Monday, April 11, 2016

RELEASE BLITZ & 5 STAR REVIEW: Kissed by Reality by Carrie Aarons

Title: Kissed by Reality 
Author: Carrie Aarons 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: April 11, 2016

Falling in love is hard. Falling in love on national television is impossible. Right?

Leighton Aldridge did not sign up to meet her soulmate. She signed up for the lights, camera and action. So when the Hollywood-native ends up with the wounded war veteran and a ring on her finger, it's a surprise to everyone. What isn't a surprise is the way she breaks Finn Wyatt's heart, or the massively public breakup that follows. But a year later she's back, ready for another round on the reality TV show that brought them together. She knows he was the real thing, and she's ready to fight for him.

Finn is the new Mr. Right. The country's favorite single guy, and the object of 25 women's affections. But when his ex-fiance steps onto set and back into the limelight, he wishes he never agreed to another season. Leighton shattered his heart for the world to see, and he's not ready to face that reality. Can Leighton convince him, and America, that she's the one? Or will her future with Finn only consist of 15 more minutes of fame?

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My Review

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I don't watch reality dating shows. They make me cringe and the second hand embarrassment is too much for me to handle. But I do watch the Lifetime show Unreal, which is a scripted show about the behind the scenes drama on a reality dating show. So when I read the synopsis for this book, I immediately thought, "Yeah. I'm going to have to read this one."

Leighton and Finn have a history, a slightly complicated, messy history. They met on a reality show, fell in love, got engaged and then the whole thing blew up in their faces. Now it is months later and Leighton has decided to win Finn back...on another reality dating show. And as much as she loves being in the spotlight, Leighton loves Finn more and will do anything to win him back.

Finn was heartbroken when he and Leighton broke up. He really thought that they were going to get their happily ever after, but that wasn't the case. When Leighton steps out of the limo and Finn sees the girl who destroyed him, he is not happy. He wants nothing to do with her, but unfortunately for him, Leighton will be sticking around for a while. Throughout the course of the book, we slowly learn what happened between Leighton and Finn. The two of them truly did find love on a reality show, but a lapse of judgement on Leighton's part ruined everything. It was very clear to me that they had a lot of unfinished business and the only thing that was going to make it better was for them to have it out. Then throw in the fact that Finn develops feelings for one of the other contestants and you got yourself a story. 

Despite meeting on a reality show, the two of them connected on a deeper level and saw the other person's true selves, not just the personas they put on for the cameras. Leighton never pitied Finn or saw his disability as a negative thing. She encouraged him to be proud of it and never hide it because it made someone uncomfortable. And when tragedy strikes Leighton's personal life, Finn is there to help her through it. And despite everything they have been through, the truth remains that Finn and Leighton belong together. 
“We’re not through it yet. You sure you want to do this?”
I gazed up at him, my hands skimming over his t-shirt where I could feel the rock hard stomach beneath. I pushed a lock of golden brown aside and palmed his cheek.
“I could not be more ready to do this. Obviously, I wish we didn’t have to do it this way, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to do this.”
“Well, it’s not very romantic. You basically know how it’s going to happen.” He threaded his fingers in my hair and my heart gave a content sigh. He was always going to be the all American gentleman, and my heart blushed a little at that.
“I don’t need the romance. I don’t need the speeches. None of that fake crap means anything. I need you. I need us. I love you, Finn Wyatt. None of the other stuff matters. I just need your loyalty, your trust, and your love. This is the real deal this time, not some fake reality. As long as I have you, I’m perfect.”
“You are perfect. For me.” Finn leaned down and pressed his lips to mine, his mouth communicating every emotion he felt. His kiss seared me, marked me and filled my soul to the brim with love.
**sigh**  True love y'all.  True love. 

If you are a fan of reality dating shows, I think that you will enjoy this book. And even if you aren't (like me), you will enjoy it. While there is definitely drama, it doesn't overwhelm the story. Most of the characters are likable and you will walk away feeling satisfied with the way everything plays out. And a quick note on Erin, the other contestant I mentioned earlier...I really liked her. I am hoping that we get to read her story some time soon. She was a genuine, down to earth and VERY understanding. I really want her to get that happily ever after. 

Author Bio

Author of romance novels such as the Over the Fence series and Red Card, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.

Carrie Aarons has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book, and can't describe what it feels like to be able to write love stories as an actual career. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.

When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma," Carrie Aarons is freeing-up her jampacked DVR, trying to become the next HGTV star as she DIYs her very first house, and planning her next travel adventure. She lives on the east coast with her husband whom she loves dearly for supporting her crazy dreams and putting up with her sassy, extroverted ways

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