Book Review: The First Date by Zara Stoneley

After breaking up with her childhood sweetheart, clueless dater Rosie has found herself in a boyfriend-drought. So when she finally swipes right on a guy who seems interested, she can’t wait to meet up in person.

Until she’s left standing alone. In a bar. Stood up.

Enter Noah. Confident, funny … and a serial first dater. Offering to give Rosie a crash course in seduction, this could be just what she needs. Until her matchmaker turns out to be the best date she’s ever had – and Rosie wonders if she wants the fake dates to be the real ones after all


I am very happy to once again be welcoming Zara Stoneley back to Novel Kicks with the blog tour for her latest novel, The First Date, published today.

Rosie has just split up with her childhood sweetheart so in the dating stakes, she’s a little clueless.

Her first step into online dating is a disaster when she is stood up, sitting at a bar, alone.

This is where she meets Noah. He’s a confident serial first dater and he has offered to give her a crash course in seduction.

But what happens when Rosie wants a date with her matchmaker?


I have become obsessed with Zara’s books and I was looking forward to reading The First Date.

This book for me was a slow burner to start with. It took me a couple of chapters to connect to the characters but as I began to get to know them and the motivations for their actions, I became incredibly fascinated and invested in their story.

Due to her childhood, well, her Dad mostly, Rosie is a little emotionally broken even though she doesn’t want to admit it. Rosie finds Noah at the right time but he needs her as much as she needs him I think.

Noah is a bit of a mystery. I won’t say any more about him as I want to not spoil the story as much as I can.

Each character lends their own mystery to the plot so not only do you have romance, you get to work out these incredibly complex, contemporary characters too. I found the characters and the plot compelling and it didn’t end quite as I thought it would. I wanted Noah and Rosie to be OK. I loved them but I wanted to shout swear words at her Dad.

This novel is full of humour, love and friendship. It’s about finding that person you can completely be yourself around.

The First Date is a great book and perfect romantic escapism.



About Zara Stoneley:

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of ‘The Wedding Date’.

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Born in a small village in the UK, Zara wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true. She now writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘No One Cancels Christmas’, ‘The Wedding Date’, ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.

Visit Zara’s website:, follow on Twitter: @ZaraStoneley and like on Facebook:

The First Date was released on 24th April 2020 by One More Chapter. Thank you to Zara and One More Chapter for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. Click to view The First Date on Amazon UK.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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