Erin's Reviews > Count Down to Love

Count Down to Love by Julie N. Ford
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Jun 22, 11

Read from June 20 to 22, 2011

What is a girl to do when she's left:
1) Waiting at the alter for a fiance who never shows & doesn't call
2) Holding the bill for the fancy wedding she didn't want in the first place
3) Homeless because her fiance didn't make the payments on their condo

After finding herself in that exact predicament, Kelly Grace Pickens reluctantly agrees to join the cast of a reality love show, similar to "The Bachelor", which is scheduled to start filming that week. Is Kelly looking for love so soon? Goodness gracious no! When Kelly is approached, or rather bombarded, with the offer to join the "Count Down to Love" cast of contestants by her cousin (and one of the show's producers), her main motivation for accepting is the money the show will guarantee her, regardless of the length of her stay. Sissy promises Kelly that she'll only have to face the dreaded TV cameras one night and she'll arrange for Dillon, the bachelor, to send her home. Sounds good... in theory...

When Kelly meets Dillon on the balcony of the house during the meet and greet, they exchange pleasantries and moments later, she finds herself accepting a rose from Dillon - sealing her fate to stay one more day. Her one night on the show turns into weeks as she accepts rose after rose, and she ultimately finds herself being one of the three finalists.

Being on the show opens Kelly's eyes and reveals that things, people included, are not always as they seem. Her co-contestants are not the glamorous women she thought were when she first saw them. Her bachelor is not the rich, arrogant Yankee she expected. Her fiance is not the tender loving, supportive, and devoted man she always thought she had. Most of all, however, she learns that she's not the quiet little southern girl she thought she was - she learns that she's brave, adventurous, and she's definitely worth of being loved and being happy.

What can I say? Count Down to Love was a cute and quick story. My heart went out to Kelly on her wedding day, BUT I can't say that I would anxiously await Trevor's (fiance) return as she was... Kelly never quite gave up waiting for him and in that aspect, I think she retained her naivete and almost had her crossing over to the "dark side" in my book. To have her continuously pine over someone that everyone but Kelly could see right through was, at times, frustrating.

So, to break down the book:
1) Story line = 4 out of 5 stars... I thought the reality show theme was cute and offered a lot of options and twists
2) Main characters = 3.5 out of 5 stars... I like Kelly, but her endless pining over Trevor drove me a bit batty. I adored Dillon. His character held a playful yet endearing nature and he was written as honest or sincere as could be.
3) Secondary characters = 2.5 out of 5 stars... I know the premiss of the book was about a reality love show, but quite a few of the contestants still grated on my nerves - they were just so catty and manipulative, which is probably what Ms. Ford was going for.
4) Twists and turns = 3 out of 5 stars... Though much of the story was predictable to an extent, Ms. Ford threw in quite a few clever activities and confrontations.
5) The ending = 4 out of 5 stars... I was very glad to see Kelly find herself and have some time between the show and finding her true love versus having everything rushed and the ending thrown at the reader just to appease the masses demanding a happy ending.

Overall an enjoyable read - thank you Ms. Ford!
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