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Blind Dates: Four Stories of Hearts United with a Little Help from Grandma

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Mattie Stevens has forgotten about Jeff Weatherly. After all, it's been years since the two were an item...but Grandma certainly remembers. What can Mattie do when Jeff returns to town and Grandma pushes her back toward "the one who got away"? As a successful interior designer, Callie's tired of men who pursue her for her money...so she's said good-bye to love. But Grandma insists she go on just one date with a particular architect - after all, he doesn't like "hard-headed" businesswomen! Will love unexpectedly enter their plans? When Grandma's latest "eligible young man" skips the blind date Chelsea agreed to, Chelsea sends a poisonous E-mail before learning what actually happened. Later, when his company renovates her apartment, she meets the man and finds attraction building. How can she win his heart. ..without divulging her secret of the ugly E-mail? Melissa puts on a wild woman act to drive off the latest blind date Grandma arranged. But wait - who's that guy waiting for her in the living room? Will inline skates help her get on track with the right man? Don't miss these charming stories of reluctant romance, spurred by a grandma who knows God has a perfect love for each of her four granddaughters.

352 pages, Paperback

First published December 31, 2003

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About the author

Kristin Billerbeck

61 books577 followers
About Kristin
I grew up with a strong sense of justice. I simply knew the way things should be. And since I’m not smart enough to be a district attorney, I am a novelist. My childhood was slightly confusing. I blame my parents for this. Oh heck, I’m going to blame them for everything. I think I would have turned out normal if it weren’t for them.
the billerbeck's

Okay, probably not. I am a fourth-generation Californian, and an American mutt, but identify most strongly with my Italian heritage. My mother’s family, of strong Norwegian/German descent, tried to teach me how to do things right. How to cook, clean, sew, budget accordingly – all the things a proper young girl should know to be a contributing member of society. I, however, failed miserably. For my 40th birthday, my grandmother gave me a cookie gun, so it’s clear she hasn’t given up on me yet! That is eternal optimism!

My dad’s Italian family taught me about the good life. The indulgent life. How to eat, shop and be merry. My Nana had very tiny feet and a penchant for shoes (she worked at the Emporium, no doubt to fund her shoe addiction). My afternoons at her house had no lessons, other than how to walk in her high heels, drape myself in her mink stole and drip myself with rhinestones. Tastefully, of course. I picked up on this lifestyle much quicker.

I graduated San Jose State University with a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications (emphasis in Advertising), gave my life to Jesus during college and found my true love in a Christian Singles’ Group, which yes, I skewer in “What a Girl Wants”. He is German. Practical. And a Contributing Member of Society. I am still Italian, fluffy and an aficionado of fine shoes & handbags.

Together, we have four children and now it’s our turn to confuse them. The circle of life. Dysfunctional family style.

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5 stars
71 (25%)
4 stars
86 (30%)
3 stars
98 (35%)
2 stars
19 (6%)
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5 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Rachel Brand.
1,043 reviews98 followers
April 20, 2015
I'm not big on novellas; I'll read them if the topic is really interesting to me, or if the author is one of my favourites, but in general I find them repetitive if they're joined together by a common theme. I read a collection a couple of years ago that centred around historical romances at Christmastime set in log cabins. Nine stories in total, and by the end, I was a little tired of the log cabin/Christmas themes. I probably wouldn't have picked this collection up on my own, but a friend leant it to me, and the idea of a grandmother setting all her granddaughters up on blind dates sounded pretty cute.

I won't lie--the premise is cute, and the grandmother in this book is pretty awesome. I hope I'm wearing t-shirts with whacky sayings and keeping up-to-date on new technology when I'm her age. However, there were several points when I was tempted to just give up on this collection. I'm glad I persevered, as the stories did seem to get better as I progressed through the book.

Several plot elements were repeated throughout the novellas, which made them feel free repetitive, and a bit contrived. In three of the stories, the heroine runs away from the hero because she overhears him saying something that she thinks is about her, and misinterprets it. I'm not a big fan of the Big Misunderstanding trope at all, but using it three times in the same collection? Not good. There are plenty of other reasons why the hero and heroine could be driven apart. Another repetitive plot element that bugged me, although not as much, was that several of the characters were reeling from bad relationships with someone who was just after their money. How often does this really happen? Maybe I'm just running in the wrong circles, but I've not met anyone with this problem. One character with this backstory is fine, but several of the characters in this book either came from family wealth, or made a ton of money in their job. I know it's seen as typical that every woman wants to marry a rich man, but these characters would be a lot more relatable if they earned a regular wage and occasionally struggled to scrape together a meal plan at the end of a tough month.

I love a authentic, well-integrated faith element when I read a Christian novel, but these novellas came across as downright preachy--and this is coming from a girl who reviews Christian Fiction on a regular basis. I did worry that maybe I was getting tired of Christian fiction in general, as I had similar issues with another book I read recently (For the Twins' Sake) but then I checked the publication dates of both books and realised they were from the early 2000s. Maybe I just don't like Christian novels from this time period? Maybe they were more preachy back then? Either way, this book did not have the kind of spiritual content that I appreciate. Aside from the heroine in the third novella, none of the characters had a personal spiritual issue to work through--instead, their stories were peppered with references to wanting to date a good Christian guy, wanting to witness to new acquaintances, and long descriptions of church services. Some of the references felt a bit forced, as if they were there to remind us that the characters were Christian. Others were just downright cheesy. One hero prayed with the heroine after their first date, and the heroine prayed that he wouldn't kiss her because she wanted him to meet her moral standards. (She could have just told him that she would prefer to wait until later to kiss, but that's besides the point). I think the most cheesy part was in the second novella, where the heroine tells the hero that they can't meet up with their business clients because if the the clients see them arguing then that won't be good for their "Christian witness" as they'll seem like they're just as bad as the rest of the world. Do people really say things like that in real life? Personally, I think it's good for non-Christians to see Christians struggling with real life problems because it's a great reminder that we are NOT better than the rest of the world--we're simply sinners saved by the grace of God.

Also, every single tiny plot element was tied up perfectly in each novella. Have you been witnessing to a new friend? They become Christians! Worried about your sister's crazy lifestyle? Her new boyfriend witnesses to her! And I think every couple ended up married or engaged, even through they hadn't known each other that long. I don't mind books ending in a wedding scene if it makes sense, but for some of these couples, I felt like they needed to spend more time together before they tied the knot. It's totally okay to have a couple in a committed relationship at the end of the book, rather than married. It's not any less romantic ;)

Overall? I didn't hate this collection. The first novella was okay, and I think they steadily got better from there, but I don't think I'd rate any of them higher than a 3.5. A lot of the plots felt a bit contrived (although this may just have been because they repeated some of the same issues between stories) and the spiritual element was just way too cheesy and forced for me. I think the third novella is my favourite, simply because the heroine is unconventional and is more assertive with the hero, and because she has a serious issue to work through with God.

I never really felt like I got to know the heroes in this collection, and looking back, I think the heroines got more POV time? I feel like this is typical of the time period for romance novels. Personally, I'm glad we get inside our heroes heads more nowadays :)

Ultimately, this novella collection will probably appeal to some people, but it was a bit too cheesy and contrived for me. I will be looking out for more books by Bev Hutson, since I liked her story the most. Not a complete waste of time (as it definitely helped me figure out what I do and don't like about romances!) but I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Also, my edition has an entirely different cover, and Kristin Billerbeck's name is spelled incorrectly. Sorry Kristin! That must suck.
717 reviews
January 1, 2019
This was an interesting read. It is four short stories about a gramma helping her grand daughters find the love of their lives. Smile. The stories were sweet and the idea is close to my heart.
I have prayed (and continue to pray) that our daughters will marry Christian men - and I have started to pray for our grandchildren. I know the desires of a gramma's heart.
I will keep this book.
Profile Image for Emily Yager.
Author 10 books84 followers
August 9, 2018
I loved this collection of fun, clean romances. A meddling, matchmaking grandmother with four single granddaughter's. All the stories followed a similar theme and felt a bit alike, but all in all a enjoyable read for a relaxing weekend.
771 reviews1 follower
August 14, 2018
4 stories from 4 authors, all about 4 cousins and the grandmother who sets each one up with a blind date. All kind of similar, and they all seemed to get engaged and married too soon after they met. But not bad for a quick read.
995 reviews
September 15, 2019
This was an interesting concept - four novellas written by four different authors. I only liked the story by Denise Hunter. I give that one 4 stars and the rest of the stories were too far-fetched for me or I didn't like the main characters. So the average for the book is 2 stars.
87 reviews2 followers
February 16, 2023
fun romp after all everyone knows grandma always knows best always enjoy books by all four of the authors that contributed to the book
Profile Image for Maryann.
129 reviews29 followers
July 25, 2010
Beautiful christian stories about a meddling grandma that sets up her four grand-daughters on blind dates. I gave it 3 stars because I kept losing interest in reading by the time I came to the third story in the novel. The change in authors only affected the change in writing skills but I found that the characters were consistent in all stories except "Jeff". He changed dramatically in the last book-but that's probably because the reader finally gets to know him better there. The fourth book was too rushed, too unrealistic and had a poor plot. Anyhow, I still enjoyed reading them. They make a sweet read when you're really bored.
Profile Image for Lisa.
243 reviews1 follower
August 29, 2011
I was given this book by a friend. She said I would enjoy it and she wasn't wrong. Faith based romance isn't something I would normally pick-up. I'm glad I gave this book a try. The four stories were unique but wonderfully tied together. One story hit close to home for me and at points in the story brought me to tears because of how similar it sounded to my own situation. The grandmother is the story is a hoot. Again, something I can easily relate to with a grandmother who is 90 and still going strong.

Give this book a try. The stories aren't very lengthy but they are enjoyable.
139 reviews3 followers
December 11, 2009
So I found this book while looking for a different book by the same author (or at least one of them-there's 4 different authors). The title totally got me. Not in a million years could I imagine any of my grandmothers trying to set me up on a blind date let alone actually going on the date. Gotta love grandmas. Each of the stories was written by a different author. 3 of the 4 were really good, the 4th-needs to work on her writing skills....just my opinion.
Profile Image for Larik.
194 reviews7 followers
May 29, 2013
I love their grandma!!! Each story was fun and sweet in itself but taking a pastor on uncontrolable riding with blasting music and to top it off with crazy rolerblading made me tear up with laughter. But then again putting into submission an egocentric architector was was not just fun but downright sinfull.
Sweet fun grandma, four independent rebelious cousins and four poor-poor men make up quite a book!!
Profile Image for Damecatoe.
102 reviews48 followers
August 2, 2007
No matter your reading tastes, don't even bother with Blind Dates. It's actually like 4 mini-books in one. I attempted to read 2 of them, and they were so bad, I just gave up. You would have to know the inordinate amounts of sucktastic fanfic that I have read to realize just how bad this makes Blind Dates.
Profile Image for Marissa.
7 reviews
Currently reading
January 13, 2010
The first story was pretty good, they aren't going in exactly the right direction as you would think. This is definitely a chick-lit, and, although the end is predictable, it's interesting how they get to the ending.
Profile Image for Rachel.
3,076 reviews51 followers
May 2, 2016
This is a sweet collection of connected Christian romance novellas; in this one, four cousins are set up by their Grandma on dates because she really wants them all to have a great marriage like she did. I like this collection a lot and have read it several times.
Profile Image for Haylie.
524 reviews
December 10, 2007
I pretty much liked it. The stories were pretty good, all kinda had the same message. "To follow you heart, also follow God" A good book all the same
17 reviews3 followers
April 4, 2008
I don't totally remember this book, but I don't remember being very impressed. I prefer her other books.
Profile Image for emyrose8.
3,516 reviews15 followers
April 19, 2013
3.5- I liked the first two stories; the last two didn't really trip my trigger, especially the very last one. That one seemed to contradict itself over and over and the love story seemed too easy.
Profile Image for Melissa.
419 reviews9 followers
June 11, 2014
Four cousins being matched up by their grandmother. All the stories are really sweet and refreshing.
Profile Image for Lesli Polk.
16 reviews2 followers
April 22, 2013
Cute, clean novel with four different stories of love and faith by Ms. Billerbeck and three other authors. A great read.
Profile Image for Michelle.
306 reviews6 followers
May 2, 2015
This was an enjoyable read. A little bit of humor and fun with plenty of romance, the four novellas follow four cousins who have a matchmaking grandmother.
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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