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review 2020-06-16 16:21
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
The Boyfriend Project - Farrah Rochon

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

The Boyfriend Project sees three women bond together after they discover they are dating the same man and a video of Samiah goes viral of her confronting him. Professionally, Samiah and London, Taylor is still working her way there, are excelling but feel pressure to have the whole package, a significant other to share their life with. This has lead to them lowering their standards and ending up going viral on YouTube. They decide to make a pact to focus on other aspects of their lives for six months and leave off dating. Samiah has an app that she has wanted to develop and is excited to focus on that. However, a newer hire at her work, Daniel, has her wanting to break some rules.

 

And even as he told himself they were just two coworkers grabbing a bite to eat, he knew what he wanted it to be.

 

Daniel, a former Marine, now works for the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. He's undercover at Samiah's work, Trendsetters, because the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network— FinCEN, detected activity that makes them think that a hotel chain is laundering money with software developed by Trendsetters. In a joint effort with the Department of Homeland Security, Daniel is covertly working to find the employees at Trendsetters responsible for the laundering.

 

He held the driver’s side door open for her and draped an arm over the top of it. “But I should warn you, I’ve also heard that I tend to grow on people.” He winked. “Be prepared.”

 

With two people who are mentally and professionally not wanting to get involved romantically, Samiah and Daniel can't deny their potent chemistry. I thought the author did a great job setting these two up and their initial physical attraction that deepened into a friendship and eventual romantic and sexual relationship. Samiah's weakening on her no dating rule didn't quite hit as hard as Daniel's with the seriousness of fraternization while undercover on a job. I did enjoy the fullness of the characters, we don't get a ton of background on Samiah but that worked as her character's issues were more in the present. Samiah's trust issues, because of the two-timing guy that ended up bonding her with London and Taylor and her co-worker Keighleigh who tries to steal credit for Samiah's work (Keighleigh's comeuppance might feel a little therapeutic for a lot), drive Samiah for the slice of life we're reading about. We get a little more on Daniel's background and that worked to give the reader an idea of the kind of man he is, codes he lives his life by and why he wouldn't want to tell Samiah his true purpose at Trendsetters. I also have to say I would read the heck out of Daniel's parents' story as their romance sounds amazing.

 

A potent, electric charge sizzled in the air between them, a sensation so strong he felt it on his skin.

 

The beginning of the story, I thought the author worked overtime on minute descriptions that didn't so much enhance the story as slow down the pace with stuff I didn't really care about, for the most part, this disappeared as the story went on. I don't know the Austin area but I think for people who do, they'll enjoy the shoutouts to spots they'll recognize and enjoy that connection. This does have a small twinge of romantic suspense, just think more mental instead of run and gun. I found Daniel's job and the aspects of it fascinating and thought the author described enough for understanding but stopped short of text book. The mystery of Daniel when he first comes on screen, his mental dossier thoughts on co-workers he's never meet before, created an intrigue that sucked me into the story and I loved that.

 

For the first time in forever, Samiah felt as if she could relax and just …be. There was no pressure, no pretense. She could just exist in this undemanding, enjoyable place they’d discovered with each other.

 

I did think some of the tension between Samiah and Daniel was more soft than electric, they don't fight too hard to stay out of each other's presence and their relationship reminded me of Grace Burrowe's couples; they fit and click in a way that has them immediately together. Their first sex scene was hot but went a bit too quick for me. Daniel not compromising his job does put Samiah through the ringer but I thought the author did a great job giving Samiah time to process her emotions, leading to a more believable happily ever after.

 

Maybe it was time she accepted that plans changed. And sometimes they changed for the better.

 

The importance of women having female friendships was wonderfully put on display here, having shoulders to lean on, understanding and connection to personal struggles and triumphs, someone to push you, and friends to laugh, eat, and drink with. The creation of the HashTagGoals Boyfriend Project also did a good job of setting up future books in the series, I can't wait to read London and Taylor's stories. Most importantly this also showed how while the romance enhanced Samiah's life, it wasn't the be all and end all of it. Samiah and Daniel had a sweet friendship that built to a sexy romance and I had a great time getting to read about it.

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review 2017-05-30 14:12
Review: Trust Me by Farrah Rochon
Trust Me (The Holmes Brothers Book 5) - Farrah Rochon

At one point, Mackenna (Mack)Arnold was one-half of New Orleans’ Power Couple. But after 15 years of problems and lies, she left her husband. Now she sits on the New Orleans City Council, dedicating her time to helping the city she loves. Unfortunately, her best friend’s little brother, Ezra Holmes, an investigative report, has set his sights on uncovering supposed corruption in Mack’s office.

 

Ezra Holmes is a conflicted, even troubled man. The woman he’s crushed on for years may be using her position on the City Council to line her pockets. Also, he recently trusted the wrong source, costing him his job with the newspaper. So instead of making his way onto the national news spotlight, he’s teaching journalism at a local college. When Mack approaches him about possible corruption in the mayor’s office, he isn’t sure if he can put aside the past and trust that she’s not in it for her own, selfish reasons.

 

The aptly named Trust Me is another entertaining story in Ms. Rochon’s Holmes Brothers series. The book is a standalone romance and story; however, we were introduced to the two main characters in the previous book, where their conflict first came to light. This title is a bit more serious and has a more of an edge to it than the prior title, which took place during a family vacation. I liked the change in scenery and tone; although I worried a bit how the characters would get their “happy ending” with so much at stake.

 

Ezra’s obsession with Mack was a little creepy at the start. The man was determined to prove she was crooked, even while day dreaming about her fine body and beautiful face. I attribute his behavior to a classic case of never being noticed by Mack all those years his sister brought Mack home with her during college. Whether it was misplaced anger or the only way he felt he could “be with her,” I was disturbed by his driven nature to find her guilty. So it was a big relief that the author addressed the issue early in the book, putting the pair on the same page.

 

Although Mack and Ezra shared a passionate desire, they were both extremely cautious with their hearts. Trust was difficult and was only earned as the book progressed. There was a lot of back and forth; give and take. Additionally, Ezra had concerns over a conflict of interest sleeping with a source/politician. Working through their rough spots gave the story a more serious tone, yet made their eventual union more fulfilling. And the somber storyline the pair worked on only added to the tone.

 

Overall, Trust Me is an entertaining read. With the darker storyline of corruption, I wondered how it would resolve; I was expecting a blowup, but was pleasantly surprised. Ms. Rochon created a beautiful love story from a place of suspicion and mistrust. Trust Me, and the rest of the Holmes Brothers series, makes for an enjoyable summertime read.

 

My Rating:  B, Liked It

Review copy provided by author

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2017-01-30 13:38
Review: Chase Me by Farrah Rochon
Chase Me (The Holmes Brothers Book 4) - Farrah Rochon

Indina Holmes has no need, nor any desire, for a relationship in her busy, successful life. After being burned badly in the past, she’s good maintaining her bedroom-only relationship with co-worker Griffin Sims. But when she takes Griffin on her family reunion cruise, messy feelings start to emerge, and Indina doesn’t know how to process.

 

Griffin Sims has enjoyed sharing his bed with Indina for the better part of a year, but lately, he wants more. Afraid to push, he seizes the opportunity to get closer to her when she invites him away for the weekend. Being around her family not only solidifies Griffin’s desire to make Indina his, but also opens up wounds surrounding his own family. 

 

Chase Me was an enjoyable, easy read. With a cruise and family fun as the backdrop, I felt like I was on my own mini-vacation. And although this is the fourth book in the Holmes Brothers series, the romance was standalone, and there is a reboot feeling to the story as the author focuses on another part of the Holmes’ family. While I never felt like I missed out not having read the first three titles, I do think reading the books would have helped me keep straight the large number of characters in Indina’s life and family.

 

Indina is a great heroine! First… she’s forty-two years old! I love that she’s made her way and is living her life on her own terms. She doesn’t express regret that she’s not married with kids, rather, she enjoys her life as Auntie, surrounded by her family and friends. Yet, she’s strong and secure enough to question her life, but not her life’s choices, as messy feelings emerge after spending time outside the bedroom with Griffin. 

 

Meanwhile Griffin won my heart right from the start. He so wants more with Indina, but won’t push her. He’s such a good guy, and I want him to succeed. His strong sense of himself drew me in, and my heart cracked as Griffin realized he couldn’t continue with the status quo because of his feelings for Indina. I also loved the side story involving his family.

 

Overall, Chase Me is a delightful, feel-good romance. Other than some slight repetition with Indina's relationship fears, the story was well told. I liked that both Griffin and Indina had baggage, and while it caused problems, it didn't feel contrived. The hurt each experienced was tangible. Their built-in history gave the relationship more weight right from the get go. I love the strong successful heroine who needs things on her terms. The romance is standalone; however, the author planted the seeds for future titles, getting me excited for more.

 

My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot

Review copy provided by Author.

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review 2016-12-13 17:32
A Little Bit Naughty by Farrah Rochon - My Thoughts
A Little Bit Naughty - Farrah Rochon

This is the second novella in the Moments in Maplesville series and it was as entertaining as the first.  Now, I know I'm supposed to be reading my holiday stories, but I got fooled into thinking this was another Christmas story.  Well, fooled... I didn't pay enough attention.  *LOL*

 

Anyway, we meet another pair of charming main characters, Jada (a bestie of the heroine of the 1st book) and Mason, a couple who have known each other since high school and disliked each other since high school.  

 

While it might seem that the enemies to lovers happens awfully quick, I'm reminded of the day way back in time, that John Goldie (who was just a guy in my class) said something innocuous to me and I was instantly in love.  *LOL*  So I'm willing to give Jada and Mason a pass.  

 

The author seems to have cut down on the fanatical use of descriptors in this book - YAY!  But I realised that whatever happened to Jada to 'pique her interest' went directly to her nipples.  SO many nipples.  Nipples galore.  Too many effing nipples.  *LOL*  Honestly, there are other ways/responses that women feel when they get turned on.

 

So yes, this was an entertaining read and I'll probably read more in the series should the chance arise.  And once again, this is a story about POC written by a WOC.

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review 2016-12-12 17:11
A Perfect Holiday Fling by Farrah Rochon - My Thoughts
A Perfect Holiday Fling (Moments in Maplesville) - Farrah Rochon

Farrah Rochon is an author I see mentioned many times in my Twitter feed by the romance authors I follow, so I figured it was about time I checked her out.  

 

A Perfect Holiday Fling is the first of the Moments in Maplesville novellas which seem to all circle around holidays, and I found it quite enjoyable and perfect for the Christmas season.  

 

I liked the characters, but as always, I bemoan the fact that there just isn't enough time in a novella to really get to know them, but what we do get is pretty good.  I enjoyed the instant chemistry between the two MCs as well as the fact that Stefan's young 5 year old nephew wasn't perfectly precocious as so many kids in romances tend to be.  

 

My one problem with this book was that the author likes her descriptors a little too much for my taste.  Adjectives abound all over the place.  Now I'm all for giving the reader a picture, God knows, but I often felt as if I was being inundated with colours and textures and brand names and all kinds of other stuff.  

 

But I did like the book.  :)  Perfect read for the holiday season.

 

And for those that search them out, this is a book written by a WOC and about POC.

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