Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Dating Daisy" by Joanne Hill

Daisy Miller needs to save her book shop from going under, and she needs a plan fast. Her solution? Try out for TV's new Mystery Date show to get some free promotion. She just hadn't counted on winning a "date" with hot historian, Dr Joel Benjamin - or that Joel would be the tubby teen she'd commiserated with years ago after a blind date gone wrong. 

Joel has put those painful teenage years behind him, throwing himself into his work, where he isn't judged by his looks. But meeting Daisy Miller is about to change his life in ways he never thought possible. But will Daisy ever believe that Joel can really, truly love her, when she's spent a lifetime feeling second best?
My review:
I had a hard time relating to the characters in Dating Daisy.  We initially meet Joel in an academic setting and it appears that he's a fairly normal, typical, academic-type.  But once he walks into Daisy's store, he spends much of the rest of the book coming across like much of a bumbling idiot.  He can't remember Daisy's name for the next two or three times he's asked.  He demonstrates clear disdain for her store, and most things about her.  Even after Daisy and Joel become closer, he's quick to criticize and demean Daisy, even while he professes to be falling in love with her.  A little bit of bumbling I would chalk up to a bit of social awkwardness, but his lack of empathy or ability to demonstrate basic tact and social aptitude just made his character a bit unbelievable.
I enjoyed getting to know Daisy and the struggles she was facing with her business.  She has spent most of her life feeling second best - to her sisters, to her husbands, to everyone.  So she has major self-esteem issues that, honestly, are not going to be addressed by the aforementioned socially-inept Joel.  Yet off she goes to an island vacation with him.  While I believe the author was trying to continue Daisy's issues with self-esteem and her struggles with social norms, I felt it completely unfathomable that she would be attending a fancy dinner on the island, with Hollywood types in formal gowns, while only wearing a t-shirt and jeans skirt.  It just wouldn't be happening.  Those types of scenarios just make the book seem unrealistic in many of its depictions of scenes.
I did like the story line and how it progressed, using the reality show as the impetus for much of what is happening to Joel and Daisy.  Although the title of the book is a bit of a misnomer, as Joel doesn't really "date" Daisy, I was able to continue reading the story and enjoying aspects of it due to the story line - even when I wanted to smack Joel upside his head and bring him back to the reality of his social awkwardness.  This was a short, easy read and if you can handle a male lead who sometimes makes you want to pull your fingernails out from the roots, you'll enjoy reading Dating Daisy.
Goodreads - Amazon

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