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Five sex-free dates—how hard can it be?
When they were at uni, Owen always had a bit of a crush on Nathan. But Nathan was apparently straight, and Owen was too busy with other guys to take his crush seriously.
When Nathan moves back to Bristol after a year away, Owen hears that Nathan has come out of the closet, and he propositions him. Nathan doesn’t want to be just another notch on Owen’s bedpost, though, so he challenges Owen to prove he can be serious: five dates before they have sex.
Owen doesn’t think that sounds too difficult. He’s expecting Nathan to find his charms irresistible anyway. But as they grow closer, Owen begins to care more about proving himself to Nathan than he does about getting him into bed.
Have I said how much I love Jay’s boys? I know I have but I have to say it again. I adore the bloody hell out of them. I know when I read one of her books I am going to get a rush of emotions that always end with me in a puddle of goo… and goo is good.
Let me first say; I had a massive crush on my husband when we were young, and nothing ever happened until almost ten years later when we met up again. So, the premise behind this story, the story of Owen and Nathan who both fancied one another in Uni and now have a chance at a relationship… pulled at my heart strings and memories.
With that personal confession out of the way, this book was a brilliant read. I loved how Owen was so shocked to not only see Nathan again but to learn that the straight boy he crushed on at Uni was now not straight and out. I grinned from ear to ear as Owen made his play, and then the set the deal for the five sexless dates. Getting the dual POV is always a plus for me and being with Owen and Nathan as they navigated their new feelings and shortcomings glued me to the page. I mean, I read the last bit while doing exercises on the floor to strengthen my hip flexors… that should give you a hint that I didn’t and couldn’t stop reading.
The dates; I found them adorable, imaginative, fun and so thoughtful. Both boys put so much… heart into the dates that I was a goner. I knew I would be a goner before I started the book, and my track record with Ms. Northcote is solid. She writes the best stories with low angst that even this self-proclaimed angst whore can cuddle up with and get lost in.
Nathan, I want to hug you and give you a high five for your choice in cars as I share your views on classic Beetles. Owen, good lord boy! You are such the dirty talker, and I like that about you, but the vulnerability you showed just about did in my poor romantic heart. Simon, Jack and Kristy were wonderful side characters. I would love to read how Simon and Jack met and fell in love. I can hear the sweetness and playful arguing now.
Yeah, I liked The Dating Game, but as I said, I didn’t have a doubt that I would love the story and fall in love with the boys.
Fall in love I did and though I swear, I was getting a bit of reader blue balls reading these boys. The UST was off the charts with them and played out perfectly; just so well done that my Sunday is complete and cozy after finishing their story.
RATING: 4 STARS
Title: The Dating Game
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 22, 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon