This is such a cute novella!
A not-so-recent divorcée, Arden is fine on her own. She really is. Her family however, and her dad in particular, keeps asking when she’ll start dating again. When she inadvertently lies to her father and pretends to be seeing someone, her sister posts an ad on the Don’t Be a Stranger app looking for a fake date to Christmas dinner. Rosie left Manchester for New York to work as a marketing consultant for the app and is terribly lonely. Her attempts at dating keep failing, so why not try a fake date if it means not being alone for Christmas?
Usually, character descriptions are wasted on me. I don’t remember hair or eye colour, height, anything physical. I remember personality and, as with everything else, emotions. It’s probably not surprising then that knowing Rosie looks like “spring made flesh, with all the glorious chaos of a newborn lamb and all the bright colours of a garden in bloom” makes more sense to me than being told her hair is dark. It’s a perfect description for this sweetheart of a character. Arden is more reserved, not in a shy or ice queen-y way, in a more settled and content way. Unlike Rosie, she isn’t LookingforLove (Rosie’s handle on the app) but she’s not fighting the connection either.
The story takes place over a rather short period of time (it’s a novella) yet it doesn’t feel either instalust or instalove. The instant connection is just that, a connection, on which to build something more. I liked both main characters a lot. I also have to mention Arden’s sister Quinn who, at the time of the story, is a total mess. The glimpses we get of who she really is beyond the alcohol and too many parties make me root for her to turn her life over.
This was my first book by this author, I’m looking forward to more.