, but Mary has no money to help her. She could afford these things if she could just pass her bar exam, but she seems to be psyched out about that. Life seems to be testing her.
Speaking of tests, what is the test in the book’s title? Is it the bar exam? Is it a test of Jack’s honor? Or Tom’s love? Or Evan’s character? Maybe it’s the pregnancy test. In the end, I think it’s a test of Mary’s strength and resolve.
Gregg Bell has done a good job with this story. It has all the necessary elements, and he’s assembled them effectively. The reader cares what happens to Mary, even if her dithering can be exasperating. The book is free to download and the author assures me that it always will be. He calls it “permafree.” You can download it at Smashwords, or check out his blog and website.