Jaybird books presents http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Dating-Game-Audiobook/B00UMDCOZ4
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.
(book reviewed previously)
Owen has always been out and proud, at least since college, and that’s when he first met Nate. Nate was “straight” through college, but he’d noticed Owen, and sublimated that interest, back in college, as well. Later, now that Nate is finally being true to himself, Owen wants to see if reality is as hot as the fantasy. But Nate doesn’t do casual relationships and that’s all Owen knows.
On a lark, Nate offers to have sex with Owen, but only if Owen will agree to five sexless dates first. Surprising them both, Owen agrees.
At first Owen is merely placating Nate, biding his time, proving that he can do “dating” as well as the next guy. But it doesn’t take long for things to get “real” and suddenly Owen is looking forward to each new date without worrying about trying to get in Nate’s pants.
Meanwhile Nate is falling for Owen, but positive that Owen will never settle down with just one guy and certainly not him.
After a few fairly minor hiccups, the two manage to make it through date five only to find that what started as a drunken bet has developed into something very real and both end up very happy with the results.
What a sweet, fun, fantastic read! Jay has given us another winner!
Both characters are very likable, their emotions are sweet and straight-forward, their romance both hot yet touching. Neither has a boat-load of angst to overcome and the main hurdle in this story is mostly one of self-perception. Owen doesn’t see himself as a “boyfriend” type and Nate isn’t sure of his appeal.
I really enjoyed the old-fashioned “getting to know you” dates these boys went on and enjoyed the sexual tension right along side them. Sure the sexual tension and flirting was there, keeping the steam level high, but since the entire point was to wait for the sex “to mean something” you know (or at least assume) that each encounter isn’t going to end up in the sack. It was refreshing! It made their parting kisses that much sweeter and more meaningful (both to the boys and the reader!).
Jay isn’t afraid to be “British” and her dialog is full of British sayings and the boys travel through the country giving a taste of the locale as well. I loved the unique phrases, even something as mundane as an all you can eat buffet (an eat-all-you-can buffet) or kissing (snogging) or push-ups (press-ups) take on an international flavor and bring another interesting quality to the story.
The secondary characters are fun as well. Simon, Jack and Kirsty are all well developed and help us to understand our MCs all the better while adding more humor to the mix.
5 of 5 hearts
I was really glad that a British narrator did this audiobook, I think that adds to the UK flavor Jay Northcote sets up in her books. I liked him well enough, I thought that sometimes I could have used more variation in the voicings and maybe a little more raunch or emotion… but I really liked it.
Overall, 4.5 of 5 hearts for the Audiobook