This is my first Farrah Rochon book. I had high hopes because of the blurb on the cover from Kristan Higgins, who has long been one of my favorite authors. And I am happy to say that the book lived up to those expectations.
The Boyfriend Projects starts us off with Samiah Brooks, a high-achieving Black woman working in software at a very well-respected tech company, a company everybody wants to work for. The book doesn’t dwell on this, but we are reminded that she had to work twice as hard as the men, and then twice as hard again as the white people, to land such a lucrative and desirable position. So we know she’s good at her job, and when we learn that she has been working on an idea for a phone app, we have no doubt she could get it done if she just had the time.
The Dating Scene (in Both Senses of the Word)
The reason she doesn’t have time? Dating. It’s not going great, but there’s one guy she’s been seeing who seems okay. But when she finds out he’s two-timing her, she goes to confront him at a restaurant, only to find it’s actually three-timing and the other women are there—and somebody’s recording the whole incident.
The video goes viral and Samiah is embarrassed, but the three women become friends and make a pact to steer clear of men for the next six months and focus on themselves. For Samiah, this means working on her app.
The New Guy
The problem with this decision? Daniel, one of her company’s recent hires. They have instant chemistry, but she is not in a place to do anything about that. And Daniel has reasons of his own (very good ones—he’s an undercover investigator) for not wanting to get involved in a relationship. But of course, that vow to stay apart doesn’t last. (I mean, we know this is a romance novel, right?)
Samiah tries to work on the app and do her somewhat demanding job and date Daniel, and it’s difficult, but she manages it. Daniel continues his work, knowing this won’t last with Samiah because he’ll be leaving town when the job is done. Samiah of course has no idea that this is only temporary for him, but the problem for Daniel is that he doesn’t want it to be. But he has a job to do.
I loved the resolution in the book—how he betrays her and how they both come to terms with that in a way that is very believable. I enjoyed the tech setting of the book, too (even though some of the stuff they worked on didn’t really make total sense to me, but whatever)—it’s definitely one that would appeal to fans of office romance. I also love to see characters who aren’t white (Daniel is mixed, Black and Korean) star in a book that’s achieved mainstream success. I highly recommend this for fans of contemporary romance.