Spotlight: Beyond Reality Series 2 – Flaming Hearts by Susan Stoker
Becky and her mom used to watch reality shows together all the time. Her mom passed away before she could see Becky on her very own show…except it’s not her own show. She has to share the limelight with another woman. They’re both competing for the love and attention of the same men. It was like no show Becky had ever seen… and she was miserable. The best thing about the show was trying to irritate the other woman by choosing activities Becky knew she’d hate. Becky had no idea she’d meet a wonderful, protective man while on the show, unfortunately he wasn’t a contestant.
Dean always knew he’d find the one woman meant for him, but he had no idea he’d find her competing on a reality show. He’d have to find a way to make sure she didn’t choose any of the prospects on the show, but would decide to be with him instead. Luckily his brother was a cameraman; it was just the key to get to spend time with Becky, as long as the Director didn’t catch wind of their plans.
Becky can’t believe Dean would be interested in her; after all, she isn’t anything special. For some reason he keeps coming back to see her and wants to talk to her every night on the phone. Their relationship becomes more solid just as Becky’s time on the show becomes more tense. She’s ready to call it quits, but she has a contract.
Dean and Becky are counting the days until the reality show is over and they can spend time together openly when Dean gets called away on a job. When an incident on the show threatens her safety and Dean isn’t around for her to turn to, Becky isn’t sure their relationship can survive. Becky has to figure out a way to trust Dean to help her, and Dean will do whatever it takes for Becky to realize she’s his…forever.
Becky didn’t like Marissa all that much, but she couldn’t help but be impressed with her memory of all the men’s names.
Becky didn’t want to make someone go home solely based on what they looked like, as that wasn’t the type of person she was, but Marissa seemed to know who she wanted, and since none of the men really stood out in her eyes, she’d agree, but with conditions.
“You know you just chose eleven guys to stay when really you only get to choose seven, right?” She waited for Marissa to nod and then continued. “But since I don’t know any of them that well, I’ll let you have more than your fair share this time. But if in the future I want to negotiate, you’ll let me.”
Happy that she’d gotten her way Marissa beamed at Becky and agreed. They walked back out into the main room to let the men know who would stay and who would go.
Robert lined all the men up in the typical way these things were done on reality shows, into two lines with nine men in each line. They had a platform set up so the men in back were standing taller than the men in front. Becky and Marissa stood across from the men with Robert in between them.
“Welcome to Arizona Reality!” Robert boomed, arms spread wide. Becky inwardly cringed. Who the hell came up with the names of these shows? It sounded like they were selling a house or something.
Robert continued dramatically, “Hopefully you had a good time tonight getting to know each other. Becky, Marissa, you will each get the chance to have seven men stay to compete for your affections. Unfortunately, four of you men will be leaving tonight. Marissa, we’ll start with you. Who do you want to stay tonight and get to know you better?”
Marissa, in her glory, beamed and dramatically stepped forward to give her speech. “I had such a good time tonight,” she gushed, “I’m so happy to meet all of you. This is such a hard decision! If it was up to me I’d have all of you stay so I could get to know you better, but unfortunately that’s impossible.” Marissa pouted prettily. She named seven of the men she wanted to stay, pausing dramatically between each name.
When it was Becky’s turn she felt her stomach turn. There were eleven men looking intensely at her. She really didn’t want to have to disappoint any of them. She tried hard to remember who the men were that Becky wanted to keep and didn’t mention. It was easier to remember the names of the men who weren’t staying.
“Uh, Like Marissa said this choice was really hard. I enjoyed meeting all of you and I wasn’t sure how to decide who I wanted to stay and who I wanted to go as I don’t really know any of you.” Seeing the impatient looks on the remaining men’s faces she decided to hurry and get this over with. This part of the show definitely sucked. She didn’t like it when people were mad at her, and she was definitely going to make four of these men unhappy. Becky turned toward the men and rushed through the seven names, hoping she had them right, but knowing even if she didn’t, it wouldn’t make much difference to her. Marissa might care, but she didn’t. “John, Conner, Dexter, Joel, James, Patrick and Samuel.”
Becky and Marissa both jumped as Robert boomed as soon as Becky finished saying Samuel’s name. “The choice has been made!”
“What the hell?” Becky heard Carter say unbelievably. “This show sucks.” He snarled the words and stepped off the platform toward the front door of the huge house. He wrenched the door open and actually slammed it behind him like he was three years old.
Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She is quite the romantic and even met the love of her life on “Hotmail classified” before online dating and sites like match.com even existed!
Susan has been reading romance novels since middle school and once crossed out the names of the main characters in a book and changed them to her own and to the name of her crush. She’s been writing scenes for years, developing her unique writing style.
Susan loves writing but her true passion is adopting dogs from rescue groups and shelters. Susan and her husband have had a total of nine “rescued” dogs since 2000 including a variety of basset hounds and bloodhounds. She has recently branched out and adopted a basset/terrier mix who acts more like a terrier than a basset (i.e. digging, eating a couch and being hyper). If you love romance and want to help her support adopting great dogs, be sure to check out her work listed below.
The first series, Beyond Reality, is a trilogy, with all three books in the series having Happily Ever After endings with no cliffhangers.