Book Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
The Wedding Date is the debut romance novel of Jasmine Guillory. I have been dying to read it ever since I heard about it last fall. Roxane Gay reviewed and loved it; she even has the blurb on the cover. I absolutely adored this book and am tempted to reread it all over again. Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols meet in an elevator at a San Francisco hotel when the power goes out and they’re stuck for a little while. Alexa is at the hotel to visit her sister Olivia, while Drew is in town for a wedding of his ex-girlfriend. He doesn’t have a date, so after their flirty banter, he asks Alexa to be his date for the rest of the weekend, and she agrees. A lot of sexy times and hijinks ensue.
Alexa is the Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Berkeley, while Drew is a pediatric surgeon in Los Angeles (swoon). Alexa is very focused on her career and would never normally agree to be a stranger’s date, but she is really attracted to Drew, probably because he’s ridiculously hot and charming (sounds like a good enough reason enough for me). Throughout the wedding weekend, there are a few hiccups. Drew is a groomsman for his friend Josh, even though Josh is marrying Drew’s ex Molly, which is why Drew needs a date in the first place. Molly’s sister Amy starts hitting on Drew and making snide comments to Alexa about her body. Then a drunk groomsman starts making racist comments about Alexa. But even with all of those things, Drew and Alexa cannot keep their eyes and hands off each other and eventually go back to Drew’s hotel room and have hot hotel sex.
Drew ends up changing his flight on Sunday to later so he can spend more time with Alexa. Even though they originally thought it would be a just one-weekend fling, both Drew and Alexa do not want to accept that their time is over, so Drew decides to fly Alexa down to LA the following weekend. They end up visiting each other every weekend for a few weekends, but when Alexa panics about whether or not Drew is seeing other people, they get into a fight and stop talking for a few days. But they run into each other and things pick back up. But will they actually be able to embark on a real relationship?
Neither Drew or Alexa expected to find more than just a fling in that elevator, especially Drew, since he told Alexa up front that he does not really do relationships. But this is why I love the fake relationship trope; it has popped up in a lot of the books I have read recently, but I am such a sucker for it. It is so difficult to act like a couple and not start to question what is real and what is fake. This is also one of the first interracial romances I have read, and let me tell you, Guillory knocked it out of the park. Race pops up as an issue in Drew and Alexa’s relationship, but I think Guillory handled it perfectly. Drew can’t really relate to how certain things are for Alexa, especially in the context of her big initiative at work to start an arts program for at-risk teens in Berkeley. Even though he doesn’t understand how things are different for her, he refuses to let anyone say anything racist about Alexa. I just love how protective and how jealous Drew gets when any other guys look at Alexa, especially at the wedding.
The Wedding Date is incredibly relatable to anyone who has been in a relationship. Jasmine Guillory perfectly captured the anxiety at the beginning of a relationship when you want to play it cool and not scare the other person off. Alexa is scared about how much she cares for Drew, and Drew is confused about when he can end their relationship. Drew typically calls off his flings with girls around the two month mark, but he doesn’t want to stop seeing Alexa. But neither one of them is comfortable being that vulnerable and letting the other know how they feel.
Seriously I adored The Wedding Date. I think Berkley Books was spot on in the publication date of this book. It was released on January 30, just in time for February and Valentine’s Day. This was the perfect read to start the month of love, and I truly cannot quit raving about it. This is definitely one of my favorites I have read so far this year, and I am sure it will end up being one of my favorites for 2018. I give it 5 stars!
What other contemporary romance novels do you recommend?