by Leslie Carroll

January 2003
ISBN: 0-8041-2000-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

Reality Check is another declaration of love to New York, a city that proves to be the perfect setting for Leslie Carroll’s clever and sexy romantic comedies.

Liz Pemberley and her roommates audition for a new reality show, they are chosen to participate and now have to reveal their worst dating disasters to a live audience, with the rest of America watching and listening. Hosting the show is none other than Rick Byron, hunky Hollywood actor and bad date experience for Kitty Lamb in Leslie Carroll’s wonderful debut novel, Miss Match.

Not only does Liz have to deal with her increasingly competitive friends, but also with her prohibited attraction to fellow contestant, intelligent and sexy restaurant owner, Jack Rafferty. Jack, who turns out to be irresistible with his smooth talking, his dark looks and his cooking talent.

So what is more important to Liz, a hot affair with a man that is worthy of her love, or to walk away as the show’s winner with a cash prize that will allow her to start her own advertising agency? How she decides and how Jack, who is a perfect hero with perfect manners, tries his best to keep his one perfect date, is fun to follow in this very witty, extremely sexy and oh soooo romantic comedy.

Written in short chapters, which come across staged like scenes of a movie, Reality Check is very well paced and moves along smoothly. Ms Carroll’s alternative jobs as actress and scriptwriter are obvious in the wonderful dialogues, to-the-point character descriptions and the short but poignant scenes.

With an excellent supporting cast and a story that kept me riveted until the very last page, it was impossible to put down Reality Check until I was assured of all the protagonists’ well deserved happy endings. It will be sad to lose Leslie Carroll to Avon Trade Paperbacks and away from the romantic comedies I like her for, but I’m sure that love and laughter will always be part of her stories no matter who she will write for. I enjoy her writing voice enough – and I’m positive others do too - to keep on reading any of her stories for any of her publishers.

Reviewed in December 2002 by Kris Alice.

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