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Reality TV Bites    by Shane Bolks order for
Reality TV Bites
by Shane Bolks
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2006 (2006)
Softcover, Audio, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Allison Holloway, like most girls, grew up wanting to be a princess. Now a successful twenty-something interior decorator, she still hasn't given up on the dream. The only problem is, there isn't a prince in sight ... that is, until her boss signs up the firm Allison works for, Interiors by M, to participate in a new reality TV show. As one of the teams competing for three million dollars, Allison and her coworkers will go head-to-head with a Japanese company on Kamikaze Makeover. The object? To make peoples' homes worse instead of better.

But it's the handsome TV producer who might end up being Allison's grand prize. A real European prince, he's everything Allison's ever dreamed of. And then there's Dave, her boyfriend of a few weeks who definitely makes her heart skip a beat. But he's the total opposite of what she wants. His idea of a romantic date is taking her to a Chicago Bulls game, while Allison dreams of fancy dinners and champagne. When Kamikaze Makeover makes Allison a household name, will her brush with fame help her land her prince or live happily-ever-after with a man closer down the status ladder to a toad?

Reading Reality TV Bites is a little bit like watching a reality TV show: enormously entertaining, infinitely engaging, a bit emotional, and at times, a little obnoxious. Allison is the star of the show. The book is written in first-person point of view, so events are filtered through her perceptions. Although she's a fully developed character with real emotions and needs that leap off the page, she can come across as selfish and high-maintenance, which may put off some readers.

However, that doesn't seem to bother the two men in her life. Dave is laid back and down-to-earth, while Nicolo feels more at home at posh parties sipping on expensive drinks. Still, the chemistry Allison shares with each of them is palpable, though one man emerges as a clear winner from the beginning. The questions that drive the story are universal: will Allison choose to live in the lap of luxury? Or will she decide that spending her life with a man who makes her feel like a princess is the way to go even if his wallet doesn't measure up to her expectations?

A charming and often hilarious tale of love in our TV-driven modern world, Reality TV Bites is a sweet, frothy treat.

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