The story follows Samiah Brooks, a tech genius whose boyfriend Craig, as she discovers, has also been dating two other women. Enraged, she confronts him in a restaurant where he is on a date with one of the other ladies – the same restaurant reservation that she booked for their date that he canceled earlier that evening. A video of her explosive confrontation ends up going viral on YouTube.
But on the positive side, she ends up forming a close friendship with the other two women, London and Taylor, and they create a pact not to date any men for the next six months; instead, they’ll use that time to work on themselves on and their dreams.
What Samiah didn’t count on is sexy Daniel Collins, the new hire at the tech company where she works, Trendsetters. She tells herself that she will not allow herself to become distracted by Daniel, though that’s a lot easier said than done, and pretty soon, she wonders whether Daniel may be too good to be true.
This could be the case as we slowly learn that Daniel is indeed not who he says he is, that he’s on some sort of undercover assignment at Trendsetters, thus keeping a massive secret from Samiah. It doesn’t help matters that he starts to fall for Samiah as well, causing him all sorts of guilt and anguish because of the need to deceive Samiah.
Now given that the story starts out with Samiah being deceived by a three-timing boyfriend, the deception issue is especially touchy here, and Daniel is positive that this isn’t going to end well. What’s nice is that we go back and forth between both Samiah and Daniel’s POV, so we get the story from both sides.
I loved the workplace vibe in this story – it definitely sounds like the type of place I would love to work at. I also enjoyed the conversation about why Samiah is such a perfectionist — how she has to work twice as hard as her coworkers, being black and a woman, and how her work always, always has to be perfect the first time because it’s unlikely she’ll get a second chance. Unfortunately, too much of this is still true today in many instances. But I did like the book’s message about diversity and equality in the workplace. I believe Daniel is multi-racial — Korean and Black if my memory serves, so there’s excellent representation with both characters.
All in all, this is a fun own-voices rom-com with strong, admirable characters and a touch a mystery, which adds extra intrigue to the narrative. I thought there was excellent chemistry between the two protagonists, and I also enjoyed the friendship theme that ran throughout.
Purchase The Boyfriend Project on The Book Depository
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