Friday, 24 April 2020

Release Day Spotlight and Review: The First Date by Zara Stoneley

The First Date by Zara Stoneley
Genre: Romcom / chicklit / contemporary women’s fiction
Publication Date: 24th April 2020
Publisher: One More Chapter / HarperCollins
Standalone Novel

Right place.
Right time.
Wrong guy …

After breaking up with her childhood sweetheart, clueless dater Rosie has found herself in a boyfriend-drought. So when she finally swipes right on a guy who seems interested, she can’t wait to meet up IRL.
Until she’s left standing alone. In a bar. Ghosted.
Enter Noah. Confident, funny … and a serial first dater. Offering to give Rosie a crash course in seduction, this could be just what she needs. Until her matchmaker turns out to be the best date she’s ever had – and Rosie wonders if she wants the fake dates to be the real ones after all …
A hilarious, heartwarming romantic comedy about what happens when the wrong guy turns up at the right time, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Debbie Johnson.

It's another winning novel from Zara Stoneley!

Rosie Brown wants to start dating again after her long term boyfriend Robbie left her and moved to Wales. After plucking up courage, she arranges to meet Gabe Stevenson who she met on Tinder only….he stands her up! Sat alone at a bar, she's approached by Noah Adams. He's good looking, flirting up a charm but not her type. Besides he's a self-confessed expert at first dates and someone she needs to avoid. Somehow though as they get chatting, he's keen to assist in helping her improve her first date chances, but why?

Noah Adams sees a woman sat at a bar. Sat alone, he goes across to talk to her and for some reason, she's not reacting to his chat-up lines; it's a blow to his ego. As they talk, she tells him the first date after her long-term boyfriend left her has stood her up. Eager to pass on his dating wisdom, he hatches a plan to teach Rosie dating techniques but is there more to his desire to just help her?

Firstly, I really liked Rosie and Noah together as they work through the first-date lessons he's put together for her. It's clear they both like each other as they form a friendship based on trust. There's lots of fun banter flying between and it's easy to see they are comfortable with each other. It can be argued Noah is conscientiously moulding Rosie into a stereotypical male object of desire. However, I interpreted his lessons as a way of lifting Rosie's confidence and self-esteem, all the while, there's an undercurrent of combustible chemistry sparking between them. So it's only a matter of time before they react to their attraction to each other only, all roads to a "Happily Ever After" tend to be bumpy and theirs is covered in rocks!

Rosie has "daddy issues". Thankfully our heroine eventually finds closure to this unfortunate issue which has held her back for far too long. Interestingly, it comes from an unexpected source and I liked this little twist of fate. Noah too has to face up to his serial one-date-only issues, which he does and it's Rosie's action which triggers him to face up to what has been holding him back. It proves they are meant to be together and leads to a more than satisfying ending.

The author has successfully written another hilarious and heart-warming romantic comedy filled with adorable characters and entertaining dialogue and it's my favourite Zara Stoneley novel!

Lastly and not least, an honourable mention to Hugo; for simply just been himself!

***arc generously received courtesy of One More Chapter via NetGalley*** 

USA Today bestselling author Zara Stoneley writes funny, contemporary romances that will whisk you away from the humdrum of everyday life and make you laugh out loud.
Growing up she wanted to be James Bond or UK veterinary surgeon James Herriot - instead she dallied with a career in IT consultancy, ran a dog grooming business, and had a brief spell teaching (variety is the spice of life!) before finally writing a bestselling novel and realising that at heart she'd always been an author.

She enjoys torturing (in a nice way) her characters for your pleasure and writes about friendship, pesky pets, troublesome relatives, hopes, dreams, love and happy ever afters. Her aim is to make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say 'ahhh'.

Follow her Facebook page to find out more about her home life in a Cheshire village with her family, a (very) lively cockapoo called Harry, and a bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron. Zara’s bestselling novels have been translated into several languages and sold around the world. They include 'Four Christmases and a Secret', 'Bridesmaids', 'No One Cancels Christmas', 'The Wedding Date', 'The Holiday Swap', 'Summer with the Country Village Vet', 'Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage' and the popular Tippermere series - 'Stable Mates', 'Country Affairs' and 'Country Rivals'.