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The Dating Charade

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  4,268 ratings  ·  821 reviews
Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.

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 firefi
Paperback, 314 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Thomas Nelson
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theStorykeeper No, there is no sexual content or references to sex whatsoever.

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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  4,268 ratings  ·  821 reviews

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Elisabeth Plimpton
3.5 stars

A cute and quirky read with more than meets the eye.

The Dating Charade tells the story of Cassie and Jett. Both are out of luck in the dating scene and aren’t planning to have their own children, each for different reasons. Cassie and Jett coincidentally know each other from high school. They end up being matched online and get together with the help of their friends.

Everything changes when two sets of three kids enters the picture. Cassie works at a Girls Haven and has the opportuni
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
2.5 stars

Oh how I wish I liked this novel more. Especially because there wasn't anything specifically 'bad' about it. It just wasn't the story for me but I am willing to appreciate the important topics that were brought into the story.

This novel included tough yet important issues such as addiction, neglect, foster parenting, and adoption. It really was a story that could open readers' eyes towards foster parenting and adoption and for that, I really wish I liked the overall story more. It open
Tracy  C
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
This started out really good for me but then fizzled a bit. Cassie is fed up with online dating and I loved her escape plan. Jett’s excitement in connecting with Cassie again was adorable. But once the story lines regarding both sets of children were introduced, the romance took a back seat. Cassie and Jett barely had any interactions, which made the ending a bit far fetched for me. The writing was good, but I think the children really overpowered the romance.
Rachel McMillan

A jolt of energy featuring one of the most unique romantic hooks I have ever read. Personality and zest shine through Ferguson's evident enjoyment at crafting hi-jinx and misadventures as two people slowly make way for love in the midst of major life upheaval. A marvellous treaty on unexpected grace and its life changing chaos, Cassie and Jett find beautiful vulnerability in redefining what it means to live happily-ever-after.
Jessi ❤️ H. Vojsk [if villain, why hot?]

Cute story about two singles adopting children and hiding them from each other only to end up as a big patchwork family.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I am almost always sucked in by a cute cover and a moderately interesting blurb. This book has both. At least to me. Y’all know by now that I am almost always going to click on a book that mentions online dating. And this blurb mentions single parenting. I felt like I had to read it.

Then I noticed it was published by Harlequin’s Christian Printing imprint. I debated not reading it, but I decided to give it a go. I watch plenty of Hallmark movies that kind of dance around faith/religion. I figure
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming and funny with a surprising serious undertone.

I was expecting Rom/Com but I wouldn't technically categorize The Dating Charade as a romance. It has the beginnings and endings of one but the middle is something else entirely. Not quite women's fiction either. I think chic lit might suit this book best -- even though we get the hero's point of view and usually chic lit is all from the heroine's perspective.

Despite being difficult to classify, Cassie and Jett's story makes for a captivatin
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I loved this story!!! I cannot believe that this is Melissa Ferguson’s debut! I am definitely going to be watching out for more of her work! I hope she’s a fast writer! This book was full of everything I love in a romance - humor, heart, wonderful main characters, great secondary characters, and, of course, a happily ever after with a few bumps along the way!

Jett and Cassie are both such wonderful and giving characters. There are some serious and sad parts to this story, which really brough
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I like the plot and the characters. The writing is good. I didn't feel like there was enough development of the romantic relationship for my taste. I like that Cassie's and Jett's POV went back and forth between chapters. There is a too much focus on the children for this one to be considered a "romcom" in my opinion. Love the cute cover! ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: march-2020
I was sent a copy from the author for a honest review.

I wanted to like this book so badly but with the chaos of kids always causing issues and me not feeling a connection for the couple, it was hard for me to finish this one.
Jes Drew
This book was a delightfully hilarious and also poignant read. A firefighter sees the opportunity to reconnect with his high school crush, now a woman who provides a safe haven for impoverished girls. Sparks fly- and then surprises drop from the sky. Our hero finds himself responsible for twin terrors and a nearly newborn infant, and our heroine finds her hands full with a teenager and two school age children. He calls upon the help of his roommate and neighbor, and she upon her best friend and ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been desperately searching for a new contemporary romance author to love and I have just found her! You guys. This book was amazing! Everything I wanted it to be and so so so much more!! From the very beginning I was completely hooked and I read the whole thing in one sitting! Everything was expertly crafted, from the characters, to the plot, to the romance, to the humor! Cannot believe that this is a debut-it was that well done!
I loved Jett and Cassie, both of them work in jobs that req
Lauren Denton
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ferguson’s voice is fresh, flirty, and fun! The book deals with some weighty situations—child abandonment, adoption, social work—but it’s also laugh out loud funny. I think fans of romcom are really going to like this one.
Sarah Monzon
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cute! This book totally reminded me of the movie Instant Family. The best parts were with Jett and the kids. As a mom who hasn’t been out of the toddler years for too long, I could soooo relate...and it makes me wonder just how much personal experience Melissa Ferguson pulled from her own kids. 😅.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
My first read of 2020! I really enjoyed it! Laughs AND tears too! This book is more than a Romance, in fact I feel the Romantic love isn’t even the focus so much (don’t worry. It’s a HEA type anyway) love making a group of people family is foremost in this book. You’ll laugh and cheer!!
Beth Erin
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review and author q&a on FaithfullyBookish.com

All the hearts on the cover of The Dating Charade are entirely fitting because this story has heart in a big way! I laughed, I cried, I hugged my kids, I told one of my kids to read this book! There is entirely too much I love about this story to put it all into words! The author has nestled Cassie and Jett’s story in a diverse and dynamic community of friends, family, and coworkers like a big ‘ol hug that’s always there when you need it.

The ro
Fiction Aficionado
I was anticipating this novel with equal parts eagerness and trepidation. Eagerness, because I’m always on the lookout for a great romcom; trepidation, because there were aspects of this story that had very real potential to annoy me rather than entertain. My verdict? I’m so glad I took the risk. Not only was it an entertaining and engaging read, but there is a serious, heart-tugging story at its core.

There were two things in particular that caused my trepidation. The first was that I wondered h
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
I read this one, turning each page and just hoping that the story would develop into the expectation I’d had going in.

The story was odd, there certainly was no “rom-com” this has so many serious elements to the individual lives of the two MC - and so little actual interaction between the two of them. Most the time it felt like I was reading two different stories about two separate individuals facing the new ‘norms’ that came suddenly into their lives.

So many plot issues too. At times I’m doing
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
There were so many bits I enjoyed in this book. The main characters are genuinely good people so it was easy to like them and root for them. The brief moments they were actually together and interacting were great but those were few and far between. It was mostly about Cassie and Jett in their separate lives, dealing with unexpected events and struggles. The story sometimes got a little long winded with the secondary characters and I will admit to some skimming. 😳 I guess I thought this was mor ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
This wasn't on my radar because I'm typically not a reader of romcom's but it was on my library's catalog and so I thought, "why not?"

The first half of the book for me was confusing, but I found once I got to the middle of the book, I began understanding what was going on. And, of course, liking it a lot more as well! It's not often that(at least to my knowledge) that adoption is a theme in fiction writing, but it's one I would like to see more of. It could be that I don't read enough
Jaycee Weaver
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sure fire way out of a reading slump! When you’ve read every trope out there told every which way possible, something truly unique begins to feel a bit mythical. Enter, The Dating Charade. Thoroughly unique in its premise, I was intrigued from the very beginning, sucked in before their first date, and in tears by the time it all came together.

While technically classified “Christian romance,” I’d call this inspirational at best. Light on faith elements, but heavy on real life. Sure, the plot is t
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Promising debut!

There were several cute scenes in this novel, some of them laugh out loud funny. The way that the romance begins and ends was very well done. On the flip side, the speed at which Cassie and Jett went from going on a first date to believing they'd found their soul mate was rather quick.

The two older ladies in the novel were tons of fun. Overall, a good read and I look forward to reading the author's sophomore novel.
Angie Thompson
I was extremely excited when I first saw this book, but I feel like the title/description/cover/etc. didn't really prepare me for the story inside. Everything about it screams "rom-com," and while I'd had prior warning that the romance was overshadowed by the kids (which I was totally okay with, by the way), I felt like the comedy element was also overshadowed, especially near the end, by some of the serious issues involved in the kids' situations. Not that there weren't comedic moments, and ple ...more
Amanda Tero
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was not at all what I judged it to be… which means I was pleasantly surprised. I love comedy, but I’m not the biggest romance fan, so yes, I realize when I sign up to read a rom-com, I might get more romance than I bargained for. But this was totally not the case. There was a lot of heart-wrenching depth to this story as foster care was a very big thread woven throughout the story.

The Dating Charade is a hilarious yet deep read. I cannot even count the times I actually laughed out loud whil
Fernanda Granzotto
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
“I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own”

Is not a bad book,but I didn’t connect with any of the characters and found the story very bland. I like the kids that are present in the story and how the author deal with them but is was not enough to make me like the book. It took ages to read the book and I admit that I skim read the last 100 pages so I do not reccomend this book after all.
Kara Isaac
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this charming and hilarious debut novel by Melissa Ferguson. There were many times hat I laughed so hard that I struggled to catch my breath and I devoured it in a couple of days. The only thing I would have loved more of is a few more chapters of Jett and Cassie together on the page :)
Cara Putman
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet story. The romance has hiccups, the supporting characters are fun, and my emotions were engaged.
Jul 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Aww this was so cute!!! My hunches are usually right but I literally had it right all the way through, either way I loved it. I think because I resonated so much with Cassies character.

Cassie is a 32 year old who’s been on countless amount of dates. She’s got escaping the first date down to the T! And if he so happens to make it through to a second date (which MANY don’t) you best believe she’s going to make him work for it. Cassie is pretty much DONE dating, she’s written it off, deleted the d
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic debut novel from Melissa Ferguson! The author’s writing style is easy to read and the book will have you laughing out loud at the hilarious encounters and events that fill the plot. But don’t let the humor and the light-hearted title of “The Dating Charade” fool you. The author addresses deep emotional issues involved in broken families and also highlights the sacrifice needed in loving and rearing children, whether blood-related or not. If you enjoy hilarious and heart-warming conte ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How much do I love this book? Let me count the ways. Seriously, I have not giggled and literally laughed out loud so many times while reading a book. I kept my husband from sleep and from doing our budget with my laughter more times than once! True romantic comedy, with quite the unique story line, The Dating Charade really does tick every single box. Loveable and quirky characters, flirty, fantastic dialogue and a supporting cast that will have you LOL'ing at all their many antics. This novel s ...more
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Bestselling author Melissa Ferguson lives in Tennessee, where she enjoys chasing her children and writing romantic comedies full of humor and heart. Her favorite hobby is taking friends and acquaintances and turning them into characters in her books without their knowledge.

Connect with her (and prepare for the possibility of becoming her next character) at:

Instagram: @our_friendly_farmhouse


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