REVIEW x 2: 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 this 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…
Dear Ms. Guillory,
I picked up this arc from netgalley after one of the publicists emailed me about it. It sounded like a cute literary rom-com and the recommendation was strong. I liked a lot of it but a lot of it seemed like a loop tape.
The meet-cute is darling and I can see why Drew and Alexa are attracted to each other. Drew really sells his reasons why this is going to be such a bad wedding experience for him – though he’s maybe not totally truthful about his past relationship with the bride – and has Alexa laughing and finally sharing her cheese and crackers. Then he goes for it when he impulsively asks her to save his ass and be his date. Alexa’s BFF Maddie is always telling her to not overthink things so Alexa just as impulsively says yes.
Scene two is Alexa at work and dealing with her body issues. Though she’s decisive and focused at work, what woman is totally at peace with her body and looks? Not me. When the wedding date arrives, Alexa’s work in city politics stands her in good stead and she effortlessly deals with Drew’s touchy relationships with other wedding guests as well as not being quite sure just where she and Drew stand. The night and next day are spectacular though and they begin their long distance relationship.
Drew is a busy pediatric surgeon – I’m never clear if he’s still in training or in a fellowship or what – and Alexa works hard as the mayor’s chief of staff. I enjoyed seeing them at their jobs. Drew does do a Holy Heck HIPPA violation though. Both have good friends who are there for them and who are quick to bust their chops over how Drew and Alexa are messing up their relationship.
Drew and Alexa fly back and forth up and down the length of the state of California racking up frequent flyer miles and hot sex though with lots of time for them to misinterpret each other’s actions, texts and conversations. Toss in an occasional overreaction followed by some brooding, angst and friendly friend intervention. The second half of the book felt like I was reading the same scene two or three times before anything new would happen.
There were issues that were briefly brought up but I didn’t feel got dealt with enough. Alexa is a curvy woman and worries about how she looks beside all the tall, willowy blonds in Drew’s life. But she and Drew never talk about this and it then disappears as a problem for a while. I guess Drew being hot for sex all the time shows what he thinks of her figure?
Unfortunately I didn’t think the multicultural aspect of the plot was fleshed out any more. Alexa is the subject of some crude/ignorant comments by white men at two parties and Drew flies to her defense but then this isn’t mentioned again. Drew expresses privileged skepticism about a project dear to her heart that Alexa is working on but then when he texts in support of her and listens to why it means so much to her, then I guess that means he’s converted to the cause? It just seemed that with little effort, these major issues are brushed away.
I wanted to like this book a bit more than I did. Some current and – for their relationship’s future – pertinent issues are raised but then not explored in depth. I did like how the book shows Alexa and Drew having to work for what they want but in the end, maybe a bit too much time is spent showing the same relationship roadblocks while important issues are only dealt with on the surface. B-