Quirks's Reviews > The Two-Date Rule

The Two-Date Rule by Tawna Fenske
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2020-reads

I have once again ventured into the realm of heterosexual romances! Well, 'ventured' is a strong word. I've taken a peek at it. I just had a feeling, from the synopsis, that this would be a fun book, and that it wouldn't have a crappy female protagonist who would piss me off. And I was right!

The main characters are Willa and Grady. Willa has her own web design company, and she works very hard to make it grow into something that will provide her with the financial security her family never had when she was a kid. Grady is a smokejumper, meaning he jumps out of helicopters to contain bushfires and such. He, like a few of his brothers, followed in the footsteps of his father. Both Willa and Grady love their jobs. Their jobs take up a lot of their time. And these jobs are also part of the problem.

Well, it's not the jobs themselves exactly. Willa is afraid that a relationship will distract her from her job, and she'll fail. That's why she has a two-date rule. She doesn't go on more than two dates with anyone. Grady, initially, is fine with that rule. He has his own reason for avoiding relationships.

But from the first conversation, it's obvious how good they are together. They get along perfectly and seem to understand one another better than anyone ever has. And their first date is so great that neither wants to stop seeing the other just yet. So Grady comes up with a plan, one that Willa happily goes along with, to have dates that aren't dates. For example, if you go out in a group, that doesn't count as a date, right? And that's the beginning of some an adorable and entertaining series of non-dates.

Yes, there's still a feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it's overshadowed by how well the story is handled. There are a lot of potential moments for unnecessary angst, and the author takes none of them. That makes the characters look more mature. And it makes them more likable.

There's still a conflict toward the end, of course, but it's also handled well. And honestly, I think there needed to be one for Willa and Grady to come out stronger. In fact, the only issue I remember having was about a throwaway mention of therapy. Because, for me, when a character decides that there's a need to consult a professional, it needs to be addressed in more than a sentence or two.

...And that's it! This was a great book. A simple story with likable protagonists, that was elevated by how well the author developed them. She made sure the reader understood where each issue/insecurity was coming from. And that made a huge difference.

Thank you to the publicist for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 1, 2020 – Shelved
March 1, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020-reads
March 1, 2020 – Finished Reading

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