By Melissa Ferguson
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.
(Back cover summary from Thomas Nelson)
The Dating Charade is such a fun book. It has all the elements of a rom-com, with engaging characters, hilarious circumstances, and enough misunderstandings to keep these characters apart for a good long while.
It was cool that this story was set in Gatlinburg, as that’s a place I’m familiar with. The characters Melissa created in this story were ones that I felt like I’d met out and about before. From the kids to the meddling older ladies, I loved each and every one.
I loved the heart of this story too. While it’s a fun novel, The Dating Charade also tackles the real-life issues of foster care, adoption, and infertility and the trauma that shadows all of those. It really opened my eyes to see just a bit of what each of those issues might feel like or look like.
Cassie and Jett are both hilarious and relatable characters. Their romance is super fun as it plays out, and even with the hiding of the children, there is still an element of realism that keeps the story from seeming too over-the-top.
The only thing I didn’t like as much about this book was there didn’t seem to be any solid faith element in it. The characters attend church, but to me, there was no discernible spiritual arc for them.
If you enjoy novels like Jessica Kate’s Love and Other Mistakes or Bethany Turner’s Wooing Cadie McCaffrey, then I think The Dating Charade will be right up your alley.
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.
(Biography from Thomas Nelson)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.