Authors Showcase: Love in Reality by Magdalen Braden

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The Book: Love in Reality

The Author: Magdalen Braden

The Story: Never has the Philadelphia legal community generated so much passion — it has to be the fictional world of former lawyer Magdalen Braden, who introduces us to The Blackjack Quartet with the story of a law student who discovers Love in Reality 

TV producer Rand Jennings isn’t looking for love — he’s looking for a flirty female contestant for his reality show, The Fishbowl. Pretty bartender Lissa Pembroke is bright, outgoing, and the perfect “Fish” to play the part. Although sparks fly between them when Rand approaches her with the role, she wants nothing to do with him or his show …

Law student Libby Pembroke is too busy with school and work to have time for love — or reality TV. She’s temporarily switched places with her identical twin sister Lissa, balancing Lissa’s job with her own studies and preparing for a summer internship. So while the handsome and charming Fishbowl producer knocks Libby off her feet, there’s no way she’s going on national TV, and acting like, well, her sister.

The irresistible chemistry between Libby and Rand can’t be ignored, however, and soon Libby discovers that pretending to be Lissa gives her a freedom she’s never known before. She goes on the show to be close to Rand, even though Rand still thinks she’s the “flirty” twin.

When Libby decides to reveal the truth, will Rand forgive her deceptions? Or will exposing her secrets — and her heart — ruin everything?

About Magdalen Braden:

Magdalen Braden
Magdalen Braden

After pairing up lawyers romantically in her head for fifteen years, Magdalen Braden traded in her job as an attorney to set her inner matchmaker free. Today she draws on her past adventures in a Philadelphia law office to write her sexy contemporary romance series, The Blackjack Quartet.

Blackjack & Moonlight, the third installment in the series, was a finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest in 2012. All four books contain love, romance, and a solid dose of legal humor.

Magdalen connects with readers at her local satellite of the Lady Jane’s Salon® reading series, and with fellow writers at her Romance Writers of America® chapter.

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her crossword-loving husband, their Rhody-mix dog, and two omnipresent cats in the Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Review by Katie Babs:

Love in Reality is the first book in Magdalen Braden’s Blackjack Quartet series I had a blast reading. Since I work in the entertainment industry, and once was a big reality show junkie, Love in Reality was a great fun time read. The writing is very crisp here and the chemistry between the main couple works well. The hero, TV producer, Rand grabs you right from the start when he envisions ways of bumping off his boss who drives him crazy.

Rand’s father is a big television producer and Rand wants to make it in the entertainment industry on his own and not because of nepotism. Rand is in the middle of writing a screenplay he hopes to sell and make into a movie, but something holds him back. Until he can strike out on his own, he continues working on the reality show, The Fishbowl that’s very reminisce of CBS’s Big Brother.

Rand’s boss, the wack-a-doo Marcy expects him to find colorful characters to be on the show to increase ratings. Rand hates this part of his job, but to stick it to Marcy, he’ll find smart and intelligent people to play the roles Marcy and the viewing audience think these reality stars embody. That’s when he meets Alaskan bartender, Lissa, who will fit the ditz role perfectly. But his attraction to Lissa does a number on him.

Libby is filling in for her twin sister Lissa who is off spending time with her boyfriend. Libby is a law student in Philadelphia who hopes to have a big summer internship at a law practice in time for when Lissa returns to her job. Libby is quite the actress because everyone around her is fooled, even Rand. Months ago Lissa sent in an audition tape for The Fishbowl and Rand wants Lissa (he actually wants Libby) to be on the show.

When Libby’s internship dries up, she decides to go on The Fishbowl for fun. But there are some surprises in store because Libby actually has a good chance in winning and her attraction to Rand blows up where both can’t stay away from one another. Rand breaks the rules to be with Libby and soon they’re having a top secret fling (how they get away with this is quite inventive). But Libby feels guilty because Rand thinks she’s Lissa. How can she come clean without Rand feeling betrayed? And do they even have a future together after the show ends?

Love in Reality was a cute read. The whole reality show environment, combined with the lawyer aspect works well here. Libby and Rand are wonderful together, including those scenes where they act on their passion. I also enjoyed the mentions of classic films from Rand. It seems Magdalen has done her research here not only with how television and Hollywood runs, but also the whole law school student scenario.

Love in Reality was well written with snappy dialogue and believable chemistry between the hero and heroine.

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