Author: Jasmine Guillory
Overview from Goodreads:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a 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..
Jasmine Guillory’s debut novel creates a compelling novel with an interracial couple! Alexa Monroe is a black Chief of Staff to the mayor of Berkley. She is very passionate and driven when it comes to her career and community, especially when it comes to her project for an arts program for underprivileged youth. Drew Nichols is a white pediatric doctor from Los Angeles who is up in Northern California to attend the wedding of his best friend and ex-girlfriend. With both characters I appreciate the realism that they each are in their 30s and have worked hard to get to where they are, especially Alexa. A lot of novels just have their main characters be handed their dream jobs when they are in their early 20s and although it’s possible, it’s not probable and relatable.
Our two main characters meet when they get stuck in an elevator at the hotel Drew is staying at while Alexa was there to see her visiting sister Olivia. As they talk and snack on the cheese and crackers Alexa had in her bag, Drew discovers that Alexa would be the perfect “girlfriend/date” to attend the wedding. The concept is what drew me into the story and the interesting dynamic between the two personality types was what kept me reading.
After the two characters agree to attend the wedding together (Hence, the title of the book), they continue to explore their not-yet-defined relationship. After Drew returns to Los Angeles when the wedding is finished, Alexa and Drew take turns to visit each other. The more they see each other, the more they want to be together as a couple, but their communication with each other stands in their way as they don’t speak to each other to define the relationship and set up expectations for the future. This was another relatable aspect of the novel as communication issues are common in many relationships. To some people, this might be a frustrating hurdle to overcome when reading as it is not relatable to everyone as some may not be able to understand why the two characters just don’t talk it out. However, for me, I appreciated how the characters would over-analyze and try to figure out what the other one was thinking and sometimes open communication took a backseat as it gave a realism to the story that not every novel explores.
Alexa is a very dynamic character. She has her insecurities that are explored while also being confident in who she is. This balance is what makes her such a unique protagonist as she is relatable to the average reader. Her best friends Maddie (a stylist) and Theo (her co-worker) are fun and interesting characters. They each assist in shaping Alexa’s character through their interactions.
Drew was a good character, but I was personally all about his friend Carlos (Luckily Carlos is the main character in The Proposal -Wedding Date #2). Drew has some great qualities where he is bright and charming. Like all people and characters, he has his flaws that are touched on throughout the novel. I didn’t have necessarily against Drew, but he didn’t bring anything super amazing to the table like a main love interest should. I do appreciate how he does grow as a character over time. While spending time with Alexa, Drew realizes just how privileged he is as a white male and learns to accept that the world is not that way for POC. Alexa aids him into growing as an individual and helps him become more aware. Although it was somewhat somewhat surface level growth, I couldn’t expect much from a romance novel as there is only so much into detail that you can go into a subject without taking away from the main story line. I commend the author greatly for even mentioning the subjects of racial microaggressions and socioeconomic topics.
The novel changes perspectives with the chapters switching between Alexa and Drew’s point-of-view. I personally love when novels do this, especially when the story continues to flow, as it gives more insight to what is going on in each of the character’s heads. It also helps to move the story along when the two main characters are in their respective locations (Alexa in Berkley and Drew in Los Angeles).
The writing itself integrates storytelling with real-life colloquialisms. When you read each sentence, it sounds like something you would hear out in the real world. It helped to make the story more relatable and realistic as the way the characters would speak to each other and think to themselves sounded like something a person would say. As the prospective changes, there are minor changes to the writing so each character has their own individual style. This helped to picture each conversation in my head as I read through the chapters.
This novel was a fantastic introduction in the world written by Jasmine Guillory. I love how her novels weave together as she focuses on her character (Carlos, Maddie, and Theo all get their time in the spotlight in the sequels). Alexa and Drew were a great couple that were compelling enough to make me appreciate their relationship, however, the true star of the book was Alexa’s work on her art’s program. I greatly admired her tenacity and drive to work on a project she was truly passionate about yet still balance the rest of her job, a new romance, and life in general. It showed that with hard work, passion, and knowledge, you can accomplish anything. The Wedding Date was a joy to read and I cannot wait to explore Drew’s friend Carlos in the sequel (The Proposal)!