The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Proposal and The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory did a good job of roping me in with their plots, storytelling, and characters. Speaking of characters, Nik and Carlos from The Proposal and Alexa and Drew from The Wedding Date make appearances in The Wedding Party. Each romance novel is standalone, but it’s a pleasant surprise when you recognize the other characters and already know their backstories. It’s cute reading the characters’ connections.
In The Wedding Party, Maddie and Theo are two of Alexa’s best friends, though they personally despise each other. Now that Alexa and Drew are engaged to be married, the two find themselves part of Alexa’s wedding party–hence the title—and have to learn how to get along. They do more than that. Thanks to alcohol, a one-night stand leads to an agreed upon fuck-buddyship which leads to unexpected (and unexpressed) feelings on both sides.
Maddie leans on and receives emotional support from Theo when she’s freaking out about a life-changing interview as a stylist and host for a TV wardrobe makeover show. Theo does the same when he’s stressed out being at the helm of a major campaign for his boss: the mayor. The two are in major denial about, and try to keep secret, their feelings for each other until Theo lands in the hospital. It becomes obvious to everyone else that something else is brewing.
Theo and Maddie eat so much pizza that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be jealous. There are so many mentions of ordering pizza when they hang out during their months-long relationship that I, barely a pizza fan, bought a frozen pizza when I went grocery shopping. It was not on the list! Neither were the Klondike bars, but I digress. It’s debatable if my cauliflower crust three cheese pizza can hold a candle to Theo’s preferred roasted garlic, which sounds divine, but it was sufficient in the moment.
I’m not through with the Guillory books yet. Without cheating and researching the other titles, I suspect there’s a book about Molly and Josh, who (to me) are randomly mentioned at Alexa and Drew’s wedding rehearsal dinner as Maddie wishes she could be coupled up like them, Alexa and Drew, and Nik and Carlos.
Theo and Maddie are my favorite couple out of the three novels I’ve read, and not just because they’re the first true #BlackLove couple. Both Theo and Maddie are Black. Drew is white, Carlos is Latino. I liked that Maddie and Theo’s story is the most plausible. They seem like opposites. Theo is very neat, Maddie is not. Maddie is outgoing, Theo is not. The former frenemies who share a mutual friend fall in love as they have more in common than they previously thought. Nice storyline. But that’s not to say that every time I set foot in an elevator, I don’t have the audacity of hope of meeting the love of my life like Alexa did. If you know, you know.