Review: Blind Date (Back in the Game, #1) by Kay Doherty

Dekker Callan is content with his life though he knows something is missing. Wanting the kind of love his friends share with their partners, Dekker is talked into taking part in a modeling and dating show as part of a fundraiser. He immediately falls in love with the anonymous, sexy voice on the other side of the wall, but fate has a surprise in store–his mystery man isn’t single.

Slade Gannon wasn’t supposed to take part in the dating show. That spot was for his roommate, Phil, who becomes ill and asks Slade to take his place. Slade has just recently gone through a breakup with his cheating boyfriend, George. Shocked and pleased when he wins the interest of handsome Dekker Callan, before he can go on the obligatory blind date, his ex asks for a second chance. Believing Dekker can’t possibly be as good on the inside as he looks on the outside, Slade agrees.

Dekker and Slade hit it off immediately, drawn to each other despite Slade being involved with someone else. They finally get their opportunity to be together when Slade finds out his boyfriend is still cheating, but just as they seem to discover the happiness they’ve been waiting for, George throws them one last hurdle—and this one may prove to be insurmountable.

I have no shame in admitting, I jumped to read this because there was cheating mentioned in the blurb. Warning: there is on page sex between an MC and another character.

(Good) cheating romances aren't easy to find. Unabashedly doing whatever to get the other person...even if it means to break another's heart? It can make for a strong story. A lot of times when there is cheating in a romance, the author will cop out, try to make it the new person's fault for the other person who is currently in a relationship for stepping out.

Basically, blame game is supposed to be the stand in for passion. The old 'I wasn't myself, you made me do it' excuse.

You can find a version of that in Blind Date. For readers who need the protagonists to not admit to being guilty or owning up to their feelings from the start, Blind Date might be a choice for you.

Dekker Callan falls for a guy's voice during a charity dating auction. He wasn't allowed to see his contestants. He meets his choice, Slade Gannon on their blind date and falls for him after a conversation of shallow small talk. Slade just got back with his boyfriend...even though he feels something too for Dekker. And is upfront about it.Which kind of makes him a jerk but I can understand where he came from after the first date. Days of flirting stretched into weeks to try to move the story along, painting Slade's boyfriend George as a possessive cheater and liar though...pretty suspect for me.

First time author Kay Doherty read like...a first time author's effort to me. There were too many characters (who were also unofficial mind readers), too much superficial, poor development and over the top antics. Plus, instalove.

I tried to like this book. But it was a sinking ship when one of the MC's declared, "I'll start my seduction then. I'm gonna...I'm gonna eat food and make him wish it was him, and then I'll win".

And it kept sinking with contradicting antics from the characters like Dekker who told the reader he was outgoing and acted shy. Or declaring he was going to "go full force" in seducing Slade and by the next paragraph declaring he wasn't going to "force the issue".

The ex-boyfriend got crazier as the story progressed, though his behavior and the characteristics had me question his purpose for the story. Without him, the story has no conflict. And is just a lot of 'I can tell by the way you listened to his voice, he's perfect for you'

Rather than go into all of the quotes that I quibbled with. I'll just leave a few questions.

Simple questions: Do most friends waltz into bathrooms while showering and talk to each other naked? [Take out them being men as a factor] Or make out with each other (while in relationships) to make their sad friend feel better? Or know exactly what you're thinking by looking at you? Why was everyone able to read each other's mind, know exactly what they were thinking and thought exactly the same?

*tilts head*

Something about the way the men interacted with one another read unnatural to me. The thin romance, the extreme HEA...nothing worked for me. If I don't find anything remotely worthy in either MC, I'm not invested into whatever is dished out. One guy is a adult toy store owner, the other is a wine and gallery owner. The fact that their jobs read tacked on and no development was given to either guy, more attention was paid to having cute twins and their hot buff boyfriends parade about... read paper thin. The premise was interesting, the delivery didn't work for me.

I know I'm not the right reader for this writing style. It's in the same vein of Stormy Glenn/Scarlet Hyacinth/Joyee Flynn which has a solid readership. Fans of that band of authors,  might enjoy Kay Doherty's efforts.

The story isn't bad. I'd be curious to see a story from this author, after a lot more books under her belt. But I'm pretty sure, this is a one time deal for me.

If you prefer not be invested in the characters, just want a solid HEA with an over the top/left field plot twist thrown in...check out Blind Date.

Find out more info on Goodreads or below!

Purchase Links:
NineStar Press:

Author Bio

Kay lives in Colorado with her husband and their animal children. Family is important to her so there are weekly visits to her parents and frequent text messages with her brothers. She has a severe addiction to coffee and Mexican food. She loves to read and write and can easily become consumed by it for hours, much to the dismay of the husband and dogs. On occasion she can be convinced to venture out into world of the living.

Twitter: @kdohertyauthor
Pinterest: @KDohertyAuthor

Kay Doherty © 2016
All Rights Reserved

Dekker kept his eyes locked on Alek as he walked onstage to exuberant applause and whistles. He shoved his hands into his pockets and shifted nervously from foot to foot as Alek made him sound like an oversexed Thor. He ducked his head to hide his blush behind the cowboy hat. He really wished Alek would just shut up. There was no way Dekker could live up to the expectations Alek was creating. He glared at Alek as he was escorted to his seat. Alek chuckled softly as he took his seat beside Dekker.
“Keep your head up and the hat back. These people paid to see that gorgeous face of yours. Don’t disappoint,” Alek whispered.
Dekker blew out a nervous breath and did as he was instructed. He wanted to fidget. He wanted to try to close the shirt over his exposed chest. Somehow, he managed to remain still.
Alek lifted the microphone to his lips while watching Dekker from the corner of his eye. “Contestant one, what would you like to ask our bachelor?”
“Well,” said a disembodied voice from the other side of the barrier. “Like everyone else here tonight, I like to have a lot of sex.” Great, contestant one was a player, thought Dekker. “I’m curious what kind of stamina you have? Can you manage multiple orgasms in one night?”
Dekker groaned to himself as he slid sweaty palms over his denim-clad thighs. “Yes, I can,” he answered. Applause erupted in the audience, and he shot Alek a pleading look. This was beyond uncomfortable. Alek smirked as he continued on.
“Contestant two, what’s your question?”
“Yeah, I prefer experienced men, so I’m wondering when you lost your virginity?” came a voice that was higher and younger than contestant one.
Dekker took a deep, fortifying breath. When he had lost his virginity said nothing about his experience level, but whatever. “Fifteen with a girl, eighteen with a boy,” he answered. He dipped his head down to hide the embarrassment, but a gentle nudge to his ribs from Alek had him raising his head again.
“Okay, contestant three, your turn,” Alek prompted.
“I have to admit, I’m eager to see you naked. How many dates would I have to get through before that happened?”
Contestant three’s voice was deep and gravely, like a smoker’s, with a slight southern drawl. Dekker caught Alek’s eyes. He imagined Alek was eager for that answer, as well, since they’d dated for months without it ever progressing to the bedroom. He scrubbed his face with both hands before answering.
“Um, I don’t know. Depends on the connection, I guess,” he answered. He’d had sex on a first date, but also never had sex at all with some men despite dozens of dates. Alek shook his head.
“Man of few words. Contestant four, you’re up,” Alek said.
“What would a first date with you consist of?”
Dekker shifted in his seat. Contestant four’s voice was warm, husky, and slid over him like honey. His entire body took notice. Damn, the man’s voice was sexy. He didn’t realize his thoughts had drifted until Alek addressed him over the mic.
“Dekker, what’s your answer?”
Dekker rushed to cover his sudden distraction and arousal by clearing his throat. He’d never been turned on by just a voice before.
“Sorry. I was thinking,” he said and once again scrubbed his hands down his pants. “There’s this indoor skydiving place that I’ve always wanted to try, so we’d do that first. After that I’d take you to the Tibetan restaurant I like. Then…I guess we’d decide if we still like each other’s company and go from there.”

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