2 out of 4 stars
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The Dating Policy by Suzanne Eglington is a romance novel with a heavy dose of erotica. Mallory Kennedy has never really been in love before. That is, until Todd Duvall starts working as a quality control manager at Shelborn Building Supply, where she is a senior sales advisor. In her mind, he is the perfect man, although he is viewed as an arrogant jerk by her colleagues. Besides, there is a strict no-dating policy at the firm. When Todd pursues Mallory, the plot thickens.
Mallory’s character is fleshed out well, but Todd is fairly flat and one-dimensional. There is almost no set-up to the development of their romance; his moves on her seem to sprout out of thin air without any prior flirtation. It’s not like their jobs intersected; Todd’s office is in a different part of the building and, at his level, he deals with Mallory’s boss Ned. I found it hard to relate to either of the main characters. Mallory starts off as a likable person, but she becomes less so once her romance with Todd heats up. It’s as if his arrogance rubbed off on her.
The romance scenes quickly turn sexually graphic and are overdone with “dirty talk”-style dialogue. There are so many detailed erotic passages that it sometimes felt like I was reading porn. These scenes are long and slow paced.
Some key details add depth to the story. The author does a good job of having Todd leave, sometimes abruptly, with mysterious plans after their get-togethers. This is woven through the storyline in a subtle way. Also, there is a major plot twist about halfway through the story and things become less predictable after that. Although the latter sections include a few surprising turns, the ending has a busy, rushed feel.
The supporting characters are interesting with clear backstories, and I actually liked them more than the main characters. Ned is not only Mallory’s supervisor, but her brother’s closest friend. Since her brother is away on a military deployment, Ned serves a big brother role and adds a dose of family-style warmth to the story. Although Angela is the stereotypical best friend/confidante, her friendship with Mallory is fun and relatable.
There are numerous errors scattered throughout the book; I noticed approximately twenty-five mistakes and probably missed a few. The errors include missing words, incorrect words (neither the less instead of nevertheless), and missing punctuation (missing possessive apostrophes, commas, and periods). As a result, the writing lacks polish.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. Unfortunately, I cannot award a higher rating due to the aforementioned issues. That being said, the story is a light diversion from more serious fare. Readers who enjoy erotic, beach-style reads might like this one, as long as they don’t mind foul language.
The Dating Policy
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