In Christie Craig's third novel, she revisits the characters introduced in her first novel, Divorce, Desperate and Delicious. When Lacy's
mystery-writing best friend, Sue, receives a dead rat concealed in a box of chocolates, she thinks it's nothing more than a harmless prank. But when she starts getting threatening phone calls and a suspicious car following her wherever she goes, she realizes that there's someone out there who wishes her harm.
When Chase and Lacy go away for the weekend, Chase asks Jason, his partner, to keep an eye on Sue. Jason is more than happy to comply, because the last time he was with Sue they shared an electric kiss – one that he would very much like to repeat. If only she would let him get close to her.
Several elements in Divorced, Desperate and Dating work well, but several elements
do not. The villain isn't crazy simply for the sake of being crazy, and the
likeable secondary characters made for a more robust story rather than just
being page fillers. The mystery aspect is resolved early enough in the story that Sue and Jason can then focus on their relationship.
Unlike with Delicious, I found it very easy to put Dating down and walk away from the story. I still had issues with the dialogue; despite Craig's best efforts, Jason doesn't really talk like a man, and Sue sounds much older than her twenty-seven years.
While I can appreciate how one spectacular encounter can make subsequent interactions uncomfortable, I wish that both Sue and Jason didn't let their offscreen kiss color so much of the beginning of the book. The resulting cringeworthy displays made me wish that Jason and Sue didn't have a prior history and that they had met each other for the first time when the book started. If this had happened, the reader wouldn't have had to suffer through so much "he hates me…but he kisses so well" on Sue's part. Lastly, on a nitpicky note,
it's distracting that Divorced, Desperate and Dating has such a similar title to Delicious. When offered the chance to review this, I had to look over my past reviews to check the title on Delicious because I thought it was the same book. My fear is that people who read Delicious will do the same thing I did, and assume they already read Dating because the titles are so similar.
While Divorced, Desperate and Dating is by no means a perfect romance, it's not really targeting the hardcore romance reader. This novel, as well as Craig's previous efforts, seem better suited
for readers who enjoy a dash of romance with their mystery rather than the other way around. For a reader who's looking to cross into the romance genre, Craig's work might serve them well as a toe
dipped into the romance pool.