Confessions of a Reality Show Junkie by Cheri Allan

Confessions of a Reality Show Junkie


I am addicted to reality dating shows. I freely admit this. The cheesier, the more dramatic, the more over-the-top, the better. I’m sure I’m rotting my brain, and yet, like an accident scene unfolding before me, I CANNOT LOOK AWAY. I love to watch how people behave (and misbehave!) and analyze and dissect their behavior and body language.  It’s people-watching on steroids, and we writers eat this stuff up like an all-you-can-eat cheesecake buffet. (Oh, if only there were such a thing!)

It’s research I tell my husband. (As are all those half-naked pictures of men I view on Facebook. ) But this, as we both know, is pure cow-patty. I watch, because I long to see that one, rare couple that¾despite the unlikelihood of finding one’s soul-mate on a reality dating show¾ bucks the odds.

And I’ve watched them all: The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, Temptation Island, For Love or Money, Ready for Love, The Millionaire Matchmaker, Love in the Wild… you get the idea.  I’ve seen ugly crying, inappropriate groping, and cringe-worthy kisses, and I adore every single salacious minute of it. The knowledge that it could all go horribly, tragically, humiliatingly wrong only makes me watch more. Because, whether these folks are seeking fame, revenge on their ex, or their one true love, they’re bumbling through it all like the rest of us—but in front of millions of viewers.

Now, I think about this fact and it does not escape me that it takes a certain amount of chutzpah (or narcissism) to expose one’s bikini-ready body and bumbling courtships to the general public. I would rather eat nothing but broccoli for a year than date on national TV. Can you imagine?  Considering it wasn’t easy for me to reveal to my (then) boyfriend that I was in love with him (I expressed myself so eloquently, he thought I was breaking up with him. True story.) I have a great deal of respect for those willing and able to bare themselves emotionally for my viewing pleasure.

These people are risk-takers in the name of love, and I applaud their bravery. As gut-wrenching and awkward as baring your soul and facing your fears can be, it can also be transforming. In every one of my Betting on Romance novels, my characters are forced to take risks for love. Whether it’s starting over after a failed marriage (Luck of the Draw, Aug. 2014), reconnecting with a high school crush (Stacking the Deck, Oct. 2014), or going on national TV to find a wife (All or Nothing, Apr. 2015) these experiences are scary but life-changing.

Like the contestants on TV, my characters step out of their comfort zones. And, there’s that part of us (not the ‘better him than me’ ugly side of us, but the ‘there by the grace of God go I’ part) that cheers for these characters taking risks we wish we had the guts to take. They’re living life¾and it’s messy and drama-filled and ugly as tear-streaked mascara. It’s relatable.

And wonderfully, imperfectly, beautifully human.

When I watch these men and women expose it all in the name of love… When I watch them speak without thinking and open themselves to public embarrassment, and when¾on those wonderful, rare occasions¾the train-wreck the naysayers are all waiting for doesn’t come to pass… I say to myself, “Ha! Happily-ever-afters DO exist!”

Then I kiss my hubby and thank him for listening through my own drama-filled cry-fest long enough to hear what my heart was telling him all those years ago.

onfession time! Who else is a reality show junkie? What do you watch? Why?

 (Commenters will automatically be entered into a drawing for a free ‘Betting on Romance’ ebook of their choosing. Drawing to be held March 30th. No purchase necessary. Please check back here for the winner!)



(A Betting on Romance Novel, Book 1)

“I don’t mind you standing there,” he added as he pushed aside the curtain and stepped from the tub, scrubbing his hair with the towel. “But you are somewhat to blame for this.”

“I am?” she squeaked. Heavens, he was good-looking all wet and frumpled. His water-soaked T-shirt was plastered to his chest. Kate’s tongue became the Sahara.

“Mmm hmm,” he nodded. Now he was finger-combing his hair, a crooked grin making his face boyishly appealing as he dropped the towel on his toolbox. “I was thinking about you, you see—”

“You were?” Kate backed up against the sink, the small bathroom feeling suddenly much smaller. Dangerously small. As small as the pocket in her lungs still capable of holding air. “What were you thinking?”

He paused, his eyes dancing. “I’m thinking I ought to keep that to myself.”


“I don’t think we know each other well enough for me to tell you that.”

Suddenly the flannel of her robe felt very hot on her skin. Kate sucked air through her nose and stared at his lips, that crooked smile teasing her, beckoning her.

“I want to know,” she said, her voice barely a whisper…

cheriallan+author+pic AUTHOR BIO 

Cheri Allan writes humorous, hopeful contemporary romances. She lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, two dogs, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.

Cheri loves to hear from readers! E-mail her at, like her at, friend her at, find her on twitter at @CheriAllan or visit her website and blog at


LUCK OF THE DRAW (Book #1) Amazon 1-click:

STACKING THE DECK (Book #2) Amazon 1-click:

ALL OR NOTHING (Book #3) coming April 2015!

All titles also available in print:

10 thoughts on “Confessions of a Reality Show Junkie by Cheri Allan

  1. Thank you, so much, Cynthia, for having me today! (And can I just say that Cynthia is–like so many good Western heroes–quick on the draw? She swept in like the talented gal she is and made me look good when my, er, slip was showing. So, thank you, Cindy!)

  2. Great post, Cheri. I’m not big into the reality dating shows, but we all have our vices, don’t we? Here’s to good sales for your books. I have the first two on my Kindle waiting to be read.

  3. Love the excerpt, Cheri! Does ‘The Voice’ count as reality TV? I love the music and the positive energy and the banter between the coaches – I haven’t watched any of the dating shows!

  4. I don’t get to watch much television, but I do watch some shows in reruns. I love the shows like Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU. For some reason, watching the people who are trying to solve the murders and knowing the why someone does it… It’s pleasure to me.

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