The Dating Charade

· Thomas Nelson · Narrated by Kevin Kilpatrick and Liz Stanislawski
1 review
7 hr 47 min
Want a free 14 min sample? Listen anytime, even offline. 

About this audiobook

Cassie is fed up with online dating, but just when she’s finally decided to give up, firefighter Jett Bentley takes her on an amazing first date. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

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 firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout—but when Cassie finds herself caring for three sisters in an emergency foster placement, she decides to hide them from Jett to avoid scaring him off. When Jett’s sister’s addiction issues land her three children at his home, he decides the last thing Cassie needs to know about is his family drama.

Neither dares to tell the other about their unexpected and possibly permanent family members for fear of scaring away their potential soulmate, especially since they both listed "no kids” on their profiles! With six children between them and secrets mounting, can Cassie and Jett find a way forward?

Melissa Ferguson’s warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

Praise for The Dating Charade:

“Melissa Ferguson is a sparkling new voice in contemporary rom-com. Though her novel tackles meaningful struggles—social work, child abandonment, adoption—it’s also fresh, flirty, and laugh-out-loud funny. Ferguson is going to win fans with this one!”—Lauren Denton, bestselling author of The Hideaway and Glory Road

“The Dating Charade will keep you smiling the entire read. Ferguson not only delights us with new love, with all its attendant mishaps and misunderstandings, but she takes us deeper in the hearts and minds of vulnerable children as Cassie and Jett work out their families—then their dating lives. An absolute treat!”—Katherine Reay, bestselling author of The Printed Letter Bookshop

  • Stand-alone contemporary romance
  • Full-length novel (76,000 words)
  • Also by Melissa Ferguson: The Cul-de-Sac War

Ratings and reviews

1 review
Donise Cinnamon
October 6, 2019
I read an ARC of the print book, but my review can also stand for the audio version.I will agree with the title for the first few chapters of this book, but not for the bulk of the book as it is sooooo much more. Poor Cassie is trying to find a decent guy to date, but seems to be only attracting bums. She and her best friend have the perfect routine down to help Cassie rid herself of the losers. After the last fiasco, Cassie's teen girl charges at Girls Haven decide that they need to help her, but it turns out that her best friend is the biggest help in getting Cassie hooked up with Jett. Shortly after their first date, both of them get a bombshell dropped on them in the form of children. Oh, how my heart ached for all the kids and then for Cassie and Jett as they try to deal with their new realities while trying to keep their respective charges away from each other. Then fate decides to deal all of them another blow or two before possibly allowing them to regroup and make a happier life for all. This book touched so many of my emotions and once I was into reading it, I did not want to stop until I reached the end and even then I wanted more. All is not sad and tumultuous as there are several lighthearted and fun moments thanks to the kids, two elderly ladies and some other friends. I just know that you won't be disappointed in reading this book. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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About the author

Melissa Ferguson is the bestselling author of titles including Meet Me in the Margins, The Dating Charade, and The Cul-de-Sac War. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and children in their growing farmhouse lifestyle and writes heartwarming romantic comedies that have been featured in such places as The Hollywood Reporter, Travel + Leisure, Woman’s World, and BuzzFeed. Follow Melissa with over 765,000 other subscribers at Instagram: @ourfriendlyfarmhouse; TikTok: @ourfriendlyfarmhouse; Threads: @ourfriendlyfarmhouse; or newsletter on her personal website:

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