The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Two strangers hit it off and pretend to date for the sake of a wedding. Initially, I was turned off because this trope has been done. I mean done, done. Well done steak, shaking the table while you cut it done.
However, Guillory puts a fresh, glossy spin on the classic rom-com trope in The Wedding Date. Prior to this, it had been a long time since I’d read a romance novel. They reminded me so strongly of middle and high school.
Not because I found them sophomoric but because they were cheap and plentiful back then so I bought them above other things. As an adult, I became too cynical and jaded to lose myself in meet cutes so I traded them in for darker genres and never looked back.
However, I couldn’t resist a contemporary romance novel by a Black woman with a Black main character that kept popping up on my timeline.
Alexa Monroe is witty, successful, and single. She can’t believe her luck when she finds herself literally stuck in an elevator with equally witty, successful, and single Drew Nichols. The two hit it off and make the rash decision to pretend to be dating and attend a wedding.
Not just anybody’s wedding but his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. What was supposed to be one fun night turns into a complex long-distance love affair. They both live fast-paced lives as young professionals but can’t help giving it a try because what if this could be it.
Throughout three hundred pages they stumble through meetups, call it offs, and steamy encounters all because they bumped into each other at the right place at the right time. It could all be so simple but these two are determined to make it hard.
I enjoyed the realistic layer of long-distance. Too often these stories are neatly confined to a small town where the characters live half a mile from each other and frequent the same coffee shop.
Guillory makes a point through their interactions to show how arduous long-distance love can be. I mean, be for real, what’s the likelihood of the love of your life living in the same city, state, or even country?
I also appreciated the author addressing elements of interracial dating. It never gets too heavy but there’s one scene where Alexa points out the very real difference between Drew’s relationship with the law and her own.
She bluntly explains that “he is born with the benefit of the doubt that black people never get.” It is inevitable to be in an interracial relationship and not start unpacking privilege. Guillory does a good job of sprinkling moments like this throughout the story without race becoming the focal point of their relationship.
They eat a lot in this book. There’s nothing crazy about it, it’s just comical. At one point I said to myself, “damn they’re eating again?!”
My husband and I center most of our quality time around food, so it was relatable but still. The “hot dates” in this book revolve around descriptions of food or the bedroom.
Would I Recommend This Book?
Yes, would recommend it! The Wedding Date is cute. It’s a really good vacation or beach read that you can put down and easily jump back in. The writing is fun and the characters are smart and sexy.
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