• Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too
Love, Reality Style Book Cover Love, Reality Style
Judith Natelli McLaughlin
Chick Lit
Blue Moon Publishers
June 7, 2016
Kindle E-book

When cake-loving third-grade teacher Mary Grace Falcone receives a proposition of marriage from her germ-phobic boyfriend Ralph Ichy, her comfortable life is thrown into a tailspin. Should she marry Ralph? The man dubbed "the CEO of Antiseptic Hands"? Reluctantly, and despite the differing opinions of her best friends Jayde and Annie, Mary Grace accepts. Her decision gets her meddling mother off her back, but also lands her on a reality wedding show where handsome host, Nick Charmin, unexpectedly falls for her.

Will Mary Grace choose hot Nick or faithful Ralph? Is the decision really hers to make? And, is a slice of cake actually the answer to all of life's problems?

free copyReal Love: Not Always a Cakewalk

This story was as delicious as the cakes constantly baked up by main character Mary Grace Falcone. And although this is not the type of book I would normally pick up, it was delightfully sweet and light…much like a sponge cake! My one word of caution: you will crave cake, nachos, and margaritas upon completion of Love, Reality Style!

The book starts out with the rather awkward Ralph Ichy proposing to his girlfriend, Mary Grace. Rather than having the typical giddy reply of “yes!”, Mary Grace asks for time to think about the proposal. She is unsure if she loves Ralph enough (and it seems she questions whether he is exciting enough for her), to tie her life to his. Yet, she also acknowledges to herself that she is getting old, and he is the only one who has asked…which is further reinforced by her mother’s fear that her only child will die alone. This is not quite the romantic backstory that you would expect to find featured on a wedding reality show, but that is exactly where Mary Grace and Ralph end up. Hilarity and tragedy ensue as Mary Grace tries to juggle the shared attraction she feels towards the super hot host of the show, Nick Charmin, with her commitment to the always-reliable Ralph.

One of the things I liked most about this book was the cast of characters, whom although very different, were each an essential ingredient to it’s consume-ability. My personal favorite was Ralph, because he is a high school teacher like me…and I couldn’t help but take offense to his nickname of the CEO of Antiseptic Hands, because honestly, what high school teacher doesn’t have a passion for Purell and GermX?! Mary Grace on the other hand, was not quite a likeable…maybe because of her indecisiveness, and somewhat whiney disposition. However, since she is also a teacher, I gave her the benefit of the doubt! I also  appreciated her unwavering support of her best friends (great side plots involving Mexican food and margaritas!), and did root for her to wind up happy in the end. As for Nick, the “villain” of the story, he was the perfect blend of smooth and  despicable, as you might expect a man who always gets his way to be…one of the best villains I have read in a long time!

So do Mary Grace and Ralph make it happily down the aisle, or does Mary Grace ride off into the sunset with Nick, leaving Ralph and his bottle of Purell behind?  If you want to know the answer to that question, you’ll have to order a copy of Love, Reality Style, and find out for yourself! This is the perfect beach read, and I think most readers will enjoy this light hearted tale of just desserts!

If you want to order a copy of Love, Reality Style, click here.