Title: Date and Dash
Series: Better Date Than Never #10
Author: Susan Hatler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 10, 2015
Publisher: Hatco Publishing
My Rating: 4 stars
Mary Ann Nielsen lives by her one-strike-and-you’re-out dating policy, but she’s always open to meeting the right guy. When she accidentally rear-ends handsome Trevor Brooks on her way to a charity auction to buy back her beloved grandmother’s long lost bracelet, she figures this unconventional meeting could at least turn into a hot date. Wrong. Trevor is annoyingly responsible and more concerned with insurance reports than responding to her flirting so he earns three strikes right off the bat.
Flustered from the car accident and being rejected by gorgeous Trevor, Mary Ann mistakenly bids on the wrong auction item and loses out on reclaiming her grandmother’s bracelet. Instead, she wins four dates on a reality TV show with none other than stuffy Trevor Brooks. Now she’s broke and the only way to get the money to buy back her special family heirloom is to win the grand prize money from the televised couples competition by convincing the audience that she and Trevor are in love.
While dating Trevor on the show, Mary Ann discovers the reliable analyst is fun and kind-hearted. In fact, the more she finds out about him the more she starts to fall for him. Could giving Trevor a second chance mean winning not just the TV show and her grandmother’s bracelet but the love that Mary Ann has always dreamed of?
Read on for my thoughts on Date and Dash. No true spoilers, promise.
I will freely admit to secretly hoping that the Better Date than Never series never comes to an actual end. I know, that is not realistic. But I love these short stories. They are the perfect size for a quick read, a fun adventure, sexy, loveable characters and a resolution that makes sense. Plus you never know who from a previous or perhaps a future novella are going to pop in for a visit. I know I am going to get an entertaining, fun reading experience with Susan Hatler and this series – and that is not a bad thing at all.
Date and Dash was told from Mary Ann’s point of view. She is not a trusting person at all and the guys in her life have to prove themselves very quickly. Her one strike and you’re outta here dating policy is rough – and difficult for any guy to make much of an impression – because guys, well no offense to any male readers here, but at times guys can be pretty clueless. Yreah, really. Mary Ann is single minded and when she’s on a mission that is the only objective on her mind.
Mary Ann’s grandmother was one person who made her feel powerful, who instilled a sense of believing in herself – but unfortunately, that belief had a particular prop. When she put on her Grammy’s bracelet, a one of a kind bracelet, Mary Ann felt like Wonder Woman and could face anything. At some point in the family history the bracelet had to be sold for financial reasons – and it’s powerful “magic” was lost to Mary Ann.
As an adult, Mary Ann has been in relationships where her heart was broken, and it is from those experiences that she developed her dating policy. She doesn’t give a guy a chance to hurt her again, she doesn’t even give herself a chance to get to know the guy. After a stressful day at work she heads to her sister’s apartment to raid her ‘fridge. While munching on leftovers Mary Ann spots a brochure for a charity auction going on that evening. Casually looking over the offerings she suddenly comes upon her grandmother’s bracelet. That magical shield that could give her confidence and fix everything in her life. But the auction is tonight and she needs to get there now.
Of course, rush hour traffic is backed up and she’s just going to make it on time if she is very lucky. Speaking of luck, Mary Ann looks down at the picture of the bracelet once more – and runs into the back of the car in front of her. Just great.
As the handsome driver of the other car gets out and surveys the damage to his car, his classic car, Mary Ann prepares her best pout and flirt to get moving out of there fast. Neither is hurt, they just need to exchange insurance information but… the stoic driver, the annoyed driver takes none of the flirt and pout and let’s just exchange insurance info and move on… no, he wants the police on site for a report. So handsome man gets strike after strike, and she is going to be late for the auction because of him. Mary Ann calls her friend who is already at the auction and asks her to make a bid on item number 65. Only… that’s the wrong item number, that’s the auction for a date with the very annoyed man holding her up to be on a reality show with Mr. Struck-Out-Big-Time.
And so the fun begins.
Throughout this novel we watch, through Mary Ann’s eyes, as this farce of a reality show begins to turn into something more promising. We also watch as she shows how easy it is for anyone to walk over her and take what is rightfully hers. I was so glad to see Mary Ann finally, slowly, begin to gain confidence in herself enough to stand up for what was right not easy.
Date and Dash was a fun read with charming characters. I enjoyed their journey toward happy ever after. I especially enjoyed seeing Mary Ann become so much more once she realized she didn’t need magic bracelets to be powerful – and once she saw that even with strikes, there are great guys out there, one perfect for her.
Looking for a fast read, fun, flirty story with characters that we probably know from our own lives? Then you’ll love Date and Dash. Go pick it up, Enjoy.
*I received an e-ARC of Date and Dash from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
~Any review is just one person’s opinion. You might feel the same or totally different. The only way to know for certain is for you to read it. This was my opinion of this particular book.~
Date and Dash is available for the Kindle