Natalie Aaron and Marla Schwartz takes us behind the scenes of reality TV.
Abby Edwards is very cynical when it comes to love. Finding her next job and relationships with her friends are what's important, romance is not part of the equation. Her job as a producer on the dating show Matchmaker is about to end. Where is her next gig going to come from? Is this type of career what she really wants? Splicing together footage is the easy part of the job. Playing therapist/pastor/mom/dad/aunt/uncle/shoulder to cry on for the babies on her reality show are the hard part. Either the contestants come to her or the network forces her to deal with their petty problems. But even that wears on Abby. How many times can you watch a grown man or woman act like a baby?
Her friends are an interesting bunch, especially her closest friend and roommate Zoe. Zoe has found love, but for her it has an expiration date if her boyfriend, Jeff, doesn't propose. Even when she gets the proposal it was forced. Zoe wants marriage and family, but only if her husband has a sizable bank account. Jeff has a "good" job, but as soon as he takes a job with a lower salary there is trouble in paradise. It doesn't matter if the job makes him happy and could lead to an even better opportunity. All that matters is that Zoe might not be able to fulfill her dream of a big house, children, and life as a housewife. I found Zoe to be extremely selfish and self-centered. I'm surprised Abby and Zoe were friends. Abby doesn't care about appearances the way Zoe does.
Abby's life is thrown for a loop when she goes to work alongside Will, a handsome producer. She's not sure how this will work since the last time Abby saw Will she mistook him for a lowly production assistant. But it goes better than expected as Will comes to respect her ideas. Abby starts feeling butterflies whenever he is around, but does Will feel the same. Her jaded views about love keep Abby from acting on her feelings.
The relationship Abby has with herself is at the heart of the book. When her friendship with Zoe hits a rough patch, Abby is forced to look at her own life. Is she really happy? What will it take to make her happy? Is fantasizing about Will just a quick fix? The sooner Abby can answer those questions, the sooner she can be happy. The book also delves into the ugly side of reality TV. We get a very vivid picture of all the backstabbing, power struggles, and manipulation that goes on. Abby does more than her fair share of work, but someone with more power is always standing by to take credit. In the end, I wish some of the romance elements had been explored more. The ending, while very hopeful, leaves you wanting more of Abby's story. The way the book ended, life was just beginning for Abby.
Note: I received an e-copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review.