Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Limited on July 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Source: Bought for Myself
Love Elimination might be a hit new reality dating show, but Anna Hobbs isn’t in it for love. Anna is a reluctant fill-in coerced onto the show by her sister, a producer. She dreams of owning her own dessert café; a dream that has taken years of hard work and strict saving. She knows reality TV is a big, manipulated lie — and gorgeous leading man Luke Westwood can’t possibly be for real. Can he? Olympian snowboarder Luke Westwood thought he had retired from competition. Now he’s starring in the cutthroat world of Love Elimination, with twelve beautiful women vying for his attention against the backdrop of a tropical paradise. With cameras in every corner, why is it only Anna — careful Anna with her bills and budgets — who Luke feels he can be himself with, at long last? All Anna wants is a quick elimination, but with each date she is more reluctant to relinquish Luke to the conniving contestants — or even to the women who are starting to become friends. It doesn’t help when Luke insists on using the limitless television budget to indulge her heart’s desires. Or that the moments they’ve stolen, alone and away from the cameras, have sizzled with passion. As the dates wear on the evictions become more brutal and the contestants’ secrets are exposed. Will the pressure get too much? Or will love close in on Luke and Anna?
When one of the contestants drops out just before shooting begins for Love Elimination, the next hottest dating show, Anna finds herself in an interesting situation. Her producer sister needs the perfect girl next door for the show and is willing to offer Anna the one thing she needs – money to start up her dream cafe. Agreeing to appear on Love Elimination with the agreement that the leading man will send her home as soon as possible has Anna packing her bags for paradise. But when the leading man Luke Westwood finds himself attracted to the reluctant bachelorette, Anna realises that what she thought was just going to be a way to finance her cafe may end up costing her heart.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I love The Bachelor. I also love books by up and coming Aussie authors. So it should come as no surprise that as soon as I first saw Love Elimination had hit the shelves in bookstores, I rushed out to buy a copy.
Love Elimination is a fun and sweet story about finding love in some of the most unlikely places – even if those places are manufactured situations created with the soul purpose of encouraging lust and romance.
Unfortunately I didn’t love it as much as I was anticipating. The problem with this kind of book where you have seemingly reasonably characters is they have to act somewhat out of character in order for the plot to evolve.
Anna is a contestant on a dating show but she isn’t there for love. She wants to make an appearance, get herself eliminated and back on the first limo back to Sydney. The problem occurs when her standoffishness is mistaken for her playing hard to get and she gets the opportunity to (and by opportunity I mean she’s forced to stay and) get to know the dashing Bach Luke some more.
The fatal flaw from where I stand is that for the novel to advance, Anna needed to stay in the competition. At the same time she needed some logical reason to stay. Anna’s constant referrals to her getting money in exchange for her appearing on the show made her seem mercenary. Her interactions with Luke felt forced (which was partly intentional to show her reluctance to be on the show) and as much as I wanted to, I didn’t believe in their romance. I know that we were supposed to believe Anna was staying because her feelings towards Luke were changing but I could never believe that the smart woman would not have found a way out which resulted with her keeping her cafe.
Love Elimination could have been a great book but after a while I found the characters to be difficult to like and the overall romance rather flat. The occasional point of view scene from Luke’s perspective felt awkward and only served to show Luke wasn’t the player Anna believed he was. There needed to be either more from him or less for it to feel a little more natural. I also thought the family drama towards the end of the novel felt like it had been thrown in and didn’t mesh with the rest of the book.
Would I read another book by this author? Absolutely. Whilst Love Elimination wasn’t to my taste, there were many things in this book which I liked. Combining The Bachelor with a social media component and live evictions – I would watch that show. The overall reality TV vibe was perfect and I loved the behind the scenes gossip and producer intervention.
If you like easy to read fun romances combined with a reality TV guilty pleasure, look no further than Love Elimination. It’s entertaining but not a book to be taken to seriously.