Cover Image: The 24 Hour Dating Agency

The 24 Hour Dating Agency

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Member Reviews

I absolutely judged this book by the cover and was expecting a light romcom. There were humorous moments, but this book also tackled some deeper issues. I really appreciated the way Baker was able to weave the 3 stories together. Typically, it seems most authors will break apart perspectives by chapters, but Baker was able to transition between characters mid-chapter, and I was never once confused about what was happening. My only complaints, which are minor, are that I felt the book was a tad longer than necessary, but also tied up loose ends a little too quickly at the end, and I wish we had better physical descriptions of the main characters. I didn’t feel that I was able to fully picture each of them. It’s a great book for anyone looking for a fairly light read full of strong friendships and family drama, particularly someone familiar with the struggles of dating apps.
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I always find myself intrigued with romantic matchmaking. As this is a central theme in The 24 Hour Dating Agency, I was super excited to read it! The three main characters, Tamara, Milo, and Charlie, were equally intriguing and Baker did a fantastic job making them come to life. The only issue with this is that I wanted more of each of their stories. I wasn't content with the alternating narrators/storylines. This book could have easily been a trilogy, with each book focusing on a single character's journey to find love. This is totally just a personal preference and does not dissuade me from picking up another title from this author in the future.
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Thank you to Head of Zeus & Netgalley for the opportunity to review this ARC. 

I DNF’d this book at 35%. 

I thought the idea was very good & seemed to be well executed. The writing was lovely & flowed well. The characters are realistic & very well thought out with good back stories & personalities. 

So why did I DNF? Partly, I felt that pacing was a little slow & it wasn’t grabbing my attention fully. But mostly, I strongly feel that this book wasn’t written for my demographic & I just couldn’t relate to any of the characters, which is a real shame but something I find really important when reading a book. 

If the rest of the book carries on as well written as the first third, I have no doubt it would be an excellent read, just not written for people like me in mind!
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This was an absolute treat! 
I thoroughly enjoy this author's writing. She knows how to throw in that British humour and had me laughing quite a few times throughout. 

I loved the relationships in this story. A fun chick-lit that truly let's you forget about the real world and let's you escape into the creative mind that is Mary Jayne Barker.
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Milo, Saffie, and Tamara work together at The Throstle's Nest, a small family magazine. As their love life is not being as they wished (among other reasons), they decide to sign up for an adventure they saw in a pamphlet. Dr. Alison Sheldrake ensures she can find the right match for anyone – they need to sign up, fill out a questionnaire and have a 24-hour meeting.

Milo goes with open arms hoping to finally find a companion for life after several failed relationships. But to the astonishment of both of you, they already know each other.

Saffie doesn't believe she can find a partner in just 24 hours and goes more with the idea of gathering information so that she can write an article about the dating agency, for the magazine. What will happen if she likes the other person?

Tamara is at a bad stage in her life - divorced for a few years, her ex-husband is going to marry a younger and beautiful woman, feels old, would like to feel wanted again and have a full day of fun, without thinking about work and her children. Something you're used to as an editor and mother of three is that everything doesn't always go according to plan. How will the date go after a little unexpected change of plans? How will she react when she meets who has been chosen for her, someone with whom she has very little in common?

This book isn't just about the dates, but also about the magazine (which is in a transition phase), the life of Tamara and her children (of the past and how it's intertwined with the present/future), the new relationship of Tamara's ex-husband, among others.

It was a slow-start reading, but which I liked very much. It has more content than I expected initially. I felt that the characters are well developed and we get to know their past, which helps us to understand them better in the present.

These are 3 very different stories that are intertwined through friendship, love, a magazine, and destiny.

It was a wonderful surprise.

"Because sometimes it takes people a while to realize what they want." 

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This was another absolute winner from Baker about three friends whose romantic lives were at a dismal stalemate.  They end up going to the titular dating business to be matched up with someone who will be guaranteed to be their true love.  The agency plans dates to last 24 hours.  

The real charm of this book was the friendship among these three friends and the sensitive portrayals of their lives, thoughts, and feelings.  I was especially drawn to Tamara’s story.  Now in her mid 40s, her loser husband walked out on her when she got unexpectedly pregnant and he just couldn’t cope with taking care of a newborn.  He also abandoned his teenage twins.  And now he’s back seeking to enter their lives again.  The depiction of her relationship with her older children and her adorable five-year-old was so very touching.  She had the most unexpected match of the three friends, but the guy she ends up with is just so sweet and delightful.

This was a lovely book and I enjoyed it very much!

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book that I received from Netgalley; however, the opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review.
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I am in two minds about this book. I did enjoy it but some aspects I really didn’t enjoy. I found it quite hard to follow all the characters are one point. A unique story though and it was easy to read, definitely worth a read
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This was such a fun, quick easy read. The concept of going on a 24 hour date with your perfect match was a really fun idea and led to lots of funny moments between the characters. I really liked that we followed 3 characters, Saffie, Tamara and Milo, as they tried to find love and what they really want and need from life.
I adored the characters and how close they were as best friends, I also loved how they interacted with each other and the love interests. There was a lot of cute moments, funny moments and little bit of drama! I really enjoyed this book.
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I really really liked this book. It was interesting to see how all three of these characters arrived to desperation in their dating lives, the ways in which they though their match provided through the agency wasn't right, and how they turned things around. Much more character development than usual, as typical of Brit lit, but I found that made the journey even more worth it. I was thrilled to discover that this author has a decent sized backlist that I hope to eventually get to discover!!
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A cute concept with some fun characters. It took a bit to start but once I was in, it was an enjoyable read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own
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While I loved the plot-line of this story, I struggled to keep track of the various characters and their relationships to one another and found that the romances did not seem very realistic. I could see this story making for a cute movie, but unfortunately the writing and character development just fell a bit flat for me.
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To be perfectly honest this was a bit of an oddball story. 

I do like reading about women in the mid/late thirties to early forties, trying to find love. I don’t mind the occasional age gap, where the women is older, or women going through a midlife crisis and how friendships change, or parenting when freshly divorced, etc.

I am in this age group, but sadly could not connect with any of the characters. This was a miss for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This book put me on an emotional rollercoaster. We had twists, we had turns, we got our happy for now. 

I loved being able to follow Saffie, Milo, and Tamara. I never wanted to put it down!
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The perfect summer beach read !!!! This was a quick 24 hour read that will leave you feeling fulfilled. Silly characters who are fully developed, the banter will leave you chuckling and happy, Add to your summer reading list, you won't be disappointed.
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So, I closed this book at 42%... 

If you are interested, it was when Tamara's date turned out to be a ventriloquist. (Why oh why did he even bring the suitcase on what was supposed to be an adult date??)

At that point the story just became too ridiculous. 
I wasn't really that impressed by the story up until that point, but after the dates were introduced, it was like... Come on!! 

Not that funny, not romantic, just plain ridiculous - and my life is too short.

I really hope other people enjoy it, though.
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The 24 Hour Dating Agency took too long to get me interested. Unfortunately, since I have so many wonderful books to read I chose not to finish it.

I didn't connect with the characters, as much as I wanted to. And I couldn't get invested in their storylines.

Such a shame as the I found the premise interesting, hoping it would hook me like The Soulmate Equation did.

Thank you NetGalley and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read an advanced copy in exchange for my honest feedback.
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The 24 Hour Dating Agency by Mary Jayne Baker reads like an extended triptych, but I will say first hand that this novel is less of a romantic comedy than it is about midlife crises. It’s ambitious, reaching to tell the story of wanting to start over for different reasons and how a new relationship can factor into these rebirths, but in practice feels rushed and incomplete. 

This book follows Saffie, a 36 year old staff writer at a small family owned magazine, and her two best friends, the siblings Tamara, the 41 year old editor in chief, and Milo, the 36 year old graphic designer. Following individual crises, the three decide that a date set up by The 24 Hour Dating Agency is just what they need to reinvent themselves- Tamara to remind herself that she’s more than a single mother, Saffie to write a feature allowing her to leave for a better job, and Milo to find the love he feels he’s missing. After their dates are over, the three are a study in contrasts in how the day affects their lives moving forward. 

In several ways, The 24 Hour Dating Agency is a study in three possibilities: there’s the midlife crises of the main characters who alternatively cover self, family, and work. There’s the reaction to the dates. There’s how they process emotions. This doesn’t even touch on the three love interests and how they all differ to perfectly match their counterpart. As I was reading, I had built up immense respect for Baker for the scope she wanted to achieve through the three mains. However, I couldn’t help but leave the book feeling like Baker bit off more than she could chew. This book is theoretically about Saffie, Tamara, and Milo in equal parts but ends up working out to percentages like 60/30/10 respectively. Because of this, I found Saffie so bland and static to be so prominent, Tamara to be the most interesting if annoying to trudge through, and Milo to be basically a stereotype. Committing to a single story line and telling the others in dialogue, or even separating this novel into 3 novellas, in my opinion would have helped a lot with the development of the characters and the world.

Even now, what has stayed with me and bugged me the most about The 24 Hour Dating Agency is that, for it to be the title of the book, the actual dating agency and dates in the book are poorly explained and quickly over with. What could have been spread over several chapters and explained through the three different perspectives was instead discussed over beers and done with. The interview and questionnaire intake is said to be over 100 questions but we the readers hear maybe 5. All three are sent on elaborate 24 hour dates, and we see the beginning clues for all three couples, but past that only Milo’s experience is explained. We meet up with Saffie and Tamara at the end of their dates with comments as to part of what they did (or were supposed to) but not what was so magical about the entire thing. 

Then, as I mentioned above, there is the lack of romance elements in a book marketed as a romantic comedy. When I see that a book is being marked as a romance, I read with the expectation that the love interests will have development and roundedness that may not match the level of the main character but still far exceed side characters. We get that to a small degree with Russell/Richard, Saffie’s interest, but we learn so little about Harry and Christian that a stick with a magazine cutout could take their place and no one would notice. Again, I think focusing the scope to just one couple or instead doing three novellas would have prevented this problem.

All in all, I probably will forget I read this book within a month and not bother with another by Baker. It might be another’s cup of tea but the world views of the characters and plot development just did not match what I enjoy. 🤷‍♀️ It’s not on Baker and it’s not on me. I’m going to chalk The 24 Hour Dating Agency up to a mislabeling sell and different reader expectations on both ends and move on. 

Rating: ⭐️.5/⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Spice: 0/🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶 (Fade to black, sex is mentioned/implied but never explicitly, would receive a PG-13 rating if a movie)

**I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
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Great abd loveable characters, really easy to follow and enjoyable read. Loved the plot and jus really enjoyed it.
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This was a very whimsical cute romance. I enjoyed the three main characters they were all lovable along will little Willow. Unfortunately, I felt like this book dragged on more than it needed to.
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Fun and entertaining Romantic Comedy.
Great characters with easy banter that flows.
Some wonderful moments that will have you giggling for sure.
Easy to read and follow.

I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review 

Sent from my iPhone
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