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The Man Ban

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When you swear off men for the foreseeable future, that means no dating. Hookups don't count, right? Harper Ryland has been on a self-imposed man ban for the last twelve months, after a particularly horrible breakup. Instead, she's focusing on the one thing she can control: her career as an up-and-coming food stylist. Harper's latest gig is her best friend's wedding, an When you swear off men for the foreseeable future, that means no dating. Hookups don't count, right? Harper Ryland has been on a self-imposed man ban for the last twelve months, after a particularly horrible breakup. Instead, she's focusing on the one thing she can control: her career as an up-and-coming food stylist. Harper's latest gig is her best friend's wedding, and she receives glowing praise throughout the night. When the Best Man, Manny Gomes, belittles her hard work, she wants to stab him with skewers from the buffet table, but she can think of something much better: to lead him on the entire wedding and then humiliate him in sweet revenge. When the handsome Anglo-Indian doctor shows up in New Zealand a week later, while Harper's on her first international job, it's the last thing she needs. Everything about him rubs her the wrong way, but when suave Manny steps in to help after an unfortunate disaster, his chivalry gets under her skin a little, and Harper discovers lifting her ban while overseas is exactly what the doctor ordered. Manny isn't looking for anything but fun either--especially not marriage, like his grandmother Izzy keeps pushing on him. But there's something about Harper that makes him want more, even though she keeps her distance, and they're about to discover how far he's willing to go to be with her. . . .


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When you swear off men for the foreseeable future, that means no dating. Hookups don't count, right? Harper Ryland has been on a self-imposed man ban for the last twelve months, after a particularly horrible breakup. Instead, she's focusing on the one thing she can control: her career as an up-and-coming food stylist. Harper's latest gig is her best friend's wedding, an When you swear off men for the foreseeable future, that means no dating. Hookups don't count, right? Harper Ryland has been on a self-imposed man ban for the last twelve months, after a particularly horrible breakup. Instead, she's focusing on the one thing she can control: her career as an up-and-coming food stylist. Harper's latest gig is her best friend's wedding, and she receives glowing praise throughout the night. When the Best Man, Manny Gomes, belittles her hard work, she wants to stab him with skewers from the buffet table, but she can think of something much better: to lead him on the entire wedding and then humiliate him in sweet revenge. When the handsome Anglo-Indian doctor shows up in New Zealand a week later, while Harper's on her first international job, it's the last thing she needs. Everything about him rubs her the wrong way, but when suave Manny steps in to help after an unfortunate disaster, his chivalry gets under her skin a little, and Harper discovers lifting her ban while overseas is exactly what the doctor ordered. Manny isn't looking for anything but fun either--especially not marriage, like his grandmother Izzy keeps pushing on him. But there's something about Harper that makes him want more, even though she keeps her distance, and they're about to discover how far he's willing to go to be with her. . . .

30 review for The Man Ban

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Oh boy, Harper and Manny truly made my entire week with their incredibly hot chemistry which is powerful enough to put entire New Zealand into fire! I normally check four things when I dive into romcom world; -Undeniable, irresistible, sizzling, too hot to handle chemistry with witty banters -Relatable, non obtuse, easy to resonate characters -Well constructed angst -Well developed coming clean, groveling, grand gesture which leads a great conclusion and memorable epilogue This book checked each Oh boy, Harper and Manny truly made my entire week with their incredibly hot chemistry which is powerful enough to put entire New Zealand into fire! I normally check four things when I dive into romcom world; -Undeniable, irresistible, sizzling, too hot to handle chemistry with witty banters -Relatable, non obtuse, easy to resonate characters -Well constructed angst -Well developed coming clean, groveling, grand gesture which leads a great conclusion and memorable epilogue This book checked each of the boxes. 40 years old, charismatic, flirty doctor Manny who has big emotional baggage to prevent him have long term relationships and settling up even though the last wish of her grandma Izzy for him to get marry. But she also insists he should settle down with fine Indian woman which narrows down his dating spectrum. On the other hand, Harper, a successful food stylist tries everything to forget one of the most embarrassing moments she experienced at one of her best friend’s wedding event. She whipcreamed this hot doctor who gave her an unforgettable, passionate kiss, sending her witty text message a few days later which she didn’t write back. She is already heart broken after her sudden breakup with Colin and their parent’s decision to end their 35 years long marriage which also makes her question everything she believes about love and happiness. When her assistant calls sick and puts her into an agonizing situation at the photo shooting of travel magazines to be placed in one of the most exquisite New Zealand hotel chains, she bumps into Manny who came for attending to the medical conference and he offers his help to be an assistant for the preparation process of photo shooting. Beggars cannot be choosers! Of course Harper is strong enough to resist the hot doctor’s charms and his high level of flirtation which confuses the hell of her mind! Didn’t she decide her serous man-ban to protect her heart? But the shameless doctor has every intention to break her man-ban oath! Good luck Harper! Let the flirtation games begin! Overall: I loved both characters and enjoyed to see how they peel off their facades to show their true selves. Both of them carry real emotional baggages! I’m giving four interracial, sexy, smart, sweet, charming, Aussie, Anglo-Indian stars! Millions of thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for making my wish come true by sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Erwin

    This was a cute romance that I read pretty fast. The storyline was engaging and the characters were enjoyable. Harper and Manny had strong chemistry leading to some hot, steamy parts! I loved their journey together. I thought it was cool how Harper had vitiligo and the book brought some awareness to the disease. I also appreciated the different cultural aspects of the book. This is the first book I’ve read by Nicola Marsh and it definitely won’t be my last! Overall, an enjoyable read that I woul This was a cute romance that I read pretty fast. The storyline was engaging and the characters were enjoyable. Harper and Manny had strong chemistry leading to some hot, steamy parts! I loved their journey together. I thought it was cool how Harper had vitiligo and the book brought some awareness to the disease. I also appreciated the different cultural aspects of the book. This is the first book I’ve read by Nicola Marsh and it definitely won’t be my last! Overall, an enjoyable read that I would recommend! Thank you Net Galley and Berkley for the ARC in return for my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ink_Drinker

    Nicola Marsh’s book, The Man Ban caught my eye because of the title. Like the main character Harper Ryland, I’m also on a man-ban after an awful breakup of a very long relationship! So, I thought this would be a fun read! It sure kept my mind occupied and brought a smile to my face. After her horrible breakup, Harper decides to concentrate on her career as an up-and-coming Australian Food Stylist and her current gig is styling her best friend’s wedding reception. During the reception, she meets Nicola Marsh’s book, The Man Ban caught my eye because of the title. Like the main character Harper Ryland, I’m also on a man-ban after an awful breakup of a very long relationship! So, I thought this would be a fun read! It sure kept my mind occupied and brought a smile to my face. After her horrible breakup, Harper decides to concentrate on her career as an up-and-coming Australian Food Stylist and her current gig is styling her best friend’s wedding reception. During the reception, she meets the best man, Manny Gomes. Their first encounter wasn’t very memorable, but a week later, Harper is doing her first international gig in New Zealand and runs into the handsome Anglo-Indian doctor from her friend’s wedding.....not what she needs during this important gig or is it just what the doctor ordered....... This was a quick and fun romance read with a dash of hotness!! I highly recommend The Man Ban for a great summer escape!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's Bookshelf)

    ⭐️4 Stars⭐️ The Man Ban by Nicola Marsh is an enjoyable read where our heroine navigates the challenges of food styling, sexy escapades, an autoimmune disease and a multicultural relationship. Food Stylist Harper Ryland has had a firm man ban in place for the last twelve months while she focuses on her career and avoids dating disasters after a nasty breakup. Harper will make no exceptions not even for the sexy Anglo-Indian ER doctor Manny Gomes attending her best friends wedding where she is maid ⭐️4 Stars⭐️ The Man Ban by Nicola Marsh is an enjoyable read where our heroine navigates the challenges of food styling, sexy escapades, an autoimmune disease and a multicultural relationship. Food Stylist Harper Ryland has had a firm man ban in place for the last twelve months while she focuses on her career and avoids dating disasters after a nasty breakup. Harper will make no exceptions not even for the sexy Anglo-Indian ER doctor Manny Gomes attending her best friends wedding where she is maid of honour and has styled the wedding food! Manny is the 'eternal bachelor' and when she seeks revenge on something he says at the wedding it makes for a rather awkward encounter. When Harper’s allocated food assistant doesn’t turn up and calls in sick for her latest job at a luxe New Zealand hotel chain she unexpectedly runs into Manny who is there for a medical conference. Manny offers to assist and help her out and then the flirtation begins! Harper has an autoimmune disease she hides from everyone and finds this challenging at times, it was heartbreaking to see the lengths she goes to keep this a secret from Manny. I loved the food styling aspects of the story it was so interesting and the fun banter and chemistry between the lead characters makes for some steamy scenes. The setting in New Zealand added a wonderful holiday vibe. A fast-flowing, engaging storyline, loveable characters and witty dialogue. Thank you to NetGalley & the author for an advanced copy of the book

  5. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This is the type of book that as soon as you start you are sure to be friends with the hero and heroine and that is exactly how I felt Manny and Harper are just two of the most fun people you could meet, I do hope you read this one and enjoy it as much as I did. Harper Ryland has put herself on a man ban she has good reasons for that, she is now focusing on building up her business of food styling she loves it and is full of enthusiasm and energy, she is doing the food styling for her best friend This is the type of book that as soon as you start you are sure to be friends with the hero and heroine and that is exactly how I felt Manny and Harper are just two of the most fun people you could meet, I do hope you read this one and enjoy it as much as I did. Harper Ryland has put herself on a man ban she has good reasons for that, she is now focusing on building up her business of food styling she loves it and is full of enthusiasm and energy, she is doing the food styling for her best friend Nishi’s wedding, when she meets the best man Manny Gomes, their first meeting is not a good one and Harper is feeling like she is ready to kill him and lets her temper take over and she does something that makes her feel a little ashamed of. Manny is a doctor head of an ER department and is the forever bachelor marrying is not something he plans on doing, loving can be hard when you end up losing the ones you love, there is just him and his beloved grandmother Izzy and he is happy with one night stands. But when he meets Harper at his best friend’s wedding she affects him like no other especially after her act of revenge. This is a fun, witty and sensual story that takes in emotional issues, Manny and Harper are so suited to each other with their sense of humour and the spark that happens when they are together, Harper is sassy and strong and Manny OMG he is gorgeous a true hero with such a case of chivalry and so much love to give. I smiled the whole way through this one and can’t recommend it enough, I need to read The Toy Boy now I really fell for these smart and fabulous Aussie, Indian and Indian-Anglo characters Nicola Marsh has bought them to life, they are awesome. My thanks to Netgalley and the author for my copy to read and review

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Louise

    I fell in love with Manny—the smooth-talking, Anglo-Indian ER Doctor—in The Boy Toy last year, so I was eagerly anticipating this release. It did not disappoint! Despite being 40 and pestered by his grandmother to marry, Manny has no interest in relationships, believing they are impossible to coexist with his busy work schedule. The unexpected romance that blossoms with Harper, a talented food stylist who has sworn off men, was incredibly fun and flirty. Despite their rocky, hilarious first meetin I fell in love with Manny—the smooth-talking, Anglo-Indian ER Doctor—in The Boy Toy last year, so I was eagerly anticipating this release. It did not disappoint! Despite being 40 and pestered by his grandmother to marry, Manny has no interest in relationships, believing they are impossible to coexist with his busy work schedule. The unexpected romance that blossoms with Harper, a talented food stylist who has sworn off men, was incredibly fun and flirty. Despite their rocky, hilarious first meeting, these two effortlessly fell together. Continuously tormenting each other from beginning to end, the banter between Harper and Manny was pure gold. Manny is such a bold, confident hero—I simply can’t get enough of him. I really enjoyed the addition of Harper having vitiligo and the journey of her self-esteem because of that. Hiding her diagnosis to the world, there’s a vulnerable moment between Harper and Manny that even made me tear up. I absolutely loved this one! I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brinley

    I really enjoyed this book! Based off the cover, I was expecting more of a romcom, but once I realized this was more of a romance, I loved it! First off, I really loved the cultural aspects of this. I can't speak to how accurate they were, but they formed such brilliant pictures in my head. I'm between the delicious sounding food, and the vibrant saris, it was the perfect atmosphere for a book. I also enjoyed the relationship between Harper and Manny. It did lose a bit of charm after the events I really enjoyed this book! Based off the cover, I was expecting more of a romcom, but once I realized this was more of a romance, I loved it! First off, I really loved the cultural aspects of this. I can't speak to how accurate they were, but they formed such brilliant pictures in my head. I'm between the delicious sounding food, and the vibrant saris, it was the perfect atmosphere for a book. I also enjoyed the relationship between Harper and Manny. It did lose a bit of charm after the events at the end of the book, but I liked the rest of their romance. It was sweet, and I really enjoyed their interactions. I do feel like this book fell into the trap of adding too much angst. There comes a point when the book should be over, and adding more drama just drags it on. This book definitely hit this point at around 90% and while it added interesting conflict, it wasn't necessary. I also wish this had has stronger side characters. The only others we're introduced to were Izzy, and Harper's parents. I ended up hating Izzy, and Harper's parents spent top much of the book absent. It's hard to keep a book interesting that only has 2 dynamic characters. Despite my 2 complaints, I really enjoyed this! It was the perfect mix of sweet and steamy, and I definitely see myself rereading it. Thanks to Netgalley and Nicola Marsh for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Teneisha (Teesbookjourney)

    I loved this book so much. I liked Manny in the Boy Toy, he was such a fun and refreshing character. so when I discovered he was the lead I was excited. Manny is very humorous and easy-going but he has his underline issues to deal with like the fact that he's never been in a relationship and never wants to get married. However, when he sees Harper at a wedding he is drawn in and must explore the new feelings Harper is on a man ban because of her last relationship disaster. she is repairing her s I loved this book so much. I liked Manny in the Boy Toy, he was such a fun and refreshing character. so when I discovered he was the lead I was excited. Manny is very humorous and easy-going but he has his underline issues to deal with like the fact that he's never been in a relationship and never wants to get married. However, when he sees Harper at a wedding he is drawn in and must explore the new feelings Harper is on a man ban because of her last relationship disaster. she is repairing her self esteem and trust from that experience I loved how honest and fun it was for Harper and Manny to explore their relationship. I enjoyed the Boy Toy and the Man Ban didn't disappoint It's a fun, deep and hot story of two people growing in each other.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    2.5 stars Well, this sounded fun and I love the bright cover, but this one didn’t quite deliver for me. I liked Harper. She’s sassy, yet tender and passionate about her job. I loved reading about the food she was working with and how it seemed to come alive. Manny is…not the best hero. It’s said over and over again that he’s a playboy, and that he’s slept with everyone he works with. Okay, whatever, I just didn’t need to be reminded of it. Plot wise, it is a very quick read. Everything moves qui 2.5 stars Well, this sounded fun and I love the bright cover, but this one didn’t quite deliver for me. I liked Harper. She’s sassy, yet tender and passionate about her job. I loved reading about the food she was working with and how it seemed to come alive. Manny is…not the best hero. It’s said over and over again that he’s a playboy, and that he’s slept with everyone he works with. Okay, whatever, I just didn’t need to be reminded of it. Plot wise, it is a very quick read. Everything moves quickly: the insta-lust, the proposal, the break up, the resolution. All of it felt rushed and not nearly as fleshed out as it needed to be. I did like learning about a new-to-me autoimmune disease and appreciated that aspect. Overall, it was a fun and mostly fluffy story, but I just couldn’t get into the two MCs together. Harper deserved better. **Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

  10. 5 out of 5

    maddison

    The Man Ban features two crazy flirtatious people, Harper Ryland and Manish Gomes. Manny is an Anglo-Indian ER doctor and Harper is a food stylist. They meet at Harper’s best friend's wedding where she helped with the food. Although, Manny didn’t realize at that exact moment that she styled all this food while he was belittling her work. Which eventually lead to him getting whip cream in his face after a hot make-out session outside of where the wedding was taking place. Harper recently got out The Man Ban features two crazy flirtatious people, Harper Ryland and Manish Gomes. Manny is an Anglo-Indian ER doctor and Harper is a food stylist. They meet at Harper’s best friend's wedding where she helped with the food. Although, Manny didn’t realize at that exact moment that she styled all this food while he was belittling her work. Which eventually lead to him getting whip cream in his face after a hot make-out session outside of where the wedding was taking place. Harper recently got out of a relationship which made her form the Man Ban. Manny rubs her the wrong way but that all changes when the two of them are all alone in New Zealand where he steps in to help Harper with her work. However, Manny himself is known as the player and doesn’t date a girl for more than a week. But the real question is why? Harper and Manny are very flirtatious and constantly bantering with each other. The chemistry that continues to grow between them as the story continues is unbelievable. But is everything is moving way too fast? Especially when Manny’s grandmother has to have surgery and he did what his grandmother constantly told him to do before she would die. But did he do that out of love or only because his grandmother kept telling him this every time they would talk? Although Harper and Manny do appear to be very much in love, everything is moving fast. What hasn’t Harper told him? Why is Manny so closed off? Well, you’re just gonna have to read and find out yourself. Without any spoilers in this review, I just have to say that I really loved this book. The constant flirting between these two is just made this book. Having characters banter in books is so fun to read. The love they have for each other is so easy to see. Although his grandmother did piss me off many times, she really helped make this book the way it is. *Thank you to NetGallery and Nicola Marsh for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    What a great romcom binge! I finished this is about 4 hours and just LOVED both Manny and Harper! They had great chemistry, fun banter, and we didn’t have to wait until 50% to get the great steam!!! They have a fun friend group and I enjoyed getting their updates too! Third person POV isn’t usually my fave, but Marsh has a way with words that just flows so well. I love the pieces of herself that Marsh leaves for us in her work, makes the story so special and unique. I will say, I was pretty angr What a great romcom binge! I finished this is about 4 hours and just LOVED both Manny and Harper! They had great chemistry, fun banter, and we didn’t have to wait until 50% to get the great steam!!! They have a fun friend group and I enjoyed getting their updates too! Third person POV isn’t usually my fave, but Marsh has a way with words that just flows so well. I love the pieces of herself that Marsh leaves for us in her work, makes the story so special and unique. I will say, I was pretty angry at Manny and his Granny at the end … I needed a bit more groveling for the resolution. But that doesn’t take away from my Manny love in the end!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ritu Bhathal

    The moment I finished The Boy Toy, Nicola Marsh's last Contemporary Romance, I was intrigued by the character Manish Gomes, the Anglo Indian Doctor who had an aversion to relationships. I was 'stoked' as the Aussies say, to hear that The Man Ban was going to follow, concentrating on the story of Manny, the unattainable Dr! So, here we have Harper, a woman who is on a self-imposed man ban, following the awful breakup she had with her last long term relationship, triggered by an extremely superfici The moment I finished The Boy Toy, Nicola Marsh's last Contemporary Romance, I was intrigued by the character Manish Gomes, the Anglo Indian Doctor who had an aversion to relationships. I was 'stoked' as the Aussies say, to hear that The Man Ban was going to follow, concentrating on the story of Manny, the unattainable Dr! So, here we have Harper, a woman who is on a self-imposed man ban, following the awful breakup she had with her last long term relationship, triggered by an extremely superficial reason. Then she goes and meets Manny, the cocksure, but hot doctor, at her friend's wedding. And, despite everything, he's the first man to make her doubt her ban decision. Manny might seem like a shallow guy, but he's got plenty of reasons for keeping people at arm's length, yet the moment he meets Harper, things are different. I loved the chemistry between both these strong characters, as they try their hardest to keep away from one another, but fate has other ideas. There is sizzle and steaminess, as well as more serious issues covered, in a sympathetic manner, such as dealing with a diagnosis of Vitiligo, and cultural pressures to get married. A real fun read! Many thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sydney | sydneys.books

    Did anyone else read the title as "The Man Bun" but still was vibing with it.... or was it just me? Did anyone else read the title as "The Man Bun" but still was vibing with it.... or was it just me?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    A huge thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Nicola Marsh for providing me with an eARC of this book. I am voluntarily leaving a review, all opinions are my own. This was a cute read, I loved the beginning and their instant chemistry, as well as Harper's immediate reaction to a certain moment. I really enjoyed watching Harper and Manny's relationship unfold, though Harper especially bothered me so badly at times. Harper and Manny were so alike in their initial thinking, her being A huge thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Nicola Marsh for providing me with an eARC of this book. I am voluntarily leaving a review, all opinions are my own. This was a cute read, I loved the beginning and their instant chemistry, as well as Harper's immediate reaction to a certain moment. I really enjoyed watching Harper and Manny's relationship unfold, though Harper especially bothered me so badly at times. Harper and Manny were so alike in their initial thinking, her being on her "Man Ban" and him already declaring himself a lifelong bachelor, much to the digress of his grandmother. It was a great storyline that had me wanting to know how it all played out for them. With all the food talk, I mean right out the gate, this book definitely made me hungry, so reader beware. This book mentioned so many dishes I was nearly salivating at parts. Overall, I thought this was a cute, quick rom-com sort of read that's perfect for a vacation read or when that fluffy, cute romance mood strikes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Thank you to Berkley Romance for a gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I sum this one as horny teenagers disguised as 40/30 year olds. This book is filled with sexual banter/innuendos from beginning to end. Don't get me wrong, I love good steam and I especially love banter but I need a little more substance than that. Also, the title of this book is called The Man Ban but that doesn't really happen in the story since Harper and Manny get together pretty quickly. I do like the inte Thank you to Berkley Romance for a gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I sum this one as horny teenagers disguised as 40/30 year olds. This book is filled with sexual banter/innuendos from beginning to end. Don't get me wrong, I love good steam and I especially love banter but I need a little more substance than that. Also, the title of this book is called The Man Ban but that doesn't really happen in the story since Harper and Manny get together pretty quickly. I do like the interracial relationship and that the author incorporated elements of her own life into the story. Overall, it's a quick book that's perfect for an afternoon at the beach/pool.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeeves Reads Romance

    I'll admit it: the marketing sold me on this one, and the writing just didn't live up to the promise. That fun, vibrant cover and catchy title definitely caught my eye, and I was looking forward to a sexual tension-filled romance, likely a slow burn. Because that's what you expect from a romance where the heroine is on a man ban... right? Wrong. It's instalust for these two, complete with one of the more awkward meet cutes I've read, a sleazy hero, and chemistry that is mentioned (but wasn't the I'll admit it: the marketing sold me on this one, and the writing just didn't live up to the promise. That fun, vibrant cover and catchy title definitely caught my eye, and I was looking forward to a sexual tension-filled romance, likely a slow burn. Because that's what you expect from a romance where the heroine is on a man ban... right? Wrong. It's instalust for these two, complete with one of the more awkward meet cutes I've read, a sleazy hero, and chemistry that is mentioned (but wasn't there for me). While I liked elements of our hero, it was difficult to forget that he's slept with all of his co-workers, is married to his job, and is aggressively flirtatious. Plus... a few other things that would be spoilers to mention. Every time I started to get into the story, something off-putting would happen. So, while I liked some of the unique elements of this book, it really wasn't successful for me overall. The story follows Harper and Manny, two people who meet at a wedding. After a bad breakup, Harper is on a self-imposed "man ban," but she can't seem to resist the handsome and flirtatious doctor she spars with at the wedding. Manny won't take no for an answer, because he's immediately smitten with Harper. This outgoing playboy has never wanted a relationship, but something about Harper makes him feel differently. What starts as simple flirtation quickly evolves into more, and it's not long before the two are falling hard and fast for one another. I was really looking forward to the man ban part of the story, and it just... never happened. These two share their first kiss within minutes of meeting each other - though I'm still not sure if it was consensual. Manny is very aggressive in his pursuit, and some of his actions didn't sit right with me. Paired with the CONSTANT reminders of what a playboy he is, and I just couldn't find him compelling. Maybe that's why the "chemistry" was non-existent for me; I cringed a few times when it was mentioned. I also cringed at a few phrasings that felt problematic. That's disappointing, because I DID like the storyline involving Harper's autoimmune disease and her original reason for the man ban. Had this relationship developed at a more natural pace (with a more likable hero), I think that part of the story would've been the star. It's certainly unique and the most interesting part of the book. As it stands, this one just wasn't a win for me. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy romance.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Georgia Twiss

    Thank you to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. The Man Ban is set in Melbourne and Auckland and follows Harper Ryland, a food stylist, and Manish (Manny) Gomes, a doctor. After an awkward encounter at a wedding, the two find themselves both in New Zealand, where Manny ends up saving Harper after she experiences a job mishap involving a disappearing assistant and from there, romance ensues. For people looking for a quick one-time beac Thank you to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. The Man Ban is set in Melbourne and Auckland and follows Harper Ryland, a food stylist, and Manish (Manny) Gomes, a doctor. After an awkward encounter at a wedding, the two find themselves both in New Zealand, where Manny ends up saving Harper after she experiences a job mishap involving a disappearing assistant and from there, romance ensues. For people looking for a quick one-time beach read, this is probably for you. The writing is easy to follow, the plot creates emotion and intrigue, and the characters are interesting enough to keep you in the story, particularly Harper. For me, the book was just okay. I classify it like this because there are a few things in the story that either didn’t make sense or just made me cringe and thus made me not really vibe with the book. First, Harper's parents were very overbearing and self-involved and were not people I enjoyed spending any time with. Second, the whole engagement debacle part of the plot felt rushed and confusing. I also do not understand the end, because he treated her terribly and it just didn’t seem like something someone could come back from that quickly??!! Third, there were some small awkward moments in the text that reflected problematic old-fashioned gender norms that really frustrated me when I came across them while reading. For example, the trope of a woman “with a healthy appetite” being “incredibly sexy” is something I want to fire into the sun (to be fair this is one that a lot of romance writers need to stop doing!). It’s such a backhanded, “not like other girls” gendered conception. Also, the idea that a man not wanting to do something romantic instead of having sex, makes him “a woman,” is not a great thing to read in 2021. All of these took away from Harper’s story which I think is the most important and intriguing part of the book. To end on a positive: the book did a very good job of making me want to go visit New Zealand and also eat very fancy food.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle Bautista

    A huge thank you to PRH International, Berkley Pub & NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review! I had such a fun time reading this! I flew through most of the first half because of how engaging the writing was and how entertaining the main leads were! I immediately fell in love with Harper and Manny and their story! They had the funniest meet cute which even led to an enemies to lovers romance that I enjoyed! They had amazing chemistry from the get go and their bante A huge thank you to PRH International, Berkley Pub & NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review! I had such a fun time reading this! I flew through most of the first half because of how engaging the writing was and how entertaining the main leads were! I immediately fell in love with Harper and Manny and their story! They had the funniest meet cute which even led to an enemies to lovers romance that I enjoyed! They had amazing chemistry from the get go and their banter was just the best! I loved their flirting, puns and inside jokes and how well they complemented each other. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and swoon simultaneously! Their feelings for each other was so genuine so I wasn’t surprised when the steam came in hard and fast (pun was very much intended!) I also love them individually just as much! Harper’s story with her struggle with vitiligo and her parent’s separation was so heartbreaking as well as Manny’s worries in regards to his grandma’s condition and wishes and his great fear. I loved that alongside their love story for the ages, this also explored the heavier topics they both dealth with which made for heartwrenching conflicts. The fact that this was set in Australia and New Zealand already made it so interesting to me! Then top that with cultural references to Manny’s Anglo-Indian heritage, I was so invested all throughout! Overall, this was a fun, heartfelt and fast-paced read! It had that perfect mix of laugh out loud and oh so swoony moments, cry worthy conflicts and an entertaining cast. I highly recommend to romcom lovers!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joefel

    The Man Ban is a fast and appealing romance story about finding someone, how to deal with denials, and it leads on understanding every sides of an individual. Thus, this is such a good and a fun read with an absolute chef’s kiss vibes. I was really into the wondrous flirty world of Harper and Manny.  The perfect balance of laugh and seriousness in this book is so endless. The meet cute that leads them to their journey of being together is what I enjoyed the most. The dialogues are also quirky and The Man Ban is a fast and appealing romance story about finding someone, how to deal with denials, and it leads on understanding every sides of an individual. Thus, this is such a good and a fun read with an absolute chef’s kiss vibes. I was really into the wondrous flirty world of Harper and Manny.  The perfect balance of laugh and seriousness in this book is so endless. The meet cute that leads them to their journey of being together is what I enjoyed the most. The dialogues are also quirky and so funny at the same time. Harper and Manny had the craziest flirtatious situations to sum up their hot and steamy moments.  As such, this book don’t also just focus on romance, hence, it goes all along in deep understanding on each of the characters. Harper’s story in dealing her situation with vitiligo and her experience of parent’s heartbreaking moment was certainly sad. The short chapter entries were really captivating and a real exploration to love. Manny had also been dealing with her worries about his grandma’s condition and with her request to be married. Overall, I was immersed with how fascinating this cute idea and how engaging the writing style is. This book is my first read from Nicola Marsh’s and I love the experience in immersing her witty writing style. Surely, The Man Ban is definitely straight in my new romance faves this year.      The Man Ban is a perfect combination of cute and humorous.    (Massive thanks to PRH International for providing an eARC edition of this book my way.)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Man Ban is a romantic comedy. It can be read as a standalone. However Manny (the male narrator) was a supporting character in the Boy Toy. And Samira and Rory from The Boy Toy are supporting characters in this book. This book takes place in Australia and New Zealand. And I adored both of these settings. The female 3rd person POV is 30 year old food stylist, Harper. The male POV is 40 year old doctor and confirmed bachelor, Manny. Harper and Manny meet at her best friend Nishi's wedding. She is The Man Ban is a romantic comedy. It can be read as a standalone. However Manny (the male narrator) was a supporting character in the Boy Toy. And Samira and Rory from The Boy Toy are supporting characters in this book. This book takes place in Australia and New Zealand. And I adored both of these settings. The female 3rd person POV is 30 year old food stylist, Harper. The male POV is 40 year old doctor and confirmed bachelor, Manny. Harper and Manny meet at her best friend Nishi's wedding. She is on a "man ban" after a bad breakup. I love this term! I really loved Harper's job as a food stylist. And I was very interested in the jobs that she had. I found everything to do with this to be absolutely fascinating. Manny is Anglo-Indian. And I found everything to do with his culture and all the mentions of Indian food to be amazing. I enjoyed Harper's "secret". I enjoyed Manny's grandmother. And I really enjoyed all of Harper's friends. Also the romance was so fun and flirty. I enjoyed it a lot. Overall this book was a quick read. It was a fun sexy rom-com. And I definitely enjoyed it! Also I really enjoyed the author's note at the end as I had wondered if certain parts had been autobiographical. Thanks to netgalley and Berkely for allowing me to read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Reads It

    If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Mixed-race marriages aren’t for you” my library would be significantly bigger. The Man Ban features Manny, an Anglo-Indian from Australia who is content with playing the field and Harper, a headstrong female protagonist with a self-imposed “Man Ban.” To say I associated with Manny is an understatement, being an East Indian from the Caribbean, I know intimately the pressures of the expectations put on us by our elders. Manny could be a literal male version If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Mixed-race marriages aren’t for you” my library would be significantly bigger. The Man Ban features Manny, an Anglo-Indian from Australia who is content with playing the field and Harper, a headstrong female protagonist with a self-imposed “Man Ban.” To say I associated with Manny is an understatement, being an East Indian from the Caribbean, I know intimately the pressures of the expectations put on us by our elders. Manny could be a literal male version of myself, and I swear I kept checking behind my back to see if the author is taking notes because the meddlesome grandmother intent on marriage to a suitable and appropriate partner is too familiar. Speaking of meddlesome, Izzy is the quintessential Indian grandmother from the gossip grape-vine, penchant for cooking with too much Ghee and drinking tea on every occasion to her obsession with Indian soap operas it really felt like home. Harper may come across as a tightly strung female protagonist who is content to work on herself and her business instead of pursuing guys but deep down, she carries deep mental scarring. Growing up with a mother obsessed with perfection means that when the first sight of vitiligo appears, Harper immediately feels less than adequate, a failure, and her self-esteem plummets. I enjoyed Harper’s growth from associating her self-worth with her appearance to a deeper understanding that true beauty comes from within. All in all, this was an enjoyable read however the plot felt a bit monotone and I kept wanting something to differentiate this from the typical contemporary romances.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shay | Books Are Magic Too

    Anytime you swear off doing something, inevitably means it's NOT going to happen, am I right? Harper was everything I love about a fierce female main character - determined to do things on her own, to succeed in her professional life over caring about her love life. Focusing on herself, she is going after her dreams, finding support from her friends (who Marsh writes into the story perfectly, as not the focus, but a fun peek ahead for book 3, and a flash of our friends from book 1!) and trying t Anytime you swear off doing something, inevitably means it's NOT going to happen, am I right? Harper was everything I love about a fierce female main character - determined to do things on her own, to succeed in her professional life over caring about her love life. Focusing on herself, she is going after her dreams, finding support from her friends (who Marsh writes into the story perfectly, as not the focus, but a fun peek ahead for book 3, and a flash of our friends from book 1!) and trying to be the best daughter she can, even if her parents are pulling her in the middle of their own struggles. So of course, she meets Manny as she is showcasing what she can do & somehow he charms his way into her heart, man ban & all. I enjoyed the portrayal of the family expectations in a mixed-race relationship, especially the way Manny's grandmother was written into the story, and how both of our main characters had their own struggles they brought with them, and how their issues were revealed and resolved. Pick this one up if you love a rom com with a little bit of real issues, that still leave you with that HEA feeling you're hoping for! Thank you to Berkley Romance + NetGalley for the advance reader copy, and letting me continue on with this fun series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Snarky Romance Reads Shorter Than Its Actual Length. This is one of those fun, snarky, steamy - yes, there are numerous sex scenes, for those that care either way about such things - romances that doesn't quite work as a true "enemies to lovers", since the initial fight is more a miscommunication when these two characters - both introduced in 2020's The Boy Toy - first meet up in the aftermath of that tale. It officially clocks in at around 350 pages, but Marsh keeps the tale pulsing along so we Snarky Romance Reads Shorter Than Its Actual Length. This is one of those fun, snarky, steamy - yes, there are numerous sex scenes, for those that care either way about such things - romances that doesn't quite work as a true "enemies to lovers", since the initial fight is more a miscommunication when these two characters - both introduced in 2020's The Boy Toy - first meet up in the aftermath of that tale. It officially clocks in at around 350 pages, but Marsh keeps the tale pulsing along so well that this reader never really noticed the actual length and indeed by the end the book feels much shorter. For technically being a Book 2, this is also a fairly loosely coupled "series" - yes, these characters are introduced in the first book, and yes, the first book's primary couple (and another character or two) appear in this book, but neither is truly dependent on the other and each totally work fine as standalones in a shared universe as well. Overall a fun book, maybe not an "end of summer" book but definitely a fun, summery feel. Very much recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel | What’s Rachel Reading

    The Man Ban is a great, quick read, summer rom-com. The story follows Harper and Manny from their meet cute moment through the struggles they face. The Man Ban main characters have great chemistry and banter that keep the reader engaged and wanting more. The chemistry between Harper and Manny make for some steamy moments and some well written angst; all which combine into a well constructed romantic comedy, Manny is an easy-going but shallow doctor who has zero interest. Harper in on a "man ban" The Man Ban is a great, quick read, summer rom-com. The story follows Harper and Manny from their meet cute moment through the struggles they face. The Man Ban main characters have great chemistry and banter that keep the reader engaged and wanting more. The chemistry between Harper and Manny make for some steamy moments and some well written angst; all which combine into a well constructed romantic comedy, Manny is an easy-going but shallow doctor who has zero interest. Harper in on a "man ban" after a failed relationship but feels cultural pressure to get married. When they meet at a wedding, things begin to get complicated. What I appreciate in this book are relatable characters as Harper has Vitiligo, which brings awareness to a skin condition that can cause self-consciousness. Manny and Harper are dynamic characters with flaws and deep issues and I enjoyed their journey and following their ups and downs. I would recommend The Man Ban to both rom-com and romance readers and will not hesitate to pick up another Nicola Marsh book. Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for the advanced copy in return for my honest opinions.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Spalding

    I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. What a fun story! It was a quick and easy read full of humor and romance. Harper and Manny are the perfect couple and I was rooting for them the whole time. Nicola Marsh is a new author to me and I will definitely be looking for more of her books to read. The dialogue in The Man Ban was quick witted and completely believable, as was the romance and steamy sex. I loved the cultural aspects woven throughout. Everything from the sett I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. What a fun story! It was a quick and easy read full of humor and romance. Harper and Manny are the perfect couple and I was rooting for them the whole time. Nicola Marsh is a new author to me and I will definitely be looking for more of her books to read. The dialogue in The Man Ban was quick witted and completely believable, as was the romance and steamy sex. I loved the cultural aspects woven throughout. Everything from the settings to the food was written in just the right amount of detail, I could easily envision it all. Overall a book that kept me entertained, and hoping that the story will continue in a third installment!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I really liked the "The Boy Toy," and the sequel is even better. I really liked the "The Boy Toy," and the sequel is even better.

  27. 5 out of 5

    saida

    Sweet summer read! Loved the diversity in this sm ❤️

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jjoo

    Loved it! It was such a great Romantic Comedy that I just devoured. Loved Manny and Harper's story so much and now I must read the author's first story! Loved it! It was such a great Romantic Comedy that I just devoured. Loved Manny and Harper's story so much and now I must read the author's first story!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Stamm

    Nicola Marsh has once again woven together discussions about culture, food, and medical conditions into an exquisite story. I love that the characters from the first book have cameo appearances in this book as we get to learn more about Manny's journey. It was a pleasure to read this book. Nicola Marsh has once again woven together discussions about culture, food, and medical conditions into an exquisite story. I love that the characters from the first book have cameo appearances in this book as we get to learn more about Manny's journey. It was a pleasure to read this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I loved this one!!! Manny and Harpers chemistry just jumped off the pages for me! I loved their banter and their growing connection. I liked that they both struggled with letting themselves love and be loved but seeing them get together was perfect! I was hooked and invested in them from the start.

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