Reality TV comes in all shapes, sizes and types, from the sensationalist attention grabbing headline variety to the ones with a genuine self-help ethic.
It was this which sparked the idea behind my contemporary romance novel The Love Programme.
What if someone who had never had the opportunity to date much, fall in love and discover all about themselves in the process ended up as part of a reality TV series about finding love…
In the novel Lucy has to get away from her home town for a while thanks to her ex-boyfriend and former childhood sweetheart Marcus abandoning Amelie, his bride to be, at the altar. The reason he walks out on his wedding? He says he’s still in love with Lucy, even after all this time!
Lucy feels stifled by Marcus and his reluctance to accept they don’t have a future together so she jumps at the chance to be a last minute replacement on a TV series called The Love Programme. Two weeks of luxury living on a grand country estate in the Highlands of Scotland – complete with castle and handsome laird – and the chance for some expert help and advice from the programme’s love psychologist Zelda. Maybe this will give Lucy the chance to finally discover who she is and what she wants from life, men and relationships.
In the book the reality TV series The Love Programme is based on contestants having one to one advice sessions with the TV psychologist and then going on tailor made dates with the programme’s ‘love interest’ Isaac. All designed to help each person learn about their dating likes and dislikes and get a picture of the right kind of man and relationship to suit them in the future.
This is Lucy’s chance to, for once, just be herself and not who Marcus, or anyone else for that matter, wants her to be. Unfortunately things are not as straight forward as Lucy hoped when she fails miserably at her first task – to complete a detailed profile questionnaire for Zelda the psychologist! Lucy simply doesn’t know the answers to all those thought provoking and soul searching questions!
The handsome laid and estate owner Paul – definitely not part of The Love Programme course and firmly off the agenda, or so the contestants are told – provides something of a welcome if confusing distraction for Lucy. He’s charming, friendly and good company but who is the mysterious Hannah who keeps being mentioned?
Working with Zelda and her programme date Isaac, Lucy starts trying to figure out her feelings about life, love and relationships but then she hears Marcus isn’t giving up just yet and is on his way to Scotland to find her and convince her to give him another chance.
It seems The Love Programme has its work cut out if it’s going to sort out Lucy’s life…
The Love Programme by Zanna Mackenzie is available in paperback and ebook formats via Amazon:
Lucy’s life is a mess. With her ex pursuing her across the country, she flees to Scotland and finds herself part of a reality TV show about love… will she find some answers or end up even more confused in matters of the heart?