The Dating Game

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Book Review:  The Dating Game by Avril Tremayne

The Dating Game is actually a sequel, but obviously it works as a standalone.

Sarah thinks she is cursed. Every man she dates breaks up with her before they reach the three week and one day mark. When she meets ladies man David, she agrees to pose for a painting in exchange for some lessons on how to keep a man.

The first part of the book made everything light and didn’t take itself too seriously. It almost fell into chick lit territory. There was conflict in the shape of Sarah’s best friend, Lane. Sarah believes Lane is in love (or, at least, lust) with David but there was never any doubt everything would be sorted and we’d get our HEA. I was just enjoying a bit of fluffy fun along the way. The sex scenes, and the build up to them, were well written. The heat factor was higher than average but there was nothing too crude that put me off. It all worked well.

Then, Tremayne added a couple of new complications, and unfortunately I found my interest wanned along with the book’s humour and sexiness.

The scenarios she introduced were even what I would describe as a little far fetched. The book lost its chick lit feel and dove directly into a pool of 70’s anti-feminist cliches.

I did like Sarah’s backstory which David decides is the root cause of her relationship issues. David’s backstory was probably where I baulked the most. This is 2017…

David’s past experience with women also made me shudder and reminded me of vintage romance. For example, at one stage we find out that he usually has sex every 2 days, at the very least 3 times a week, and always with a different partner who he’s randomly met for the last 9 years.  This equates to at least 1404 different partners.  Er… You’re getting into creepy Gable Tostee territory here.  Keep that condom on, girl!

I found that once Sarah learned of David’s ‘tragic’ past which was affecting his future with her, the book dragged. The time it took from then to resolution was far too long. The dialogue heavy scenes read like a Days of Our Lives script on a couple of occasions.

4 out of 5 for the first part of the book, but my disappointment with the added silliness that screamed 70s Mills and Boon in the second half of the book pushed it down to a very generous 3 out of 5.

PS I don’t understand the American spelling and terminology in a book by an Aussie author with an Aussie setting Yes, removing confusing slang is one thing, but I found the almost… dumbing down? (for wont of a better term) for the American market disappointing.


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