Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Humor/ Contemporary Fiction/ Lad Lit/ Romance
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
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“Pete [Sortwell] is 32 and lives with his wife, Lucie, and their pet sofa, Jeff.
He's been writing for just under three years and they've been pretty eventful; well, more eventful than he thought sitting on Jeff, typing, would be, anyway. First published in the Radgepacket anthology... Pete's now featured in a total of ten different anthologies and has been amongst some very fine company... 'Dating in the Dark' is Pete's first self-published novel. His traditionally published novel, So Low, So High, was published by Caffeine Nights in June 2013.”
“Jason is single and has been for all of his 32 years. It's depressing... With little interest in anything other than his quest for a woman and a nice bit of cod and chips, Jason needs to think outside the box if he's going to find someone who'll give him a chance. Along with Barry -- his best mate -- Jason comes up with the only thing he thinks will work: dating a blind woman... With everything to play for, Jason faces the biggest challenge of his life, and nobody -- especially not him -- can see how it'll all turn out.”
Jason Harding was raised in a dysfunctional family and suffers from every imaginable symptom this entails. He has low self-esteem, a poor self-image, he is a jerk, and lies way too easily. I had a hard time liking his character, he was shallow, egotistical, and blamed his problems on everyone but himself. He was a wanker! He was leading a sad life and some of his dating experiences were so pitiful you had to laugh.
Jason only wants one thing, well two things really... a girlfriend and plenty of cod and chips. The problem is, he is not willing to invest anything to have a relationship. His main goal is a date that leads to sex, after the cod and chips of course. This story is told through Jason so we get to see just how genuinely dysfunctional he is. We are introduced to his ill mother and his neglect of her as well as his on again off again best friend, Barry, who has a lot of issues of his own that need to be dealt with also.
When Jason thinks outside the box and decides to try to get a date with a blind girl the story takes off and his troubles multiply as his lies get bigger. Every situation Jason gets involved with is taken to the extreme and we are shown how ugly he is from the inside-out. Although the author infuses it with caveman/guy type humor. This is, in essence, a romance written by a guy for guys.
The story takes some unexpected twists and turns that eventually make Jason take a long hard look at himself. Which is something that should have happened ages ago. It is only when Jason hits rock bottom and the only way left to go is up that changes start taking place. Jason is forced to reassess his reality and luckily for him Emma is a forgiving soul. It will be interesting to see if Jason is able to change the way he sees the world and relates with others in the sequel.
This story contains adult language and British slang. Also, uses UK spelling conventions.
I sound a small number of proofing errors.
Rating: *** Three stars