The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon // Book Review

Thanks Read Forever Books for the gifted copy of the book.

I’m fairly new to Farrah Rochon’s writing and only started reading her work with The Boyfriend Project last year. I remember devouring that book in a single day. It helped that my mental health wasn’t the best at the time and reading romances felt more comforting to me than looking at my phone. But what I got from her story is something more than a romance; it felt like these were real people in very difficult situations trying to move on from someone who played them all.

I was so excited about The Dating Playbook and yep, it totally exceeded my expectations. I think you’ll really love this one too.

Here’s more about The Dating Playbook

When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this delightful romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project!

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There’s just one catch — no one can know what they’re doing. But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor’s game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?

My thoughts

While this book was definitely a romance, I found myself also considering this a book of personal growth. Not my personal growth, but growth for both Taylor and Jamar. Taylor is an up-and-coming personal trainer who’s made one too many mistakes with getting her company off the ground. Now, with $20,000 in debt, she’s worried about making rent, paying off her car, or even finding solid work without a college degree. Jamar is this former NFL player who’s been out since he hurt his knee six months into his professional career. While people still remember him from his college years, he still wants to get back in the game not only for himself, but also as a promise to his passed best friend.

Throughout the story, you see both Taylor and Jamar grow. Mostly importantly, you see them grow together. That’s probably the part I love the most about this story. I love seeing couple push each other in positive ways to become much better people not just for themselves, but for each other. It made me happy to see Taylor’s motivation to go back to school and see Jamar give himself grace for the things that happened in his past. I know that people are very capable of growing on their own, but with a romance story, it’s always nice to see a couple become who they’re supposed to be together.

It makes the story feel much more real to me. I was rooting for both of these characters the entire time and hoping the best for them. I also loved how complex the issues were. It wasn’t just the going back to school or helping out an old friend; there were layers to it and each layer had to be peeled back before either of them could get better. It just reminds me that everyone’s struggles are different; some people have it easy and some people face more difficult challenges. The strength that both of these characters had to find that was motivational!

It was also super funny. I found myself laughing out loud at Jamar’s stupid jokes and Taylor’s no-nonsense way of motivating Jamar. Their dynamic was truly one of my favorites and put a smile on my face every time I read a conversation between the two. I also loved seeing London and Samiah again as they helped Taylor through some difficult decisions. Honestly, their presence in this book was definitely more than in past books and I welcome it very much.

And the football! I became a football fan because of my husband. He was very into college football at the time we started dating, so I started watching the games with him. Not only did I really enjoy watching the game, but I loved the strategy and way the game is played. I really love watching all sports because it always makes me think in different ways; how to move the ball a certain number of yards, how to pitch the ball in a certain angle to make sure it lands where you want it to. It’s all very technical, which I love and so when this book included a little bit of football, I definitely had my eyes on it. I will say, there isn’t a lot of football playing in this book, but since the book is set in Texas with a former pro player, there was definitely the appearance of a few fans of the game.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one and maybe loved it more than The Boyfriend Project! I can’t wait to book three and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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