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on January 23, 2003
Leslie Caroll has done a terrific job providing the ideal "what if" scenario in Reality Check, a contemporary urban fantasy for anyone who has ever daydreamed (or had a nightmare) about auditioning for a reality-based t.v. show.
In Reality Check, Liz has decided to audition for Bad Date, a t.v. show in which contestants compete for one million dollars with stories of how badly their romantic lives have gone. Though Liz and her roommates audition for a lark (each of them has an altruistic reason to want the big bucks), when all three of them are cast trouble is ahead. A bigger brouhaha may be coming when Liz and fellow contestant Jack begin to find each other irresistibly attractive.
The real nugget of gold amidst all these dreams of winning is Carroll's sense of humor. Though the novel is an insubstantial read, Carroll thoroughly enjoys manipulating the peccadilloes of the English language. She is unable to restrain herself from giving Liz, an ad copywriter, ludicrous products with equally ridiculous names for which to create ad campaigns. Bars and restaurants have playful names as well. Carroll writes with a light and even hand, creating a book that's easy to pick up, laugh-out-loud funny, and quick to read.
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If you like to not just laugh, but sit back and admire an author's clever use of language don't miss Reality Check! I am not a huge fan of most "reality" TV, but this book certainly made me laugh all the more because of that dislike. The situations and characters are just plain satisfying and kept me turning the pages long into the night until I turned the last page.

I definitely think I'll be looking for more offerings by Leslie Carroll!
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on February 22, 2003
I picked this book out because I am a reality Tv junky. If you want a happy funny kind of a book this is the book for you. I loved all these charaters, Jem and Nell they were so funny I would love to have friends like that. Liz and Jack were the best! This book made me laugh out loud and thinking about it know I am laughing all over again. I highly recommend this book.
Happy Reading Lisa
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VINE VOICEon June 7, 2005
Liz and her 2 friends audition for spots on a reality dating show for dating "losers." The last standing after 13 weeks of re-telling horrendous dating experiences will win $1 million. At the audition, she meets Jack and soon falls for him, despite rules against them fraternizing. The other contestants are pretty sterotypical, but that does not take away from the story.

Liz is chosen primarily because the producers can tell that she will give the host Rick Byron (who was introduced as one of the dates in "Miss Match"), a hard time on camera. They were right - the snappy comebacks for all of Rick's inane comments are totally hysterical, and most of them she said under her breath, only to realize the microphone was on.

Liz and Jack do all that they can to keep the relationship a secret from both her roommates and the show's producers. Will all this clandestine activity wreak havoc on the relationship? Their first (non)date is a hoot, it is a wonder they tried for a second.

This is a very humorous look at the wonderful (or pitiful, however you look at it) world of dating via television. Another great book to catch in a similar vein is Bachelorette #1 by Jennifer O'Connell.
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on January 18, 2003
New York's SOHO copywriter Liz Pemberly feels her personal life is at zero so when she sees a NY Post advertisement for contestants to go on TV's Bad Date she decides to try out. The rules are simple as fourteen participants will vie for the one million dollar jackpot with each telling about a terrible date they suffered through. Each week, the audience will vote one person off the show and there is to be no fraternizing or the contestant will be disqualified. At the audition, Liz meets Miami restaurant owner Jack Rafferty, who she thinks is quite a hunk.
As several weeks pass in which Liz and Jack survive, they feel a deep attraction to one another. However, both know that if they begin dating, they will lose the opportunity for the grand prize. Still they start to wonder if the money is worth it as they are starting to fall in love, but what will happen if they ever commence dating.
This contemporary satirical romance spoofs the reality shows leaving no one standing at the end. The story line is amusing especially when the worst dates are presented and more so as Liz and Jack squirm to ignore their feelings, as deep in their hearts they believe that the show might cause them to miss a perfect match. Leslie Carroll furbishes a cheeky tale that readers will laugh with the characters while checking into the next rounds of reality TV.
Harriet Klausner
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VINE VOICEon August 27, 2003
I normally do not like first person offerings so I opened this with trepidation. Truth be told, it was a freebie at a writer's conference in NYC. I found myself on the way out the door to a doctor's appointment and needed a book. I grabbed and ran.
I am so glad I did! From the very beginning ad to the introduction of Liz, Nell and Jem to the yo-yo guru and chef Jack, I was hooked. I read at stoplights and in traffic jams! I stayed up late.
The premise is fresh and Ms. Carroll did a fabulous job with it. She didn't overdo the reality tv show nor did she underdo it. She offered hysterical characters that didn't devolve into caricatures. Her sensitivity to gay and lesbian issues was very much appreciated by me as well.
I happen to love neat wrap-ups. Everyone was taken care of by the end except for our Mr. Bryon. I am actually hoping that her next book will be the woman that conquers him and puts him in his place.
Liz Pemberly and her gang will go on my shelf of keepers. First chick lit book to do that! I am a die hard regency and historical gal so this book had to impress me.
And it did. There is even a bit of intrigue... is Jack trying to kill Liz?
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on August 15, 2009
This book was terrific. I borrowed it from the library, attracted by its Sue Dreamer like looks and the summary. I loved the book so much, I just added it to my Amazon wish list. Carroll has a quick tongue in cheek humor that is irrestible. As a happily married hopeless romantic (books and movies), I was not disappointed by this book. I don't know why someone who is not into romantic comedies would pick it up and then write a bad review about it. WYSIWYG, but even better! Along with Kristan Higgins, this is now one of my new favorite authors, assuming that Leslie's other books are as fabulous as this one was, (no doubt.) Pick it up and laugh hyesterically!!
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on June 25, 2005
I loved it, It had all the essentials of a girly book. endless love and friendship, romance, kooky situations, predictable drama's, typical cliche's, hot sex scenes. a good mixture of spice,salt & pepper...
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on July 7, 2004
It took me awhile to actually get into the story but once i gave the book a chance I really liked it.It was a fun read and worth my time.I hope other people feal the same.
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on January 10, 2003
I have been a devotee of Ms. Carroll's since I read her first novel, Miss Match. This is a smart, funny story that fully takes advantage of the nation's obsession with Reality Shows! Bravo again!
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