Married at First Swipe by Claire Frost – eARC Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

Hannah lives life on the edge. Never one to pass up on a new adventure, she has truly been living her best life. But once the adrenaline wears off, she wishes she had someone to spend the quieter moments with too. Learning that her best friend’s online dating business has taken a hit, she comes up with an idea that just might solve both of their problems…

Jess has been with her husband for twenty years. They have a stable marriage, great kids and run their own businesses. But what looks like a perfect life from the outside has its own problems within, and with her business on the brink Jess can’t help but wonder where the spark has gone in her life, and whether settling down is all it’s cracked up to be.

When Hannah embarks upon her latest scheme: finding a man using Jess’s dating app and meeting him for the first time at the altar, both women start to realise the grass isn’t always greener. Can Hannah help her friend save her failing business or will Jess stop her from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life?

In the modern tech-fuelled world of dating, is it possible to find true love?

My Review

I decided to read this book because I have a very strong fascination with the TV show Married at First Sight where a couple meet for the first time in their wedding day. The difference between that show and this book is that the couple are put together using an app, hence Married at First Swipe. And I thought to myself well this will be great, it’ll be filled with all sorts of comic hi-jinx and awkward hilarity, combined with an interesting look into why anyone would want to put their love life and future happiness into the hands of another person.

So I was excited at the prospects of what this book could hold…

Reader this book let me down so much.

It was boring!
There was no heart.
No true emotion.
No wit.
No humour.
Just a painfully plotted narrative and too much prosaic dialogue. And in addition, the book was written in this incredibly passive and detached style.

Also, I hated all of the characters. Usually I don’t mind unlikeable characters but the only personality traits these characters had were irritating ones and I was somehow supposed to be emotionally invested with them and their journey to ever lasting love and happiness?!?!?

Eh no….

The story follows two best friends… long time married Jess and perpetually single Hannah. Together they work on a dating app that promises to match people that are only interested in long term commitment and as a publicity stunt / desperate attempt from Hannah to meet “the one”, she convinces Jess to use the app to set her up with a man she will meet for the first time on her wedding day.

The prologue starts with Hannah being nervous before walking down the aisle and then flashes back in time to the day that she convinces Jess to be her matchmaker.

And to me this was the first error.

As it meant the buildup to the wedding lacked any emotional edge or drama. We already knew Hannah was going to make it to her wedding day and going through the motions of getting to that day was beyond dull. I came to this book to read about the dynamics between two people who were getting hitched that didn’t know each other and instead I got none of that. We didn’t even meet Hannah’s prospective husband until half way through the book!!! So by that stage it was too late for the author to build up any sort of relationship between the pair that would make me as a reader root for them to stay together.

The book also treats us to alternate chapters from Jess’ perspective on life. We see how her marriage to her childhood sweetheart is going to the wall and how she’s finding it impossible to get the work-home life balance right…

…and instead of feeling sorry for Jess and hoping that she’d work things out with her husband I was just there thinking divorce already and save me the tedium. I get that the whole point of this book was to show that communication within a romantic relationship is paramount but every character in this story was so freaking stupidly stubborn about that fact for so long made me quite frustrated with the read.

And my god Hannah’s blinkered naïveté made me roll my eyes so many times… was it supposed to be endearing to have an allegedly grown woman think that marriage was only ever sunshine and rainbows? A woman whose own parents had gotten divorced. And yet she seemed to never see that marriage isn’t a cakewalk for anyone??? That like anything in life it ebbs and flows! I just despair at that level of imbecilic behaviour from her.

But I think the most annoying thing was how the important events in the book ALL HAPPENED OFF PAGE!

The make or break interviews with the bank about the survival of the dating app – off page.
The interviewing of prospective husbands – off page.
The wedding – off page.
The night of the wedding – off page.
I could go on!!!

And that is primarily why the book felt boring. I was told everything after the event rather than getting to experience it as a reader. So I therefore never cared about the characters because I was never with them on the page during the truly key points of this plot.

Sadly I didn’t enjoy this book at all. There was no cuteness, no flirty moments, there was a complete dearth of humour… and for a book about love there was absolutely no romance! Not for me.

*An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review*

Publishing 1st March 2021, Simon and Schuster UK

3 thoughts on “Married at First Swipe by Claire Frost – eARC Book Review

  1. Ah, I’ve missed reading your reviews 🙂 This sounds painfully awkward. I think even the premise itself sounds a bit funny to me, but wow, this sounds like a real let down! I HATE when adult characters are presented with that kind of naïveté that you mention Hannah has… It’s probably the most irritating thing I find in romances lately and makes me want to throw a book across the room 😂 LMAO so I reckon I’d feel much the same as you, and will be giving this a hard pass (cute cover though)! Great review, Emer 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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