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Posted January 21, 2012
Reviewed by Ellen Hogan for Readers Favorite Angie is a massage therapist. She is originally from Germany but now lives in the U.S.A. She has one staunch rule; she will not have a relationship with any of her clients, although many try to change her mind. Mostly she goes to client’s homes and gives massages there, but once in a while she will help out a friend in her business. She meets Marcus at a gas station while filling up one day, and he gives her his card. It takes her quite awhile before she decides to call him. They fall fast and hard for each other, but real life's pitfalls get in the way. Marcus has an old girlfriend that will not leave him alone and goes to Angie to tell her that they are still together. Meanwhile Angie is being harassed by a former boyfriend and commiserating with other therapists about their lives. This is quite a cute book with more of a story than I anticipated. I loved the snippets about the massages she gave and the different personalities of the clients. Angie is a good strong character, who knows who she is and what she wants out of life. Marcus is a good foil for her. They have a great chemistry throughout the book. The cover is fitting for the book as a peek into what lies ahead. I was not sure at the beginning that I would like this book but was pleasantly surprised in the end. It is an easy read for anyone looking for one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 9, 2012
Although a novel, "Secrets of a Massage Therapist" reads like a memoir. That the author shares many characteristics with Angie, the protagonist, confuses matters even more. After I finished reading, I wasn't sure what to make of it.
If viewed as a memoir, Secrets almost works. The experiences and awkward moments Angie has are what you might predict. Many revolve around the confusion you would expect with people not making the distinction between a legitimate massage therapist, hoping to alleviate muscle aches and pains, and someone using massage as a cover for practicing the world's oldest profession. They are at turns humorous and titillating. However, if read as a memoir, it stretches credibility that one person would have had all of these experiences. On her website, the author says that, while she draws on her real life experiences, not everything in Secrets actually happened to her. That is credible.
But if we approach Secrets as what it is, a novel, it falls short. The reason for this is that the conflict Angie is trying to overcome or the goal she is trying to reach is vague. The only thing that fits is reaching a happily-ever-after ending with Marcus, but I never felt Angie had strong feelings about ending up with Marcus. These feelings could be against (with Marcus slowly winning her over) or she could be obsessed with catching Marcus. What they can't be, if the goal is a compelling novel, is wishy-washy. Unfortunately, the massage stories, while enjoyable, were so numerous that they diluted the romance storyline too much and left Secrets in the no-woman's-land between a romance and a memoir.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **