The Dating Game – Susan Buchanan

“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.”

Firstly I’d like to thank the author (@Susan_Buchanan on Twitter) for sending me an ARC to read and give an honest review. The Dating Game is Susan’s second book (my review of her first book Sign of the Times is here) and is released today on Amazon UK and Amazon.com!

I love the colour of this cover (it matches my blog theme beautifully) and the design which fits in so well with the story. Once I began reading I got a real sense of fun and realness from it, Gill had some great friends who reminded me of friends in my own life and I loved the banter between them all.

Gill’s dating history was varied and interesting, this made me look forward to her future dates from the agency as I had a feeling they would be memorable. Reading the dating profiles was a fun part of the book for me – I’ve never been involved with any kind of dating agency so the whole idea was fascinating and my nosy side just loved it!

I enjoyed the parts told from the male point of view because I wanted to know what they all thought of Gill. To begin with I couldn’t decide which date I wanted her to choose but as things became more complicated there was definitely someone who I favoured.

I found myself chuckling out loud on a regular basis whilst reading this book, the trouser malfunction and flying food incident were particular favourites!

The descriptions were fantastic and enabled me to picture everything so clearly, the trip to Barcelona was especially good and I felt like I was there with them even though I’ve never been before. As with her previous book, Susan paid great attention to detail and this made the book feel more real – reading about all the lovely food had me reaching for the kitchen cupboards!

An unexpected twist made me feel very sad which was something I hadn’t expected from this book, it made me rethink my previous predictions about the ending and at that point I had no idea which way it would go. In the end I felt that it finished in a satisfactory way and I would love to know what happens next for Gill and her chosen man!

A fun book with likeable characters and lots of twists and turns.

To find out more about Susan Buchanan visit her blog or Facebook page.

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Sign of the Times – Susan Buchanan

“Twelve people. Twelve star signs. 

Sagittarius – Holly, a travel writer, visits Tuscany to research her next book. Seeking help when her car breaks down, she gets more than assistance when Dario, a vineyard owner, puts temptation in her path. Disappearing without explanation, he proves elusive. Bruised, Holly tries to put it behind her until a chance encounter brings her feelings to the surface again.

Capricorn – Holly’s fiancé, Tom misses her while she is in Italy and turns to an internet chat room for solace. His construction business is under threat, but could foul play be at work?

Gemini – Holly’s sister, Lucy, a serial man-eater finally meets her match, which puts her long-term relationship and career in jeopardy. Cheating she discovers, can have devastating consequences.

Libra – Holly’s uncle Jack, an eminent prosecutor, juggles a difficult teenage son with his high-profile career and finds himself lacking. When his son’s school work starts slipping, he decides he needs to take control, but it’s not long before the balls all come tumbling down and Jack finds his family on the wrong side of the law.

One event binds them all…”

Firstly I’d like to thank the author (@Susan_Buchanan on Twitter) for sending me this eBook to read and review.  It is her first novel and has been self published.  Sign of the Times can be purchased from Amazon here.

As soon as I read the synopsis I had a feeling this would be my kind of story and I was right because it grabbed my attention within the first chapter.  It is based in Scotland and Italy and I enjoyed reading the vivid descriptions of these places, also the way the author described the food and meals really got my mouth-watering.

Each main character has a different star sign and a personality to match, these personalities are described at the beginning of each of their individual stories.  I loved reading about Holly’s encounter with the sexy Dario at the beginning, the instant spark between them was really exciting.

I quickly became engrossed by everyone’s lives and the emotions they had me feeling, this is a story that has very real and believable characters and it was like I could feel what they were feeling – happiness, confusion, shock, lust, anger, the list goes on.   I couldn’t figure out how each story would intertwine to start with but as I read on it soon became clear that there were small links between each of them.  This made it very difficult to put down because I was keen to see exactly how they would all connect at the end.

I particularly liked Jennifer’s story of how she cared for her mother, I haven’t read any books that cover life from a carers perspective before and, knowing people in my own life who care for family members like this, I felt that it was written in an honest and sensitive way.  This is just one example of how this novel has a more serious side as well as a funny, romantic side.

I really enjoyed the final event where everything came together, I thought it was very clever how it all worked out and also shocked by a couple of revelations that I didn’t see coming!  I was quite surprised by the ending, not in a bad way though, I had predicted a completely different outcome but I actually preferred this one.

This is a novel that I think most people could relate to in some way and I enjoyed reading it.

Susan Buchanan is currently working on her second novel, you can visit her blog here to keep up to date with her progress.