A book that will warm your heart... The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson (Review) #DatCharPrism

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Welcome! I'm thrilled to have found another contemporary romance
author to love! Read my review of her debut with Thomas Nelson below...

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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My Review

THE DATING CHARADE is one of those stories that will make readers smile, laugh, and even shed a few tears while it warms their hearts. The author makes it so easy to fall in love with these characters, including some troubled but adorable children. Highly recommended to contemporary romance fans who prefer their stories to be sweet and full of heart.

This book was so much fun, while at the same time delving into some tough things. I loved, loved, loved these characters! Cassie and Jett were fabulous, but they were also surrounded by a cast of fantastic characters (some wonderful children, great best friends, and meddling old women) that just make this story so much better. I appreciated that the story wasn't all about the romance. There's a lot more going on here, parts that really tug on your heart. The author did a great job of conveying feeling while making things just feel realistic. And the date charades and past online dates... hilarious! As a side note, there really wasn't an inspirational element, but more just a mention that these characters attend church, so it's a good read for the general market.

My one complaint is that the ending felt overly rushed. We get all this time to get to know the characters and watch as the heroine and hero slowly fall in love. We also get to know the children and teens who influence their lives. But then, at the end, there's no explanation. A few things happen and then we're skipped to the happily-ever-after. I wanted more.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Ferguson has been added to my must-read, auto-buy list of authors. I loved her writing style, the characters, and this story! So much emotion and heartbreak, but so much hope and love as well, making the story not too heavy, which is the perfect combination. Definitely recommended to both Christian and non-Christian contemporary romance readers.

Content: Some references to abuse, neglect, drug use, but nothing overly detailed.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher through Prism Book Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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.

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