The Wedding Date

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

A delightful romance! Fun and charming with likable, real characters. A perfect one day read. Recommend!
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THE WEDDING DATE – Jasmine Guillory 
 Berkley/Penguin Group 
 ISBN-13:  978-0-399-58766-8 
 February 2018 
 Contemporary Romance/Multicultural 

 San Francisco and Los Angeles, California – Present Day 

 Alexa Monroe is in the elevator in San Francisco with champagne and cheese and crackers in her purse to welcome her sister Olivia to the city and celebrate making partner in her law firm in New York, when the elevator comes to a halt and the emergency lights come on.  Then she spots a definitely hot guy in the corner...how had she missed him getting on the elevator with her?  They are talking and eating cheese and crackers and getting to know each other until the backup generator goes on and Alexa finds out Drew is in town as a groomsman for his ex-girlfriend's wedding.  Talk about awkward! As they are walking to her sister's room after the elevator starts up again, Drew comes up with the brilliant idea that Alexa go to the wedding rehearsal dinner the next evening and the wedding the next day with him as his girlfriend.  Alexa is often told she's not spontaneous, so she agrees, mainly, because Drew is way hot and has awesome abs and his butt…goodness gracious. 

 Drew is a pediatric surgeon in Los Angeles, and Alexa is chief of staff to the Mayor of Berkeley, both with high power jobs.  Working in politics, Alexa is able to easily fit in with Drew's friends and he enjoys every minute with her.  Despite his no relationships reputation, Alexa and Drew start going back and forth between cities on the weekends, gradually drawing closer and closer, but not so long that a relationship forms for Drew.  Alexa knows Drew's limits, but can't stop herself from her daydreams. 

 Jasmine Guillory intrigues us with the beginning of Alexa and Drew's meeting, and their quick connection, despite being of different races.  Drew always remains friends with old girlfriends; it's just that after a few months he doesn't want things getting too serious, so he's careful to end things before that happens.  Alexa is hard working and on her toes all the time as Chief of Staff to the Mayor; right now working on an arts program for at-risk teenagers like the one that helped her sister all those years ago.  Drew and Alexa both have a fear of telling the other how they feel, and as the weekends go by, every little thing sometimes strikes fear in one or the other of them that the other one is growing bored. 

 Secondary characters are so cute and funny:  there's Carlos, Drew's doctor friend, and Alexa's friend Maddie.  Abby is the mother of a patient of Drew's who helps him with clarity in what he should do to clear up their relationship. 

 THE WEDDING DATE is a cute and funny story, and at the end, you will even shed a couple tears at how hard a road Drew and Alexa must go down before one of them can admit to love, and that they need the other in their life.  Look for THE WEDDING DATE and enjoy a wedding without having to get a new dress or even wear high heels! 

 Carolyn Crisher
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This book is good to read on a road trip or while on vacation. My library has purchased copies of this book. I'd recommend via readers advisory.
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The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory is romantic, sweet, and so relatable--a shining star for contemporary romance!
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Hype may have killed this book for me maybe. I'd heard so much praise for this one, which definitely raised my expectations. Though, honestly, I'm not sure if, even with low expectations, I would have liked this one much.

Romance is a hard genre to write, because pretty much everything depends on whether or not the reader believes in the love between the couple. If you're not invested in the leads or not invested in them together, there's generally not a lot to really make that reading experience delightful. And, unfortunately, I very much unshipped Drew and Alexa.

Alexa works for me on paper. She's Black, she's a lawyer, and she's working in government. Her biggest goal in the novel isn't landing a boyfriend but getting her community to agree to help at-risk teens. I absolutely love that, and I think the concept there is on point. I just don't think her characterization is totally solid, and she spends a lot more time thinking about how fat she is than being the boss that she is. I absolutely get body image issues, and they're a fucking bitch to deal with, but I wanted to see her make progress on that or at least have it not be her most significant character trait.

Drew on the other hand I didn't like much to begin with and hated by the end. Sure, he's a hot doctor who works with kids, but he's such a walking cliche. He doesn't do relationships and he's dated basically every hot woman he's ever met, but suddenly he has massive feelings for this woman he met in an elevator. This cliche can work, but Drew has so little characterization. He says/thinks a bunch of times about how he dumps women when things are going well because he doesn't want them to end up hating him, but there's no indication of where this comes from. His inciting incident (his ex-girlfriend from college and bestie from college getting hitches) isn't the source of this, because he dumped her while she was in love with him. Maybe it's related to his parents (most things are), but they're never mentioned. I don't know why he's like this, so he just seems like an asshole.

Together, Alexa and Drew lack any sort of chemistry outside of the physical. Their banter is lacking in vibrancy and I don't feel a real emotional connection between them. They do ask each other about what's going on in their daily lives and remember a few basic details, but other than that, they're constantly fraught. They don't communicate, instead bottling feelings up, acting out and then apologizing, or storming out. Alexa's a bit jealous, but Drew's massively jealous of every other guy in her life, including her male best friend Theo and Drew's best friend Carlos. They find jealousy a sign of caring, but it's actually more a sign of a lack of trust. In the end, they wouldn't even be together had Carlos and a patient's mom not given him pep talks to get his head out of his ass. I hate hate hate that the mom of a kid with cancer had to spend time talking the doctor through his love life. 

I'm thrilled that an interracial romance with a Black heroine is so successful, but I think Alexa deserves so much more than a jealous asshat.
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This is a super cute romance. When Alexa is stuck in an elevator with handsome stranger Drew, the spark is instant. He’s going to the wedding of an ex-girlfriend and former best friend, and he doesn’t have a date. After knowing each other for only a short time, he asks if she’d want to be his pretend girlfriend. She agrees because it’s only a couple days, and then he’ll fly back to LA while she stays in Bay Area. 

There is a lot of sex, which I don’t normally like reading, but this isn’t raunchy, it’s tender and romantic. However, there was way too much of this stuff for my taste. While everything is well done, I found myself getting bored about halfway through and skipped to the last twenty percent of the book, which ends like you’d imagine.

If you’re looking for a cute, light-hearted read, Guillory does a great job of writing the race differences between the couple, and this is a fun book.
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4 With Respect and Effort Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free
What is it about confined spaces...Stuck Elevators...They can either make us panic and become unreasonable...or we could connect and become a fake wedding date!

This was the cute premise for The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. We were there when Alexa Monroe meets Drew Nichols in one of those confined quarters I mentioned. Both of these serious career people happen to get stuck in an hotel elevator. During the wait to be rescued, enough conversation and friendly banter takes place to make Alex comfortable to share he has to experience his ex's wedding...Before anyone can realize the gravity of what is to come, a fake date for the wedding is happening and Alexa is all in.

What happens is the attraction and interest between two people who are equals- he a pediatric surgeon and she, chief of staff for Berkely's mayor. You have two wonders. They are talented, focused and committed to their careers. Perfect, right...

Well, there is a little complication... Drew is that pediatric surgeon but in Los Angeles...Yup, a long distance relationship in the making...with all of the hurdles to overcome.

This was a very enjoyable read... and it also mixed in real life issues without making them feel as if they were written in bold... they were part of the overall story and meaningful in the regular course of the relationship. A true story telling experience.

Lucky us, they is a book coming and it focuses on Drew's best friend, Carlos!
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The Wedding Date  is charming and delightful, and it saved me from getting overly hysterical on a flight to Costa Rica. It’s not a perfect book, and I found myself giving the hero my “WTF” face a few times, but the awesomeness of the heroine thrilled me.

To give you some context, for me, flying is essentially a panic attack from take off to landing. I can take two Xanax to soften the impending misery, but if we hit turbulence I start to cry a little. Or throw up. It’s not great. Yet I was on a five hour flight, and The Wedding Date kept me distracted for most of it; it’s got some powerful charm.

The book opens with a meet cute. Alexa Monroe is headed to her sister’s hotel room to pregame a night out with some cheese, crackers, and champagne. She gets stuck in the hotel elevator with Drew Nichols, who is there for a wedding.

They sit down, share some cheese, and charm the hell out of each other. Drew is there to be a groomsman in the wedding of his ex-girlfriend and one of his best friends. Awkward. And he’s there without a date. Even more awkward. They discuss over brie and crackers:

“Oh, please, you’ll be fine. Weddings are a great place to meet people. It’s better that you’re without a date. As my friend Colleen always says, ‘Don’t bring a sandwich to a buffet.”

He let out a bark of laughter.

“I’m definitely going to steal that saying. And while in most situations I would say that your friend Colleen is totally right, this is that five percent of situations where a sandwich would save me from all the food poisoning in the buffet. I’m going to get so many pitying looks, you have no idea. And the worst part is that I RSVP’d with a plus-one, so there’s going to be an empty seat at the head table. And a lot of ‘What happened to your girlfriend, Drew, couldn’t make it?’ And I’m going to have to smile and take it, but there’s like a thirty percent possibility I’m going to have one too many glasses of bourbon and go rogue.”

She touched his hand and tried not to linger there.

“Okay, yes, sometimes a sandwich is a necessary security blanket. I’m sorry that yours bailed on you.”

Giddy with delightful flirtation, Alexa agrees to be Drew’s sandwich. That is, she agrees to pretend to be his girlfriend for the weekend of the wedding.

For the record, if I were trapped in an elevator with Chris Evans and he tried to convince me to be his sandwich at a wedding, I’d refuse because weddings are super awful, especially when you’re in them. There’s, like, a lot of people and a lot of talking. And a lot of talking to people you don’t know. And sitting around waiting for stuff when it’s not polite to pull out your Kindle because you should be talking to people you don’t know. I might do it for Tom Hiddleston but only because I have suspicions about his niceness, and I need to stay on his good side.

Anyway, Alexa is a better woman than me, and she goes to the wedding with Drew. The delightful flirting continues. Drew delays his flight back to LA so he can spend more time with Alexa. They really, really like each other.

But Drew is a pediatric surgeon in LA. Alexa is the Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Berkley, California. They are both really busy professionals dedicated to their careers–but they can’t stop thinking about each other.

So Alexa and Drew either have the BEST frequent flyer miles program ever or they spend a good amount of money and fly out to see each other every other weekend. This book is fairly light on conflict. To be honest a good portion of it was the progress of Drew and Alexa dating and slowly falling in love, but it was sweet and funny and felt like a very real depiction of two professionals in their thirties staring a relationship.  Also a lot of that dating involves really incredible food, so do not read while hungry. I want brie and crackers right now, damnit.

Probably the thing I loved most about this book was how Alexa loves and is devoted to her job, and that she’s allowed to be that way without criticism from any other character. So often I see the trope of professional women in contemporary romance “working too hard” and failing to fall in love because of it. That’s such bullshit. It is entirely possible to be a busy and dedicated professional and still have a fulfilling relationship. The idea that it’s not possible is centered only around women and it’s based on old misogynist cassette tapes that are still playing.

Also Alex and Drew actually work. This isn’t a book where the CEO/ small business owner/ FBI agent remarkably has a fuckton of free time to do other stuff. Alexa and Drew mostly meet on the weekends, and even then work comes up. Drew has to run off to an emergency (like a surgeon would). Alexa spends one of their nights together working on a project while Drew chills out on the couch next to her.

It’s such a realistic depiction of actual work life balance, and it was so heartening for me to read. I come home from work all the time only to have some problem at my office go ka-boom and derail all my plans, and there are plenty of nights when my husband and I have watched a movie while I’ve worked from my end of the couch.  There’s no shame in enjoying your work or in having to make room for it within your personal life.

Alexa also has a “work husband,” Theo, whom she bounces ideas and insecurities off of. I loved the depiction of a man and a woman in a professional relationship that, while deep, isn’t sexual or romantic. I also loved that Alexa had those insecurities in the first place. A lot of time I see powerful women presented as being in control and unaffected by doubt all of the time which is such bullshit. Basically this book made Work Elyse all the happy.

For a decent portion of the book we get Alexa and Drew trying to balance their careers, the distance between them, and the fact that they are an interracial couple. Alexa is Black and Drew is White. Alexa spends a lot of time with Drew’s friends who are 99.8% White, and it’s not always a comfortable situation. Like this asshole that she meets at a party:

“You live in Berkley? That’s cool. But I meant, like, where are you really from?”

Now she knew where this was going. Like she couldn’t “really” be from California? Why did people always try to ask her about her ethnicity in the clumsiest of all possible ways? Getting this question, especially this way, always made her feel like an object of curiosity. Today it made her feel like even more of an Other in this party full of golden-haired beauty queens.

Now she was doubly annoyed with Mr. Stands Too Close. So she was going to fuck with him.

“Oh, not that far from here. I grew up in Oakland. Northern California girl!” She gave him her biggest, fakest grin.

He chuckled and took another swig of his beer.

“No, no like where are you from from? Where are your parents from?”

This conversation was so predictable. Yet this dance people did was irritating every time.

In this scene Drew shows up and The Asshole fucks off, but Drew isn’t aware of how different life is for a woman of color than it is for him except in a superficial way. There are scenes where Alexa has to explain to him how much his perceptions are steeped in privilege.

Alexa is trying to put together an arts program for at-risk youth, a program she’s deeply passionate about. With the dexterity of a Cirque de Soleil performer, Drew shoves his foot deeply into his mouth when he wonders why troubled kids should be rewarded with art classes. I wanted to smack him.  Alexa points out that as a White kid, and a man, Drew could do a lot of shit in his teenage years that was dismissed as boys being boys. A Black teenager would face harsher judgment, and be labeled much faster and more permanently as “delinquent.” Alexa is trying to change that narrative.

That’s not the only time Drew says something ignorant or unkind, which was part of the reason I was lukewarm on him. He has the occasional case of “speak first, think later.” My bigger issue was that Drew and Alexa’s conflict was centered around Drew not being able to commit and both of them refusing to label their relationship. The problem was that we are given no context for why Drew doesn’t commit, and not-talking combined with misunderstanding lead to the romantic crisis. All of that could have been avoided with an hour-long honest conversation.

That said, I adored Alexa so much, loved the depiction of her as a professional, loved her friends and coworkers (a heroine who doesn’t exist in a vacuum!) so much that it overcame much of my annoyance at the conflict (and at Drew). Add to that a really powerful exploration of Alexa’s troubled relationship with her sister, Olivia, and I was sold. The relationships between women in this book were strong and loving and kind, and I was so there for that.

And yeah, sometimes Drew was an idiot, but he was also charming enough that I didn’t want to throw him out the door. Throw something at his head, maybe, but I was still happy when he and Alexa made it work.

I really enjoyed The Wedding Date and I’m very much looking forward to seeing more from the author.
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Alexa and Drew meet in an unconventional way. They’re stuck together in an elevator. Being stuck together leads to them going to a wedding together. This story is fun and charming.  A fast read.
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I read this book in November 2017, it came out in January of this year... and I'm just now writing about it. Oops! I picked it up because the Fug Girls recommended it, and they didn't steer me wrong. I loved the premise: a man gets stuck in an elevator with a woman and asks her to be his fake girlfriend at a wedding. Although the couple fell into the "JUST COMMUNICATE!" trap, I still So Enjoyed It overall. The fake relationship that becomes something more is such a fun trope, and it was refreshing to read about their careers. It's steamier than I prefer + a tad cheesy, but this rom com would make a great summer read!
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DNF for me.   I couldn’t get into the story or characters.   Also way too many !    It seemed like every other sentence ended with a !  

DNF at 30%. I tried!
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Of the many things I loved about this book, perhaps one of my top favorites is how little the racial differences between Drew and Alexa matter to them. When they meet in the elevator and as their relationship progresses, race is not a factor in how they feel about each other. It's almost as if it doesn't occur to them that it should be an issue.

In fact, Alexa's race seems to never show up on Drew's radar until she brings it up. Only then does he become aware, and his increased awareness is not about the two of them together but rather about any discomforts or concerns Alexa has. Love is love, you know?

What do become factors in this love affair are Drew's reputation as a two-month guy and Alexa's worries over that. He isn't known for commitment, and Alexa - understandably - does not want to commit to him if he is going to maintain his traditional trajectory.

Jasmine Guillory tells a romance that will keep you entertained as well as make you feel a gamut of emotions. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will feel romantic heat. No, this is not a Christian Grey kind of thing, but Guillory does show how two people connect during one night of hot sexy time fun. Drew and Alexa get to know each other through their sexual intimacy, and their desire to please impacts the other parts of their relationship.

I just loved this book so much. I loved how Alexa and Drew interacted with each other, with their coworkers, and with their friends. I loved that they are both professionally successful and aim to stay that way, When it comes to love, compromise is necessary, of course, but your job must be a priority, too.

Please give this book a read, and then please come back here and let me know what you thought. I just adore it!
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Sometimes, you just need a romp of a book. One that is sexy and sweet, with characters that you can root for. This is it, with extra points for a diverse cast and POC heroine. This is a book you need to make room for in your beach bag this summer.
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I don't know why I sat on this one for so long after receiving a copy for review. I was so excited about the early buzz and then, when I actually had it in my hands, I think I fell prey to the hypemonster and let my worry that it wouldn't live up to expectations get the better of me. Wasn't the first time, won't be the last. More's the pity. Fortunately, that lingering suspicion that it might, in fact, be just lovely stuck around. And the other night I paused my regularly scheduled programming of historicals for this debut contemporary from Jasmine Guillory. As you can probably guess, I have exactly zero regrets.

Alexa Monroe is excellent at what she does. As the mayor of Berkeley's chief of staff, her latest project is getting her boss on board for a youth arts rehabilitation program. And while she doesn't so much have a life outside of her job, she does have a handful of close friends and an older sister she admires, even if she never sees her. Then one evening, Alexa gets stuck in an elevator with Drew Nichols, a pediatrician who is in town reluctantly attending the wedding of his former girlfriend to one of his best friends. Drew is in dire need of a date and, over a handful of cheese and crackers, somehow talks Alexa into filling the role. When he accidentally refers to her as his girlfriend in a conversation with the groom, the two virtual strangers are forced to up the ante on their ruse. The results are surprisingly successful. So successful, in fact, that Drew delays his flight back to L.A. to spend the next day with Alexa. What follows is a series of flights between Oakland and L.A. as Alexa and Drew can't seem to let go of this thing between them. Their respective friends have their qualms, namely Drew's inability to maintain anything resembling an actual relationship and Alexa's inability to come out and say how she's feeling. There's also the fact that Alexa is black and Drew is whiter than white. But when they're together, none of that seems to matter. Until, of course, it does.

***

"Hey," was all he said.

She looked up and smiled at him, just the way he'd wanted her to. He smiled back, so happy to see her that he had to take a step back.

***

The meet cute in this irresistible novel is pretty freaking cute. But it's what comes after that really steals your heart. The helpless happiness that both Alexa and Drew experience whenever they're together is absolutely tangible. And the way that Ms. Guillory manages to capture and bottle that happiness carries the reader along with these two quite disparate individuals on a wave of stomach-fluttering hope and longing. My favorite part of Alexa and Drew's story is how they felt like people I know and work with and pass on the street. What I'm trying to say is, their days and their nights, their lives and their love―it felt plausible to me. Every once of it. I felt grounded in their arc and just how extremely satisfying it was to stick with them. Both of them have their flaws and hangups, particularly Drew (there, I said it). All of these felt organic to me, too, and not as though they were being amplified out of proportion for dramatic effect. I liked how the narrative refused to shy away from the flaws, how directly Alexa faced and voiced their inherent differences in race and culture, and how Drew wasn't perfect in his responses at first (or second), but how he accepted her read on them and adjusted his perspective and words and actions accordingly. And expected those around him to do the same. The result was that I felt empathy and respect and patience both for and with them.

There are no epic misunderstandings in this novel (praise be), though there are (happily) a few incredibly romantic gestures. But what really makes up the bulk of The Wedding Date are real conversations, real emotions and feelings being risked and hurt, genuine fears being silently held, a raft of swoonworthy quiet moments, and copious amounts of delicious food being eaten cozily on each other's couches. Truly, this book will make you want tacos something fierce. And crackers and cheese. And pizza. And doughnuts with sprinkles (and I don't even really like doughnuts). But they represented happiness here. And so I wanted them, and I wanted them for Alexa and Drew. Two smart people who found each other and didn't want to let go. I just loved The Wedding Date, and I can't wait to read more from Jasmine Guillory. Lucky for us, Drew's best friend Carlos's story is due out in September.
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A smart, steamy romance that is both light-hearted and tackles real issues. I could not put this one down. The leads are thoroughly charming!
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I loved the energy of this book! Jasmine Guillory captures the stress and wonder of long distance dating perfectly. I am very much looking forward to her next effort!
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This book is as charming and frothy as I hoped it would be. Alexa and Drew have a meet-cute in a stuck in elevator, which leads to a last-minute invite to a wedding. Their chemistry cannot be ignored, even though they live in different cities and have their own lives. Much of the drama comes from trying to figure out whether and how to bring those lives closer together. 

Unlike many a ditzy contemporary romance heroine, Alexa has a solid and important job that she's good at, and Drew is winningly supportive of her success. 

The one area that faltered a little was that Guillory could have done more with the interracial dynamics of their relationship. Other than one conversation where little is resolved, Alexa's experience as the lone black woman in Drew's fairly white world is mostly glossed over. Seems like a missed opportunity.
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This book was the perfect antidote to a rough weekend. Strangers, Drew and Alexa, meet in an elevator where she agrees to be his date at a friends wedding. From there they embark on a long distance "fling" and wonder if something more can come from a chance meeting.  A very enjoyable contemporary romance from Jasmine Guillory.
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The Wedding Date has a premise that is straight out of a romantic comedy movie. A guy asking a girl to be his date at a wedding he doesn't really want to go to alone kicks off a whirlwind romance. It's the perfect kind of meet cute that seems just plausible enough to happen but also kind of magical.

The chemistry between Alexa and Drew is instantaneous. The reader feels that spark the moment they first banter in the broken down elevator. It is part of what makes any romance novel enjoyable, and this one captures that chemistry easily. It's an easy rapport that they have, and it makes their falling in love feel all the more believable. It also doesn't hurt that this plays with the fake to real relationship trope which is one of my favourites. It can be delightful when done correctly like it is here.

This is a romance novel where the heroine of our story is a black woman and the hero a white man. I cannot speak to the representation held within, but I enjoyed the fact that it's simply a love story. There are parts of the story that are directly driven by the fact that Alexa is a black woman, and things that are specific to things she would experience. There are times where Drew has to confront his privilege as a white man and the impact that has on their relationship. It, however, really is just a love story at it's heart. It is totally a rom-com movie in book format and I look forward to the eventual movie starring Chris Evans and Lupita Nyong'o (at least we can hope).

There is, of course, the required amount of angst to be found within these pages. Each of these characters have their own set of insecurities that come to the surface as their connection continues to grow. With these insecurities come irrational decisions, communication failures, and assumptions that lead to even more ill advised decisions. I appreciated that both characters had issues they had to work through, and that both of them were shown to have flaws. It made for a more realistic read. There may be a feeling of repetition to this element of the story, but I found it worked within this novel. You can't deal with your feelings until you talk about them and Alexa and Drew are the Queen and King of Not Communicating. It may be a little frustrating at times, but only because you want them to work through their issues and just be together already.

There is so much talk of food in this novel that I was basically hungry the entire time I was reading it. Be warned that there are numerous mention food that seem specifically written to induce cravings. It's something that is included in the very first time Drew and Alexa meet so it becomes kind of cute that it is something that is continued throughout the novel.

The secondary characters were one of my favourite things about this book. Both Alexa and Drew have friends and family that are fairly fleshed out. I looked forward to seeing them interacting with their friends and family almost as much as I looked forward to seeing them together. Drew's friend, Carlos, almost provided a lot of comic relief and the friendship between them was something that stood out while reading.

If you're looking for a steamy, fun read that I recommend that you pick this one up. This may be Jasmine Guillory's debut novel, but I anticipate that romance fans will be eager to read whatever she writes next. It's also a perfectly on theme with its release being just in time for a Valentine's Day read.
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This was a did not finish book for me. While I appreciate the interracial romance, The story seemed more about lust than love and it was difficult to believe that this couple would be together a year from now. .
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