Caitlyn and Jonas have been friends with benefits for a couple of years now, but Jonas has fallen hard for Caitlyn and wants more. Caitlyn, however, is relationship adverse and thinks their arrangement is perfect. She has no intention of ever committing to anyone and wants things to just stay as they are. When Jonas tells Caitlyn he wants them to have an actual relationship, she turns him down, and shortly afterwards, he informs her that he’s met someone else and is going to pursue something with her. Caitlyn just stares at Jonas as he walks out.
Six months later, Caitlyn is still trying to move on and find another FWB but she’s stuck and she doesn’t understand why. Luckily, her best friend from college has a new dating app he is releasing and he wants Caitlyn to be his guinea pig – try it out for one month and give him feedback – and Caitlyn reluctantly agrees.
Jonas is trying to move on as well. He has been dating one woman since he and Caitlyn ended things between them, but he breaks it off when he realizes he is still in love with Caitlyn. He talks Caitlyn’s friend into letting him try out the app as well and, using a different name (Michael), starts to woo Caitlyn via messages on the dating app. He knows Caitlyn loves Star Wars so he sends her Star Wars jokes, hoping to build her interest in ‘Michael’.
Michael: Where is the best place to shop for lightsabers?
Caitlyn: I don’t know. Where?
Michael: The Darth Maul
Caitlyn: Lame. Do better
Michael: What’s a baseball player’s least favorite Star Wars movie?
Michael: The Umpire Strikes Back
28 Dates chronicles Caitlyn’s month using the dating app and she has some pretty bad dates – the app could definitely be improved. Some of the scenes are funny, some cringe-worthy. Jonas is a delicious hero – smart, interesting, patient, committed to his love for Caitlyn. He decides that Caitlyn is who he wants after all and he goes for it – all the time respecting her needs and fears. Some readers may be put-off when Jonas dates someone else after Caitlyn turns him down, but I was okay with it – he truly was trying to move on.
Caitlyn was harder to fall for. She is convinced that love is not for her and stews in this pot for a long time. I thought it was unfair of her to keep showing up in Jonas’ life when she had hurt him so much and was still confused about her feelings. Also, she meets most of her dates at the bar Jonas owns. She’s doing it for safety reasons, but I still had trouble believing that either of them didn’t see the problem with this. Caitlyn wonders fairly early on if she made a mistake pushing Jonas away, and the book spends too much time with them resisting an honest conversation and Caitlyn thinking she can’t have a relationship because her parents were a mess.
I’ve never wanted a man, and yet have I been fooling myself into thinking I’m not falling in love with Jonas Reeves? Was the largest mistake I’ve ever possibly made in my entire life sending him away? This.This is why love sucks. Everyone who falls ends up disappointed. Or worse. My own family is testament to that.
28 Dates is the third in Ms. Lynn’s Crazy Love series but it can be read on its own. Pet peeve: in the book Caitlyn has curly, red hair – the cover girl has straight brown hair. Things like this just pull readers out of the narrative as they do a double-take at the cover once the characters are described. I’m no expert, but this seems like something that shouldn’t happen as often as it does!
Overall, 28 Dates is a light and fun read – if a little uninspired. If you are heading to the beach and need an easy read for the plane or beach chair, this might work for you.