Blind Date

Bella Jewel. St. Martin’s, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-10836-4
Jewel (the MC Sinners series) opens her standalone contemporary romantic thriller with fun characters and an interesting setup, but suspense is not the book’s strong suit. Thirty-three-year-old widow Hartley Watson insists she’s not ready to return to the dating scene. Even though it’s been four years since her husband, Raymond, died in an automobile accident, the whole notion of dating scares her. Nevertheless, when her friend Taylor presents her with three prearranged encounters via an online dating service, Hartley grudgingly agrees. The first two are disasters. Number three, however, looks like a match: Jacob is good-looking, considerate, charming, and employed. He’s totally unlike Hartley’s detective neighbor, Ace Henderson, who mostly refuses to acknowledge her existence but is sometimes directly rude. These relatable characters are set up in a way that could lead to any number of interesting and innovative stories, but instead, Jewel relies on a familiar plot. Shortly after Hartley starts dating Jacob, certain items suddenly, mysteriously appear in Hartley’s apartment—things only Raymond would have known about. From there, whatever tension Jewel may have built is diluted by the story’s utter predictability. Agent: Kimberly Brower, Rebecca Friedman Literary. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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