Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Book Review: The First Date

By Sara Steven

After breaking up with her childhood sweetheart, clueless dater Rosie has found herself in a boyfriend-drought. So when she finally swipes right on a guy who seems interested, she can’t wait to meet up IRL.

Until she’s left standing alone. In a bar. Ghosted.

Enter Noah. Confident, funny … and a serial first dater. Offering to give Rosie a crash course in seduction, this could be just what she needs. Until her matchmaker turns out to be the best date she’s ever had – and Rosie wonders if she wants the fake dates to be the real ones after all… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Where's a real-life Noah when you need one?

The First Date starts out as a lighthearted read, a funny situation for both Rosie and Noah, in meeting each other randomly in a bar, after Rosie has been stood up by a blind date. Yet further in, we begin to see the reasons behind why Noah is a serial first dater, and why Rosie has chosen not to get deeply serious with anyone, not even her former childhood sweetheart. While I appreciated the lively banter and interesting situations both characters find themselves in, it was in the deeper meanings where I really found myself enjoying this relationship.

Rosie has seen a lot of heartbreak in her life. This has greatly impacted her viewpoint on relationships and what they ultimately mean to her, and why she chooses to always go the safe route in life. Noah is dealing with a similar situation, in witnessing tragedy and the fallout from it. It’s no wonder they feel bonded together, given they both share similar fears. But in trying to protect their hearts, it also causes undue distance, even when they both know there is a good chance they might fall for one another. Rosie can’t take Noah seriously because he reminds her too much of the trauma, and Noah won’t allow himself to fall in love because he has seen what love can do to a relationship.

This also means having to look back in the past and face the traumas, and neither of them wants to do that. There has to be a means of letting go in order to move forward. It was interesting to see from the outside in how bad things can change and alter the choices made, even if it’s detrimental.

While there were plenty of growth moments witnessed within The First Date, it was also funny and charming, and one of my favorite characters had been Rosie’s mother. Usually secondary characters don’t have nearly as much change occur as the primary characters do, but it was awesome being privy to some of her decisions, in order to change her life for the better. I think it was a catalyst for Rosie, too, in making more concrete decisions based on love, not fear.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

USA Today bestselling author Zara Stoneley writes funny, contemporary romances that will whisk you away from the humdrum of everyday life and make you laugh out loud.

Growing up she wanted to be James Bond or UK veterinary surgeon James Herriot - instead she dallied with a career in IT consultancy, ran a dog grooming business, and had a brief spell teaching (variety is the spice of life!) before finally writing a bestselling novel and realising that at heart she'd always been an author.

She enjoys torturing (in a nice way) her characters for your pleasure and writes about friendship, pesky pets, troublesome relatives, hopes, dreams, love and happy ever afters. Her aim is to make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say 'ahhh'.

Follow her Facebook page to find out more about her home life in a Cheshire village with her family, a (very) lively cockapoo called Harry, and a bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron. Zara’s bestselling novels have been translated into several languages and sold around the world. They include Four Christmases and a Secret, Bridesmaids, No One Cancels Christmas, The Wedding Date, The Holiday Swap, Summer with the Country Village Vet, Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage, and the popular Tippermere series - Stable Mates, Country Affairs and Country Rivals.

Visit Zara online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Visit all the stops on the blog tour.

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