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The Dating Game  By  cover art

The Dating Game

By: Jay Northcote
Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
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Publisher's summary

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.

©2014 Jay Northcote (P)2015 Jay Northcote

What listeners say about The Dating Game

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nathan & Owen

sweet + sexy
funny banter
great friends
liked the narrator
= enjoyed it
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Game On

This is a cute story that left me wanting more. I like Nathan's idea about going out on five dates to get to know Owen even though he already had a crush on him. They had fun but of course there are misunderstandings an hurt feelings. But it all turned out well in the end. The narrator is perfect for this. I hope he is going to narrate the rest of the series.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Em
  • 04-13-15

Great, quick story for any M/M reader

Wonderful, well-written story with a very clear narrator. It was an interesting pick for my first audiobook but I loved the story when I read it the first time and then was lucky enough to win a copy of the audiobook.

I definitely recommend this for the M/M lover looking for a quick read/listen!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, ok narrator.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The narration fell a bit flat for me. I enjoyed the voices he used for Owen and Nathan, but the supporting character's voices either blended together or sounded disinterested, which didn't fit the upbeat and fun nature of the story. His pacing was slow, as if he was pronouncing each word very carefully. The performance wasn't terrible, I simply didn't feel it was a good fit overall..

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Now the story, that's a different matter entirely. Having read it before listening to the audible version I knew I was getting a fun filled romantic comedy, so I was surprised to find myself shedding a tear or two at the end. Owen's transformation from loveable tart to a man in love is touching. Nathan simple brings out the best in Owen.

Any additional comments?

A complimentary copy was provided to Carly's Book Reviews by the author for review purposes.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Such a sweet story

This story makes me long for such a wonderful connection in my life. This is big R romance to say the least.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fun read

Very easy to listen to and great to read gay fiction that isn't completely wrapped around the sex scenes

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This was a sweet story

Any additional comments?

Awe! I truly enjoyed this sweet little entertaining tale. The main characters were both likable and worthy of each other. Great story.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Just OK, the characters didn't stand out

The narration held my interest, but the main characters sounded the same and their individual personalities weren't distinguishable beyond Owen starting out as a horn dog and Nathan wanting a deeper relationship. I get that Owen's perspective changed when he started falling for Nathan, but I didn't feel any warm fuzzies from this couple.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my kind of narrator

Um... this is awkward.

This was my first read from the much loved Jay Northcote, and I think I picked a bad one to start with. Now, keep in mind that I listened to the audio edition, and much of my overall opinion will stem from my personal feelings about the narration.

Let's talk about the narrator. Now, I have very particular tastes when it comes to a narrator, and of primary importance to me is a narrator that can do separate voices for each character. I tend to strongly dislike audiobooks where all the voices sound the same, mostly because it makes for a confusing listening experience. That happened to be the case here. Matthew Lloyd Davies did the same (or virtually indistinguishable) voices for all the characters, main and secondary, and I often was confused as to who was talking. It all started to blend together for me, and I had trouble staying engaged with the story.

My other issue with the narrator was his overall reading voice. It was very... theater-y. It sounded sort of like he was narrating a children's book, with his cadence rising and peaking with each sentence, giving it that singsongy feel that I associate with story time at the library. It didn't sound like a person just speaking, which is more how I like my audiobooks to be. If you listen to my all time favorite narrators (James Marsters, Greg Tremblay, Chris Patton (Adrien English series), if we are just talking male narrators), you'd notice that they all give different flavors to their characters. I wish I got more of that here.

In terms of the story, I thought it was cute but I felt my attention wavering at times. It wasn't a high energy story, and combined with a narration that wasn't working for me, I feel like I wasn't able to grasp what everyone else loves about this book.

I have another Jay Northcote audiobook ready to roll, so I hope with a different narration style I'll be able to see what all the fuss is about. However, this one felt lackluster for me.

**Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**