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The Dating Bender

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  80 reviews
A hysterical dramedy about a woman unhinged and at a crossroad. “Julian’s debut takes an unabashed look at a failed marriage, divorce, and dating under the scrutiny of a less than supportive family.” --former San Francisco Chronicle columnist, Adair Lara.

Here I am, on my knees in front of the Trevi Fountain, hoping like hell the legend is true. That the fountain gives you
Paperback, 323 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by Limitless Publishing
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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
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Karlita | Tale Out Loud
Single, married, alone, divorced, disowned and almost excommunicated.

Samantha Serrano, an impulsive and a misfit of a daughter wanted to get out of her dysfunctional family who surprisingly have parents with a drunken stupor even they were being the loyal Catholics. But by marrying her best friend — was her for only ticket to start a new life fresh and anew.

Thinking she had escape the worst part and hell of her life, comes a new struggles she had to face. Being serious in the relationship depart
Jul 31, 2017 rated it did not like it


You know how when you're driving down the road and you see an accident off to the side and you tell yourself not to be one of those annoying rubberneckers and then you find yourself looking anyway as you drive past? That accident is this book for me. I knew I shouldn't finish it but I'm no quitter and I just had to see if it could redeem itself. To put it nicely, it did not. This review is going to be rough and I'm going to try super hard to behave and be constructive with my criticism. But it w
Beneath The Covers Blog
This is a hard review for me, I don't like rating books low, but this one just did not work for me. I read the synopsis and had high hopes for this book, but it fell flat. Between the too many magazine quotes that she read in an article, to the all the times she got drunk and vomited to all the months that jumped ahead, I just could not get into the story.

*an arc was provided in exchange for an honest review*~Alison
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
My review has been posted on Shelly's Book Corner
★ Belle The Bibliophile ★
Sep 06, 2017 marked it as not-interested-anymore
"Men should never cry. I understand they feel pain too, but there was something disturbing about a guy whimpering like a sea lion."

Um. ONLY YOU honey. No one else thinks that way but you. [Side eyes]
Amanda Floyd
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Dating Bender was funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Samantha struggles with family life and her love life all while also trying to figure herself out. There were plenty of funny moments when Samantha tries to be sexy and its completely relatable. I found myself connecting with her simply because I know if I was in her shoes I would probably act the same way. She finds heartbreak and instead of crumbling it only makes her stronger. Part of the base of the story lies in her Catholic ro ...more
Gina Meier
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book will keep you reading just to find out what is going to happen next. Samantha's wedding kicks off this book with her husband Sheldon. Samantha's family doesn't necessarily put the fun in dysfunctional!! Do not eat or drink during this book because you may lose your contents. You will be laughing until you cry because of some of the scenes. I am glad that Samantha got the ending that she deserved. I was afraid at first but everything ended up just right. ...more
Tina Morgan
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
From the blurb of this book it sounded so good and so up my ally. Like I would absolutely love this book. And at the very beginning it started off that way but then it just started to fizzle and then I started to have to force myself to read this book. I didn't want to give up in case it redeemed itself so I struggled through. One of the worst things I hate to do is give a bad rating, hate it worse than anything because I know how hard these authors work at putting these books out. So I will say ...more
Robyn Corcoran
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This story has a lot of potential and a good effort for a debut novel. The storyline was a little repetitive but it did tie everything up at the end. It just took a while to happen without a lot of excitement but there was action.

Samantha is a klutzy young woman who hasn't really grown up. This story takes you through the ups and downs of her twenties.

Samantha is a likeable character, I felt sorry for her at times but then at others I wanted to shake her soundly. Mind you with the dysfunctional
Valerie Cooper
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a thrilling yet exhausting ride! This book left me with two very strong feelings: thank goodness I'm married and thank God I'm not Catholic! I read this in one sitting and really enjoyed Sam's trials and tribulations of maneuvering through the dating world. Poor girl couldn't get a break. Until she did. ...more
A Holland Reads
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first book by this author and I found it enjoyable. I liked that it was fast paced. From the start I liked Samantha even though at times she made me crazy. I think there is a part of every woman that can associate with her at times. She can make you sad, mad and laugh all in the same book. The author did a good job of developing both the characters and the story. She made you want more with each page. A fun book for a rainy day.
Roxanne Davies
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Right I'm gonna be brutally honest in this review. I only got to 47% through this book before I had to stop as I couldn't read anymore. I'm not usually a quitter but I really couldn't go on with this book and here's why ....... When i first started this book there were nicknames given to each other by Sheldon and Samantha e.g. pooh bear and I found this extremely annoying as every other conversation started with an annoying nickname. 2. The storyline didn't do anything for me and I didn't feel t ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was not a good read for me. I found the book to be very strange as in it didn't match the blurb whatsoever, Samantha quoted too many tv shows and magazines for her whole dialogue, and the relationships and storyline were all over the place. There was too much drama that made no sense and I couldn't wrap my mind around what was happening most of the time. There was something redeeming in the end by giving Samantha some growth, but overall it was a bit of a mess. ...more
Ana Manwaring
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Discovering who we are, what we love and transcending our crappy upbringings (or just escaping them) can be an arduous journey fraught with difficult trials and disastrous errors. We’re inculcated with our parent’s values, unfulfilled desires and bad behavior from our earliest memories. Samantha Serrano, protagonist of The Dating Bender, is no different. The adult daughter of good Catholic alcoholics, she flees her dysfunctional family into a marriage that’s all wrong for her and begins her year ...more
Cindy Roesel
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
While second shots in life and romance are hard to come by, you can’t blame a gal for trying, and trying, and trying.
THE DATING BENDER (LimitlessPress) by debut author, Christina Julian is a laugh-out-loud satire about dysfunctional family relationships, women who love the wrong men, and one epic hunt for happily-ever-after. Can anyone reading this relate? Thought so.
Here’s Samantha’s story … and she’s sticking to it!
“Here I am, on my knees in front of the Trevi Fountain, hoping like hell t
Brooke Gunderman-Harris
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
For the full review go to:

Samantha grew up in a traditional catholic family. Church every Sunday and your parents scolding you when you did something wrong according to the Bible. Even when she did something not of their liking they would kick her out of the family until she righted the wrong doing. Until she marries Sheldon, her best friend. Her parents didn't agree with her marrying Sheldon but she saw it as a way to get out from under their roof and crazy antics
Pamela Greving
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Samantha is the epitome of a hot mess. She gets married to Sheldon to escape her parents. When Sheldon gets a job offer away from home, Samantha starts on her own journey to find herself.

I wanted to love The Dating Bender. Unfortunately, I'm not sure my sense of humor lined up with the author's. The author has a lot of potential, however, there are some things that would have helped me like this book more. I felt there were way to many plugs for different magazines, television shows, and music a
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

This is my first Christina Julian read and I have to tell you I did certainly enjoy the humor and laughs while reading. Her twist on the world of dating and finding yourself was certainly different.

When we meet Samantha she has one goal, marry Sheldon and get away from her family and their scrutiny. When life gets in the way she finds herself divorced and not exactly sure what to do with herself next. As you read on you get to have a few laughs at
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
I honestly had high expectations when it came to this book. This is exactly my type of book, a little bit of drama, a sassy female lead, and hot steamy sex. However by about 20% of the way through the book, I had a feeling this book was not what I had hoped it would be.

For debut novel this had great potential, but the repetative nature of the storyline and the flat characters do not help the story develope in the way we would all hope.

By 50% of the way finished I was still unable to connect to
Shelly's Book Corner
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lourdes-reviews
Samantha Serrano is a young woman from an apparently devout Catholic family. She gets married for the wrong reasons and ends up divorced, which her parents do not take kindly, and then tries to move on with her life away from them.
I only made it up to 57% of this book, but after 2 days of torture could not keep going. There’s no coherent timeline and, what some people might find funny, and found borderline offensive not to mention other things I can tolerate if they bring something to a plot I h
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
FirstLine ~ Dad was tanked, which was no surprise, yet he stood eager and ready to walk me down the aisle.

I enjoyed this book. There is no good way to face your future when your past is one that was not perfect. It is easy to follow the road that leads to self destruction because that seems like the way we are destined to go, but our future is our own to form and I loved watching Samantha grow and change and create her own path. I could relate to this book and found it to be a quick and interes
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can definitely relate to Samantha's plight. Life seems to spiral and yet she holds her own, living and learning. Having moments of laughs, friendships, hookups, loves, and breakdowns sometimes left wondering why me ?
Growing up a Catholic myself, I definitely could relate to her parents being the way they were and the guilt trips you can put yourself through.
Samantha reminds me of something Marilyn Monroe once said, "I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I'm not the devil. I am just a sm
Melissa Shain
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book. Once I started to read it I simply couldn't put it down. From start to finish it kept me interested and wanting to know more. Loved it! I will be definitely telling friends about this one. ...more
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received a complimentary copy.

Wowsers that's a doozy. This author put a little too much raunchy into this book. It just did not really go anywhere with all of its too much attempt at funny. The added over drunken times and more risky wording made this book stand offish. Just not something I could recommend easily. There are people out there that crave and need this kind of material and for them I would highly recommend.
Heather Lovelace
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was full or sarcasm, wit, blunders, and fun. You'll find yourself cheering for Sam and hiding your face for her in embarrassment in alternating moments. The characters are real and flawed and sarcastic. I enjoyed the characters and plot. I appreciated the author weaving a tale that wasn't fluffy and perfect. It was messy and real. Enjoyed it. ...more
Danielle Dunbar
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well a quizzical read. I loved some of the characters in this book and got with the mindset of the main character. I felt the story did jump quickly in places and could have done with a little bit more detail in some on the settings. She's a little barmy but aren't we all sometimes when we let our libido rule our hearts and heads. A good holiday/ travel read. ...more
Becky Baldridge
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I love a good romantic comedy and I had high hopes for this one, but it fell flat for me. I didn't find Samantha at all likable. She has loads of Catholic guilt, but that doesn't prevent her from sleeping with someone else while she's still married, or from sleeping with a married man. Cheating in fiction doesn't offend me, it is fiction, after all, but the actions just don't work with her guilt. Between the bed hopping, drinking, and inability to control her gag reflex, she's also indecisive an ...more
United Indie Book Blog
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hot mess alert!! Samantha is just one big hit mess and I love her! I do have to say some chapters were slower than others but I overall enjoyed reading Samantha's laugh out loud, don't read in public and sometimes heartbreaking story. I am looking forward to reading more from Christina Julian.

Review by Raychel
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't usually read this kind of novels, but description convinced me it may be a fun story.
Unfortunately after I finished it I can only say, that this is not a story for me.
It reminds me of "Sex and the City " show. Woman is chasing man and it is all about sex.

Synopsis: Samantha Serrano is getting married to escape her family. When she has a problem, she looks for help into women's magazines. Raised in Catholic family, it is hard for her to keep her parents proud and happy, especially when no
Sassy Southern
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
From the blurb of this book it sounded so good and so up my ally. Like I would absolutely love this book. And at the very beginning it started off that way but then it just started to fizzle and then I started to have to force myself to read this book. I didn't want to give up in case it redeemed itself so I struggled through. One of the worst things I hate to do is give a bad rating, hate it worse than anything because I know how hard these authors work at putting these books out. So I will say ...more
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Christina Julian writes snarky rom-coms that celebrate the underdog and live to make people laugh. She adores dysfunctional leading ladies and the tangled twisty lives they lead. She adamantly believes there is nothing in life that can’t be conquered with a bodacious wine, strong cup of coffee, or a generously iced cupcake. When she is not tapping out her next novel or wrangling her 3-year-old twi ...more

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