The Dating Charade

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

This book is a delightful surprise, full of heartfelt moments and laugh-out-loud antics. I adored the whole cast of characters AND the setting! The Dating Charade feels like an excellent introduction to Ferguson's voice and what she has to offer as an author. I'm excited to see what unique stories she'll bring to the table. 

I received a complimentary copy of this novel via NetGalley and courtesy of the publisher. All expressed opinions belong to me.
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I enjoyed this romantic comedy by debut author Melissa Ferguson. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments but also dealt with some heavy issues like child abandonment, drug use, infertility, and adoption. I look forward to reading future books by this author.
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I will agree with the title for the first few chapters of this book, but not for the bulk of the book as it is sooooo much more.  Poor Cassie is trying to find a decent guy to date, but seems to be only attracting bums.  She and her best friend have the perfect routine down to help Cassie rid herself of the losers. After the last fiasco, Cassie's teen girl charges at Girls Haven decide that they need to help her, but it turns out that her best friend is the biggest help in getting Cassie hooked up with Jett.
Shortly after their first date, both of them get a bombshell dropped on them in the form of children.  Oh, how my heart ached for all the kids and then for Cassie and Jett as they try to deal with their new realities while trying to keep their respective charges away from each other.  Then fate decides to deal all of them another blow or two before possibly allowing them to regroup and make a happier life for all.  This book touched so many of my emotions and once I was into reading it, I did not want to stop until I reached the end and even then I wanted more.  All is not sad and tumultuous as there are several lighthearted and fun moments thanks to the kids, two elderly ladies and some other friends.  I just know that you won't be disappointed in reading this book.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I had a couple of problems with The Dating Charade. 1. I didn't much care for Cassie. Tried to like her but didn't. She treated Jett badly from the first day, when she left him flat on the sidewalk. Prejudge much? 2. There were several situations that stretched credibility to the breaking point. Cassie was waved right by a guy in a hazmat suit clearing a possible meth lab so she could pick up a stuffed toy?? Because she knew him. Then she was allowed to take the kids home, no home study, no foster parent file, nothing. Again, because she knew people (apparently). I understand that this is a romance, but still. Finally, it all wrapped up with a perfect bow, as I knew it would, which was oddly unsatisfying.

The writing was good, other than a consistent misuse of 'passed' for 'past', which will hopefully be corrected in the final version.

Many will love this book. I just...didn't.

*ARC via netgalley*
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This is a really cute story. I like the humor and the wit displayed throughout the story. I like the unusual set up with the children. I like the sweet and the surprising and the twists. This is a very enjoyable story.
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Okay, I officially have a new author obsession!!

Y’all. This. Book!! (Insert all the squeally, happy dances!!!)

The Dating Charade was hysterical, heart-felt, totally romantic, and absolutely swoon-worthy.

The characters were dynamic and their stories believable, relatable, and rich. I adored every one and badly wish for a sequel to spend more time in this cozy and beautiful story!

The circumstances were a mix of wild comedies of errors and heart-rending tragedies molding together to form something wonderful and bittersweet.

Melissa Ferguson did an amazing job crafting such a heart-warming journey of romance, second chances, and secret children! 😂 

I highly recommend this story and urge you to immediately treat yourself to its awesomeness!!

NOTE: I received a copy of this book for free and a positive review was not required.
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Who ends up with 6 children between two people anyway? And volunteering for them too!
I know right, that sounds completely crazy right? Especially for childless and happy me. 
But seriously, I don’t understand the urge to look after kids. I’m lucky to have the urge to look after my nieces (not so much my nephews!) but they are amazing, and they come running to me whenever I come near them. So that’s easy. 
What these two go through. OMG! 
That’s some love dedication to those kids. And trying to date during those times? Isn’t it hard enough to date as a 30-year-old, let alone adding in the difficulty of kids?
Ok, I’ll try to be over the kids’ stuff and move onto the topics of the book. 
The writing style felt like good fun. We swapped between Cassie and Jett each chapter and got involved in their thoughts, feelings and everyday actions. 
It was set from like Thanksgiving (when is that BTW?) through to like Valentines Day. I don’t know if you’d classify it as a holiday romance. But it’s still got a bit of that feeling since most of the story is set in and around the Christmas period. And isn’t that all the rage at this time of the year?
Luckily it embodies everything I love about the Christmas period and just imbues you with everything you want to feel in the Christmas period. I love that feeling. But I also know it wasn’t as enrapturing as it could have been.
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The Dating Charade was such a breath of fresh air. I felt connected to these characters in so many unexpected ways and I don't even have the words to express how much I loved it!
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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this in exchange for my honest opinions!!

I ADORED this!! Oh my gosh, this was so cute!! There was so much HEART in it. This was unexpected for me as I was just expecting a light and sweet romance. It certainly had its humorous moments but it also had a lot about the importance of family which I really appreciated. It had the perfect balance! 

When I read the synopsis that Jett was a firefighter, the heart eyes practically popped out of my head. He was so HOT! I really enjoyed his connection with Cassie and I really loved watching these two fall in love.  I loved how strong Cassie was and I related to her so much with the constant bad luck with dating! It was so nice to see her get a happily ever after! The children aspect I thought was sweet and a bit sad at times but I liked that the authors didn’t linger too much on that tone. It was a great balance! 

Filled with fun hijinks with twist and turns, this is a super cute read you don’t want to miss out on!
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The Dating Charade was a hit and miss book for me. It follows Cassie and Jett, who reconnect over a decade after attending the same high school. After their stellar first date, Cassie takes in three sisters, while Jett's sister leaves him with her three children. There's a big family element in this book, as Cassie and Jett both juggle their new responsibilities while trying to go on dates. They also don't tell each other about the new children in their lives. I like Ferguson's writing style, but I personally wished there was more romance development, as it focused a lot on the two protagonists' new families. I don't want to spoil the story, but there were minimal dates and the story just left me feeling slightly unsatisfied.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I had high expectations about this book but I was disappointed in it. it felt unrealistic on multiple levels, from the plot  to the relationship interacrions. A book not worth devourig in other words. Slow and sometimes  boring, not what one would expect from the title and synopsis.
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Dating Charade is cute, funny, and heartwarming. It's  a story of love and being open to something other than what you initially thought you wanted. I laughed and cried.
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This book started off so strong for me. It was everything I wanted. But the more I read and things became so coincidental between Jett and Cassie I didn’t like it as much. Come one, both have 3 kids land in their laps, they end up at the same church, and at the same time people show up to try/take the kids away? It wasn’t just too much of the same thing on both sides. It wasn’t a bad book, but I wanted more. I wanted it to continue like is did for me in the beginning.
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This book started out funny. I didn't really feel like there was a connection between Jett and Cassie. I was waiting for more romance, but the story kept being about the kids. I  had a hard time connecting with the characters. This was not the story I was waiting for, from the blurb. I probably would not read it again, but will suggest this one to some ladies that I know would enjoy it. It just wasn't my cup of tea, but doesn't mean I wouldn't try this author again. It was well written and I like the flow of the book.
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I only have one complaint with this book and that is that it's far too short and needed to be longer! This book made me laugh and cry and I loved every word of it.
Cassie is someone whose life hasn't turned out how she expected it to be but she still manages to embrace it, her issues with dating is something that all single girls can relate to and just when she is content with life she ends up with 3 girls.
Jett knows what he wants but has to learn to embrace chaos and craziness when it appears on his doorstep. Seeing these two characters interact with the help of two meddling older ladies is hilarious and this book is a real page turner. 
To me personally it felt like quite a short book and it could've easily been longer. I also would've loved to have seen them engaged and working out how to juggle 6 kids between them. Maybe there's a chance for a sequel...
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I believe this is the debut novel by this talented author. This started out with a funny bang. I loved the whole escape plan with the heroine's best friend. I felt the characters were all very likable and that is important to me as a reader. However, I felt the romance that started off nicely kind of trailed off a little bit. The emphasis was mostly on the children. Which was fine, but I do wish there was more interaction with the Hero and Heroine because I love romance. I wish there was a bit more in it. The ending was fun and it was HEA! So Yay! All in all a good debut and I will be reading more from this promising author.
*I was given a copy by the publisher and this is my honest opinion.
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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.

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.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I was immediately enthralled in this love story as soon as Cassie was talking about how she wished she could find someone like the firefighter outside her window and then the perspective changed to Jett, the firefighter outside the window.  The character development was good, the reader got a very strong view of the characters opinions and attributes which made me, as a reader, feel as though I knew the characters like they were my best friends and each decision was their own to make. The plot was great very entertaining, and that is what drew to read this book in the first place, the idea was very interesting and a reader feels captivated by the story.  Writing style was great not too much description but not too little as you didn’t remember what the characters looked like. The only thing i didn't like as much was that  I wish the epilogue was longer and the lead up to them finding out their kids was a little shorter. Overall, good instalove, slow-burn, with kids book.
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I didn’t feel the connection between Jett and Cassie. I didn’t feel like they truly knew each other. The romance between the two of them was actually the most boring part of the book. I couldn’t really root for them as a couple as they continued to deceive each other about their sudden parenthood. It reminded me of a lame comedy where the characters are forced into ridiculous lies while you continually think, surely, it’d be easier to simply tell the truth.
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Whew, that was one emotional rollercoaster I wasn't quite expecting! One minute I was laughing out loud, and the next I was fighting back tears tears (not always successfully). This novel was a splash of rom-com mixed with a hurricane of emotional drama.

I appreciated that the romance in this novel was the comedic relief. For me I often consider humor to be the perfect medicine so I found Cassie and Jett's relationship quite amusing amid everything else that came crashing in on them. The ups and downs from laughter to tears highly reminded me of the movie P.S. I Love You (just with emotions not the storyline). I will admit that I am a sucker for a book that makes me cry because it means it's made me feel something. But that also means I need a good laugh every now and then to lift my spirits--so a book that can both make me laugh and cry and then laugh again? Yup, it's a keeper!

Foster care has been something deeply on my heart for many years. My heart instantly went out to Star and her younger sisters. It's not to say that it didn't for Jett's Niece and nephews, but Star stuck out to me in a way that demanded my heart and attention. I don't want to spoil too much from the story but I will say that I appreciated the author's heart to share not only the heart of foster care, but the struggles of it as well. It was no easy feat trying not to cry through much of their story.

My only complaint was that the ending was a little too abrupt for me. I feel the ending scenes needed a little more page space to feel like a more satisfying ending. Oh how I wish there could be a sequel to this one though, because I feel that it could be just as gripping emotionally while continuing to share the reality of their circumstances. Either way it's still going down as one of my favorites so far this year.

I believe this book falls under the rom-com genre but it's also an emotional drama. So it might just end up being labeled as a general Christian women's fiction novel. So just know what you're getting into when you read this one but I absolutely highly recommend it!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
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