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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Review: The Last First Date

Title: The Last First Date 
Author: Hayley Quinn

Publisher: 1st February 2023 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA

Pages: 272 pages

Genre: romance, contemporary

My Rating: 4.5 crowns


One date. One missed chance. One mission to find love.

At 31-years-old, Helen Pines is far from where she thought she would be. Whilst her ex-boyfriend is now engaged, Helen’s still eating ready meals for one, wistfully dreaming of her last first date.

Determined to give online dating a go, she matches with drop-dead-gorgeous Brody, and they hit it off immediately.

One date later, Helen’s heart is still singing. Brody’s everything she’s looking for in a man – sexy, charismatic, and the perfect gentleman. But then she receives an error message on the app… all her contacts have been deleted.

With nothing but Brody’s name and job title to go on, Helen is determined to track him down.

But despite the initial chemistry, Helen realises she knows surprisingly little about her mystery man… Was it really love-at-first like, or will she find a new love along the way?

An utterly hilarious laugh-out-loud romance that will have you grinning from ear to ear from the first page to the last! Fans of Our Stop and Mhairi McFarlane will love this book.

My Thoughts

The Last First Date is certainly a book to be read by rom-com lovers, however, what I truly appreciated was it delved a little deeper than the usual chick lit offerings. If you scratch the surface you will find there is more to this tale and it leaves the reader reflective and with a hopeful heart. 

‘Brody, 37

Entrepreneur, surfer, and committed Dachshund fan.

Taller than you in your tallest heels.

Looking to go on my last first date ;-)

The best part about this book is its honesty. Many women will be able to relate to the lead character, Helen and her dating experiences. Many pressures and anxieties (real or not, self induced or not) exist in wishing/hoping to find that someone special and settle down. From friends and family and most definitely personal doubts, many women dream/fear that their happily ever after may never come in today’s dating world. Helen’s journey there is fun yet infuriating but ultimately satisfying. 

‘As my mother once told me, far better to be left on the shelf than locked in the wrong cupboard.’

The story is more than Helen’s quest for finding the right man. Part way through the book it becomes clear that she is on a far more important journey. This is about her personal transformation, the growth in self confidence and how to recognise the wins in daily life - many thanks to Ish and Nanny G for that! I applaud the author for highlighting the fantasy many hold in their hearts and minds, finding themselves disappointed with reality, when in fact there is often a greater force that leads us to what will actually make us happy. 

‘No matter what her friends said about it being totally normal to be single in your thirties, Helen felt herself oscillating between feeling flat and sheer panic. Rather than being an up and coming … she now felt unquestionable pressure that she

should have 'up and come' by now.’

This is a fun, fast read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The character is real and flawed but her development brings hope. Who doesn’t desire sincere human connections! You know the drill, you know you will get your HEA but the ride there takes the scenic route! Persevere and you shall be rewarded - who knows many of you might be inspired when looking for your Last First Date

‘A secret part of Helen, untouched by the cynicism that modern dating had ruined everything, also wanted to prove that love could still conquer all. That when someone truly loved you, that they could always find a way of coming back.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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