30 Dates in 30 Days by Elle Spencer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I liked this book more than I expected. I was a bit skeptical of the concept when starting it. The characters, however, are very likable. Both the main, and supporting characters all have great personalities and make up the biggest pull for this story. The minor characters that Veronica goes on her blind dates with are even all unique and kept the story interesting.
I had one major issue with the story. The tension and build up between the two main characters were delightful, but I feel like the story lost it’s forward momentum after they admit feelings and get together. The sex scene felt lackluster compared to the tension that they showed throughout. The end of the book also felt really abrupt, almost like it cuts off and is missing even the last few pages.
Full Review with Spoilers
This book was a genuinely pleasant experience. The concept did have me a little bit skeptical at first. The author completely squashed all of my concerns. The characters in this book are the driving force and what kept me reading t the end. Each person introduced is unique, with a full and interesting back story. Even the extremely minor characters that Veronica, one of the main protagonists of the book, sees for her 30 minute blind dates are unique and I could imagine them each being a part of their own stories.
Veronica herself is very likable even though she’s a bit grumpy and fed up with working so hard in life. It’s really part of her charm. She’s understandably frustrated. Her match comes from other main character Rachel, part time bartender at the bar Veronica uses for her dates. Rachel is also understandably jaded by life, though in a different way. She no longer believes in investing her who heart in another person due to being left at the alter by her previous love. Again, a totally understandable reaction. Despite this, Rachel is also is likable and interesting. At no point did I feel like her view of the situation was over emphasized, even with her shooting down Veronica so many times.
The progression of the attraction/relationship between Veronica and Rachel flowed very smoothly and naturally. While both of them feel a mutual sexual attraction, it’s Veronica who comes forward about it, allowing things to progress between them. Both of them being of very different opinions on the matter, Rachel stops things before they can get too involved. Veronica is speed dating in hopes of looking for her forever girlfriend, Rachel wants nothing to do that with again.
I love the constant tension between the two of them. Neither of them can deny they feel something and several occasions they nearly cross a line they can’t come back from. Their attempts to remain friends knowing this is exciting and I loved waiting to see where they would end up. Their banter both playful and serious is fun and heartbreaking when needed. The transitions that occur and alter the dynamics between them, like Veronica learning the truth about Rachel’s convictions, also feel like they make sense and happen naturally.
I did however feel a heavy drop off in the story near the end. The build up was fantastic, but when Veronica and Rachel finally give in to their emotions and decide to attempt a real relationship, the book looses steam. The sex scene that happens feels lack luster. I do understand that everything leading up to that moment is more important than the actual act, but somehow it just felt like it wasn’t worth all the waiting. Additionally, the book ends so suddenly. It was very jarring to realize I had read the last sentence and there was nothing more to follow. I felt like I must have been missing a page or two that made everything feel complete, like an epilogue was left out of the book.
Despite that ending leaving something to be desired, I liked this book a great deal. This was a very god example of the journey being the most important part, not the destination. Worth the trip.
Provided by Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley for an honest review.
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