BOOK CLUB: Here for the Right Reasons

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Here for the Right Reasons by Australian author Jodi McAlister is a delightful and funny
romance fiction.

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.

here for the right reasons

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.

ISBN: 9781761104961
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.

5 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Here for the Right Reasons

  1. Here For The Right Reasons by Jodi McAlister was a fun take on reality TV show, Marry Me, Juliet. Cece drunk-applied with her friends and isn’t really a ‘Juliet’ who’s there to find true love. Neither is the ‘Romeo’, Dylan. The behind-the-scenes stuff is hilarious, especially the very grumpy Murray, one of the producers. He gets more and more desperate and sleep-deprived as he tries to ‘control’ the Juliets and the show story-line. ‘Juliet’ Lily in particular is chaotically bad-girl every time she opens her mouth. There’s some great twists, so you genuinely wonder where the story’s going and how it can possibly end romantically. Enjoy!

  2. I really enjoyed ‘Here for the right reasons’ a light-hearted romantic story that had me sucked in from the start.
    Cece and Dylan are lovable and relatable characters, that have you liking them from the start and hoping it all works out for them.
    The pandemic lockdown adds another element to the book and is something we can all relate to!
    Thanks Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster for the chance to read and review Here for the right reasons

  3. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster I was lucky enough to review “Here for the Right Reasons” by Jodi McAlister.

    Cece James, grew up in numerous foster homes and is tough a steel on the outside. Currently already in debt, has lost her job due to the pandemic and not sure how she will even be able to pay her next rent payment, let alone then worrying what happens if her roommates and best friends Ayo and Flick then lose their jobs to, where will they live, where will they find the money.

    After a night of drinking, Cece and her two best friends decide to apply for the next season of Marry Me Juliet, only Cece was the only one who actually submitted her application. She only wanted to go on the show to make money and keep her a float in such stressful times.

    To Cece’s shock she gets accepted to be a Juliet on the new season, she dreams of making it through to the top few and dollars signs flash in her eyes, that all crashes down when she gets evicted on night one… and passes out. Dylan who is Romeo in the show, comes to her rescue.

    Cece then finds out stage 4 restrictions are now in place and she is made to stay on the same property as the other contestants for the next 6 weeks until the end on the season. At first she is not happy about this until she works out a plan with Dylan and they start a new idea for the show of the two of them being “best friends” and have a friends chat segment on the show, even better she continues to get paid for being there and doing these segments, after all this is why she applied for the show….to get money.

    As time goes on Cece developments feelings for Dylan, she needs to remember the reasons why she started this, why she wanted to be a Juliet and how she needs the money. She could be the next lead of Wherefore Art Thou Romeo or Juliet on the Beach, that would set her up for life money wise. She also knows Dylan has other ladies still in the competition, competing for his heart. He will need to end up with one of the “Juliets”, Cece has no chance for his heart …or does she.

    Great little love story and I couldn’t put this book down as I needed to know what the outcome of this storyline was.

  4. If you are looking for a great holiday read I recommend Jodi McAlister’s – ‘Here for the Right Reasons’. For lovers of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette it will be a must read as the main character Cece James agrees to be a ‘Juliet’ on the new season of Marry Me, Juliet.

    Lockdown is hitting CeCe hard and she is struggling with losing her job so in a burst of drunken inspiration her and her friends apply to be a ‘Juliet’ . It may just end up that only Cece hit the apply button and before she knows it, is swept up into the dating show. For her it is all about the pay check and staying as long as she can for the money and instafame it might bring her as a means of surviving lockdown.

    Dylan the cast Romeo is also not there for the right reasons, he is shy and an ex Olympic gold medalist prone to panic attacks but needs publicity for his charity.

    Will Cece make an impression, and how long will she last in a world so unlike her? Will Dylan be able to see the dating show through and pick a Juliet without his anxiety getting the better of him?

    This novel was Jodi’s debut in the rom com for adults genre and I really enjoyed it, there was humour but it also was sensitive at times eg talking about Dylan’s panic attacks. I liked that the dating show included the impact of lockdowns also, as that has been our life for the last few years. I liked the characters and storyline and it was an easy read and like I said above I can see people enjoying it while on holidays – it gives off that reading by the beach/pool with a cocktail vibe.

    Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Beauty and Lace for the chance to read ‘Here for the Right Reasons’, I am looking forward to the next instalment ‘Can I steal you for a Second’ which will be based on two of the characters from the book.

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