Romance collides with reality television in this fast-paced, inventive story. In X-treme Dating, an audience matches up two strangers, then rates them as either lovers or losers. Park Evenson, a Tucson fire fighter, has been paired up with Justin Mann. Because both indicated a dislike of fish on their applications, the show's host takes them to San Diego for their weekend date and includes plenty of seafood and fishing in the truth-or-dare challenges they play for prizes.

It isn't Justin that Park is drawn to, however. Behind the camera is Grant Hastings, an aspiring film- maker trapped in a high-paying job as a cameraman. The attraction be-tween Grant and Park is instantaneous but, because of clauses in their contracts, they're trapped. If they act on their feelings, both could be sued and Grant could lose his job. But if they don't, they could miss out on love.

Along the way, McDavid throws in some interesting plot twists, which give readers a mystery to solve when Justin tries to ruin the episode. Something's up with the host, Natasha, too, but what? A surprise revelation provides another twist to this fun tale. (Jun., 252 pp., $26.95)
Reviewed by: 
Karen Sweeny-Justice