FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Entangled Publishing (via NetGalley).
When Rochelle signs on to be one of many women vying for a single man on a reality romance show, she’s only thinking about getting some exposure for her charity, not finding love, making a fool of herself, or furthering her career. But when the bachelor turns out to be none other than the man who broke her heart years ago, and the producers bribe her into staying, all bets are off.
The Verdict: If this had been just another story about someone going on a reality show and falling in love, I probably wouldn’t have given it so much as a glance. But two people with a history who didn’t even want to be in the same city with each other, producers manipulating and bribing left and right, and all the craziness that comes with reality TV? I just had to read it!
Rochelle is a successful attorney whose heart was broken years ago, and she’s never really gotten past it. She’s not entirely opposed to love, but she’s not actively looking for it either. Still, when she finds out Luring Love is casting in her city, she gives it a shot, hoping that if she has the chance to talk about her charity work on the air, the organization will get some much needed publicity and support. What she doesn’t count on is coming face to face with the guy who callously dumped her all those years ago.
Grant’s not exactly thrilled, either, to find Rochelle in the room with all the other women vying for his attention. He may have been the one to break things off between them, but it was only because she was planning on leaving him anyway. And while he may still be in love with her — or at least the memory of her — he’s definitely holding a grudge. Talked by the producers into keeping her on the show and not divulging their shared past, he’s in more trouble than he ever signed up for.
As dramatic as this could have been — and yes, there was definitely some drama — it was also just hilarious. Rochelle wants nothing more than to be voted off, and she does everything she can to make that happen. Her antics kept the fun in an otherwise serious story, and instead of following a predictable path, Grant and Rochelle’s second chance at love was just as full of surprises as reality TV can be. And of course, two people who react so passionately to each other, even when it’s in avoidance, bad behavior, and constantly plotting to get the best of each other… Well, they obviously have some very real feelings between them.
Aside from the romance, though, How to Lose a Bachelor is a brilliantly funny commentary on the craziness that is reality television, and it’s clear that most of the shots it takes are aimed at The Bachelor TV show. Scheming women are relegated to shared bedrooms in a mansion, dates are arranged, dialogue is practically scripted, and everything is done to draw out suspense and rope in more viewers. There’s even skillful editing in a montage that makes one event seem like an awful lot more than it actually was. I have no idea if the author actually knows how these shows work, or if she’s just awesome at making up something that seems accurate enough, but easily half the entertainment I found in the story had to do with the behind the scenes chaos and planning.
Of course, there’s a solid love story in the mix as well, not to mention some very likeable characters. Rochelle had my respect the minute she admitted to herself (and readers) that she was only on the show for the publicity, and with each new stunt she pulled, I fell a little more in love with her. For his part, Grant is just as easy to like. Once their past situation is made clear, it’s obvious that he’s a good guy, and even as he tries to ruin Rochelle’s plotting and throw in some surprises of his own, there are moments when his genuine love for Rochelle still shows.
Whether you love or hate reality TV, record and rewatch every rose ceremony or sit there eating ice cream while silently judging the men and women on the screen, or simply want something different than the usual plots, How to Lose a Bachelor is an awesomely different spin on the modern day dating game.