Here for the Right Reasons by Australian author Jodi McAlister is a delightful and funny
Cece James, 26 grew up in the foster care system, she had worked hard all her life to achieve
success and was studying for her master’s in criminology.
When the pandemic hits, she loses her part-time job and needs to find a way to make ends meet.
One night watching the final of “Marry Me, Juliet” with her friends Flick and Ayo, and having too
much to drink she thinks this would be a quick fix to her financial problems and enters to be cast
as one of the “Juliet” on the next season.
To her surprise, she gets a phone call to be on the show.
Dylan Jayasinghe Mellor, an Olympic gold medallist has been cast as Romeo. He is a spokesperson for a men’s mental health foundation and feels this would be a great chance to plug the foundation and be a positive portrayal of minority male leads.
CeCe and Dylan did not join the show for the right reasons. CeCe was there for the money hoping to be paid well and after the show maybe she could earn extra from Instagram. Sri Lankan Dylan with an anxiety disorder has something to prove.
The first night CeCe is nervous and not a natural on camera, she forgets to tell Dylan her name. She nearly goes headfirst into the ground, and at the end of the night, she is eliminated. Due to the pandemic, the set goes into lockdown, and no one is allowed to leave.
Eliminated contestants are sent to live in a separate house nicknamed the nunnery. This was perfect for CeCe who could still remain on set, she forms a friendship with Dylan, and together they orchestrate a plan with the producers in agreeance.
The drama factor is high, especially since it’s likely the producers have selected people who will create or add to the suspense and drama, all with mixed personalities and agendas. The characters are well defined to really draw you into the picture and come alive through their interactions and dialogue.
I was hooked from the beginning. Cece was easy to befriend, I love it when characters are well-developed in a romance piece and Jodi McAlister has done a great job in this area.
Her characters are interesting and flawed, and it was entertaining to see key characters struggle with their emotions, family drama, and their past. The issues of race and mental health are woven into the plot and handled with great care.
A delightful romance with plenty of twists and turns, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the popular genre of matchmaking television programming. Anyone that loves dating shows will love this book.
I highly recommend Here for the Right Reasons; it has enough depth to be more than just another fluffy romance.
Thank you, Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster Australia for the opportunity to read and review.
Copy courtesy of publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Here for the Right Reasons by Jodi McAlister. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.