“In a romance featuring Black joy, plus-sized beauty, and Mexican pride, the conflicts are entirely believable, and not overly dramatic, and make for a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is fake dating at its best.” —Library Journal, starred review.
D’Vaughn and Kris have six weeks to plan their dream wedding.
Their whole relationship is fake.
Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either.
D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs.
All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake.
But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.
Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
I've been in a massive reading slump for months, and this book singlehandedly destroyed it. This novel is everything I hoped it would be -- laugh-out-loud funny, wildly romantic, deeply emotional. I loved Kris and D'Vaughn and their families. Many thanks for the ARC -- but I'll definitely be pre-ordering my own copy. Highly, highly recommended.
firstly, a thank you to Carina Press & NetGalley for giving me access to this ARC.
OMG this was so cute! the representation (primarily of black, lesbian women) was absolutely fantastic and covered so many different groups in the lgbt+ community!!!
the romance was so cute, the spice was good, & overall it was just an easy, feel-good romance book! loved it!
I thoroughly enjoyed D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding. It was so refreshing to read a romance book that had clear and open communication between the couple. D’Vaughn and Chris were great characters and I really liked their respective character arcs. They also had amazing chemistry, that almost made me forgot my *usual* dislike of insta-love. I also think that some of the more heavy themes are woven well into the story and that there was still a sense of levity.
D'Vaughn and Kris plan a wedding is a book that makes you believe in true love. As I was reading, I kept thinking to myself "I could only hope that someone loves me this much one day." It was truly a refreshing and romantic novel, where so much of the conflict is less our two main characters against each other, but more along the lines of them against the world, facing the conflict as a team. They communicated as a couple, as partners, with such honesty and love, that it truly elevated the story for me. It was so affirming to see a healthy lesbian couple portrayed, as a lesbian reader. The atmosphere of the book was filled with such love, warmth, and light, it was an easy, cozy novel to sink into! This will be a perfect read to anyone who loves reality show romances, fake engagement romances, and romances that make you fall in love right alongside the characters.
This book. From the cover until the very end, it was a delight. If you are looking for a fluffy romance and a fake engagement trope that features two Black queer women, pick up D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding.
D’Vaughn has decided to audition for a reality show called Instant I Do as a way to force her to come out to her family. Kris has decided to audition because she wants to find love. Instant I Do is a reality show in which strangers are paired and the challenge is they have to convince their families that they are in love and getting married in 6 weeks. The couple who makes it to the alter is offered a choice of going through with the wedding or taking $100,000 prize money each. There were a lot of opportunities for Higgins to lean into the drama, but instead, she chooses to show adults talking through their feelings and conflicts. In 2021, this was exactly what I needed.
Kris is an out and proud Afro-Latina butch lesbian, with lots of tattoos, who works as a PE teacher at a high school in Houston and has a side gig as a social media influencer. D’Vaughn is proudly fat, but privately a lesbian. Both are delightful. With the security of a family that accepts her as she is, Kris is fully prepared to support D’Vaughn in coming out. While keeping the book fairly fluffy and light, Higgins acknowledges the nuanced ways homophobia and bigotry can show up in people we love.
Chencia C. Higgins gives supportive partner lessons in D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding. While Kris has D’Vaughn’s back, D’Vaughn is open and generous with Kris’s family. The two of them are refreshingly adult as they navigate the complexities of falling in love while being fake engaged on a reality competition.
I really loved this book, and think it will make a great start to a romance lover’s reading year. I hope to see it on all the “Best of” lists, next year.
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley and Carina Press. My opinions are my own.
As a further disclosure, I did contribute an item for a fundraising auction for Chencia C Higgins. I do not know her personally and my participation in the auction did not influence my review.
A super cute sapphic (f/f) romance that follows D'Vaughn and Kris as they try to convince their family that they are getting married in 6 weeks when truly they are on a reality TV show to win money.
-A black, curvy, femme MC
-An afro-latinx butch MC
-reality TV show
A super cute and fluffy f/f romance!
Thanks to netgalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
This by far was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Funny, sexy, poignant. This was a home run out of the park. I could relate so much to both DVaughn and Kris as characters. I just don’t want to post any spoilers. Even if you think “Oh an LGBT book isn’t for me”, this book has such universal themes.
OMG I loved this story from page one. The chemistry between the main characters was very relatable and super romantic. I also really enjoyed the interaction between Kris and her family. They were absolutely hilarious and reminded me of my own relatives; I laughed out loud many times. This was an enjoyable page turner that had the right amount of drama, comedy, romance and sex to be a well rounded story that will definitely make you blush.
"D'Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding": 4⭐
This book was swoon-worthy. The relationship between the MC's was really powerful and we love a good, healthy lesbian relationship represented, which is something we don't see everyday, in books.
This was a delight to read and I absolutely adored every minute!
With a fresh, sparkling voice and keen storytelling instincts that don't shy away from real issues, Higgins spins a tale that's hard to put down. Come for D'Vaughn and Kris's instant and absolute enchantment of each other and stay for the drama both in and outside of the reality television setting. Higgins has a knack for writing characters you really want to root for and family dynamics that'll make you nod with familiarity. This one will make you smile, laugh, sigh, and blush—everything you want in a romance without putting your heart through the meat grinder first.
This book was everything you could ask for. I loved the romance and the story. To have such a sweet story with characters of color as the leads was so important for me. The romance and relationships actually felt believable and so well handled. I appreciate this book so much just for existing, but also, for being so good.
The pure joy I felt reading this book. I mean, wow.
Chencia was able to make me laugh out loud the entire time. This story was not only funny but heartwarming, from D'vaughn's coming out experience to Kris's search for her forever love. Both D'vaughn and Kris deserve their happily ever after with each other. I appreciated how well Chencia showcased both of their cultures, such as D'vaughn's relationship with her best friend and Kris' extensive family gatherings. All of the side characters added something unique to the story. This book is one of my favorites of the year.