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review 2020-06-23 03:17
Review: Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
Party of Two - Jasmine Guillory

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Jasmine Guillory delivers some of the best meet-cutes and Olivia and Max’s in Party of Two is no exception. Olivia has just moved from New York to L.A. to start her own law firm when she meets a handsome stranger in a hotel bar. After a night of cocktails, cookies, and flirting/dessert debates, she’s surprised to discover that the vaguely familiar-looking hottie is none other than Senator Max Powell. And when they run into each other again a few weeks later and he sends her a cake… Well, despite not wanting to get involved with a politician, how can she resist?

Olivia is an intelligent, hardworking, and driven heroine who is easy to like. She doesn’t like to jump into things, which makes her the polar opposite of the impetuous Max. Max is a sweetheart who is thoughtful and kind, and is also mostly aware of his privileged status as a wealthy, white, male senator. Max’s heart is always in the right place, but he does screw up. He can sometimes be selfish without realizing it and he jumps headfirst into things over and over. For that reason alone, he and Olivia shouldn’t work. And yet they balance one another and they’re not complete opposites. Both want to make the world a better place in their own way and they’re willing to fight for it.

The question of whether or not love is enough when you’re involved with someone in the public eye in the current political climate is a logical one. I loved watching Olivia and Max work through things in between numerous scenes featuring cakes and pies. Sometimes it’s a rocky road for them, especially once their relationship goes public and the press gets involved. As a Black woman, Olivia deals with enough racism and sexism in her normal field of work without adding on the media violating her privacy and digging into her past, shading what they find with more racism and blasting it out to the world. My heart broke for her, and as much as I wanted to see her and Max together I liked that the internal and external problems they faced as a couple weren’t easily brushed aside.

Party of Two is the fifth book in the Wedding Date series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Fans of the first book in the series will be happy they get to visit Olivia’s sister, Alexa. And if you’re familiar with Ms. Guillory’s work then you know to expect copious amounts of food. It’s a bit over the top and can get repetitive, but after five books I’ve grown used to it so whether this will be a positive or a negative is really up to personal preference. And it would be remiss of me to talk about Party of Two and not mention some of my favorite things about the book: that both Olivia and Max are in their later thirties, are in high-pressure careers that demand long hours, and both unequivocally support one another. Neither even thinks of asking the other to slow down or cut back, which I really appreciated. This is just as much a signature of Ms. Guillory’s work as the enormous amounts of food and I absolutely love it. I finished Party of Two a happily satisfied reader and I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms. Guillory comes up with next.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/06/review-party-of-two-by-jasmine-guillory.html
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review 2020-03-05 19:12
Royal Holiday
Royal Holiday - Jasmine Guillory

Wow. This. Was. Not. Good. I think that Guillory is pumping out too many books these days and not making sure that her characters and plot lines are developed. This whole thing also didn't work since we have Maddie styling a mysterious Duchess (look it's supposed to be Duchess Meghan) and that whole thing of course did not have me in a romantic mindset. I loved the first book, noted some issues in book #2 and flat out did not like book #3. I hope that whatever book comes next it actually makes sense, has two leads I am invested in, and actually takes time to set up the romance/characters/etc.


"Royal Holiday" follows Vivian Forest. We were introduced to her somewhat in the last book. Vivian is Maddie's mother. When Maddie somehow gets asked to go to England to style a royal Duchess (seriously this would never happen and it was beyond idiotic) Vivian goes along. Vivian gets to meet the private secretary of the DQueen (this would never happen) named Malcolm. The two find themselves attracted to each other. Cue scenes in England. Cue bland AF romance. 


I can't say much about Vivian. I was not invested in her at all after she and Malcolm meet. There's no chemistry between them and the dialogue was weak as anything. Malcolm was rude/nasty to Vivian to the point that I was not enamored with him at all. I guess Guillory was trying for an alpha romance or something here, but it didn't work. Also can I say this? Malcolm is black...I got thoughts about the Queen having a black male secretary. That's all I am going to say and move along. And there's a whole thing with these two writing each other post cards that had me in disbelief. I guess phones are not a thing anymore. 

Also Maddie barely interacts with her mother. The whole thing was a bizarre choice. I found myself wondering about prior characters since these two were not holding my interest. 


The flow was not great. This has taken me weeks to get through because I kept stopping and starting it. This is totally different for me since I stayed up all night to finish book #1 and was so excited for book #2, I bought it and read it on my Kindle at 12:01 AM when it became available. However, after book #3 I decided to just get these books via the library. I am glad I did not buy this one even though the cover is eye-catching. 


I do love romance books that take place in London. And this should have worked for me with supposedly Maddie and Vivian staying at Sandringham House and once again I was all, this would never happen and it took me out of the story. Also it's obvious that Guillory maybe just read some People magazine articles cause her understanding of some of these locations....was not great. Maybe next time she sticks to her own wheelhouse. 

This felt like a cash grab by Guillory to jump on the popularity of Duchess Meghan. Too bad she and Prince Henry rightfully said (swear word) your couch and got out of England and are now set to not be full-time royals. I just could not get past the idea that Maddie would be styling someone this famous. She didn't even get her tv presenter job, the whole plot to force fit them being in England was dumb. I tend to not like royal romance novels as a rule though unless they are set in regency or earlier eras cause too many things in this book were taking me right out of it while reading. 

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text 2019-12-28 05:02
24 Festive Tasks - Kwanzaa Book
Royal Holiday - Jasmine Guillory

Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author, with a green, red, or black cover, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (Lion, giraffe, cheetah, etc.).

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review 2019-12-26 23:07
Royal Holiday
Royal Holiday - Jasmine Guillory
The Wedding Date, Book 4

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series.

The Characters:

Vivian Forest:
Malcolm Hudson:

The Story:

When Maddie gets a job styling the duchess over the Christmas holiday, she decides to bring along her mother Vivian and have a working holiday. (Dream come true for me) During her time in the cozy cottage Vivian meets Malcolm, secretary to the queen and a love affair begins. Mostly ideal with a cameo from the Queen herself Malcolm and Vivian begin a whirlwind affair that leads to Vivian staying for a week with Malcolm while Maddie returns to the states. Vivian and Malcolm have their ups and downs but how would they make a relationship work with over 5,000 miles between their homes.

I enjoyed this time in London. V and Malcolm make a great couple. I hope to see further glimpses of them in future Guillory books.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


3.5 Stars
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review 2019-09-24 04:51
Review: Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Royal Holiday - Jasmine Guillory

3.75 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin


Royal Holiday is a Hallmark Christmas movie waiting to happen. It’s a picturesque bit of fantasy that’s blessedly low on drama and high on sweetness.

Vivian Forest is a social worker with a clear love of her job and the people she helps, which won me over immediately. Vivian rarely does things for herself, so when her daughter, Maddie, talks her into taking a vacation to England where Maddie has been asked to dress a member of the royal family, Vivian packs her bags and is along for the ride. I loved seeing someone as hardworking, kind, and generous as Vivian get to sit back and enjoy herself. But life as the guest of royalty isn’t all tiaras and scones. There’s also the Queen’s sexy private secretary, Malcolm Hudson. Malcolm is the picture perfect version of a holiday fling. He’s handsome, sweet, and I seriously envied the private tours he took Vivian on.

Malcolm and Vivian are both in their fifties, know their own minds, and generally avoid manufactured drama, which I liked. Vivian’s time in England is the stuff of dreams, from picturesque walks on royal grounds to a private visit to the V&A and more. I adored being whisked away from reality by author Jasmine Guillory and was happy to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride. Malcolm and Vivian’s love story glides with relative ease, keeping with the overall lighthearted tone of the book. I think it had potential to be more than a fluffy read had Ms. Guillory delved more deeply into both characters. It’s a pity, because Vivian and Malcolm both hinted at rich and interesting histories, so I would have loved to see them better fleshed out. And as much as I like a sweet read, I will say that Royal Holiday edged into saccharine territory more than once. Someone laughing or giggling on almost every page (most of the time for reasons I couldn’t understand) for the first three-quarters of the book was distracting and made me wish for tighter editing. But even with these issues, I think Royal Holiday is the kind of warm and cozy book you’d want to escape with on a cold winter’s night.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.



Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2019/09/review-royal-holiday-by-jasmine-guillory.html
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