REVIEW: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

In brief: Alexa and Drew meet in a broken elevator and before they are freed, she agrees to pretend to be his fake girlfriend at his ex’s wedding. And so a light-hearted relationship starts, but will either of them take it further?

The good: Excellent fun with a lot of good food mentioned!

The not-so-good: Can’t Alexa and Drew just talk to each other?!

Why I chose it: Really enjoyed The Proposal (the second book in the series).

Year: 2018

Pages: 310

Publisher: Headline Eternal (Hachette)

Setting: California

Rating: 9 out of 10

The Wedding Date has received a lot of great praise since its release three years ago and on reading it, it’s easy to see why. This is a fantastic example of the contemporary romance genre with some favourite tropes like a meet-cute in a broken elevator and the fake date. But it also has a huge heart, dealing with issues of race, size and sibling guilt.

I initially read the second book in the series, The Proposal first because I couldn’t get my hands on The Wedding Date locally. It honestly doesn’t matter which order you read the series in as you’ll just have a knowing smirk on your face when Carlos (The Proposal’s hero) gives Drew a hard time during this book. It’s lovely to read the story of Drew and Alexa’s romance first hand as The Proposal doesn’t give a lot away – with good reason. Alexa is on her way to meet her sister when she gets stuck in a lift with Drew. They aren’t there for hours, but it’s enough time for some flirting and for Drew to spill that he’s in town for his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. To make matters worse, he’s dateless. Before the elevator is fixed, he’s got a fake girlfriend date in Alexa. But the problem is that they have a great time and get along really well. Suddenly, their fling is all about weekend flights from San Francisco to L.A. and back. Both feel that this relationship could be more than just good weekends, but of course they don’t talk through their thoughts and fears. It takes multiple arguments and miscommunication to reach the grand finale and their happily ever after.

That’s not a complaint, as The Wedding Date is a fun, well written read whether the leads are arguing or not. The conflict between Drew and Alexa makes the bond between them stronger and more believable (and how boring would a romance novel be without arguments where the couple talked everything through). It also results in some great dialogue and make up scenes.  But this book tackles more than just romance. Alexa is Black and Drew is white. Alexa isn’t backward in asking Drew questions like if there will be any other Black people at the wedding. He realises that he’s privileged because of his colour and he consciously checks and reviews it. Alexa is also conscious about her size (she’s described as curvy) and how she looks to Drew. She is still a body positive heroine who isn’t giving up her doughnuts for anyone though. (There are a lot of excellent food descriptions in The Wedding Date including tacos, ice cream and cheese and crackers). Drew also has a history of breaking off relationships when things get comfortable and issues dealing with the illness of one of his patients. Alexa has unresolved guilt regarding her sister and she’s trying to make things right. But these things don’t drag the romance down, if anything they only make it stronger. Alexa is a wonderful character who is stronger than she knows and also very down to earth. She’s very relatable.

So if you’re looking for a strong, sexy read with a great heroine and good food references, look no further than The Wedding Date. It’s also got enough travel references to make you feel like you’re rushing to the airport too.

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