Romance Tropetonite: Reality Romances

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Once upon a time I read a ton of YA. (Who I’m kidding; I still probably read a lot more than the average human.) One of the shows I was absolutely gaga over was The selection by Kiera Cass. Set in a dystopian future of the United States in which royalty is crowned but still television, a number of young women have been chosen to compete for the hand of the prince. It was The single person with the threat of revolution at its doorstep. Although I only saw a few episodes of the show itself, I was curious to see how it all would play out in the books. And since then, I’ve been sort of drawn to the fictional portrayals of this world, and others that relate to reality TV competitions. Above all if it is an adult genre romance.

Of course, these don’t all have to be Singlestyle competitions. Yes, it’s fun when the author plays with the trope, but there’s also something exciting about the other competitions on display. Whether it is a pastry show (there is so much of these recently!) (Now if only there were more singing contests and / or the Forged in fire romance of my dreams …)

Here are a few now and to come in the near future!

New and Upcoming Reality Romances

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Dev fell in love with the fairytale romances the reality show promised For all time since he was 10 years old. Now one of the producers of the series, he finds himself the manager of the prince of this season, Charlie. Charlie is… not the best prince they’ve ever had. He is clumsy and awkward, an external result of his internal problems when it comes to being around other people. Charlie suffers from anxiety and OCD, and Dev, who suffers from depression, is the only person on set who can help him get through it. And this understanding, this time they spend together, leads Charlie to better understand himself and how he loves.

cover of Sweet Heat by Zuri Day

Sweet warmth by Zuri Day

Naomi wants to quit her retail job. Marvin knows he’s better than the line cook job he feels stuck in. Both see the chance to take a new direction in their lives with the opportunity to be a finalist in a cooking competition in which the winner receives a cash prize to start a business food truck. When they meet in a foreplay queue by their similar last names, sparks fly – but other things could fly, too… at each other’s heads.

cover of If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

If the shoe fits you by Julie Murphy

The first book in Disney’s new multi-authored Hyperion series reimagining classic fairy tales as modern adult romances, If the shoe fits brings Cinderella into the world of competitive dating. Fresh out of design school, Cindy works for her mother-in-law on the set of Before midnight. When there is a sudden need for a replacement candidate, Cindy agrees to fill the position. (Plus, after looking at this blanket a million times, I just realized it holds up his shoe. Smart, smart.)

Mangoes and mistletoe

Mangoes and mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

Kiskeya and Sully both came to Scotland and the Holiday Baking Challenge with something to prove. They have different reasons for winning and different ideas of what will get them there, but they might understand each other better among everyone there. Not to mention the fact that they spend every hour waking up – and sleeping – together, since they ended up sharing a room… and a bed.

Love & Other Disasters cover from Anita Kelly

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly (January 18, 2022)

When London announces their pronouns on the nation’s most popular cooking competition show, they become the first non-binary contestant in the show’s history. They knew there would be hindsight, but they are here to prove that their dissidents are wrong, no matter what. What they weren’t expecting was the beautiful, vaguely awkward competitor who would strike London out of their feet.

The Love Con book cover by Seressia Glass

The Love Con by Seressia Glass

Kenya loves cosplay. So much so that she hopes to succeed by winning the reality show Cosplay or no way. When she needs to have a loved one for the final challenge, her best friend Cameron agrees to pretend for her potential victory. But when fake dates surface with real feelings, there’s more to it than the grand prize.

(PS if you like the cosplay item in this book, you should check Bedazzled by Ryan La Sala.)

battle royale cover

Battle Royale by Lucy Parker

Sylvie and Dominic have… a story. Once upon a time, she accidentally brained him with a unicorn cake when she appeared on the baking show where he was a judge. Now, the contestants in a different scene – right across from each other, in fact – have to overcome their differences when Sylvie is invited as a judge. beside Dominica. Oh, and they’re both in the running for the role of Wedding Cake Baker To Royalty, or at least an upcoming royal wedding.

Cover of the book D'Vaughn and Kris plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

D’Vaughn and Kris Throw a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

If D’Vaughn and Kris win Instant i do, they can win $ 100,000. All they have to do is plan a wedding in six weeks and beat all of their competition. Oh, and get everyone to believe their relationship is real. Because it is not. At least when they start. But in the process of faking the onscreen chemistry, there’s a possibility that there is some real chemistry there as well. Whoops.

cover of Desire and the Deep Blue Sea by Olivia Dade

Olivia Dade’s Desire and the Deep Blue Sea

Suddenly single Callie needs a “partner” to appear in an episode of Island Match. Thomas, who has been basically in love with her since she started working with him at the library, is more than happy to replace him. He has no idea Callie finds him irritating and frustrating, no matter how handsome or sweet she finds him. . An exotic getaway is the perfect way for both of them to let go of their feelings… and, hopefully, make the filming of the episode a success.

(And when you’re done and want more, there’s a companion book, Little house, big love.)

Nicole Falls Sugar Butter Flour Love cover

Sugar Butter Flour Love by Nicole Falls

Former high school enemies Travis and Isobel are sure they’ll never have to see each other again… until Isobel is selected to appear on the next season of a popular competitive show and she is struck. with a new twist: each contestant will be paired with a celebrity from their hometown. And it’s just her luck that Travis, a former professional soccer player, is the one they paired up with her. But with Isobel determined to save her family bakery and Travis in need of a large donation for his foundation, the couple suck and treat. And realize that they are surprisingly good at working together.

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake blanket by Alexis Hall

Rosaline Palmer takes the cake by Alexis Hall

Single mom Rosaline wants to give her daughter the life she deserves, so when the chance to be on a beloved baking show comes along, she can’t say no. But the heat doesn’t just come from the ovens – there’s also the charismatic Alain and the sweet Henry cinnamon bun.

Jackie Lau Donut Fall in Love cover

Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau

While the reality TV element of it is more peripheral, it should still be on your radar for reality TV romances. After the sudden death of his mother, actor Ryan takes a much-needed leave at his home in Toronto. When asked to appear on a celebrity edition of a popular baking show, he approaches Lindsay, whose … mishap he had a few days before, to teach him how to cook. What about their pastry lessons? There’s more heat in there than those cakes and cookies.

Lily Seabrooke's Fake It cover

Fake It by Lily Seabrooke

When restaurateur Avery falls on Celebrity Chef Holly’s radar for speaking out on the guy trying to take Holly’s job, she can’t help but check her (and her food) on. Noting the possibility of the restaurant going bankrupt, Holly adds Avery and Paramour to the list of restaurants she visits on her kitchen rescue show … and thanks to her agent, everyone thinks she and Avery are dating too. .

Jamie Wesley's Fake It Till You Bake It cover

Jamie Wesley’s Fake It Till You Bake It (June 21, 2022)

What happens after the reality competition is over and everyone goes home? In Jada’s case, she’s marketed as the villain on a Single-style show and must know where to go from there. When circumstances lead her to work in the bakery run by a professional football player, she might have the opportunity to change her image. It’s just a matter of pretending to be in love with said soccer player. Not big.


I hope this trend continues forever, because I love these reality TV romances. The feeling of competition, the chemistry, the urgency. Not to mention the artistic process (and all the food, of course!)

And i’m serious about it Forged in fire romance.


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