Cover Image: The Wedding Date

The Wedding Date

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Member Reviews

This was a fine debut novel through the book itself felt clunky to me. While I liked Alexa and Drew, I felt like there wasn't enough pushing the plot forward. Also, all the food consumption got to be a little much.
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Love the meet cute!    Perfect book
To read when you are single or coupled up.  Hopeful. Fun. Romantic
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The Wedding Date started the trend for amazing, diverse romances, and there's a good reason. It takes a funny romantic trope - forced proximity - and adds in really smart, strong characters with pre-established careers, realistic conflict/tensions, and a whole lot of heat to create an incredible read. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to have read this (even if my review is VERY late) and have recommended it often in the last few years.
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This book started off as a fake-dating trope, but then turned into an off-the-bat love story.  This was a fast read. I enjoyed how the author made the characters relatable.  She also touched on subjects of long distance and interracial relationships.  I think folks will appreciate this romance novel.
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I tried this as an audiobook and I think either that wasn't the right format or it just isn't for me. I didn't feel the audio narrator added much emotion to the story, so the whole thing left me feeling flat. I may give it another shot in print but for now the writing style may not be my preference.
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You know how I’ve been complaining that I want more diversity in my romance? Well listen, I’m going to try to stop complaining and start reading the good stuff. And (aside from Alisha Rai, whom I also love and will continue to read voraciously) I knew the place to start was with Jasmine Guillory. I figure I can dip into the fluffy contemporary romances with her and then move on to some other authors who have been writing diversely for years (paging Alyssa Cole and Beverly Jenkins, among others). So I finally did it – I picked up The Wedding Date. And OH MY GOD why did I wait so long???

In The Wedding Date, Drew Nichols and Alexa Monroe get stuck in an elevator at a swanky hotel in San Francisco by chance. Drew is in town from LA for his med school friend’s wedding… who also happens to be marrying his ex-girlfriend, and Alexa came over from Berkeley to celebrate her sister’s promotion to partner at a law firm. But the power goes out, and Drew and Alexa are trapped together in this elevator. They’re immediately attracted to each other, which seems crazy. But then Drew starts telling Alexa the details of the wedding, and she finds him charming… and maybe a little desperate to not face the wedding by himself. Once they’re out of the elevator, he spontaneously asks her to be his date to the wedding, and she accepts.

Which turns into her pretending to be his fake girlfriend. Which leads to some very real attraction and a steamy night, post wedding reception. And then, they part ways, as planned.

Except neither of them can stop thinking about the other. For a woman who is married to her job and a man who swears he hasn’t had a girlfriend since his ex who just got married… that makes things a little… complicated.

wedding date

3 Things I Loved
Alexa. Oh man, Alexa is just the protagonist I wanted and needed, after reading a LOT of romance in the past couple of months. (Not that I’m complaining.) She’s shy and unsure of herself romantically, but she kicks ass at her job. She is self-conscious of her body, but it doesn’t bleed into her professional life. She’s a real person, someone I’d want to be friends with. More on that in a minute.
Drew. Now, spoiler alert – I read The Proposal before I read The Wedding Date, so I already knew and loved Drew as a side character before starting this book. So I went into it expecting a sexy doctor with a tight network of friends who had a decent sense of humor. What I didn’t expect was that he’s a reformed playboy who would have gotten eaten alive at this wedding without Alexa there, and I WAS HERE FOR IT. I loved him from the very first elevator scene.
Real people with real jobs! So, listen! I loved Alisha Rai’s latest [read my review of The Right Swipe here!], but they weren’t real people with real jobs to me. A CEO of a dating app? A former NFL star? Not super relatable, honestly. But a lawyer who decided to become chief of staff for the local mayor? A pediatric surgeon? Still not jobs I have, but relatable! Jobs that they worked really hard for and earned. And that made me love them all the more.
Dislikes/Problematic Content
Omg, come on. There’s hardly anything here. I loved every piece of this book, but I ESPECIALLY loved how directly race is addressed. Before walking into the rehearsal dinner, Alexa asks Drew if she’s going to be the only black person there, and he has to think about it and is distinctly uncomfortable. At the wedding, another groomsman is being racist and gross, and WE DEAL WITH IT ON THE PAGE. It was refreshing and real. This is why we NEED #ownvoices. I could write a black character, but I wouldn’t know those nuances. But now that I’ve read them… OF COURSE. Of course that’s something people deal with on a daily basis. Of course.

I will say, though – it seems like pretty much everything in the book is heteronormative, which is an easy trap to fall into when writing about weddings. The racial diversity mostly makes up for it, but that piece of real life could be added to make a more complete world, you know?

Oh, and a VERY SMALL aside – I didn’t love the “mean girl” aspect of the bridesmaids at the wedding. I understand their quibbles with Drew, truly – he did Molly wrong, back in the day. But I just don’t love the “girls are mean to other girls over a man” thing that was happening there.

Rating
A reminder of the rating scale:

Red = DNF, I hated everything
Orange = Ugh, no thank you
Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
Green = This was good! 
Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
This was one of the most fun romances I’ve read in a long time. And it’s not overly sexy (which I also love, but the details aren’t always needed on the page to know what’s happening), making it more accessible to people who may not always read romance. It’s truly a gem of a book! Therefore, I’m giving The Wedding Date a BLUE rating. SO GOOD.

Happy reading!
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This was mega cute. A little corny at times, but honestly what new adult romance isn’t a little corny at times? Would definitely recommend for someone looking for a fast and fun read set in the Bay Area!
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I love, love, love Jasmine Guillory. After I read this book, I bought the paperback. I really enjoyed the romance, the characters, the dialogue, basically everything! 
4.5 stars rounded up
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I will not be posting a review on goodreads because I was unable to enjoy this book and do not feel comfortable leaving a negative review.
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I just loved this story! When Alexa gets stranded in an elevator on the way to celebrate with her sister a man is there extremely good looking man. He is trying to talk her into sharing her cheese and crackers but she relents and gives him a bit and the have a great time. When all is said and done he asked her to be his date for his ex girlfriends wedding and he also said he doesn’t date women long. 
Drew is happy to have found someone to go with but he doesn’t realize Alexa is the only black woman there. Alexa is so easy going she goes with the flow which puts Drew at ease. They have such a good time they begin to see each other every weekend but they both know the end is coming. 
The story is funny and insightful and make you realize how quickly words are misinterpreted but I just loved reading how Drew and Alexa fit in each other’s world.
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Love has its ups and downs, but in Jasmine Guillory's debut novel The Wedding Date, that takes on a literal layer. Alexa, a petite, curvy, black lawyer who works as a mayor's chief of staff, and Drew, a tall, tight-abbed, white doctor who works with kids, meet cute in a stalled elevator when he's in town for his ex-girlfriend's wedding. He's cute enough that Alexa is willing to share her stash of purse snacks with him while they await rescue, but both of them are a little more guarded when it comes to their hearts. 

It's a warm, delicious (seriously—there is so much food in this book), engaging story that doesn't shy away from issues of body image, race, and justice. Guillory, a longtime fan of the romance genre, is a lawyer, herself, and she made time on her packed docket to talk with Extra Crispy about career balance, writing realistic characters, and the importance of really good toast.   


Extra Crispy: Congratulations on your first book! That's an incredible accomplishment, especially considering that you have a full-fledged other career. How did you make the time for writing, and did you have any rituals?

Jasmine Guillory: I have a full-time job so I usually write at night from 9 to 11. Sometimes on the weekends I'll do afternoons. I can wake up early in the morning to do business-related stuff, but I just don't have fiction in my mind in the morning. 

I usually don't eat snacks while I write because I am too messy for that and I would get things all over my computer. Honestly I know this is terrible for my posture, but I usually write in bed. I don't want to get snacks all over my bed. I often eat snacks after I've finished writing because I write about food a lot and I make myself hungry. 

One of the many things that I love about this book is that it's so snacks-forward. 
There is definitely a lot of snacking truth in there, but the main character of my book, Alexa, has much more of a sweet tooth than I do. I love baking and making sweets but I'm satisfied very quickly. I can take a few bites of something and be totally happy that I had it and then not have that anymore. Whereas like a box of Cheez-Its is just gone in a day. I'm much more of like a savory snacker than she is. 

Have you always been a fan of the romance genre?
When I was a teenager I went through a period of reading romances, but I hadn't read any romance novels for probably at least ten years. Then I had a pretty big surgery and during the recovery I started reading a bunch of romance novels. My gateway drug was Georgette Heyer's Regency books. Then I moved into current historical romances, still set in that time period. I was reading them obsessively. A few years before that I started writing fiction, but mostly young adult. So I was reading all these romances and thinking love reading them but I could never write one. Then I started reading more contemporary books. Then I was like maybe I could write one. 

In those Regency books, there is an overwhelming whiteness. One of the best and most real things about your book is that you talk very matter-of-factly about race. The two lead characters are of different races, and Alexa, a black woman, opens up the eyes of Drew, a white man, about her lived experience—especially around groups of strangers. 
It didn't feel real to me to not have race be an element of their life. When you're writing stories in present day and about people of color, race is always part of life. You live life going to a party and wondering "Am I the only black person here?" Especially if it's people you don't know. Or just assholes saying random things occasionally. Because you live life that way, they aren't a big deal because it's something you get used to. But it's also something that it would not feel real for me to write a story and ignore that. 

Like most of us, Alexa has a complex relationship with her body and constantly critiques it, but because this book alternates between the two lead characters' points of view, we also see that Drew is all: "Hi. She's so pretty. Boobs." How did you decide on that structure?
It is hard to grow up as a woman and not criticize your body internally no matter what you look like. One thing that drives me crazy in some books is when the women look at themselves in the mirror, constantly praising their bodies. I'm sure those women exist. Obviously I don't think women should criticize their bodies. But it is a thing that we do. We compare ourselves to our friends or the other women that we see. And I don't want women to criticize themselves for the amount that we criticize. But I think there's just a lot of wistfulness sometimes like, "I wish I could wear that dress. I wish my boobs looked as good in something like that. I wish I could walk around without a bra." 

One thing that wasn't in question is that they're both really good at what they do professionally. She's a lawyer who is highly placed in the mayor's office. He's a doctor. There's a meeting of power, rather than her being swept away by the billionaire, as happens in so many romances. 
One of the things that made me start thinking about writing a book is that most of them didn't reflect the reality I see. My friends who are in relationships have careers that they care about and they are dating people with careers that they care about. It's not that one person has some sort of thing that they don't care about and then they're swept away by the rich person. Both people have a vocation and that's something I wanted to see reflected in more books. 

You also bring in an interesting perspective because you are a person with a big job, yourself. How did you balance that—or at least try to? 
I have a second book coming out sometime at the end of next year. There was definitely a lot that just fell by the wayside in my life. I would come home and write at night every night and then as I got toward my deadline, I had a lot of friends who I was like, "I cannot to out to dinner, I'm working!" My apartment got messy. I ordered in a lot of takeout. I sent all of my laundry out. 

But then I take breaks after the draft is done or I send something in. Those breaks are really important to me as a creative person and just as a human being. 

Let's talk about the weird stuff that happens at weddings. Nobody's psychologically correct at a wedding and everybody's working out their issues. 
Nobody's themselves at a wedding—sometimes in a good way. There's something weird about an event where so many people from different parts of your life are together. At a wedding it's your family, people you went to elementary school with, people you've worked in five different jobs with. They wouldn't normally interact and mostly everyone is all dressed up. Usually there's something weird they make you do. 

Everyone's parents expect something different. Society tells you that you have to do it like this or that or the other. You assume that you have to because the magazine says so. You have to put these forks there. There's so much weird stuff that goes into a wedding. Including plenty of alcohol and gossip. 

By law, I have to ask you breakfast questions now. What would be the ideal first breakfast for someone who, like your characters, was surprised to find themselves having company in the morning? 
Bacon and toast. I love eggs, but I like my eggs very specific and I find that room service eggs are often not that good. If you're at home cooking, eggs over-easy are the ideal. 

What is your platonic ideal of breakfast? 
Eggs over-easy with bacon, crispy potatoes—home fries usually. Sometimes hash browns but they're usually not crispy enough for me. I like them like a latke. And then really good toast. I love coffee so I sometimes want something tiny and sweet along with my coffee, but usually I want nothing sweet on my breakfast plate.

What does really good toast mean to you? 
I am a white bread person. Sometimes sourdough but it can be a little too sour. Pain de mie is the perfect kind of bread for toast but you can only get that certain places. Challah toast is amazing. 

What's on the toast? 
Butter. Sometimes salted butter or butter with a little salt sprinkled on top. 

I have a question that I ask all authors because it turns out people are really polarized about this. Where do you stand on oatmeal? 
Oh, I hate oatmeal. I am not a picky eater but my only major food dislikes are textural so I don't really like things that are jiggly or gloppy. I can take a few spoonfuls and be like OK where is something that I can chew? I feel like in order to make oatmeal taste good you have to put a lot butter and sugar in there. And I'd rather just happily eat an oatmeal cookie. 

What would be the ideal purse snack for two hot strangers to share in an elevator? 
My two ideal purse snacks are like pepperoni sticks and cheese stacks although the problem is that you can only have them in your purse for so long, which I have learned to my detriment. Cheez-Its, too, but then I get crumbs all over the bottom of my purse. I always have crumbs at the bottom of all of my purses.
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A chance meeting in an elevator serves as the catalyst for this contemporary romance between San Franciscan mayoral chief of staff, Alexa, and L.A. pediatric surgeon, Drew. Each is relatable in their own way: Alexa's body self-consciousness, her inner-monologue pep talks, and her confident personality; Drew's caring nature, his obliviousness to his own magnetism and patterns, and his relationship with his best friend, Carlos. Alexa and Drew's chemistry is perfect and the progression of their non-relationship relationship will have readers hooked. How they second-guess their own feelings and are always thinking of how the other person might be interpreting their actions is not only realistic but also endearing. Guillory's The Wedding Date is a sweet story that is perfect for the casual romance reader.
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Such a fabulous addition to the romance canon. Everyone I have talked to about this book has absolutely loved it, or immediately put it on hold at the library.
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This book is both fun and smart. If you love people who are very good at their jobs, you'll love this story. Alexa and Drew are both very functional and generally happy people, which I really love - their relationship doesn't fill some gaping need, it just complements their lives. And did I mention it's super fun and sexy? (Posted to Litsy; also thinking about a post on BookRiot.)
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This is my second Jasmine Guillory novel this year and I think I preferred this to The Proposal. (It's really close, though; it's like choosing between The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, not like choosing between real food and McDonald's.)

This book is just a complete delight. On the one hand, I wish I had read it sooner but on the other, I'm really glad I read it when I did. It makes the world seem much less November-gray.

We didn't spend all that much time with Alexa in The Proposal and that's too bad because I absolutely fell in love with her in this book. She's fantastic and her job is in politics, which I am oddly jealous of. 

I am ALSO now even more excited about The Wedding Party, which is a companion novel to this and centers around Maddie and Theo. I am all in for that and everything else she writes.

Highly recommended.
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I liked this one, but the more I read the less I was in love with it. If I'm honest I liked the wedding part the most. After the wedding there were things I liked and things I was meh on. Part of the problem I think was the hype. Some many people told me it was a me book and it just missed the mark. I look forward to reading more from this author through.
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The Wedding Date was so fun! Reminiscent of lighthearted rom-coms. The main characters were so lovable, and their banter was adorable. Also I loved how much they ate in the book and it always made me hungry haha! I can't wait for more from Jasmine Guillory.
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This was a cute, fun, quick read! I loved the concept and the characters were likable. But OMG SO MUCH FOOD. I almost got a stomachache trying to keep up with how much food everyone was eating all the time.
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I read and decided not to finish The Proposal by this same author, but I'd heard so many great things about this book that I gave it a try. However, I felt this suffered from the same issues as her second book. The dialogue was unnatural and stilted, and the banter, while witty, was altogether too much. I think the story had the potential to be interesting, but the lackluster writing kept me from finishing it.
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I've been putting off reading this because I got into the first two chapters the first time and felt a little underwhelmed with everything, so I put it aside for a better mood. 

I finally finished this last night and um, I still feel underwhelmed. The character setup and the meet-cute should have been my thing, yet I felt disconnected with them and the story as a whole. Objectively speaking, this is a well-written book, and I'm bummed that I didn't love the characters and the story as much as I expected to.
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