Ally Parker finds herself a reluctant participant on the new reality TV show, Queen of Hearts when one of the high-profile Queens drops out at the last minute. Seeing as her cousin Connie is the director and her other cousin Pam is set to be one of the four Queens, she agrees to be a fill-in so that the show can go on. Connie has promised her that she will manipulate the votes so that Ally is the first Queen to be eliminated.
Erin Bogner isn’t looking for love, especially not on a reality TV show. Pam Parker, her boss, has convinced her to become one of the thirty women looking to snag themselves the Queen of Hearts. Pam is very competitive, and she wants to use Erin as her undercover spy. Erin is as eager to get eliminated from the show as Ally.
Once the show begins, everything changes. Not only do some of the contestants find Ally of interest, but Ally meets one contestant who awakens her heart from its long hibernation. Erin soon realizes that she may not be able to stick to Pam’s game plan.
What happens when the game they’re all playing becomes real?
Ally Parker is a down to earth helicopter pilot who is used to playing second fiddle to her cousin, Pam. Ally doesn’t have the runway model looks or a flashy job, so she’s resigned herself to the idea that she’s the family’s consolation prize. I’ve always been partial to characters who aren’t aware of their own incredible merits. For Ally, her actions speak louder than words. I liked how she treated all of the women participating in the reality TV show as more than just eye candy and made a point of getting to know a little about each contestant. She has a generous nature with everyone she comes into contact with. Her overwhelming attraction to Erin and her belief that Erin is out of her league makes Ally especially relatable. It was fun watching her realize how much she has to offer a woman and I became completely invested in Ally’s determination to put aside her old beliefs.
Erin is an interesting character. She is at a place in her life where the idea of finding Ms. Right is something that she sees happening well in the future, but certainly not now when her life revolves around her job as Pam’s personal assistant. She is stunned when she finds herself falling for Ally, the unassuming cousin she has heard about from Pam’s childhood stories. After insulting Ally, she immediately regrets it. Watching Erin struggle to come up with a way to make things right between her and Ally kept me invested in the story and quietly cheering for them.
The Writing Style
The story is told in the third person from both Ally and Erin’s point of view. I was surprised by this at first because it is Ally and Pam who are vying for the title of Queen of Hearts. Once it became apparent that Erin was going to be more than just Pam’s spy, I was glad to have some insight into Erin’s confusion over her feelings for Ally and what she was going to do about them.
I was impressed with how Wright was able to give such a large cast of characters their own distinctive personalities and prevent so many female characters from blending together. This is a robust cast of side characters who bring humor and drama to the story.
If you are a fan of reality TV, then this is going to be a treat for you. I was fascinated to read about everything that goes on behind the scenes and I felt vindicated when I learned that they are more scripted and controlled than what they lead you to believe. (I knew it!)
I know that being a helicopter pilot is one of Ally’s defining characteristics, but I would have preferred to spend a little less time in the air and more time focused on the relationship between Ally and Erin and the TV show.
Queen of Hearts is an entertaining romance. It was such a quick read for me because the scenario is so appealing. A reality TV show full of interesting and beautiful lesbians looking to find true love is something that I would clear my schedule for. This book is a lovely break from the daily grind and if you’re looking for something light and fun, check it out.
Excerpt from Queen of Hearts by Sheryl Wright
Then there was the cousin, Ally. That had been her first one-on-one, and she had been so nervous, her legs shaking as she made her entry walk for the camera. Thankfully, Ally was more down-to-earth. While Erin had worked for Pam for more than five years, she only knew Allyson Parker by reputation, hearing many of Pam’s stories of their teenage adventures. Of course, Pam was always the hero of those stories and Ally the voice of reason. Today she had been a gentlewoman, giving Erin her personal space, asking her more about herself than the others had. For their two minutes, she had concentrated on Erin and her only.
Ally’s face had lit up when Erin explained she was from Wisconsin. “Wisconsin’s amazing! I used to go to Oshkosh every year for the EAA Air Show.”
“Really? I grew up not too far from there. My hometown is small. It’s a good thirty miles east. And right on Lake Michigan.”
“Let me guess, Sheboygan?”
More than surprised, Erin couldn’t keep the shock from her voice. “No, but you’re so close. I’m from Manitowoc.”
“It’s great growing up on the Great Lakes. Isn’t it?”
“I would have disagreed until I went to college. After four years in Minneapolis, I knew I had to live and work somewhere closer to Lake Michigan, I missed it that much.”
“Cut!” Connie called. “Great work Erin. Okay, let’s keep it moving, folks.”
As one of the costumed production assistants scooted her back to the ballroom, Erin chanced a look back. Ally was smiling and gave a friendly wave.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781642470198
- Publisher: Bella Books
Sheryl Wright Online
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