Author: Jasmine Guillory
Overview from Goodreads:
The author of The Wedding Date serves up a novel about what happens when a public proposal doesn’t turn into a happy ending, thanks to a woman who knows exactly how to make one on her own…
When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise–or happen in front of 45,000 people.
When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…
At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…
This novel is second in the Wedding Date series. Although you don’t have to read the initial novel, The Wedding Date, to follow along, the same players that were in the first one appear in this one. This novel focuses on Drew’s best friend and fellow doctor, a Latino named Carlos Ibarra. We open at a Dodgers game where Carlos and his sister, Angela, are attending before heading to the bar to meet their friends. While at a baseball game, a jumbotron proposal appears and the couple is on screen as the man is proposing to the woman who clearly is uncomfortable with the whole situation after five months of dating. The man leaves after being rejected and the woman is forced to face the crowds alone. Carlos is sitting a few rows away with his sister and together they devise a plan to help the woman escape the crowds and spotlight. They whisk her away and go to the bar together.
This woman was Nikole (Nik) Patterson, a black woman, who works as an entertainment writer. Her best friends are Dana, a black, lesbian actress and Courtney, an Asian cupcake shop owner. Both Nik and Carlos are not at a point in each of their lives to start a new romantic relationship so they begin a friendship with each other. The romance jumps a little as they both have an instant attraction and they seem to flip from a let’s not be romantic to let’s be romantic fairly quickly. Throughout the novel, we meet Drew and Alexa from the first novel again while also being introduced to additional friends/family of both Carlos and Nik. The diversity within the cast of characters is what helps set this author’s novels apart as it explores not only the obstacles that a potential couple can face, but also the added hurtles of being interracial.
There are scenes throughout the book where the characters are recounting events to another character and they are not always the same tone or told verbatim to what we read when the scene was actually taking place. It was hard to tell if this was a conscious effort by the author, a happy accident, or a mistake. Given the well-written nature of the first novel in the series, I gave the author the benefit of the doubt and took it more as a realistic addition to the story as when we are telling our own stories about what happened to others, we don’t always recall events exactly as they happened.
Although I loved Carlos in The Wedding Date, he did make a few questionable choices that did lower him a little as a character. This could be due to I liked him as a side character, but not a main. I tried thinking about it, but I couldn’t put my finger on why he just wasn’t as good in this tale as he was in the previous novel. He did have some good banter with Nik and he showed his love for his family and how important family means to him. It was a good quality to show him as a character as there are events from start to finish showing that he puts family as a high priority in his life. However, I wish there was more to his family as characters (ex. his sister Jessie who has preclampsia). I believe the story missed out on giving more substance to these background stories as his family members are mentioned multiple times in conversations, but you don’t end up learning much about them. The novel had a lot of potential to live up to the theme of family importance, but I think it fell short for this reason.
Overall, The Wedding Date, I feel, was a better novel, but this is an excellent companion piece to round-out our cast of characters that we are now familiar with. I can’t wait to continue this series and get to learn more about Alexa’s friends Maddie and Theo in book 3 (The Wedding Party)!