Blind Date Bride (Reality TV Bites #1) by Arlene Hittle
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Review Copy for Tour
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Nearly a decade ago, accountant Kari Parker shed 220 pounds of dead weight—her hulking, abusive college boyfriend. The last thing she wants in her life is another man—especially one as tall as a Windy City high rise. Yet when her best friend enters her in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest, another man is exactly what she gets. As much as she'd love to just say no, she can't turn down the prize money that will allow her to help her parents save the restaurant they've run all her life.
Sparks fly between Kari and her bogus groom, and as she and Damien share close quarters, intimate meals and—gulp—his bed, Kari doesn’t stand a chance of resisting his considerable charms. Even worse? She might not want to. But building a real future out of their sham marriage will be tougher than baking a wedding cake from scratch… with no flour… in a broken oven.
What happens when the day you meet your future husband is on your wedding day? Thanks to a Romance TV contest Kari's best friend Bethany nominated her for, she's about to find out. Now Kari, still burdened with the aftermath of an unhealthy relationship 9 years ago, must try to make it work with a man she just met in order to secure financial security for her parents. Perhaps easier said than done.
Blind Date Bride is the kind of romance that attempts to show every part of life and relationships--from the serious to the sad to the hilarious and embarrassing. There were moments of challenge caused by Kari's past and the Romance TV-meddling in their relationship. Moments that acknowledged the inherent awkwardness of getting to know someone. And all of that is only heightened by the fact that they got married before getting to know each other.
The relationship between Kari and Damien is full of sweetness and heat and, at first, the demons from Kari's past. When their relationship is good, it's so sweet, fun, and lovable. But my one continuing annoyance came from certain references to Kari's past. For instance, the near-constant fixation on Damien's size. I understand that this is something that would be hard for Kari, given her experience, but something about the way it was stated just rubbed me the wrong way. I can't explain it exactly, but it didn't keep me from enjoying the other aspects of their courtship.
For fans of light-hearted romance fair, this book is the perfect choice. The humor and romance are dominant throughout the story, and even when the struggles arise. And the major struggles are not overly drawn-out, so you get to enjoy the periods of happiness. So if you prefer the lighter, fluffier side of life in your books, and laughing while reading is what you you love to do, check out Blind Date Bride!
Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in northern Arizona. She suffers from the well-documented Hittle family curse of being a Cubs fan but will root for the Diamondbacks until they run up against the Cubs. Longtime friends are amazed she writes books with sports in them, since she's about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe and used to say marching band required more exertion than golf.