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About The Book

When you sign up to a dating show, you’re supposed to fall in love with the male lead, not another contestant … A delightful romantic comedy with all the feels for fans of The Charm Offensive.

Mandie Mitchell will do anything to get over her toxic ex. Even sign up to the polarising reality dating show, Marry Me, Juliet. But with her self-esteem in tatters, she’s not sure she’s brave enough to actually go on the show – until she forms a friendship with fellow contestant Dylan Gilchrist, who gives her the push she needs.

Dylan is everything Mandie is not – tough, strong, and totally unafraid to speak her mind. Unfortunately, she also looks set to win, as she soon becomes the clear favourite of the Romeo, who also happens to share the same name. It’s annoying, really, just how perfect the Dylans seem for each other. Mandie’s jealous. But it’s not because she wants to win the show. It’s because in her effort to get over her ex, she’s gone and fallen right back in love … with the wrong Dylan.

‘Sizzles with smart social commentary, an inclusive cast of characters, plenty of humour and a love story with tectonic chemistry.’ Clare Fletcher, author of Five Bush Weddings

About The Author

Photograph © Manda Ford

Jodi McAlister, PhD, is an author and academic from Kiama, Australia. Her academic work focuses on the history of love, sex, women and girls, popular culture, and fiction. It means that reading romance novels and watching The Bachelor is technically work for her. She is currently a aenior lecturer in writing, literature, and culture at Deakin University in Melbourne. For more, visit

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia (April 5, 2023)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781761104992

Raves and Reviews

‘McAlister takes us beneath the surface, allowing readers to see Amanda’s complexity … Her attempts to suppress her attraction along with her sexuality are a running tension … Amanda’s story is one of self-development, from a drifter to someone who carves her own path'

The Conversation

'Can I Steal You for a Second is sweet, pacy, queer and satisfying. It’s about overcoming self-erasure and features, at its heart, a deep and genuine friendship – and what better basis is there for love?'

Angela Meyer, author of Moon Sugar

‘Can I Steal You for a Second is pure reading pleasure ... depth, diversity and an irresistible love story ... For all those mystified by the resurgence of romance, here is a book that exemplifies why readers love the genre. Can I Steal You for a Second sizzles with smart social commentary, an inclusive cast of characters, plenty of humour and a love story with tectonic chemistry. A joyful read that will leave you with a big smile on your face.’

Clare Fletcher, author of Five Bush Weddings

‘I was 62% through this book when I realised why I was loving it so much. There is a kindness to the way McAlister writes that is so warm and genuine and refreshing. As a writer, you can tell that she loves her characters. It’s not that there isn’t capital D Drama, and it’s not that any of them are perfect. There is enough that is messy and chaotic about them that we can all relate. There is just so much joy in the way that she lets them be who they are, and it’s a joy to read ... If you want to hugged by a book that is going to let you know how wonderful and worthy you are no matter what, then this is the one.’

Imogene Hannah, bookseller

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More books from this author: Jodi McAlister

More books in this series: Marry Me, Juliet