Eons from now, when students are studying the culture of 21st Century America, and they get to the chapter in their history books titled “Reality TV”, they’ll either laugh at its provincial nature or be appalled by its Roman Forum type antics; I’m not sure which, it may be a tossup.

As it stands now, reality TV has yet to feed any infidels to the lions but we’re getting close. And after watching only 20 minutes of NBC’s new reality show Love in the Wild I had to consciously close my mouth and wipe the drool that slipped onto my shirt. I was at once repelled and intrigued. I instantly knew that what these real men and women needed was a lesson, or three, from authors like Pamela Clare, Leslie Parrish, Suzanne Brockmann, and Cindy Gerard.

The premise of Love in the Wild is simple - slimy, but simple. Ten men and ten women, complete strangers, let me repeat that, COMPLETE strangers, get dropped off in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle. They’re teamed up in couples and have to complete tasks in order to stay in the game to eventually wind up with their true love. This may seem farfetched, but it has lots of the same elements of a romantic suspense novel.

It took me a while to sort out my feelings but what I discovered is that when I’m reading a romantic suspense the hero is a hero in every sense of the word. He traverses snake infested waters, scales treacherous mountains and swims the deepest oceans with an assurance and self-confidence that is unshakeable. And even when he does have doubts or fears they are tempered with courage. Think Sam Starrett in any of Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters books, or Luke Colter in Cindy Gerard’s With No Remorse, or Zach McBride in Pamela Clare’s Breaking Point (I-Team Series #5) or Alec Lambert in Leslie Parrish's Pitch Black . These heroes have doubts, sure they do. They have angst, who wouldn’t? Yet, underneath it all they have a core of inner strength that makes them MEN.


Unfortunately in the real world or more specifically in the reality show Love in the Wild, the heroes and heroines whine, complain, gossip, manipulate and are just plain silly.  The cast of characters range from a ‘fidiot’ to your resident Casanova. When one gentleman trekked through the woods with his possible ‘love match’, he had a psychotic break when he found himself standing near an ant hill. Seriously, he swatted himself, squealed, and ran around like a chicken with his head cut off until he eventually tripped and slipped down the mountain side. I laughed till I cried and then asked: would Sam Starrett or Luke Colter do that? I don’t think so. All I could think was “my eyes, my eyes… these images are forever burned into my retinas and will never be erased”. Damn you NBC.

In romantic suspense the heroines are women who you can stand behind and cheer for. Heroines like Val in With No Remorse  or Samantha in Pitch Black   have a strength, intelligence and resilience giving them an inner beauty that is at once attractive and admirable. 


Love in the Wild scarred this lover of romance novels and had me turning off the TV and reaching for latest romantic suspense where heroes and heroines ACT like heroes and heroines.


In other words Reality TV can learn a thing or three from authors like Suzanne Brockmann, Pamela Clare, Cindy Gerard and Leslie Parrish. So if you're looking for a new and exciting romantic suspense adventure, I suggest you also turn off your TV set and read  With No Remorse or Pitch Black  . 


I'm curious; what do you think?



Definitely stop by and visit with Melanie Murray at Romantic Reads - she's having a Q&A with author Loretta Chase all week long!

by Moderator dhaupt ‎08-15-2011 11:46 AM - edited ‎08-15-2011 11:47 AM

OMG, I laughed all the way through this article and then I got to the anthill and almost rolled out of my chair and onto the floor.

Well first of all, if TV did host a "real" romance novel it would have to be on the all adult channel :smileyhappy:

especially the authors you mentioned above, I can remember some of Suze Brockman's hero and heroine bed game antics and they would definitely rate an olympic medal in elastisity. And let's see, oh yeah romance lovers what about the "shed scene" in Roxanne St. Claire's Hunt Her Down, and baby did he :smileyhappy:

Okay enough, I get enough heat through hot flashes I do not need a libedo lifter :smileyhappy:


So in conclusion, there is NO comparison to a romance novel to reality tv


Thanks Marisa



by sarahconerty on ‎08-15-2011 04:53 PM

Love it!  You nailed the difference between those attention-starved half-wits on reality shows and the (usually) admirable heros and heroines of romance books, who so frequently exemplify the traits that we all wish we had.  I find absolutely nothing romantic about claiming to be looking for love, and then going on national television with complete strangers and performing humiliating/stupid/slutty/dumbass dates/stunts as some sort of test.  And I would argue that any real men out there would rather be forced to endure a pedicure than go on a reality "love" show.


Great article!!

by PamelaClare29 on ‎08-15-2011 11:32 PM

Marisa, I was thrilled to see Zach and BREAKING POINT mentioned in your post.


My problem with reality TV from the beginning has been that there's no reality in it. The scenarios are contrived, the interaction absurd.


I suggested a long time ago that if TV producers wanted reality, they should just put up a camera in a busy homeless shelter, detox center, or the cell block of a men's prison and film. That's reality.


For the rest of the night I'm going to have the scene you describe with the dude shrieking over ants running through my mind. :-)

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎08-16-2011 07:10 AM

Deb, I'm with you - NO comparison. Although on this show each couple - although they had only known each other for 24 hours- had to share a bed at night. I shudder at the thought of being a producer on that show and having to capture all the 'romantic' moments. I sat in my chair cringing with embarrassment for them.


Sarah - - any real men out there would rather be forced to endure a pedicure than go on a reality "love" show. You hit the nail on the head, I'm laughing out loud


Pamela, I loved Breaking Point! and I loved Zach. His tenacity and strength coupled with his clam steadfast inner core made him one of my favorite heroes this year.  


BTW I'm really looking foward to reading Defiant (no pressure) but I can't wait for Connor's story.


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