The Dating Playbook is the second book in a series that follows three women who become BFFs after going viral on Twitter for dating the same man.
Going viral sent new clients to 28-year-old Taylor Powell’s personal training business–including 26-year-old ex-football player Jamar Dixon. Jamar wants Taylor to get him back into shape so he can have a second chance at the League but for sports reasons (IDK, the sports draft thing really went over my head) he has to keep his training hidden from the public so…fake relationship it is!
Taylor and Jamar create a dating playbook to keep them from crossing the line but neither can ignore their chemistry as they accidentally become Instagram’s hottest new fitness couple.
I liked that our heroine Taylor was on the struggle bus. She’s flighty, impulsive, and struggling with a huge amount of debt. She’s also figuring her way around a learning disability. I feel like so often Black heroines in traditional publishing have to be all “Black Excellence” and it was refreshing to get a different take–especially since the other two heroines in this series are successful overachievers.
This book got me thinking about the fake dating trope–one of my favorite tropes. I’m starting to realize it doesn’t work for me when fake dating is for public consumption or social media. To me what makes fake dating a fun tropes is all the shenanigans and improvisations that come along with trying to keep up a ruse.
The Dating Playbook is a fairly low-stakes romance so a lot of the tension comes from the side plots, neither of which held my attention. The romance plot was the strongest part of this book, it’s charming and flirty with a simmering heat level for those looking for lower heat romance.