I recently got a copy of Danica Sheard’s first novella, Love Game, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
On a small island in French Polynesia called Huahine, a televised reality romance competition is on it’s last day of filming. Avery chooses one woman to be his wife while breaking the heart of the other contestant. As plans to fly home are interrupted by a natural disaster, the production’s cast and crew are forced to seek refuge on the island until danger passes. For better or for worse, did he make the right choice?
The story felt exactly like the ABC reality show The Bachelor without being a repeat of past drama. Surprisingly, Sheard had only seen two episodes of the hit show before writing this story, yet it all comes together so naturally. All the components viewers will recognize from the show with a fun behind-the-scenes vibe. Although there are a few flashbacks to first dates and embarrassingly cute first impressions, most of the action takes place after the filming of the show has ended and everyone is stuck together during the storm. Not only does Avery rethink his decision to choose Alexis over Madison, but a new man is at the resort to steal away Madison’s heart.
The way the story flows from scene to scene shows a level of experience that comes with years of writing. Madison felt like a real woman going through heartbreak, rather than a character in a story, and I felt caught in the same trap that she was when Avery and Dylan were pursuing her. Second chances or new beginnings? It’s just so hard to decide, but I loved every minute of it.
My only possible gripe about Love Game was the ease in which I found myself predicting certain aspects of the story, especially the surprise ending. Don’t get me wrong… It was an awesome story and I shouldn’t expect surprise twists from this genre, but perhaps a surprise twist would be nice without all the extra foreshadowing. What I did like was that none of the surprises went against the make-up of the characters we’d been introduced to though, so I guess I need to pick my battles.
Love Game has all the makings of a classic summer beach read. Romance, disaster, two attractive men, and a strong, powerful female lead. I already can’t wait for the second story in the series!
I guess the only question is are you Team Avery or Team Dylan?