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Tuesday, July 16, 2013


"Can reality TV handle a reluctant superhero bachelor, ten attention-seeking women, and one evil villain?

Dina Dell's career as a television producer has hit bottom. Desperate to save her job, she comes up with the idea for a reality show called I Want to Date a Superhero. But the only superhero bachelor she knows is the only man she's ever loved—Zane Blair.

Zane was once a normal human, but a traumatic childhood incident mutated him, along with Dina's sister and their friends. Dina was the only one who escaped without any superhero abilities. And while she might be the "normal" one, that only left her feeling like more of an outcast.

Her lack of powers put Zane in danger. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before someone used her to get to him, she left, breaking both their hearts in the process. After all the pain she caused him, will he be willing to help her now?

Then an old enemy emerges, putting Dina's plans on hold. When her superhero friends are the ones who need help, Dina just might learn that sometimes little Miss Average can be a hero too."

Content Warning: graphic sexual content / Note: This book was previously published under the title Reality Stinks, but it has been substantially revised and expanded.

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       When I started writing Reality Hero, I was having a hard time. Life was throwing me some serious curveballs and I was in a really dark place. I wrote this story to cheer myself up. I wrote this story before I was ever published just for me. I had no idea anyone else would ever read it, but I loved Dina and Zane and wanted to share them with readers.
       The idea for mixing superheroes and reality TV was one I had played with over the years in my daydreams. Times were hard and I wanted to find a story line to make myself smile this one kept teasing my muse until I was ready to sit down and try to do it justice. The humor is blended with a bit of darkness, which makes this my favorite book on my backlist.
       I had original placed this with my first publisher, but after the rights reverted to me in 2011, I reworked it and added to the story.  This is one of my longest works. I’m planning to write Ella’s story too. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Heat burned in Dina's cheeks. Zane had no idea just how much those old feelings still lived inside of her.

        She opened the door—this time he didn't get it for her—and ran up the stairs and into her building like the chicken she was. Her inner voice made clucking sounds the whole time she fled. Nothing terrified her quite like her longing for him. She wondered if he knew it and hoped he didn't.

        She'd never get any rest and she had a mountain of work so she sat down and started going over everything. There was a lot more to putting on good TV than just turning on a camera. The phone rang and she jumped. Her hand slapped around on top of the papers on the desk until she found her cellphone buried under them. Her eyes were so blurry that she didn't even bother to look at the caller ID.

        "Hello," Dina said.

        "I've never been ashamed of you until today. Dina, how could you? You know Zane would never let you down. You used his feelings to abuse his good heart. I'm so angry with you that I don't even know the right words to express it. If you needed something, why didn't you talk to me first? I would've helped you. We would've come up with something different."

        There was a pause. Dina didn't know what to say. It was a small relief when Ella continued.

        "He hates the media, and now he'll not only just be on your show, but the tabloids will eat him alive too. They'll do all they can to find out his secret identity. You know the lies those rags print. This will start a feeding frenzy."

        Dina knew she deserved the tongue lashing, so she said nothing. She had no defense, because her twin sister was right.

        "Call this off. Please, as my sister, do this for me and save the best man in the city from this horrible mistake. I know how you feel about him, and you know how I feel about him. We both know how he feels about you."

        There was another pause. Dina's throat closed. She knew, and it tore at her heart.

        "Are you still there?" Ella sounded annoyed.

        "Yes," Dina whispered brokenly.

        "When you left, you ripped out his guts. Don't destroy his life. He still loves you."

        "I know." That was what made asking him to be on the show so damn hard.

        "I don't know why you turned your back on us, but you owe him. We all do. He's the best of us. We've lost Aaron. Don't take Zane away too. If he's exposed, God only knows what will happen to him—us. Don't do this, Dina."

        She bit her lip. She wanted to tell her sister she'd come to her senses, but it was too late.

        "Ella, I'm so sorry. I hate myself, but it's too late. They're already airing the promos on the network, and the casting call went out. In the morning, I'm going to have dozens of women begging me to be on this show. Zane and I have been over for a very long time. We both know which one of us is in his life. You should be with him, not me. I'm his Achilles heel."

        "Being in his life isn't the same as being in his heart, sis. He's always loved you, and while we look alike, I'll never be you. He wants you."

I so wanted to like this! I was excited for all the fun Reality TV and Superheroes storyline promised! But I kept getting stuck on ALL the flashbacks… Wanna know a pet peeve of mine? Flashbacks. I hate them, well in most cases I hate them. They don’t usually feed the story and when there is more and more and more and more of them I just get frustrated and tend to chuck the book at other inanimate objects. Of course this was on my kindle, so, didn't wanna break anything.

I wanted to get lost in the romance of Dina and Zane, fall in love with them or in this case revel in the never ending love in some dramatic way and bask in the warm and fuzzy and the chemistry which obviously was there… but every time the flow got started someone had a long flashback memory to the golden age or the hell they had to go through as kids. There is only so many lines of italics I can take! Talk about killing the mood and the flow of the story. * goes to pout in the corner *

* returns, all calmed down * I could tell I would have loved this story, I would have loved the concept and the fun, and Dina and Zane as a couple trying not to show how much they still loved each other – I would have loved to have dove into the whole dating show reality-tv gist and Dina’s jealousy, I would have loved to have seen how Ian’s jealousy of Dina and Zane together worked out… I bet I would have LOVED this book if most of the flashback memories had been removed.

I have really loved Ashlynn Monroe’s writing and other books so I think by beef with this is just my pet peeve of flashbacks – hence the 3 star review, I’m giving stars for potential here and I bet not everyone is as anal as I am about memories so I don’t wanna go too low on my review.

Cute cover too!

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Ashlynn Monroe is a busy wife and mom. She enjoys writing about anything and everything paranormal or fantasy related.  She spends most of her time daydreaming up her next tale of romance.

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