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Love, Reality Style Paperback – June 7, 2016
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"I love how real these characters were and I especially enjoyed Mary Grace's fascination with cake. This is a great read for anyone who loves chick-lit. I especially enjoyed the ending." - Shanice Singh, Playground of Randomness review blog "Judith Natelli McLaughlin knows how to paint a stunning yet realistic portrait of love and marriage. She brilliantly takes readers on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. After all, marriage and true love only happen once for most people. This tale was romantic and funny. Love, Reality Style is definitely one romantic comedy that readers everywhere will love. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers worldwide." -5/5 stars, Danielle Urban, Universal Creativity Inc. "I absolutely love books that paint a 'real' picture of how life and love work. We don't always get it right, and mostly never on the first time. I loved this story and am thrilled to have had a chance to read it. The writing was fabulous and funny with witty conversations. This is not my type of genre, but for those who just want to read something that makes you smile, cry, and laugh out loud, read this adorable, true to life story. -5/5 stars, Ruby Blotzer, Goodreads "What makes it different from similar stories, is the rather unique course of action the unsuspecting couple take. I liked this book and any lead protagonist with a serious cake addiction is a friend of mine." - 4/5 stars, Michelle Simons, book reviewer"
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Top Customer Reviews
I enjoy so-called chick lit and don't expect it to be high brow literature, but this makes most all of the others look like freaking Shakespeare.
Mary Grace Falcone loved cake and she was comfortable with Ralph Ichy. They were both teachers and when Ralph proposed, Mary Grace felt that it was the next step. But, she wasn't convinced that she wanted to take the next step with Ralph. Once she finally said yes, to Ralph's proposal, she began to question whether or not she was settling for Ralph or if there was someone else waiting for her. She had never been pursued in a relationship until Ralph but could there be more? Was she willing to sacrifice what she had with Ralph with the possibility there could be more with someone else? Would Ralph ever be enough for her?
I was given a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Mary Grace herself hasn't had a full or long dating history, even though she is a smart and very attractive woman. It seems that she will have to experience "Love, Reality Style" before she is truly prepared to consider accepting Ralph's proposal.
The mother of Mary Grace is Angela, a character who is meddlesome, irritating and humorous at the same time; she is so determined to alter her daughter's single state that she cons the couple into appearing on a TV show that will pay all their wedding expenses, I DO. Meanwhile Annie and Jayde, longtime besties, are being called upon by Mary Grace to sort out her decisions as they deal with their own very unexpected life issues. Alternately, Mary Grace's own eccentricities of finding comfort in finding, baking and eating frosted cake has become not just a quirk, but her personal recipe to calm her rattled nerves.
McLaughlin has written a very endearing novel, whose central ideas portray genuine serious issues about giving and maintaining trust that individuals and couples face today. In a world where a stable marriage is not always assured, Love, Reality Style is a portrait of how these characters attempt to cope and find happiness in continually shifting conditions. This story is well written and has depth which surprised and pleased me. Fans of Mary Kay Andrews will enjoy the close sisterhood of friendship and journeys to self-discovery. Recommended women's fiction.
Thank you to Blue Moon Publishing and NetGalley.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Blue Moon Publishing for providing me with a complimentary digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
My Review: Cake. Good female friends. An engagement. Reality TV. Did I mention cake? These are the ingredients for a light, easy-going romantic read but the central relationship in this book may surprise you. It isn't romantic; instead its the bond between three friends - Mary Grace, Annie and Jayde. These women have stood by each other through thick and thin and have a very odd addiction to cake when the going gets tough. Their camaraderie feels authentic and quite similar to what I have with some of my girlfriends. These three have different romantic relationships going on to varying degrees of success but it's their friendship that is the strongest bond in the book.
Unfortunately, other than the girlfriend bonding, this book fell flat for me. I get that it's a light read but I still want to care about the characters and that never happened. Instead we have a main character in Mary Grace who was more than a little frustrating with her lack of ability to make decisions and stand up to her mother. The men, on the other hand, were quite a varied bunch -- from the odd yet sensitive Ralph with OCD to the cheater and finally the creepy TV host -- none of them were good husband/romantic material in my book. There was an inkling of a love triangle but that never took off and I can't honestly say I was rooting for either man. While these girlfriends and their male counterparts had a fair degree of development throughout the book the rest of the characters (of which there were few) fell into the one-dimensional category - namely Angela, Mary Grace's mother who was annoyingly over-the-top as the quintessential overbearing mother.
For a book whose title and description feature a reality show theme the show itself was not a focus of the plot but cake lovers will enjoy the plentiful descriptions of the confection that are sprinkled liberally throughout the book. In the end, I enjoyed reading about strong bonds between girlfriends but even though I'm an avid baker this book just wasn't to my tastes. But, readers with a sweet tooth who enjoy a lighter, quick read may want to pick it up.