Review: Love at First Date by Susan Hatler


Love at First Date (Better Date than Never #1)
by Susan Hatler


Ellen may not believe in storybook love, but it’s about to rewrite her life . . .

Ellen’s figured out that finding the right guy is all about compatibility. That’s why she signs up for Detailed Dating—the local online dating scene in Sacramento. They ask men the hard questions, compare their answers with hers, then she filters through the profiles of each provided “match.” After numerous email exchanges, she narrows it down to two promising candidates she’s excited to meet in person.

When Ellen’s best friend asks her for a favor, dog-sitting leads to disaster and Ellen ends up at the local vet where she meets a man she can’t get out of her mind. Henry isn’t a logical choice, but she finds herself paying for dog obedience class to spend more time with him.

Ellen knows that in order to have a lasting relationship, she should take the safe route and go for one of the pre-screened guys. But, how can she think with her head when her heart keeps begging her to give Henry a chance?


Ellen is at her thirties, but still single and wary of guys. After her mom’s three divorces, she realizes that to be compatible and in sync with a guy is what she needs to get involved in a relationship. So she joins Detailed Dating, an online dating service that measures the compatibility of searchers and searchees. And she gets two matches and will soon be dating one of them.

Rachel, her best friend and office mate gets a date and asks her for a favor – doggie-sitting her dog Chester, who recently chewed on her beautiful black boots. When Chesters seems to have swallowed something, she takes the dog to the nearest vet and meets Henry, the most mysterious man she has ever known. He has recently rescued a dog and names her Kenzie and they’re doing an obedience training. He is good-looking, smiles a lot, helps her with training and is fun to be with. What’s not to love? Ellen’s clearly smitten with the guy, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him because he’s a complete stranger. She doesn’t like asking too many questions about a guy, unless it’s all stated in Detailed Dating.

Until Ellen finally gets to date her matches. Until all she thinks about is Henry and his mysterious ways. Until she learns from Rachel that he’s not going to get in touch with her again. Bummer!

I love this short story so much. I wish it was longer, though. I love Ellen and her eccentric ways and her naivety. Sure, she’s quite closed-minded sometimes, heck, she even annoys me with her compulsive thinking and over-the-top assumptions about Henry. But there’s something about her that I found charming about her. I like how she stands her ground and balances her choices, I like how she acts like an awkward teenager when she’s around Henry. She’s a doll!

I’m liking short stories lately. They satisfy me at some point and makes me think outside the box. I’ve read some books by Susan Hatler and I always find myself laughing and feeling like a lovestruck idiot in the end, but I don’t care. I gotta hand it to Susan, she’s the queen of short rom-coms and she deserves it.

 My Rating:

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