Growing up in her large, crazy Serbian family, Camryn Covic became an expert at shutting down her emotions in order to maintain her sanity. But when she loses her apartment, her job, and her boyfriend all in one day, she hits her breaking point. Worse, if her family finds out she's single again, her sister's upcoming wedding will be a disaster. The bride-to-be has a plan, though. A plan that involves an old friend, a pretend relationship... and the probability of ending up in a padded cell. This time for real.
Troy Lanske agrees to the insane charade only because, when he was a lonely foster child, Camryn was his lifeline. But she isn't the idealistic girl he remembers. She's become so jaded that she doesn't even believe in love anymore. He sets out to restore her faith in happily-ever-afters, but his plan backfires when the fake relationship begins to feel all too real. Falling for the one woman he can't have could mean losing more than just his honorary family. He could lose everything.
Warning: Contains a Playgirl-material hero and a woman who thinks she couldn't be any more wrong for him. Enter one "Big Fat Overly Romantic Serbian Family." Sit back and watch the magic happen.
It is no secret that I adore Kelly Moran's writing, her style to tell a story, and the characters she creates. In The Dysfunctional Test, I also related to the characters like I don't remember when before. I read the book while traveling to a big family celebration, and throughout it laughed about the similarities and how close to home it hits time and again.
I love the big Serbian family, the description of them is so true to life, I could picture them in my mind, and hear them banter and argue, love and laugh like I was in the room with them.
Camryn Covic and Troy Lanske have a history that goes back to their childhood. There is the bond and the connection that has always been there, that was tight and true. But with the fake relationship scheme, it takes on a new, different type knowledge they need from each other, and a new kind of eyes they have to look at each other, to make the relationship seem even remotely real.
Troy has a reputation of a ladies man that is slightly exaggerated. Yes, there has been a good number of relationships in his past, but only one at the time and feelings of a true attraction has always been part of the conquests. Growing up to be a man like his father is the biggest fear in Troy's mind, thus avoiding serious relationships and fatherhood. I really liked him, there were honesty, sincerity, and solidity in him, that was easy to appreciate and like. He was fun, he had an eye for the true emotions of others around him, he could look through the smoke and mirrors that hid the truth and made an effort to bring the forward the best in people.
Camryn had always felt like an outsider in her own family. She had learned early on to hide her emotions, hold control in every situation, and never let feelings take over her and make a fool out of herself like her family did constantly. She is smart as a whip, she is kind, considerate, and sweet, yet people don't see her true colors, but only the outside shell she puts on when surrounded by the overwhelming family of hers.
There's a lot of fun and humorous banter in the story, there are moments that made me sigh and swoon, there are moments that hit home with emotions so hard I was in tears, and moments that had me holding my breath with anticipation, wishing for the best. The characters are easy to relate to, it is easy to find similarities with them, with the family situations and the relations we have with our own relatives.
A lively and fastly entertaining story, that gave many laughs yet touched my heart and hit close to home on many occasions. The romance is filled with deep emotions, passion, and adoration, and is based on life-long bond. The crazy, out of control family creates conflicts but also delivers humor and love. There are so many layers into the tale, each easily identified with, that made me love the story from so many different perspectives. I think this story made me see my own family and its dysfunctions in a different light, and that in itself is a huge accomplishment.
Laughter, affection, loving, and adoration.... An absolutely touching yet humorous story that I treasured.
~ Five Spoons