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The Dating Playbook

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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 o 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?


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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 o 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?

30 review for The Dating Playbook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Hell yeah! Boyfriend Project was one of my favorite romance reads of last year! Those tough ladies who gather to kick ass of that scumbag who dared to date three of them at the same time learned his lesson well by being humiliated on viral social media video! I loved Samiah’s love story but I was so curious about Taylor and London’s sequels! Especially fiery Taylor picked my interest after turning into a jail bird. Thankfully at this book, we have a great chance to learn more about Taylor, her pr Hell yeah! Boyfriend Project was one of my favorite romance reads of last year! Those tough ladies who gather to kick ass of that scumbag who dared to date three of them at the same time learned his lesson well by being humiliated on viral social media video! I loved Samiah’s love story but I was so curious about Taylor and London’s sequels! Especially fiery Taylor picked my interest after turning into a jail bird. Thankfully at this book, we have a great chance to learn more about Taylor, her predicaments, financial problems, suffering from finding better job opportunities without college degree and the reason beyond her anxiety about returning back to college to pick up where she left. She feels vulnerable when she’s surrounded by two genius women like Samiah and London who are doing so great at their jobs, climbing corporate ladders. Even though only a few months ago they met each other with the help of their scumbag date, their friendship already bloomed and they formed a tight bond, telling everything each other. Now, Taylor is broke, barely paying her rent. She may get kicked out from her apartment and forced to live in her car, if she cannot find more clients of her training business. She could had done everything she could last year to take her fitness consulting business, Taylor’d Conditioning to the next level by studying Instagram fitness influencers, videoing insta stories, offering classes, paying extra to promote her videos but she still barely makes ends meet. Correction: she cannot do that! But sometimes extraordinary happens and a hot, muscular stranger joins in her last class, wanting to talk with her about personal training options. Jamar Dixon, ultra charismatic, rich at age 25, a skillful footballer wants to go back to NFL and he wants Taylor to train him. Of course Taylor thinks there’s a catch because Jamar could find any NFL trainer to help him take his place back in NFL but she doesn’t know he already knew her from that viral video with cheating scumbag. He has a huge crush on her and he is ready to pay handsomely which could help her to pay her entire debt and start over! Working with ultra hot football player she’s fully attracted might be a big challenge but she can handle it, right? She already learned her lesson about not mixing business with pleasure! She’d vowed never to do it again! But Jamar wants this arrangement to be a secret and when the press get intrigued by seeing them together, they are forced to pretend as lovers. You may guess how their story goes... The sparks are flying, attraction is so real... How they manage to stay professional when their hearts tell them to rip off each other’s clothes. Overall: I loved this series and I enjoyed to read Jamar and Taylor’s story. I cannot wait to read the next sequel. London is definitely an intriguing, eccentric character! Special thanks to NetGalley and Forever ( Grand Central Publishing) for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    Contemporary romance with two likeable leads, both of whom have fairly entrenched wrong ideas about themselves that they need to fix. Slightly exhausting focus on extreme fitness, she says from her comfy armchair. Terrific female bonding with the other heroines of the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Erwin

    This story was cute and fun!! Taylor and Jamar are hot together and their chemistry is on fire!! I love Taylor’s character, her strength and tenacity, and Jamar is the perfect guy, respectful and loyal. I read The boyfriend project earlier this year so I was excited for the 2nd in the series and it did not disappoint! I liked The Dating Playbook even better!! Can’t wait to read book #3 next year with London’s story! Thank you Net Galley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for the ARC in retur This story was cute and fun!! Taylor and Jamar are hot together and their chemistry is on fire!! I love Taylor’s character, her strength and tenacity, and Jamar is the perfect guy, respectful and loyal. I read The boyfriend project earlier this year so I was excited for the 2nd in the series and it did not disappoint! I liked The Dating Playbook even better!! Can’t wait to read book #3 next year with London’s story! Thank you Net Galley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for the ARC in return for my honest review!

  4. 4 out of 5

    booksandzoe

    4.5, rounded down.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    The Dating Playbook is a great fake dating romance between a personal trainer and her client, a former NFL player that wants to get back in the NFL. In order to keep Jamar's training a secret Taylor accidentally says they are dating. When both wish their romance was real, they have to decide what is more important their professional or personal relationship and how to navigate both. I loved Taylor and Jamar and their stories were interesting. Taylor feels like her family doesn't accept her, and The Dating Playbook is a great fake dating romance between a personal trainer and her client, a former NFL player that wants to get back in the NFL. In order to keep Jamar's training a secret Taylor accidentally says they are dating. When both wish their romance was real, they have to decide what is more important their professional or personal relationship and how to navigate both. I loved Taylor and Jamar and their stories were interesting. Taylor feels like her family doesn't accept her, and Jamar worries about what everyone thinks of him after his injury. There are interesting parts about the life of a personal trainer. The Dating Playbook is the second book in The Boyfriend Project series. It can be read as a standalone but I think The Boyfriend Project is important to understand the relationship between Taylor, Samiah and London. Their friendship is an important part of the book. The Dating Playbook is a must read for fans of The Boyfriend Project. I can't wait to read London's story. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Rebecca Lee and thought she did a great job bringing this story to life. Thank you Forever, Hachette Audio and NetGalley for The Dating Playbook. Full Review Coming Soon: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com/

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jovana (NovelOnMyMind)

    3.5 ⭐ The Dating Playbook was exactly what you would expect from a contemporary romance. It was cute and sweet, endearing and relatable, endlessly fun, but it also touched on a few more serious topics. I'm certainly glad I read it. I had a lot of fun with it and it was a perfect summer read. I also really liked the narrator – would definitely recommend the audiobook version. If you want to see my much more in depth review, you can check it out on my book blog NovelOnMyMind. Thank you to Hachette Aud 3.5 ⭐ The Dating Playbook was exactly what you would expect from a contemporary romance. It was cute and sweet, endearing and relatable, endlessly fun, but it also touched on a few more serious topics. I'm certainly glad I read it. I had a lot of fun with it and it was a perfect summer read. I also really liked the narrator – would definitely recommend the audiobook version. If you want to see my much more in depth review, you can check it out on my book blog NovelOnMyMind. Thank you to Hachette Audio and NetGalley for providing me with an audiobook version of The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    3.5 stars Taylor Powell is fighting to make her fitness business a success, but she's struggling financially. Jamar Dixon is looking to get back into the NFL after an injury took him out of the game and he's convinced that Taylor's brand of drill sergeant training will do the trick. But there's more heating up than the workouts she puts him through. I'll be up front, sports romance isn't really my thing and I also don't love all the focus on food (not eating carbs, swapping foods etc.) and exercis 3.5 stars Taylor Powell is fighting to make her fitness business a success, but she's struggling financially. Jamar Dixon is looking to get back into the NFL after an injury took him out of the game and he's convinced that Taylor's brand of drill sergeant training will do the trick. But there's more heating up than the workouts she puts him through. I'll be up front, sports romance isn't really my thing and I also don't love all the focus on food (not eating carbs, swapping foods etc.) and exercise for weight loss. It makes sense for the characters, just not something I prefer to read and heads up to others who might feel similarly. And the characters do some kind of dumb things because they don't want to face their fears. That said, I think there's a lot to like here. The development of their relationship is great and they try to be careful about blurring lines when she's employed by him. I also loved the way this dealt with learning disabilities in adults that have gone undiagnosed, and the attention on traumatic brain injury among football players. Overall a solid romance, even if it wasn't quite my preferred trope combo. The narrator does a good job with the audiobook and it's easy to listen to. I received an audio review copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    3.5 star

  9. 4 out of 5

    book bruin

    CW: Death of friend (automobile/motorcycle related, off page but discussed) and related guilt and grief, anxiety, panic attack (on page), learning disability and ADHD, strained family relationships I really enjoyed The Boyfriend Project last year and was excited to read Taylor’s story next. The Dating Playbook was filled with all the banter and amazing female friendships that I love so much. The squad of Taylor, London, and Samiah truly is the best! I loved how they pushed each other to be their CW: Death of friend (automobile/motorcycle related, off page but discussed) and related guilt and grief, anxiety, panic attack (on page), learning disability and ADHD, strained family relationships I really enjoyed The Boyfriend Project last year and was excited to read Taylor’s story next. The Dating Playbook was filled with all the banter and amazing female friendships that I love so much. The squad of Taylor, London, and Samiah truly is the best! I loved how they pushed each other to be their best selves and were always there to lend a hand. The overall pacing of the book was on the slower side for me, but I really liked how (with a little help from friends and loved ones) Jamar and Taylor both made peace with their pasts and moved forward towards brighter futures. Read The Dating Playbook if you love: - Fake dating trope - Supportive and amazing female friendships. Friends that are there for you through all the highs and lows and cheer you on every step of the way. - Sexy times in the kitchen… and other places ;) - Playful and wonderful banter. I loved how Jamar and Taylor knew just how to push each other's buttons. -Characters who overcome their fears/obstacles to achieve their dreams (even if they aren’t the original dreams they pursued) -Honest and relatable discussions about grief, guilt, the pressures of society and family, and learning disabilities. I thought these topics were balanced really well throughout the book. I’m looking forward to reading London’s story next! *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

  10. 4 out of 5

    JenReadsRomance

    I loved this book! What a terrific read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    TJ *Book Twins Reviews*

    4.5 TayJar Stars! I enjoyed THE DATING PLAYBOOK immensely! The characters are genuine, relatable, and had amazing chemistry and banter throughout. This is a definite win! Here's what I loved: This author is a master at writing characters who are real and relatable. I can see myself in certain aspects of their story. That's a huge draw for me! Taylor is dealing with a few complex situations, not unlike a lot young women. Her tenacity and work ethic are inspiring. Jamar is perfection personified. He's 4.5 TayJar Stars! I enjoyed THE DATING PLAYBOOK immensely! The characters are genuine, relatable, and had amazing chemistry and banter throughout. This is a definite win! Here's what I loved: This author is a master at writing characters who are real and relatable. I can see myself in certain aspects of their story. That's a huge draw for me! Taylor is dealing with a few complex situations, not unlike a lot young women. Her tenacity and work ethic are inspiring. Jamar is perfection personified. He's hard working, sweet, and sexy. I fell hard for him. The friendship the three ladies developed in book one of this series has only grown stronger. To see how supportive and loving they are with one another is so amazing. Fake relationships are my jam. This is one of the best! Overall, this book has it all. I felt all the feels, laughed out loud, and fell in love. What more could you want?! For more of my reviews: My Blog: Book Twins Reviews Facebook Blog Page Twitter Subscribe to Blog

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    After enjoying the first in this series, I was excited to read this book. I thought the writing flowed well, and I read it fairly quickly. However, it didn't click as well for me as the first one. Despite it not clicking to the same level, I did enjoy this story, and I look forward to the next one. The series premise is a fun one. Three women form a bond after their viral public take-down of the guy they each unwittingly have been seeing. Three very different heroines - a techy nerd, a fitness in After enjoying the first in this series, I was excited to read this book. I thought the writing flowed well, and I read it fairly quickly. However, it didn't click as well for me as the first one. Despite it not clicking to the same level, I did enjoy this story, and I look forward to the next one. The series premise is a fun one. Three women form a bond after their viral public take-down of the guy they each unwittingly have been seeing. Three very different heroines - a techy nerd, a fitness instructor, and a doctor. Taylor is the fitness instructor. She has ambitions to grow her fitness business, but unlike her new girlfriends, she's in a much more tenuous position financially and with her career. A few misguided decisions have her in a deep hole financially. This is where Jamar steps in. He's a former high school and college football star, who had a promising NFL career cut short with what would be a career-ending injury for many half-way through his first season. He hires Taylor to be his full-time trainer to get him back in shape for the NFL and to prove the naysayers wrong. The attraction is there from the beginning, but they want to keep their relationship professional. Then, when reporters start sniffing around why Jamar is hanging out with a trainer, Taylor blurts out that they are dating. So, they are fake-dating in public, have the desire to date in truth, and are training in private. This could have had such delicious tension, but I didn't feel it. I think it boiled down to a mismatch between the tension and the action. For example, when they finally succumb to the "why not date in truth when everyone thinks we are anyways" dilemma, it felt anti-climactic. It was after the tension had eased some and it needed to be built back up again, at least that's my take. I liked the characters overall. I thought there stories compelling. I did think some of the issues felt surface-deep, but I think that would have been a minor complaint if the tension had worked better. I do think this was a good pairing, so the romance worked on some levels, just not all. Ultimately, while this didn't fully work for me, I did think this was a diverting read. Settings were well-drawn, and I thought all the major components were there. It just didn't click for me like the first book. I look forward to London's book next summer. Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for a chance to read and review this book. Views are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    cossette

    content warnings: death of a friend, grief, injury, hospital scenes, car accident, anxiety

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kari Ann Sweeney

    THE DATING PLAYBOOK by Farrah Rochon is a smart contemporary fake dating sports romance that blurs the line between work and play. WHAT WORKED: - Strong female friendships - Representation- Black, adult learning disability, grief - Real and relatable characters with depth. - Readability: It was quick paced and kept me engaged enough to keep flying through the pages. WHAT DIDN’T - It is sports/fitness/nutrition heavy, which isn't really my thing. Some of the nutrition elements felt heavy handed. - Th THE DATING PLAYBOOK by Farrah Rochon is a smart contemporary fake dating sports romance that blurs the line between work and play. WHAT WORKED: - Strong female friendships - Representation- Black, adult learning disability, grief - Real and relatable characters with depth. - Readability: It was quick paced and kept me engaged enough to keep flying through the pages. WHAT DIDN’T - It is sports/fitness/nutrition heavy, which isn't really my thing. Some of the nutrition elements felt heavy handed. - The tension and chemistry between Taylor and Jamar didn't align well for me. Something was just off. So- I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. Still- I am eagerly awaiting London's book/3rd in the series. Thanks to NetGalley and Forever publishing for the free early copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I was pretty into this at first but then my interest waned like 1/3 of the way through. Certainly it isn't helping that I'm reading a stellar romance right now and this one doesn't hold up to it. It wasn't bad, though! Just not great. Full review later. [3.5 stars] I was pretty into this at first but then my interest waned like 1/3 of the way through. Certainly it isn't helping that I'm reading a stellar romance right now and this one doesn't hold up to it. It wasn't bad, though! Just not great. Full review later. [3.5 stars]

  16. 5 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks

    A fake-dating romance between a trainer and her client turns hot and emotional, leading to some very real feelings! I'm a sucker for fake dating stories because we all know they are going to lead to the couple catching some very undeniably real feelings and this one does not disappoint. There was undeniable chemistry, great banter and fiery angst between Taylor and Jamar. I was a fan of The Boyfriend Project and couldn't wait to see more of the friend trio we met in that book. Taylor is feisty, i A fake-dating romance between a trainer and her client turns hot and emotional, leading to some very real feelings! I'm a sucker for fake dating stories because we all know they are going to lead to the couple catching some very undeniably real feelings and this one does not disappoint. There was undeniable chemistry, great banter and fiery angst between Taylor and Jamar. I was a fan of The Boyfriend Project and couldn't wait to see more of the friend trio we met in that book. Taylor is feisty, independent and driven. I loved how guarded she was and how Jamar broke through her walls. Plus, the female friendships are thriving and stronger than ever in this book, which was wonderful. This book is all about believing in yourself, overcoming challenges and coming out stronger in the end. I love how Farrah Rochon writes strong, driven, intelligent female characters. In The Dating Playbook she tackles emotionally heavier topics with sensitivity such as learning disabilities, grief, guilt, anxiety & mental health. I found this to be a great addition to The Boyfriend Project series. I'm already looking forward to London's story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda (un)Conventional Bookworms

    *I received a free copy of The Dating Playbook from Forever via NetGalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review which is honest and unbiased.* Farrah Rochon did it again, and she did it from the very first page. I fell in love with Taylor, Samiah and London in The Boyfriend Project, because they came together to celebrate being strong women in the face of a scumbag who dated them all at the same time. And they came up with a game-plan to make their lives better. I have to admit I lov *I received a free copy of The Dating Playbook from Forever via NetGalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review which is honest and unbiased.* Farrah Rochon did it again, and she did it from the very first page. I fell in love with Taylor, Samiah and London in The Boyfriend Project, because they came together to celebrate being strong women in the face of a scumbag who dated them all at the same time. And they came up with a game-plan to make their lives better. I have to admit I love them even more now that I have read Taylor's story with Jamar. Because the women's friendship is still very important, and they continue to lift each other up. The Dating Playbook includes a fake relationship between Taylor and Jamar, because Jamar needs a personal trainer but doesn't want anyone to know about it. Just in case. Of course, playing a new couple when they are so attracted to each other couldn't do anything else but lead to real feelings. But my goodness, especially Taylor tried to fight those feelings. And she was fierce! Reading about strong women is something I absolutely love. And when they are able to deal with all the different kinds of difficulty life throws their way, I love them even more! Taylor had a lot to deal with, between not earning enough money, to realizing it would be a good idea to go back to school. Only, she also knew that school hadn't worked so well for her in the past. And I love how she and her friends walked through things, and how Jamar helped her understand that she was definitely strong enough to do what she wanted. Between the hot chemistry, the friendships, and the somewhat difficult relationship Taylor had with her family, I was hooked from start to finish!

  18. 4 out of 5

    ABookNook

    ✨ Who here is a sucker for the fake dating trope? I know I am 🙋🏽‍♀️ ✨ If you are looking for a low-key, low-angst sports romance with the fake dating trope, this is a great option. Summary: In order to save her struggling personal fitness business, Taylor agrees to train former NFL player Jamar to prepare himself to go back on the field. When Taylor accidentally blurts, to protect Jamar’s image and reputation, that they are dating when caught in public with him, both find themselves in a fake rel ✨ Who here is a sucker for the fake dating trope? I know I am 🙋🏽‍♀️ ✨ If you are looking for a low-key, low-angst sports romance with the fake dating trope, this is a great option. Summary: In order to save her struggling personal fitness business, Taylor agrees to train former NFL player Jamar to prepare himself to go back on the field. When Taylor accidentally blurts, to protect Jamar’s image and reputation, that they are dating when caught in public with him, both find themselves in a fake relationship that may not be fake for too long. . . Tropes: 😏 Fake dating 👫🏿Friends to lovers 🏈Sports romance 🧠Intellectual equals 🍆“Let’s fuck to get it out of our system” 🥺Hero who cries in front of the heroine 🗣Excellent banter 🔥Close proximity 💕Strong female friendships Sometimes you are in the mood for a romance book with the tropes you love but is super easy to read and digest. I have been in a horrible slump for the past few weeks, and this book pulled me out. This book has all these amazing tropes jam packed into one and I love it 🙌🏼 It was the light and easy read that needed. Maybe if I read this at some other time I may not have enjoyed it, who knows? But this book was just what I needed right now. Normally I love angst in my romance novels. I just love feeling that pain you know. But I didn't understand the beauty of low-angst romance until I read this one. It was simple and straight to the point. I loved it. Perfect for when you are in a slump. One thing I will warn you about, don't go in expecting this to be sports heavy. I kind of came in expecting those cute scenes in sports romances where one character cheers the others from the bleachers or gives a dramatic hug after a game. That does not happen in this book. The sports honestly isn't a huge part of the story as much it is just background on Jamar and his motivations. The story was wonderfully layered and deep while still have an easy, readability. I loved watching both develop and come to terms with their struggles. Both character’s personal struggles were written wonderfully, and I am shocked at how Rochon was able to fit it all in while still making it easy to read 😍 The banter was off the charts. You guys know I am a whore for intellectual chemistry. Both being in the fitness industry allowed both of them to wordlessly understand and push each other and I was melting over that 🥴It was written in a way that I understood what they were talking about without getting lost. I was feeling that connection between them. I will say I wanted more chemistry and genuine connection from the two overall though. I felt the physcial chemistry, however, I was just not feeling the emotional and romantic chemistry. I just felt like they were a good fling. I also didn't get that natural progression and realization to love. They were doing their thing and then suddenly they were in love. I like a more natural and realistic development. My issues with the book mainly stem from how both of them dealt with the other’s struggles. Jamar was kind and supportive of Taylor but had the tendency to be dismissive or unhelpful some times. I also didn’t like how Taylor exploded at Jamar around the end. I felt like he was not that helpful when it came to the issues Taylor was facing. He was kind about it and he provided her words of support and understanding every now and then, but in general I felt like he was pretty absent. He was trying to come to terms with his issues on his own timeline, and he is allowed to do that. He had a lot at stake and issues that he was struggling with for years, he couldn't just turn it off like a switch. I do understand why she was mad, it was out of concern, but I think the way she behaved was not rational. I think calm, communication could have solved their issue. I will note that Taylor, in general, was super supportive of Jamar. I am really, really tired of unnecessary conflicts in the third act and I wasn't a big fan of this one either. Overall, I would definitely recommend this to someone looking for a light, easy read or palette cleanser. P.S. if you can read this on audiobook I 1000% recommend it. I loved the narrator. They increased my enjoyment ten fold, a huge reason why I ended up enjoying the book so much despite my qualms with the story. Her voice suits the book and the characters wonderfully and she elevated the whole experience. Recommend? Yes! ⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars | 🌶🌶/ 5 steam Thank you to NetGalley, Read Forever Pub, Hachette Audio, and Farrah Rochon for an eARC and audiobook in exchange for my honest opinion ❤️

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heather❀Kiss The Pages❀

    Rating: 4.5 stars! Fake Dating Trope with a personal trainer heroine and an ex-NFL player hero looking to get back in the game Fun and flirty with such loveable characters. Amazing chemistry! Steam content itself is low (for me) but I didn't miss it Learning disability representation with a strong, ambitious heroine. I respected Taylor so much! She was intimidated by her successful best friends and the high standard set by her family but she fought for her success! Found family vibes/ Strong Girlfri Rating: 4.5 stars! Fake Dating Trope with a personal trainer heroine and an ex-NFL player hero looking to get back in the game Fun and flirty with such loveable characters. Amazing chemistry! Steam content itself is low (for me) but I didn't miss it Learning disability representation with a strong, ambitious heroine. I respected Taylor so much! She was intimidated by her successful best friends and the high standard set by her family but she fought for her success! Found family vibes/ Strong Girlfriend bonds- Taylor and her GFs, Samiah and London always have each other's back and push each other to be the very best. I love this group of women! Jamar was the absolute sweetest! He's dealing with grief and guilt but his heart was SO big! I loved him! P.S. I loved all the added health tips and healthy food recs included

  20. 5 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Taylor Powell has dreams of being successful when it comes getting her fitness consulting business on the map. How can she work on getting her name out there, especially since she had a previous bad experience that slowed her down? Meanwhile, she is running short on funds and tall on bills and other expenses. Her two friends, Samiah and London are in her corner, but sadly that isn't enough. When she is approached to Jamar Dixon to be his personal trainer Taylor definitely sees dollar signs. He is Taylor Powell has dreams of being successful when it comes getting her fitness consulting business on the map. How can she work on getting her name out there, especially since she had a previous bad experience that slowed her down? Meanwhile, she is running short on funds and tall on bills and other expenses. Her two friends, Samiah and London are in her corner, but sadly that isn't enough. When she is approached to Jamar Dixon to be his personal trainer Taylor definitely sees dollar signs. He is a professional football player working to get back into the NFL, but needs help as he had a bad injury which required surgery. He needs to get into top shape. Jamar is practically a household name, so having him as a client would definitely get Taylor's name and business known. However, there is one issue and that is a major issue. Jamar wants to keep his training with Taylor on the down-low. Since Jamar is adament about keeping this private, how better for the two to spend long hours together than acting as if they are dating? Okay, Taylor goes for it. There is a problem that makes itself known almost before the two even gets started. They are attracted to one another, something Taylor refuses to act on. In fact, both Taylor and Jamar walk into this with baggage. Will they be able to climb over their past hurts and turn their fake dating into something real? Something permanent? I really loved this second book in the Boyfriend Project series. Both Taylor and Jamar were solid characters. Factor in the continuity with Samaih and London's characters, and this proved to be a relatable read, enjoyable from start to finish. Many thanks to Forever and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Readaholic Book Reviews

    Taylor Powell is a force to be reckoned with. She's fierce, independent and strong - she does run her own personal training program Talyor'd Conditioning. Problem is, bills are piling up and Taylor isn't getting as many clients as she needs. When a famous pro football player - Jamar Dixon- ends up taking her class he loves her enthusiasm and drive and wants to hire her. Taylor is weary of men. Especially after the disaster where she ended up meeting her best friends (they were all dating a seria Taylor Powell is a force to be reckoned with. She's fierce, independent and strong - she does run her own personal training program Talyor'd Conditioning. Problem is, bills are piling up and Taylor isn't getting as many clients as she needs. When a famous pro football player - Jamar Dixon- ends up taking her class he loves her enthusiasm and drive and wants to hire her. Taylor is weary of men. Especially after the disaster where she ended up meeting her best friends (they were all dating a serial dater at the same time). She doesn't trust Jamar, but he sounds too good to be true. So at the urging of her friends, Taylor takes on the job of getting Jamar back into shape enough so he can try out to play pro football again. Only problem - Jamar doesn't want it known that Taylor is training him and Taylor has no problem keeping it that way. Except they're accidentally outed as a couple and both go along with the ruse. What starts off as a fake relationship for the reporters slowly starts turning real, will Jamar and Taylor be able to keep their relationship strictly platonic and a few stolen glances and kisses just for the camera? Okay first of all, I LOVED the banter between Jamar and Taylor in The Dating Playbook. I was constantly cackling out loud at how funny these two were with one another. Their banter and relationship always felt easy - right from the beginning. Taylor had so many rules for their fake relationship and I loved watching the lines blur between what was real and what was fake. The relationship between Taylor, Samiah and London that I loved so much in The Boyfriend Project was back again with The Dating Playbook! The girl bonds between these three was so lovely. I love that their relationship was still strong in the second book of this series. The Dating Playbook was a sweet fake dating romance interwoven with the lovely bonds of friendship. I am looking forward to London's story next! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ayushi

    Thank you so much to Forever at Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review! The Dating Playbook was such an adorable (and honestly very grounded) read. Taylor and Jamar’s relationship felt so genuine as they helped each other deal with their individual trauma and it was really beautiful to see! The Dating Playbook follows the next woman in our trio of best friends who found themselves catfished by the same man in The Boyfriend Project: Taylor Powell, a Thank you so much to Forever at Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review! The Dating Playbook was such an adorable (and honestly very grounded) read. Taylor and Jamar’s relationship felt so genuine as they helped each other deal with their individual trauma and it was really beautiful to see! The Dating Playbook follows the next woman in our trio of best friends who found themselves catfished by the same man in The Boyfriend Project: Taylor Powell, a fitness instructor and personal trainer. As talented as she is in her line of work, her bills are piling up, and Taylor looks for a miracle to pull her out of her dire financial situation fast. When former football player Jamar Dixon approaches her with a request for Taylor to secretly train him and get him back in the NFL, she agrees. However, the two are accidentally outed as a couple and are forced to fake-date to prevent the public from finding out about Jamar’s future return to the NFL, and Taylor's game plan is turned completely upside down. I loved how natural the progression of Taylor and Jamar’s relationship felt. I feel like in a lot of books with fake dating, the couple immediately forgets all rules of their fake dating “contract” and will immediately give into the tension and start an intimate relationship not even halfway into the book. However, I really liked how Taylor was adamant until the last possible moment that she shouldn’t cross the professional line of her relationship with Jamar. I think my only critique of their fake dating arc is that it didn’t seem to play too much into the “fake dating in front of other people.” They just declared they were together for the media once at the start of the book and then spent the rest of the book only in the presence of each other and their close family friends, so it didn’t really seem like there was a point to the fake dating anymore. If anything, I think this book plays more into the “forced proximity” trope rather than the fake dating trope (the forced proximity scenes were done much better, too, in my opinion). I loved the various important discussions that Farrah Rochon brought into this book (which she always does really well in her books), such as Black stereotypes in sports, learning disabilities, anxiety attacks, the pros and cons of a higher education, and dealing with grief. I adored how incredibly supportive Jamar was with Taylor’s journey to get a college degree while helping her manage her learning disorder and anxiety attacks. Likewise, Taylor was also so caring when it came to Jamar’s unresolved grief related to Silas’ death. I appreciated how the climax of their relationship didn’t result in them having a toxic break-up or and how they still had a happy, genuine relationship throughout the book. The representation and diversity in this book, as always, was amazing (I was so excited to see that one of Taylor’s cousins is deaf!). Definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a quick, sweet, genuine romance! The friendship between Samiah, Taylor, and London seemed much more well-developed in this book now that we’ve known them for longer and I’m very excited for London’s book next :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen (About That Story)

    From the very first page, I was in love with this story! This was so entertaining, sweet, and flirty. I had so much fun reading it and ate up all the references that were familiar to me. Farrah Rochon scored a touchdown with The Dating Playbook. I absolutely adored Taylor. I loved her spirit, tenacity, and her infectious personality. Jamar totally made me melt. He was so charming and I loved what he was trying to accomplish and felt for him. From the moment they met, I loved them together. They From the very first page, I was in love with this story! This was so entertaining, sweet, and flirty. I had so much fun reading it and ate up all the references that were familiar to me. Farrah Rochon scored a touchdown with The Dating Playbook. I absolutely adored Taylor. I loved her spirit, tenacity, and her infectious personality. Jamar totally made me melt. He was so charming and I loved what he was trying to accomplish and felt for him. From the moment they met, I loved them together. They had fantastic dialogue with an awesome back and forth wit that was engaging and lively. I liked learning their history and loved how the fake dating aspect and the Dating Playbook came about and watching these two trying to fight their attraction even though they had amazeballs chemistry. It created some seriously awesome sexual tension. I loved them opening up, sharing, and confronting things in their lives and overcoming obstacles they were dealing with. I loved the relationship that Taylor had with Samiah and London. I liked seeing the bonds they formed and how they're there for each other. I also liked the small updates on Samiah and Daniel and am looking forward to London’s story next. She's got the best dry humor and I cannot wait. This was an exceptional story that was well written with a lot of depth and detail and I thought it had a great flow. I loved the dual POVs and there was never a time that I wanted to put it down. It was funny and sweet and a bit heartbreaking at times. This story was an absolute delight to read. You could replace the location, towns, and sports teams that were referenced and I would still think that. That being said, I had such a personal connection to this story because of the town where Jamar is from and where he went to high school and it made it that much more exciting to read. There were sports teams mentioned that were so relevant to me and I could not get enough. Every time I read something I was familiar with, it made me giddy! As someone who works out regularly and tries to eat as clean as I can, I loved everything having to do with fitness and healthy eating. I loved how it was presented and how positive it all felt. It was that attention to detail that made it that much more dynamic to me. This was a delightful and heartfelt story about overcoming pain from the past, healing, finding hope, and moving on. It was an incredibly enjoyable read with low angst and a bit of drama with really great characters and I loved them finding their way together. Complimentary copy received from Forever Romance.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    I am so glad to revisit Samiah and London, but this story is all about Taylor Powell. She snags handsome Jamar Dixon as her client, who wants to make a come back in the NFL, as his personal trainer - but they have to keep all this under wraps. However, word gets out and now they have to pretend to be a couple. Oh my goodness guys this book was amazing, and so much fun to read. I loved Taylor and Jamar, their back stories, and how Jamar had a crush on Taylor from the viral video. There were plent I am so glad to revisit Samiah and London, but this story is all about Taylor Powell. She snags handsome Jamar Dixon as her client, who wants to make a come back in the NFL, as his personal trainer - but they have to keep all this under wraps. However, word gets out and now they have to pretend to be a couple. Oh my goodness guys this book was amazing, and so much fun to read. I loved Taylor and Jamar, their back stories, and how Jamar had a crush on Taylor from the viral video. There were plenty of swoon worthy moments and it was incredible. I loved the quick pacing, strong female friendships, and relatable characters with depth. I cannot wait to read more from the series!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leith Devine

    This was a fun romance, I loved it! The writing was great, I was pulled in to the book from the first page. Taylor Powell is just barely hanging on to her personal training business when an injured NFL player shows up to a class. He needs training under the NFL radar, but people seeing them together assume they’re a couple. They have powerful chemistry, how long can they stay “just friends”? It’s a different take on the friends to lovers trope. 5 stars. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I rec This was a fun romance, I loved it! The writing was great, I was pulled in to the book from the first page. Taylor Powell is just barely hanging on to her personal training business when an injured NFL player shows up to a class. He needs training under the NFL radar, but people seeing them together assume they’re a couple. They have powerful chemistry, how long can they stay “just friends”? It’s a different take on the friends to lovers trope. 5 stars. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jite

    4.5 Stars. This was an immensely cute and emotional and relatable read and a fantastic second installment to the Boyfriend Project series. This novel features Taylor, a second member of the friend group that formed in Book 1 when three women found out they were dating the same no-good Craig and went viral. No worries if you haven’t read Book 1 though, this stands alone perfectly well and even being a stickler for reading series in order, I am happy enough recommending that you can start with this 4.5 Stars. This was an immensely cute and emotional and relatable read and a fantastic second installment to the Boyfriend Project series. This novel features Taylor, a second member of the friend group that formed in Book 1 when three women found out they were dating the same no-good Craig and went viral. No worries if you haven’t read Book 1 though, this stands alone perfectly well and even being a stickler for reading series in order, I am happy enough recommending that you can start with this book if you want. The premise is that Taylor, despite her best efforts, is struggling to make a success of her personal training fitness business, when she gets the opportunity of a lifetime to train Jamar, an injured NFL player who’s trying to make a comeback. The only problem is that he doesn’t want the added pressure of the media knowing he’s attempting a comeback and so when discovery is imminent, they engage in a fake dating relationship to throw everyone of. The only problem is that they’ve caught feelings for one another but there’s no way Taylor is going to hook up with a client, especially having been burnt before in the past. I’m usually a little 🙄 about the fake dating trope. It’s not one I typically gravitate towards because it’s so unrealistic. But I loved the way it developed here. What’s great about this one is that with Taylor and Jamar, there is strong character development, and these are the sorts of characters that everyone can relate to- we’ve all battled insecurity and the feeling of not being good enough, we all know what it feels like to have broken dreams, and most people are acquainted with grief in some form. Outside of that, Taylor had so many real elements to her that I thought aren’t necessarily always romance heroine characteristics- for example she’s tangibly in debt but trying to hide it from those around her, and she struggles with an undiagnosed learning disability which she only realizes as an adult despite having struggled all her life. The way this is written with the emotion and support and gentleness wrapped in humour and one liners and a well-executed flirtation made this an absolute joy to read. There is angst because of the baggage both characters carry, but it is bearable and you wouldn’t call this high angst. The love languages are well captured here and the protagonists have many swoon-worthy moments in how they show love and support. They actually communicate (novel idea for a romance) and when they don’t, there is a conversation about not communicating in the moment. The conflict here is mostly internal and due to (character) growing pains and never lies or flimsy misunderstandings that could be cleared with a single conversation. This is a soothing and comforting, unproblematic sort of read. I enjoyed the normalized representation of disabilities from deafness to learning disabilities to ADHD without making this a book about any of those issues or having to intro and fetishize any of those issues- and make them main character traits. There is a good level of heat, but it’s also not an erotic romance. This is Black romance featuring two Black main characters but there are no cultural markers of race or ethnicity except that the heroine got braids- not that I was expecting Ebonics or anything cliched but these characters were very ethnically neutral. Personally, I was fine with this, the characters still felt very well-developed, but these characters could have as well have been white or any other ethnicity. This sort of neutrality can be both a positive thing allowing the characters to not be race-related by cultural experiences so that they’re “relatable” to all readers because ultimately we’re all human and can all relate to the thematic issues the characters face. But it can also be a negative thing that makes characters a little bland. I can categorically say that these characters weren’t at all bland so this wasn’t a huge issue for me- it’s just something I noticed. On the whole, I found this to be really well/balanced and a really nice book. I enjoyed this and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a nice calming read. My caveat is that this is a book about a fitnessgram personal trainer- it is thus, by definition riddled with diet culture and somewhat orthorexic statements by the heroine on nutrition and fitness- bearing in mind that Taylor works with clients with stringent weight loss or fitness goals. If you might be triggered (e.g. have or have had an ED), as lovely as this is, it might be one to skip. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nnenna

    Thank you to the publisher for giving me a free copy of this book! All opinions are my own. I loved THE BOYFRIEND PROJECT when I read it last year, so I was so excited to read this next installment in the series. This one is all about Taylor, who is a fitness coach. She starts working with a famous professional football player named Jamar who’s hoping to make a comeback after suffering a knee injury. But the twist is that Jamar doesn’t want anyone that he’s trying to make it back to the league, s Thank you to the publisher for giving me a free copy of this book! All opinions are my own. I loved THE BOYFRIEND PROJECT when I read it last year, so I was so excited to read this next installment in the series. This one is all about Taylor, who is a fitness coach. She starts working with a famous professional football player named Jamar who’s hoping to make a comeback after suffering a knee injury. But the twist is that Jamar doesn’t want anyone that he’s trying to make it back to the league, so their cover story is dating, not training together! You know that I love a fake dating story, so I was all for that. I loved seeing the relationship build between Taylor and Jamar, especially when they stopped being silly and finally admitted that they have feelings for each other! Another thing I love about this series is the friendship between these three women. They originally met because they found out they were all dating the same guy at the same time (yikes!) and I love that that’s how they became friends. They’re so supportive of each other and I admire how they were able to turn such a negative situation into a positive one. There are a few different topics covered in this book, including disabilities, family dynamics, and grief. There’s also a discussion around the way that athletes push their bodies and the sacrifices that they make, which is something that I’ve been thinking about a bit with the Olympics coming up. I’ll just never know what it’s like to be an athlete at that level and how much hard work and determination it takes. I will say that I’m not really a huge sports person, so I didn’t find the sports aspect of this story as interesting. But, I enjoyed this book from start to finish, and I think if you are a football fan, or a sports fan in general, you’d enjoy it even more. And now I can’t wait to read London’s book and learn more about her backstory when that comes out next year!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine (Queen of Books)

    The Dating Playbook is a fun contemporary romance featuring Taylor, a personal trainer, and Jamar, a running back trying to make it back into the NFL after a bad knee injury. My favorite aspect of this book was how realistic it felt, from their career struggles to their family relationships. I also valued several interactions in which Taylor and her friends, as well as Taylor and Jamar, talked about what it is that she wants (including what's holding her back and what possible next steps might b The Dating Playbook is a fun contemporary romance featuring Taylor, a personal trainer, and Jamar, a running back trying to make it back into the NFL after a bad knee injury. My favorite aspect of this book was how realistic it felt, from their career struggles to their family relationships. I also valued several interactions in which Taylor and her friends, as well as Taylor and Jamar, talked about what it is that she wants (including what's holding her back and what possible next steps might be). That sort of reflection and communication on the page is awesome. The language Taylor used around food and exercise sometimes didn't work for me. I don't like to think of exercise as punishment for eating cheese or ice cream, and I don't like to think of certain foods as "bad." I understand that training to make the NFL is extreme, but those messages just aren't healthy ones for me to see (/they're ones that have taken me a long time to bury in my own brain). Still, I enjoyed this one! It was especially great to be back with this trio of friends I loved so much in The Boyfriend Project. Now to anxiously await London's book (out next summer) -- I have a feeling hers is going to be my favorite in the series. Note: I don't find any of the content warnings for this title to be spoilery, so I'm not placing them behind a tag, but they're below this italicized text in case you'd like to skip them! Thank you to Forever and Books Forward PR for a free print copy of this title, as well as Hachette Audio and NetGalley for a free ALC for review. Content warnings: Recollection of the death of a close friend (motorcycle accident), discussion of related guilt and grief; panic attack; learning disorder; comments on restricting certain foods and needing to work out more to offset one's diet; reference to a mother sent to prison for life for killing their father and the two of them being "heroin junkies" who neglect their young children; minor character with a disability and emphysema

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I loved the previous book and knew I was going to be reading the rest of these books, synopsis unseen. I loved Taylor and Jamar. They’re both really good people, sassy af, and have a great chemistry and banter for days. I really enjoyed reading them learn about each other, workout, and flirt like crazy. Of course, seeing the other ladies were some of the best scenes. Plot wise, it’s good, although it didn’t feel like a huge build up towards anything. There are points that the characters are movi I loved the previous book and knew I was going to be reading the rest of these books, synopsis unseen. I loved Taylor and Jamar. They’re both really good people, sassy af, and have a great chemistry and banter for days. I really enjoyed reading them learn about each other, workout, and flirt like crazy. Of course, seeing the other ladies were some of the best scenes. Plot wise, it’s good, although it didn’t feel like a huge build up towards anything. There are points that the characters are moving to, but nothing felt urgent. Even the conflict felt mild and didn’t last too long. Overall, it was fun to read and the characters are some of my favorites. I can’t wait to read London’s story. **Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

  30. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    3.5 rounded up This was a fun, steamy, open door romance between a physical trainer and a football player trying to get back in the NFL. I enjoyed how well the author blended the light with the more serious. Jamar helps Taylor with her anxiety and learning disability in order for her to apply for school. The two start off with a professional relationship that turns into a fake dating turned real relationship situation. Fans of the Boyfriend Project will enjoy the cameos with Samiah and London. De 3.5 rounded up This was a fun, steamy, open door romance between a physical trainer and a football player trying to get back in the NFL. I enjoyed how well the author blended the light with the more serious. Jamar helps Taylor with her anxiety and learning disability in order for her to apply for school. The two start off with a professional relationship that turns into a fake dating turned real relationship situation. Fans of the Boyfriend Project will enjoy the cameos with Samiah and London. Definitely a must-read for anyone who loves sports romances with strong female characters. Much thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Audio for my ALC of this heartfelt #ownvoices romance.

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