The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date is such a cute romantic novel. Stupid me didn’t realize that it’s actually the first book in the series. I read The Proposal first, my logic being that there must first be a wedding proposal to not only set a wedding date, but need a wedding date, as in a plus one. Nope. If you’re reading this, and also interested in reading the series, The Wedding Date is first. Much to my relief, they don’t have to be read in order. They work as standalone novels, so you won’t miss anything or be lost.
Alexis Monroe and Andrew Nichols’ meet-cute happens when they’re both trapped in a hotel elevator. She’s en route to meet her attorney-sister who’s staying at the Oakland hotel for business, and he’s in town for a wedding. As they snack on the celebratory cheese crackers Alexis brought for her sister, Drew reveals that he’s a groomsman in his friend and ex’s wedding. Yup. To make the situation even more awkward, he’s solo. On a whim he asks the beautiful, curvy, Black woman to stand in for the plus-one who bailed on him at the last minute. On a whim, she accepts the handsome white doctor’s invitation. Her sister and friends are always telling the goal-oriented mayor’s chief of staff to loosen up and live a little. What better way than to pose as the faux girlfriend of a stranger all weekend at a rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception?
I’m surprised by how often I found myself thinking about their long-distance relationship (they live a one-hour flight away from each other) when I wasn’t reading the novel. In the span of a couple of months, the two take turns flying back and forth between Oakland and Los Angeles to see each other. While getting to know each other, there’s plenty of great sex. One time, Drew even makes an unplanned trip hopping a flight straight from the hospital after an emotional day with one his child patients. Handsome and sensitive. Nice.
Neither of their character developments or the storyline ever seems stale or corny. The sex scenes were juicy without being overly graphic (not that I’d mind) and yet captured the awkwardness and insecurities when first getting used to your partner. As in real life, even in hot and heavy moments Alexis’ mind sometimes tends to wander and wonder what Drew is thinking about, and how he views certain body parts of hers, but then, as is also the case in real life, Alexis realizes they’re both going at it, so clearly he likes what he sees, or at least doesn’t mind too much. Who is ever 100% secure when naked?
The first time Carlos, Drew’s best friend and fellow doctor popped up, my eyes’ ears perked up (I said what I said). Because I had read The Proposal first, I recognized him as Nik’s love interest in that novel. Once his red sports car was mentioned, I was sure it was him. If you know, you know. If you don’t, do yourself a favor and read The Proposal, another cute, romantic story. Both novels have plausible beginnings and predictable endings, but the journey is the enjoyment and entertainment.
Although their back and forth flights never encounter turbulence, Alexis and Drew’s relationship encounters plenty of bumps in the form of racism and microaggressions from others, both their insecurities, lack of communication, and other issues. Hey, they’re human. Thanks to friends who let them know they’re acting like idiots and a shared love of donuts, the two are able to make it back to each other to reignite sparks that never completely faded in the first place.
I can’t wait to read the next books in the romantic series. I thoroughly enjoy Jasmine Guillory’s engaging storytelling and writing style.
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