I was pretty into this at first but then my interest waned like a third of the way through and never really came back. Certainly it didn’t help that I was reading another stellar romance* at the same time and this one doesn’t hold up to it. This wasn’t bad, though! Just not great.
*The Heart Principle, in case you were curious.
This is the second book in Rochon’s adult romance series, following The Boyfriend Project, which I also generally liked but had some issues with (mainly that I liked the friendship and job aspects way more than the romance itself). Here I liked the romance more, but the good tension Rochon built up at the beginning was punctured way too soon for me. I also thought it ended up being a bit scattered thematically at the end. One of the things that drew me to the book at the beginning was the all too real way Rochon was writing about Taylor and her financial struggles. I’ve had those lean years where you don’t know where the money will be coming from next, and you have to decide what to pawn, and which bills not to pay. But that aspect entirely fell away, sort of replaced by Taylor’s struggle to accept she had a learning disorder, and to fit in with her family.
Anyway, this is ostensibly a book about a fake relationship, but I don’t think it took advantage of that trope at all, and maybe would have been better off without it. It felt forced at the beginning why they were even doing it (and introduced yet another narrative problem for Taylor, in her fear of trusting Jamar because of what a past client had done to her after she slept with him). And the actual fake relationship lasts for all of ten minutes, and is not a source of tension or conflict in the book. They enter into a sexual relationship soon after the fake dating starts, and then five minutes after that they decide they’re doing this for real, so what was the point. With all of that shoved in there, the genuinely affecting scenes where Jamar had to deal with the lingering guilt over the death of his best friend Silas years before didn’t hit as hard as they could have otherwise.
I think I’m going to finish out this series but I may not be reading more of Rochon’s books in the future.