I don’t watch reality TV, but I have seen enough to be familiar with the format. It has also been years since I have read a romance novel. I accepted this book for review, hoping it would be a light read and an interesting insight into how reality shows are presented.
Here for the Right Reasons is a contemporary romance about a dating show set during the Covid pandemic.
The main character, Cece, shares a home with her two best friends. They are all huge fans of the reality show Marry Me, Juliet. One evening, a little drunk on vodka pineapples, they decide to submit entries for the show. She is the only one of the three selected to be one of the Juliets hoping to win the heart of Romeo.
Like most of the Juliets selected she is not there for the right reasons, that is to find love.
In Cece’s case, she has lost her job due to Covid and is unable to pay her share of the rent. She is now 26, a maters student and, not having family, only has herself to rely on. Merry Me, Juliet, and the pay given to the competitor as well as social media fame after the show is her only hope.
Romeo for the show is Dylan. He’s good-looking, intelligent and sensitive. He is also the first coloured Romeo.
Cece is eliminated in the first episode but because of the pandemic, all the eliminated girls must stay in lock-down together. The producers agree to introduce a new aspect to the show where Cece and Dylan are to demonstrate men and women can be friends without romantic notions. As the segments are filmed they discover there is an attraction more than just friendship.
Meanwhile, we get the action behind the scenes with the other girls and the production crew.
I felt most of the characters lacked depth and Dylan a little too perfect. Cece was a strong character and the character I did like was Lily, the usual nasty girl of reality shows. She turned out to be nice but with her own agenda for the future.
Themes of racism, mental health, and social media influences were well handled.
Some twists keep you turning the pages but overall, it is predictable. The dialogue was uninspiring and repetitive.
Overall, this book wasn’t for me, but I am sure fans of romance will love it.
Thank you, NetGalley, Simon & Schuster (Australia), and Jodi McAlister for the ARC. All thoughts are my own.
My rating 3* but this is a personal viewpoint and I am sure fictional romance lovers will enjoy it.
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