The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.
On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...
After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...
They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...
Meet while trapped in an elevator and she says 'yes' to his wild idea for her to be his fake wedding date. Sounded all sorts of light and fun in this interracial romance so I was up for trying a new to me author in Jasmine Guillory.
The Wedding Date started out cute and funny when it opens on Drew and Alexa's meeting in a San Francisco hotel. He's there for the dreaded wedding of his ex and his best friend (no, it wasn't a cheating thing- Drew was actually the bad guy who called it off with Molly) and Alexa is there to meet her sister on a visit from New York to do a deposition.
If this had only been a light romantic comedy of sorts, it would have been okay and nothing to write home about. It had some moments that made me smile and laugh, sigh, and squirm, tap my fingers with irritation, and then go all swoony like a good romance will do. Alexa and Drew hit it off and are suitably very attracted and do something about that, but they do have their miscommunication and assumption issues that try to sabotage the long-distance relationship they decide to give a try (he’s a pediatric surgeon from LA and she’s the Oakland Mayor’s Chief of Staff).
I had the urge to lock them in a closet and not let them out until they hashed it out. I spent the middle of the book in a slow grind at times as they did lots of mental monologuing about what they thought the other one was thinking. Sometimes it made sense for the situation and sometimes I felt it was just there to add drama. Truthfully, I could have used more convincing why this pair was even together the way Drew was so adamant in the beginning that he didn't do relationships and came over a bit cocky about his appeal. But, the end picked back up with the fun of the early part. I didn't hate them and I thought they brought out the best in each other. And hey, they got up to lots of sexy times together.
But, here's what really pulled me in. It wasn't just a fluffy romcom. I loved the inclusion of the relationship between Alexa and her older successful sister, Olivia, who seems to always make Alexa feel inadequate. It is this that had Alexa so willing to take a chance on the mild mess that is Drew. I loved seeing these two trying to work out their sisterly troubles. And, I also enjoyed Alexa's friendship with fashion designer, Maddie, and Alexa's Mayor Office co-worker, Theo (I loved that Alexa worked in a big city Mayor's office- rather fascinating). These other connections added a nice layer to this story with their banter and also support. Might I say, a more appealing layer.
For those looking for romances featuring people of color, this definitely would qualify, but if you are looking for racial identity to be a strong feature of the piece, this would be just moderately so. It was good to see a heroine successful in her career and a hero not threatened by that. Alexa is a person I could like and root for.
All in all, I liked it. I thought the pacing was off in the middle and there was more miscommunication drama than I liked, but in the end, I liked these two together, the banter and humor, and really liked the heroine. Would be fun to see some of the side characters get a story.
My thanks to Berkeley Romance for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate. GoodReads
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