ARC Review: The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

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Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .
For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

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I knew I had to read this book as soon as I read the premise, because that it’s an amazing idea and I just had this instant feeling that the book would be a lot of fun. So, when I got the ARC, I was very happy and just waited till the right moment to pick it up. And I’m so glad I did.

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I loved the way this book started. Despite the fact that the three woman are catfished by a guy and their whole encounter goes viral on the internet (it’s my worst nightmare and I’m pretty skeptical about going viral plot lines), I liked that the author concentrated more on the friendship that develops between the three of them and the feeling of solidarity it provides. I know how hard it is to find genuine friendships as an adult, so I really loved seeing such a good one develop between this trio. As most of the story takes place in a tech company, I really enjoyed the workplace vibe that the author managed to create, and it felt like something I would love to work at. Along with the friendship and a very fun romantic plot line, we also get some mystery elements but they do remain mostly in the background and never takeover the story. The writing is very easy to breeze through, and I didn’t wanna put it down at all because I was having so much fun.

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Samiah is a great character. An accomplished black woman in the tech industry, she is hardworking, smart, driven and ambitious, but she also wants to do everything she can to help other young women of color succeed in the industry and provide them the support that she didn’t receive. She sets too high expectations, beats herself up for not achieving them even though it’s not her fault, and takes on all the weight in the world – but she also knows her worth and doesn’t let anyone question or undermine her credentials. She is a role model and someone to look up to, and any tech company in the real world would be lucky to have someone like her as an employee.

Daniel on the other hand is almost perfect – sweet, sensitive, thoughtful, and just the right kind of charming. I really liked that he always listened to Samiah and understood her POV and where she was coming from, and never invalidated her experiences. I loved the flirtation they had going, and the witty banter made me very happy. The romance development was more on the sweeter side than steamy, but I think that’s what I wanted at this time. There is of course the mystery surrounding Daniel which leads to some back and forth between them and bit of a heartache, but I can’t talk about it much without going into spoilery territory. But I felt that playing up the mystery element more could have been fascinating.

As I mentioned before, I adored the friendship between Samiah, Taylor and London. They just have this instant connection and the way they motivated each other, and also called out when something was wrong, was amazing and as a woman reader, it naturally reminded me of my girlfriends. I also loved Samiah’s sister and the dynamic they shared, though we don’t get to see them together a lot.

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In the end, I can just say that this was a fun love story with great characters, and a solid friend group that’ll remind you of your own. And apart from the friendship element, it was the main character’s accomplishments and goals as a black woman in tech, and the way she handled any obstacles in her way that was the highlight of this novel for me. This was my first book by the author but I know it won’t be my last and if my guess is correct, the next book is gonna be Taylor’s story and I’m already excited for it.

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PS: Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and Netgalley for providing me with this advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.

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