Book Features

Book Excerpt: The Commitment Test by Amanda Askel

About The Book


When a Valentine’s Day proposal doesn’t come with an engagement ring, Marin Johns begins to wonder if she and James will ever get married. As her closest friends begin to move forward with their lives, she refuses to be left behind.

Hope is restored as she devises a plan to get James down on one knee by becoming the ideal mate. Everything seems to fall into place until her college boyfriend resurfaces after a decade with his own ideas about their future. Will Marin be forced to choose between the man of her dreams and the diamond ring she’s always dreamed of?

Book Excerpt

Chapter Three- Happy Birthday

“I’m getting engaged!” I yelled out, leaving Holly and Telly struggling to swallow their sandwiches without choking. The news bubbled up inside me until I couldn’t contain it any longer.

Telly sat across from me, lightly covering her full mouth. “What do you mean you’re getting engaged?”

“James is going to propose tomorrow night.”

Telly and Holly looked at me awkwardly, but I remained steadfast in my brilliant smile.

“How do you know?”Holly asked with a half smile as if it took all she had to produce that much. It wasn’t the reaction I was expecting from them.

I brushed the crumbs from my hands and leaned forward, looking intently at my friends. “Well,” I began like I had a juicy piece of gossip, “James is coming back tomorrow from Montana and he said he wants to talk to me about something important. He made reservations tomorrow night at Masa’s. Plus you know what tomorrow is?” I dragged out the “is” for emphasis.

“Your birthday.”Holly said, adjusting her newsboy cap.

I beamed. “And?”

“Valentine’s Day.”Telly grimaced suggesting the holiday left a bad taste in her mouth.

“Exactly, it’s the perfect day for a proposal,” I told them in that giddy girl sort of way.

“That sounds really nice and all, but what if he just wants to take you somewhere nice for your birthday and Valentine’s Day. That doesn’t exactly mean a proposal is coming.” Telly pursed her lips.

How could I blame Telly for trying to talk me down? Especially since I had a habit of getting a little zealous from these types of notions. Sometimes they were real and sometimes they were not. When I added the wedding, meeting the family, his words, our relationship, and the significance of the day, it all summed up to one conclusion. A proposal.

“I know it sounds like I’m getting my hopes up, but I can feel it. Something big is going to happen soon. It’s just one of those gut feelings.” My words must’ve fallen flat on the persuasion scale, because by the look on Telly’s gorgeously tanned face, she wasn’t buying it. Surprisingly, neither was Holly.

“That’s great, Marin,” Holly said, almost with a sympathetic smile. At least she was pretending to be happy for me. We looked at Telly, waiting for her to join us. Instead, she gazed off and chewed her sandwich slowly. I would never understand how she made chewing look sexy, but that was Telly for you.

“So what are you going to wear for the occasion?” Telly finally asked.

I paused for a moment and did a mental run through of my entire closet. And of course it was water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. I shrugged and told her I didn’t have anything that I deemed appropriate for the evening. This news sparked a light in her dark eyes. “I know just the dress,” she said.

Later that day, Telly took me to a boutique on Haight Street and introduced me to a dress she’d been ogling in the window for the past week.

“I was going to buy this for myself this weekend, but I think it would be perfect for your date with James.” Telly admired the ivory one-shoulder dress with the loose top and cinched-in waist. She was almost half a foot taller than me in her three-inch nude stilettos.

“You’re right,” I said. “It’s the perfect dress.”

She put her arm around me as we walked into the store. “You’ll let me borrow it sometime, right?” I gave her a playfully reluctant smile and agreed.

About The Author


Amanda Aksel is an author with an affinity for love. Becoming a couples therapist was her “backup” career, and after completing her BA in Psychology she was on her way to solving love’s most complicated quandaries one couple at a time. Now she plans to solve love’s most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.


Social media links



Twitter: @amandaaksel



Link to buy Amanda’s first novel The Man Test (The Marin Test Series: Book One)




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