January 19, 2016

Review: Passion’s Song by Farrah Rochon

Review: Passion’s Song by Farrah RochonPassion's Song by Farrah Rochon
Published by Harlequin Kimani on January 19, 2016
Genres: African American, Contemporary, Fiction, Love & Romance, Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eBook
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three-stars

A desire they never imagined… 

New Orleans has always been a musical city, and April Knight quickly fell under its spell. Despite the challenges of poverty and disillusionment, April defied everyone to realize her dream of becoming a celebrated cellist. Buoyed by her success, she's returned to the Ninth Ward to share her encouragement and enthusiasm with the local youth, unaware of a new passion that awaits.

Years ago, Damien Alexander encouraged April to follow her ambitions, even as he followed his own. Now he has the opportunity to revitalize his old neighborhood, and he needs April's grace and charm to woo investors. Instead of the platonic arrangement they expected, a swift and intense spark of attraction suddenly changes the dynamic of their relationship. Will they be able to help their community and answer the sweet, sweet melody of love?

Damien Alexander needed a pretend girlfriend, April needed help with full-time funding for her non-profit organization.

Passion’s Song by Farrah Rochon is a take on the friends to lovers trope. Damien and April have known each other since high school. Over the years, their careers have landed them on opposite sides of the country. April is a celebrated cellist who traveled all over the world, and Damien built his real estate company in Houston. However, they both decided to return to their hometown of New Orleans around the same time. They hadn’t done a great job of keeping in touch with each other but they’ve always regarded each other as friends.

The book centers around a deal these two made. Damien had a huge real estate idea that required additional investors. As a bachelor, he wanted to be taken more seriously by his counterparts and decided that having a well respected and cultured girlfriend on his arm while attending events would help tremendously. He sought out April and you can probably guess what happened next. It wasn’t a completely one-sided plan though. April worked for a nonprofit organization that was desperately trying to get funding to become a year-long program. With additions to the curriculum and Damien’s help, they had a fair chance of receiving it.

Damien started to see April as more than the nerdy girl he knew in high school. April’s old feelings for Damien resurfaced as they spent more time together. We were treated to a few trips down memory lane as things started to evolve. A relationship blossomed but was almost cut short when these two disagreed about Damien’s plans. April wanted to help save the Ninth Ward, Damien’s real estate supported gentrification and so they clashed.

Admittedly, I like my romances with a little bit of drama. I need the characters to have some sort of obstacle that they need to overcome. Passion’s Song didn’t really have that. Sure, Damien and April disagreed about Damien’s Ninth Ward project but April didn’t really stay upset for long. For something that she felt so passionate about, I thought she would have given him a bit more hell. It was all wrapped about very quickly and neatly. Damien had some deep seated issues with the neighborhood he grew up in, and I had hoped we had gotten more time to explore that. Those issues were briefly explained and while profound, needed a bit more unpacking in my opinion.

Damien also had some deep seated issues with the neighborhood he grew up in, and I had hoped we had gotten more time to explore that. Those issues were briefly explained and while profound, needed a bit more to be flushed out in my opinion.

Also, when I saw that this book was based in New Orleans I was very intrigued. However, I was a bit disappointed. The novel didn’t feel as rooted in the city as I had hoped. Sure, we had explanations that reminded us where they were but it was a lot more telling than showing. If a city is going to be made the central focus of a novel, I need to feel as if I am there.

A super quick read, I read Passion’s Song on Saturday afternoon as it have arrived as part of my Harlequin monthly subscription. While the book’s romance probably won’t sweep you off your feet, it’s a solid book to pass the time on a lazy weekend afternoon.

three-stars

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Natalya