Cover Image: The Dating Charade

The Dating Charade

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Member Reviews

The Dating Charade is definitely something I could see as a TV show or movie in the near future. It was at times, predictable, and at other times, frustrating due to the lack of communication by the adults in the situations they were in. 

Cassie runs a youth center in the town where she grew up. She enjoys a fantastic relationship with all of the kids who come in there and, of course, knows a lot of people in town. Jett is a local firefighter who is sweet on Cassie. He has known her since high school and finally gets up the nerve to ask her out. Just like in the movies, fate steps in and each of them end up with mini-families of their own. Hilarity ensues when Cassie and Jett try to keep their situations a secret from each other. As a reader, it became more of a frustration, as I didn’t see why they couldn’t just be adults and talk about it. 

I don’t want to spoil the ending. All I can really say is that it was an okay read. I wanted to finish it, which says a lot, considering the number of options available to read nowadays.
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This is a story about never giving up,  and following your heart - even if it leads you in a direction you didn't expect. It also carries the message that you don't have to be biological parents in order to give children the love they need. 

Cassie and Jett fit together perfectly, but their respective circumstances get in the way. The journey  of their relationship is the bedrock of the book and keeps you turning the pages.

Of course, the children (all of them) are the stars of the show.
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Y’all, I swear I’m not against Christian Romance/Fiction, but this was the second book in a row that felt completely unrealistic. I loved the beginning, and I really l loved that Cassie and Jett played basketball together. What I couldn’t buy? That they both become de facto parents for 3 children and then choose not to tell the other. And also, what did the title have to do with the book? Not. A. Thing.
I received an ARC of The Dating Charade from @netgalley. I listened to this on audiobook via Hoopla.
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Oh how I wish I liked this novel more. Especially because there wasn't anything specifically 'bad' about it. There was no true conflict or drama. Nothing to really make you fall in love with the characters or story. It was meh.
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This was a sweet romance. If a Christian book detours you, don’t let it. This one was cute and sheds adoptions in a positive light. There was more depth to the story than romance, but I enjoyed it.
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This book came out back in December, and it's been on my list since then. The Dating Charade is Melissa's first novel, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

It's about Cassie and Jett, two people who don't want kids. When they meet, it's not quite love-at-first-sight, but almost. Things seem like they're moving in a good direction.

Then, Cassie becomes foster mom to three kids, and Jett becomes guardian for his niece and two nephews. Instead of being upfront and honest about these life changes, Cassie and Jett hide their new families from each other.

It's funny to read about two people who have no experience with kids suddenly become parents. As a parent, I loved the scenes with Jett trying to figure out exactly what he was doing. And Cassie's fumbles are just as real.

I thought this was such a great book, and really different that other stuff I've read before. 

But, I had one issue. Calling this a charade is cute. But really, Cassie and Jett lied to each other. Repeatedly. 

While I overall loved this book, the lies were annoying to me. However, I did think Melissa made a good point that their relationship could only move forward when they were honest.

Melissa seems like an author I'm really going to enjoy! I've already checked to find that her next book is coming out this fall! I definitely won't wait four months before reading it!
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Thank You NetGalley and Publisher for this early copy!

Did not finish - I tried but could not connect with this romance novel. I will not be reading it.
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I really enjoyed this book, it's a lighthearted read that I finished in an afternoon.  The characters were fun and it was a great way to escape for a while.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is more about the characters and the journeys they are on (and how that reflects them getting together) than the actual romance to me. Unfortunately, it was the choice to focus on those aspects that did not work for me. The chemistry between the characters had not been properly built before adding in the additional layer of personal issues on each side, resulting in this books ultimate downfall. Additionally, Cassie's journey had a flavor of white savior to it at times (which could have been due to the nature of her story or the nature of her job to begin with). Overall, a cute cover and premise, but incorrectly marketed.
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Chick lit isn't a genre I read often, but with everything else going on right now, I needed a little fluff. I was skeptical going in, because both Cassie and Jett grated on me in the first few chapters, but they definitely grew on me! Cassie especially.

The romance element was probably my list favourite aspect. I know that's probably a silly thing to gripe about in a romance novel, but it felt a bit too surface level and instalove for my liking. Cassie and Jett's individual stories dealt with some pretty serious and dark topics, and framing those topics within a cutesy "can they juggle their love too?" sort of story (especially when they've had all of two dates) fell flat for me.

With that said, I still had a lot of fun with this book! I thought the plot was really sweet and original, and even if I didn't *love* the romance, it did have some cute moments that I enjoyed. ⭐⭐⭐✨
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I heard a lot of recommendations for this book, so I was grateful for a chance to read an early copy.

I wanted to enjoy this story. After all those glowing recommendations, I was excited to dig in. Unfortunately, at least with the ARC (advanced reader copy), there were several concerns. I felt I’d missed an earlier book in a (nonexistent) series because I was lost in the sea of people, from both the hero’s and the heroine’s POVs (points of view). I don’t mind a lot of characters, but we had both their first names and their last names, used independently in the same scene, so instead of say, seven characters, we had fourteen to track per POVC (point-of-view character). 

I liked the heroine’s trick of speech in some of her fun phrases. I liked that she does a noble work, like the hero who is a firefighter. The author’s prose and descriptions, now and then, required highlighting. 😉 Unfortunately, there were also odd descriptions that didn’t fit. I liked that the hero has had a crush on the heroine since they were in high school together. That could have been a fun element, containing anticipation or adoration and then discovery when she figured it out. 

The story doesn’t advance as the usual romance, which was unsatisfying. I don't need strict formula in the fiction I enjoy, but I like to find romantic moments that fit the romance's timing, don't feel contrived, and are earned. I found premature elements occurring too early. I also found several missed opportunities in terms of the romance’s advancement—elements I would recommend “milking” rather than grazing. I skimmed much rambling narrative and unfortunately gave up on this book at about 30 percent. 

Readers who want something outside the usual may enjoy this story. I'd give it 2.5 stars. I wish the author and publisher all the best.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.
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The Dating Charade juxtaposes light humor and banter with the heavy issues of childhood neglect, abuse, and abandonment. I'm not sure it worked for me.

I liked both Cassie and Jett, and the humorous scenes of children's antics are really the best part of the book. Anyone who's spent some time responsible for the care and feeding of babies and young children will relate. No privacy, no boundaries, lots of mess.

Interesting premise, cute characters, great kid humor, tragedy, and a wee bit of romance. In the end though, for me at least, it just didn't click.

Although it's classified as Christian fiction/romance, I'd say it fits better in clean romance/fiction since there's no discernible faith theme (though characters attend church).
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This is one of those books that wasn't necessarily bad, but I just didn't LOVE it like I thought I would.

The direction of the book went to one I wasn't expecting, and of course a lot of the issues could have been dealt with with communication,

I think it didn't help that at the beginning, I didn't connect with Cassie at all. I actually loved Jett and he's the reason I didn't rate this lower. It's not necessarily a bad book, I still enjoyed it, but there were some aspects that I just wasn't looking for in a book that was supposed to be (or I thought) light hearted and fun.
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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. 
This was a decent read. Both Cassie and Jett were very likable. However, the main story of the book shifts a bit once the children are introduced, which was ok. Just wasn’t really for me. 
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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The book started off wonderfully with the introduction of Cassie and her hunt for a boyfriend. Her online search with her friend's help was hilarious and I enjoyed reading about Cassie and Jett's attempts to get beyond a first date. However, the middle of the book dragged for me. Too much focus on the children in the story and it took away from the tension between Jett and Cassie. The end seemed rushed - I would have liked reading more about their relationship after they finally jumped through all the hurdles they faced. Maybe a sequel??

I did enjoy the overall story and would read another of Melissa's books.
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A quick, fun read! The book cover itself is so mesmerizing to pick the read. Combination of chick lit and slow-burn romance overall an enjoyable one!
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I could not get into this one at all! I couldn't connect with the characters and had no idea where the plot was even going. It just left me so confused and frustrated.
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The Dating Charade is the debut novel by author Melissa Ferguson. From reading the synopsis, I expected a fun rom com book.  Although there were aspects of a romantic comedy, there was so much more.  I was totally pulling for main characters Cassie and Jett as they balance jobs, relationships, and some other curve balls thrown their way.  I definitely felt like this story engaged me as the reader, tugged on my heartstrings, and had me rooting for the main characters.  Her next novel, The Cul de Sac War releases in the fall and I can't wait!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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This is a great fun read that is a must read. A sweet but jilted Cassie reunites with her past and it’s a great story of love, plans going not your way and life moving forward,
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Cassie Everson works with at risk teens, yet remains single and wishing for her own family.  A prior issue has left her unable to bear a child, so she posts in online dating as not interested in children.  That seems to be the charade, because her heart is fully involved in the neglected home situation of Star and her two young siblings.  Cassie finds herself as a foster parent to these three.
Fireman Jett Bentley has an addicted sister who drops her two preschoolers and one newborn in the lap of Jett.  Although he’s not sure if he is up to parenting, he knows that his sister is not at all capable.
Cassie and Jett end up dating, but hiding these youth charges from one another.  They have hushed phone calls with babysitters and end up ducking out on one another, repeatedly.  Things come to a head when a long-lost relative comes into the picture.
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