A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

The Dating Charade {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.

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.

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.

Whoever came up with the old cliche, 'never judge a book by it's cover' was CLEARLY talking about The Dating Charade. Looking at the fun cover image and even reading the back cover copy, I expected nothing more from this book than a light-hearted romantic comedy. While it certainly had that too, it was so much more than I expected...and I absolutely loved it.

The story drew me in laughing from the start as we meet Cassie and her fail proof date escape plan. I couldn't help but suppress the laughs. THIS was just what I had anticipated this story would be. Fun. But while the humor carries on throughout the story to the final pages, it also goes onto tackle some pretty weighty topics in the midst of that. Topics like the foster care system and addiction. Not topics you'd think to talk about in a romantic comedy, is it? Still, the author blended the humor so beautifully with these deeper issues to create a heartwarming story that I could not get enough of. You'll be laughing at those humorous scenarios... but you'll want to have a box of tissues ready too.

While this is a Christian romance, I could see it appealing to a wider audience as well. There are certainly elements of faith found throughout the story, but there is not a preachy tone in the slightest. The characters attend church, they talk about praying, etc so it really just falls very naturally into the characters lives, reading more like a clean women's fiction or contemporary romance with characters who happen to be Christians/believers.

This book was so well done that I was quite shocked to discover that it was Melissa Ferguson's debut novel.What a debut! I look forward to reading more from her in the future!

The Dating Charade will be released on December 3. You can preorder your copy today.


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