Molly is due to compete in a local reality TV show called The Leftover, but when she discovers she’s pregnant, she has to pull out and persuades her shy sister, Megan, to participate in her place. Megan is a reluctant competitor, but will do anything for her sister, so she pushes her fears to the side and takes the plunge. She expects not to make it past the first round of eliminations, but Megan has more skill and determination than even she believes. Can she make it to the end, to become the Leftover? And what will she find along the way?
The Leftover is a slightly unconventional romance novel, in that the reality TV setting and Megan’s personal journey take precedence over the romantic aspects. The story is, simply, delightful. The TV challenge aspect is well thought-out and not overdone, while the romance is sweet and enjoyable. The characters are a mixed bag of likeable heroes and hateable villains, and all of them are quite realistic. They each have the unique personality traits you’d expect to see on a survival TV show, and it is easy to form quick bonds with (most of) them.
Megan herself is a great lead character. She is shy and insecure but not wimpy or annoying, and entirely believable. She has a determination to do well and make herself proud, that shows real character growth and makes her completely likeable. Cane, Megan’s romantic interest, is also a likeable and somewhat realistic character. Although he’s gorgeous and she’s, well, average, their attraction to each other is explained in understandable terms which stop it becoming farfetched and entirely unlikely. Despite not being the most beautiful girl in the world, Megan is spunky, witty and intelligent, making her undeniably attractive, and a true heroine.
Chick-lit romances can be frothy and superficial at the best of times, but The Leftover has some real depth and a genuinely enjoyable story. The on-off nature of Megan and Cane’s relationship did start to get tedious towards the end, but with the overarching focus being on Megan’s position in the competition, this was easy to overlook.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.