The Dating Game

Title: The Dating Gamedating

Author: Susan Buchanan

Published October 2012

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 realizes 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.


Let me just say that I had always been curious how dating services worked. The last book I’ve read about an upscale dating service was Champagne For Two by Patrice Wilton. With Susan Buchanan’s book, I finally learned more about it.

Gill McFadden had been unlucky in love. So her friends tried to help her find the one. But even her matchmaker pals’ attempt with blind dates were major fails. Then she found herself signing up for a dating services named Happy Ever After. Soon, a string of gorgeous men were vying for attention and date with her. There was Charlie, Anton, Sean, Gary, among others.

Things started up well with her first two dates. Charlie was charming and Anton was adorable. But the interesting dates soon stopped when she was unceremoniously embarrassed by a drunk Sean and got her trousers split while on a date with Gary. Oh my, those disaster dates were really disconcerting!

To distract herself, Gill and her girlfriends went to Barcelona for a much needed vacation. I have read stories about Spain’s tourist attractions and a dear friend of mine had actually sent me a postcard of Sagrada Familia. Learning more about its design and history in the book was a big plus! (I had always wanted to visit Barcelona, mind!)
A mugging incident in Spain soon turned into a chance encounter when Gill went back to work. Liam became the apple of her eye. She decided to end things with Sean after a painful bowling incident and she ended her friendship with Gary after a wedding fluke. And she dumped Chancer Charlie after an encounter with his wife. Whoa!

But with Liam, everything went smoothly with their relationship, until someone appeared again in her life. A few months after their last romantic night, Anton came back and explained his side. What would Gill do? Would she forgive him, even listen to him? Would she continue her relationship with Liam?

I loved Susan Buchanan’s characterisation of Gill and her friends and dates. The laughter, banter and pieces of advice that her friends gave her were vital to the story. I suddenly missed my circle of friends! awww… The way Angela, Debbie and Lisa show their support was overwhelming, even though there were times when they want to cut each other’s throats. Reading the male’s point of view was also a bonus. At least I was able to see what were on their minds while they were on a date with Gill.

The ending was somewhat a big surprise to me. I was really rooting for the other guy but Gill chose the other one. Who was who, you might ask.. Well, I’m not spilling any beans..

But let me share my favorite scenes from the book: 1) When Gill split her trousers and Gary had to accompany her to her home. 2) When Gill’s mother open her bedroom door and saw her with daughter with a man in bed. 3) When Lisa came back from the restroom, only to find out that the two gorgeous men she previously saw were actually gay. 4) When Gill made a fool of herself in front of a child while throwing pins in a bowling alley…. and so much more.

In the end, I finally conceded and accepted Gill’s decision and I was happy for her and her man. Her tumultuous journey of finding The One was really an exciting one and I say, Kudos to Susan for a job well done! 🙂

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