Leah Collum

The Love Test by Leah Collum

When it comes to love, how do you know when it’s real?

U.S. Immigration Officer Sarah Wright has been trained to separate the true love matches from the pretenders in her job interviewing marriage-based green card applicants, but a chance encounter with a handsome Greek man, Nikos, leaves her questioning her own judgment when it comes to the laws of attraction.

Nikos Hydras is on the verge of getting his green card and starting a new life in the U.S., but one spontaneous kiss with Sarah threatens to destroy his best-laid plans when she is assigned to his pending immigration case.

Elizabeth Whitehall only wanted to help her best friend, Nikos, open the door to a better life . . .  until his ill-timed flirtation with his immigration officer threatens to put Elizabeth’s own freedom at risk.

Now, as Sarah investigates Nikos and Elizabeth’s hastily arranged marriage, she uncovers more and more evidence of green card fraud. Torn between professional duty and personal attraction, Sarah must walk a fine line between keeping the bad guys out and letting the good guys in, where one misstep could cost her her career—or her heart.

At its core, THE LOVE TEST is a love story, but, like Taylor Jenkins Reid’s AFTER I DO, it is about more than romantic love: it also explores the strength of female friendships, the depth of family bonds, and, above all, what values remain when our most deeply held beliefs are stretched to the breaking point.


The Book Doctors: I like this story. Again, it feels familiar, but it’s also unique. And I love that the plot hinges on an ill-timed kiss that ignites the romance but, at the same time, makes this terrible moral quandary that could ruin many lives. It’s nicely done. And the pitch is very professional. It lays out the story quickly and economically, and you also give us a really good comparable title. I really enjoy how this woman has been trained to separate true love from marriages of convenience. It’s such a great profession to explore when you’re writing a book about human love. And I like how you turn phrases, like “the laws of attraction.” But I don’t understand when you say this is a story of female friendships.  It doesn’t seem like Sarah and Elizabeth are friends. This is a classic love triangle, and I don’t see another female friendship here. I’d like to know a little bit more about the attraction between Nikos and Sarah. Show us more of a scene where they can’t resist each other even though they know they have to. Maybe just flesh out the kiss more. No pun intended.