Thursday, January 5, 2012

Secrets of a Massage Therapist / Andy Vogt

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Humor/Chick-Lit

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words

Availability
Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
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Author:

A professional massage therapist who is originally from Germany, Andy Vogt shares these and other characteristics with Angie (the protagonist of this novel). For more, visit Vogt’s website.

Description:

Angie is a professional massage therapist. Secrets of a Massage Therapist follows Angie at work and in her personal life, as a romance blossoms with Marcus, a mystery novelist.

Appraisal:

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.

FYI:

Contains adult language and sexual situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: *** Three stars

2 comments:

Chris Eboch said...

Al, I don't comment often, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your reviews. I especially like the way you look at the larger picture of what makes a good book, what makes a book fit into a certain genre, and so forth. It's interesting to me as a reader and useful food for thought as an author!

BooksAndPals said...

Thanks, Chris. Figuring out those things for myself is interesting too.