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Though this is short, it's well done, interesting, funny, sweet, charming, romantic and with really likable characters, including the furry ones.

I can't go into too much detail, or else I'd spoil the tale, but take a 30yo female who's determined that she won't go down the same route as her much-romanced and married mum, so who instead joins a dating agency to make a match made based on shared values and compatibility...But, Cupid's around in the form of a cute little dog, as just before her first date, she happens to meet a total stranger, in totally random, dog-induced circumstances, who begins to take over her thoughts...

Add in a BFF, mum to said cute dog (Chester, who seems to have the doggy version of Prader-Willi syndrome), funny and witty lines, a couple of contenders for the role of The One, a practically perfect ending (though I would have liked an epilogue) and this is an excellent tale.

It's possibly the best short romance that I've read in a long while, and it didn't even have any sex in it! At the end, I was pleased to see that there's at least another tale in this series, featuring the BFF, so maybe we'll get to see more of this couple then. Bye. I'm now off to track that down!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 6 November 2012
This is a nice comfy chick lit about Ellen who is convinced that the safest, most guaranteed way to find "Mr Right" is through online dating. When she meets Henry, she is in a dilemma; should she stick to her online dating formula or throw caution to the wind and follow her instincts? There are no surprises here and yes, it is a little predictable, but with easy to like characters and a storyline that will put a smile on your face. It is a fairly short read, can be read in a couple of hours - a pleasant way to spend an evening. I liked it, so 4 stars from me.
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on 4 October 2015
Title: Love At First Date
Series: Better Date Than Never (#1)
Author: Susan Hatler
From: Amazon
Genre: Romance
Release Date: 27th September 2014
Challenges: N/A
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Having watched her mother's failed relationships, Ellen thinks she knows what she wants; a man that's compatible with her, never mind all the instant connection and chemistry that people seem to go on about. When her friend needs her to puppy sit, Ellen reluctantly agrees and ends up taking Chester the miniature beagle to the vets when he chocks on a hair ball. There she meets Henry, a man that makes her pulse race and has her signing up for dog training lessons...

Susan Hatler really knows how to write a cute book. Love at First Date was short and sweet, and so long as you go into it expecting a quick romance and something a little short of insta-love, then it can be just what you need. For me this kind of book is a "filler" read, one when I don't want to get stuck into something heavy going or long, I just want a little bit of fun. And it serves it's purpose.

I liked that Ellen was using online dating, I don't think that that form of dating gets enough coverage in books. At the end of the day, this is a modern world and books should reflect that dating can happen online. I did also like that it didn't necessarily work and she actually found someone in a far more old fashioned way. It was definitely cute!

Something else that I liked is that Ellen never pretended to be someone else. She never pretended that Chester was her dog, or that she wasn't using online dating, or that she was worried about finding someone stable. Ellen was Ellen from the beginning of the book to the end, and I liked that.

This is definitely a quick light hearted read, but I enjoyed it for that purpose!
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on 10 June 2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this little novella. It was light-hearted, entertaining, fun and very sweet.

Due to her mother's bad choices with men, Ellen is determined that she needs to find a man with whom she's truly compatible. She's spent weeks researching on her dating website and has narrowed her choices down to two possibilities. Then her friend Rachel asks her to look after her puppy for the evening. Through an amusing turn of events Ellen finds herself at a dog obedience class and meets Henry. Is it time for all her ideas of how to find the perfect man to go out of the window?

Ellen is a great character, and Henry is such a sweet guy. There's also a great cast of supporting characters - canine as well as human. And, for those who like to know, this is a clean romance.

I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to reading more in the series.
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on 11 November 2012
I really enjoyed this short story - I found all the characters instantly likeable and I enjoyed the plot. It had the feel of an old-fashioned romance with humour and a slow build up to a happy ending.

Unfortunately with novellas a lot of story has to be told in not a lot of pages but this was well written, not too predictable and all the characters had depth.

It took me about an hour to read in a lunch hour during a busy day and it really lifted me. This is the first time I've read one of Susan Hatler's books and I'm now looking forward to reading more.
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on 6 November 2012
This is sweet and very romantic. I downloaded and read it in an evening. It was perfect as a light read at the end of a busy day. I've read a few of Susan Hatler's books now and enjoyed them all, but I think this one is my favourite so far. The characters are attractive, I find that I care what happens to them, it's entertaining to read and the ending has the "aww" factor. Perfect light-hearted escapism. I now intend to go back and re-read My Last Blind Date which I last read several months ago, as the story concerns Ellen's friend, Rachel.
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on 6 November 2012
I polished this off in 40 minutes and I enjoyed it. It's written well, is funny, has likeable characters and is a heartwarming short romance that quite easily could have been elaborated on to make a very good full length book.

If you have an hour to spare it is well worth a read.
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on 12 June 2013
I have also read some of Susan halter books and really enjoyed catching up with characters from the other books. I read truth or date first (which is also a fantastic book.) And had fun reading about how characters only mentioned in the past books came together. If going to read these books then I would suggest reading this first then truth or dare because it follows on from this book.
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on 29 July 2013
And I really do mean that, it's a novella so not that long and not that detailed. it does have some insightful views on how preconceptions about who your ideal partner should be get blown out of the water when you meet someone who doesn't meet any of those requirements - but there is just that magic between two people. Great as a time filler
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on 3 September 2013
What a great read, I laughed out loud a few times, was shouting at her a few times as well, but the whole story touched my heart and even though it's a story - the whole thing felt very real to me, I could certainly associate with the charactors. And the dog Chester - can I please borrow him
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