Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was an ok contemporary romance novel. It follows the exploits of three co-workers and friends at a monthly periodical (not a magazine, mind you) as they sign up with a dating service that promises to deliver your soulmate during one 24 hour long date. The service boasts a 100% success rate, and promises a money-back guarantee if the match is not successful.

Thirtysomethings Charlie and Milo are tired of the same old dating app failures. Milo finds an ad for the 24 hour dating service and begs Charlie to sign up with him. Charlie is more skeptical and decides to go “undercover” to write an exposé on the dating service. She’s matched with someone she never would have chosen for herself, and yet…as the date progresses, the couple find themselves completely enamored with each other. Charlie quickly abandons her plans to write the story. Milo, having suffered 3 breakups in 3 months, is desperate to find Mr. Right and settle down. When he’s matched with a man he had an unfortunate encounter with while he was in his 20s, he’s certain the date is doomed. But, 24 is a long time and who knows what can happen in that time? Tamara, 43, divorced with 3 kids and a business to run, had decided that a love life for her was something in the past, but at the last minute decides to join Charlie and Milo. Her date is nothing like she expected at all. But, perhaps there is something to be said for someone choosing what you need, rather than what you want.

This all sounds like a great set-up, doesn’t it? I thought so too. I was excited to read this book. Sadly, it fell short for me. Firstly, it’s way too long for what it is. The book reads very slow, which was frustrating. I almost gave up about half-way through, although I’m glad that I finished it because it did pick up about 3/4 of the way through and I ultimately enjoyed the book. Secondly, there was too much stuff about the periodical. It halted the story in its tracks every time. A little bit for backstory is fine, but too much takes away from the romance story and that was the story the author was trying to tell (I think) – not one about a family’s long-term magazine business.

I liked all of the main characters. Charlie was smart and ambitious, with just enough snark to be funny but not mean. Milo was a hoot and was by far my favorite character. He was loving and caring and earnest, but in a cool, not desperate, way. Tamara was a bad-ass boss lady who did the best she could with her kids and was too hard on herself. I’m sure a lot of people will relate to her. If the book was pared down to just the dating agency and romance storylines, I would have given it a higher rating. Sadly, all of the extra magazine stuff slowed the story down and hence, brought my rating down.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Head of Zeus, Aria. All opinions are my own.