I will admit that I was so looking forward to this book and dreading it as well. I loved Casting Lacey but The Road to Madison frustrated me beyond belief. Which side would 30 Dates in 30 Days fall on? Thankfully this one fell in the Love It category.
Veronica Welch is a woman with a plan – make partner and get a partner by the time she’s 35. Well on the way to her professional goal, she is sorely behind on her personal goal. Thankfully her assistant, Bea, and mother, have her covered and signed her up for an online dating app (Ryder) so that Veronica can efficiently skim though available lesbians and find Ms Right to check off that final box. Meeting each date in a local pub, she gives them under an hour for the “interview”. Obviously, there’s some rather amusing dates and the drink choices definitely set the stage for the personalities of her dates; but, Spencer blends in a few women who actually seem like they would be a good match.
Veronica isn’t necessarily an ice queen, but she’s brilliant, focused, practical and has a wonderfully dry sense of humour that makes this rather silly premise work quite well. As much as she protested Bea and her mother’s scheme, she secretly wants a relationship and love but has been so focused on her career, she doesn’t really know what she wants in a partner – just that she’ll know the it when she feels it. As she progresses through the dates, it’s more and more obvious that she’s really not sure what she’s looking for, but Rachel Monaghan, the cynical wedding photographer who avoids relationships, seems to have that mysterious “it” factor.
Helping out her cousin by manning the pub in the evenings, Rachel is quickly drawn into the unfolding parade of dates – and her attraction to Veronica is definitely at war with her reticence in entering another relationship. There’s a definite sizzle between the two women and Rachel’s reluctance sets up a great push and pull dynamic that amps up the chemistry. Both she and Veronica are likable and you can’t help but root along with the pub’s peanut gallery of regulars that they both get on with it.
On top of two really engaging main characters, Spencer has an interesting cast of secondary characters – friends, family, the regulars at the bar who watch Veronica’s dates like it’s a spectator sport. There’s a wonderful sense of connection with them all – no cardboard cut outs or stereotypes, each one feels real and endearing. If you’ve read her other books, Ana and Madison make a brief appearance – thankfully they have run out of angst (omigod did they have angst) and have settled nicely into their HEA, making them great secondary characters for this story.
30 Dates in 30 Days is a fun read – Spencer imbues the story with some great humour and witty banter that brings the characters to life and the romance works wonderfully. I really enjoyed this one – it hit all the right notes for me and left me with a bit of an aw shucks smile on my face when I finished.