The Dating Game by Susan Buchanan
The Dating Game is a cleverly written story, that tells the tale of one woman’s search to find love, but simultaneously reveals many truths about modern relationships along the way.
Workaholic recruitment consultant, Gill McFadden, is sick of her friends trying to match-make for her. Up until now her love life has been a disaster and she’s going through a drier spell than the Sahara desert.
She realises she has to act, as work keeps piling up and at this rate she will have retired before she has time for a relationship.
Seeing an ad on a bus one day, she decides to visit Happy Ever After dating agency. She quickly discovers men are like buses. They all come along at once. Unsure what her type is, Gill decides to keep her options open. Soon she has problems juggling her social life as well as her work diary. Will she ever strike the right balance?
Before long she is experiencing laughs, lust and… could it be love? But like everything in Gill’s life, nothing is straightforward and she ends up wondering exactly who she can trust.
Review by Francine Lasala:
There’s so much to like about this book, it’s hard to know where to start. Well-developed characters, beautifully described settings. I loved Gill’s antics with her pals and her romantic escapades made me miss the dating scene–the adventure of it all. Discovering new people and places, the way new people can affect you. Even the at-the-time mortifying but now-hilarious bad dates! Buchanan nicely captures that world.
And speaking of capturing worlds, I have never been to either Scotland or Spain, but after reading this book, I feel like I have an intimate knowledge of both. A satisfying read!
Review by Maria Savva:
Having read Susan Buchanan’s excellent debut novel, Sign of the Times, I was keen to read this book. I was not disappointed. Just like her debut novel, this is a book full of believable characters and is very entertaining. Chick lit lovers will adore this book.
The Dating Game is the story of a 37 year-old businesswoman looking for love. She signs up to a more traditional type of dating agency rather than an Internet site. Soon Gill has a list of potential suitors and is going on plenty of dates to try to find the right man. A tangled web is soon woven, and there are plenty of ups and downs.
The author has created a very realistic story, which reflects true life. Things are not always what they seem. The interaction between Gill and her three best friends was fun. Gill’s dates are often in restaurants, so there is an awful lot of reference to different types of foods.
The descriptive quality of the writing is again seen when Gill and her friends take a trip to Barcelona, and the author describes the festival events and the different places the girls visit. Attention to detail is a signature trait of this author’s writing. I was reminded of her skill at keeping the reader in suspense (something that is very common in Sign of the Times) when one of the twists in the story occurs towards the middle of the book. The Dating Game is a cleverly written story, that tells the tale of one woman’s search to find love, but simultaneously reveals many truths about modern relationships along the way.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though, for me the ending came too abruptly. Perhaps that’s just a sign of how much I enjoyed getting to know the characters. Could there be a sequel in the future? There is definitely scope for this. Congratulations to Susan Buchanan on writing another winning novel.