💗 👨🏻🚒 The Dating Charade (2019) 👨🏻🚒 💗 - Book Review
On Tour with Prism Book Tours
The Dating Charade
By Melissa Ferguson
Contemporary Romance, Christian
Paperback, Audiobook &ebook, 336 Pages
December 3rd 2019 by Thomas Nelson
Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.
Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.
But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.
No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?
Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.
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About the Author
Melissa Ferguson is an adjunct professor for Bible and religion at King University. She lives in the charming town of Bristol, Tennessee, with her husband, twin toddlers, and baby girl. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now her hobbies include admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" en route to the library.
Things that grabbed me right off – there’s a firefighter involved. It’s set in a few “smaller” towns in Tennessee I’m familiar with, that’s another bonus. And, kids!
So, I honestly couldn’t wait to read it.
It started off great – romance in the modern century. Then the kids entered the situation for both Cassie and Jett. And, where I thought this would be a romance novel, with a “dating with kids twist” – it, at least to me – turned into more of a family drama story with both Cassie and Jett finding their way with the kids they’ve inherited. And, neither one knowing about the other’s situation with miscommunication occurring.
There are a few moments that made me laugh. However it wasn’t the funny, romantic-comedy novel I was expecting.
The realism, disappointment, and frustration in adopting or inheriting three children are present and Ferguson does a great job in conveying it. I can’t attest to the realistic portrayal though.
There are also a lot of tense moments and a dramatic scene at the end with the romance between Cassie and Jett coming in the last chapters.
It does have the “love comes in small packages”; “best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding”, “happy” ending. However, this lacks in the romance part.
Despite the disappointment from the blurb being different as to my expectations, this was a delightful read. It was heart-warming and often heart-tugging.
I won’t spoil it, but towards the end there were more details I would’ve liked to have known as to what happened with the kids that led to certain events. I don’t know if that differs from the ARC to publication, but it would’ve made the ending far more dramatic and wholesome.
It is a “clean read” from the Thomas Nelson Fiction line, which is part of the HarperCollins Christian Publishing division. There are little to no “Christian” references though. Readers of the Harlequin Heartwarming series might like this particular novel.
3.5 ⭐⭐⭐ /5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Goodreads (“Liked It”)
3.5 ⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Bookbub (Between “Good” and “Okay”)