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review 2018-11-05 17:06
Enjoyed, Didn't Love as Much as The Wedding Date
The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory

So here's the thing, I loved how this book started off. My face was a mask of horror and laughter at the beginning. I loved Carlos and Nik. The biggest thing for me was the pacing which is why I didn't give this more than four stars. I think things moved way too fast. Maybe if we had everything unfold over three months I could see it, but this was in essence all done and dusted I think in about four weeks. Also I wanted an epilogue like how we got with "The Wedding Date." The ending was a little too abrupt for me. Guillory hits all of the romance boxes though, loved all of the secondary characters, and she manages to make you want to move to LA. We get appearances from Drew and Alexa (yes!) and the third book better showcase their wedding. Or I want a novella showcasing their wedding! Seriously!

 

"The Proposal" has Nikole Paterson (Nik) at a Dodgers game with her boyfriend of five months Fisher. We get insight into how Nik sees Fisher (just someone to pass the time with) and is horrified when she realizes that he put up a proposal to her on the Jumbotron (spelling her name wrong) and is one knee in front of her asking her to marry him. Did I mention this is in front of hundreds of strangers and Fisher's friends? Yeah. Poor Nik. At that point I was firmly on her side. When Nik rightfully says no (seriously I would have dumped beer on his man-bun) Fisher calls her names and she is left alone with hundreds of people staring at her. She's also getting tweets, text messages, and emails, and just like that, Nik goes viral. 


When Carlos and his sister Angela who are also at the game realize that Nik is about to get ambushed by a television crew, they pretend to be long last friends and haul her out of there. And just like that, wet get our meet-cute. Also don't get mad at me, this is the book's synopsis. 


From there though I really liked what Guillory does. We have Nik who is stunned and horrified calling her ride or die friends to meet at their favorite bar. She invites Carlos and Angela to thank them and though Nik isn't looking for someone new, her two besties encourage her to have a rebound with Carlos. 

 

Carlos who is attracted to Nik has enough sense to start hitting on her after what she has been through, but likes texting her. Soon enough they are talking all the time and then we get some sparks!

 

I liked the character of Nik. She's African American and I liked that a few times Carlos steps in it (she lets it go) with him not thinking she really knows about LA and good Mexican food. I think he's deceived she's bougie due to her dating a white guy with a man bun (we all make mistakes).

 

I think her being a freelance writer was interesting, but I really wanted to hear more about how she is able to pitch stories and get paid. Based on some of the black female writers I follow on Twitter, being freelance sounds hard as hell and you often deal with people stealing you stories/articles and not properly crediting you. 

 

I also thought at times, it was weird how very little Nik's parents are involved in her life. We also know Nik has two parents, but they don't even call her to discuss her viral moment. I would have had my aunt calling me in two seconds because my cousins can't help but run their mouths.

 

I also liked Nik's vulnerability about her writing due to her boyfriend from before being a jerk about it and constantly putting her down about it. I think Guillory taps into something about being an African American woman and not confident in yourself because you are constantly being told by society how you are not good enough. When we get to her and Carlos's first love scene and she is overwhelmed by how he is worshiping her body in essence made my toes tingle. Nik has messed up beliefs about relationships and love, so she is happy to just be friends who has sex with Carlos.


Carlos is a whole lot of complicated. He seemed like a know it all in the first book. In this one, he is a little uncertain and is doing his best to be there for his mother, sister, cousin, and aunt after the unexpected death of his father. Carlos feels like his family must be number one at all times, so he is not looking to date. He ends up becoming friends with Nik and starts seeking her out to just talk to and cook for when he's had a bad day.

 

I liked how Nik gets Carlos to open up about his dad and pushes for him to throw his family a bone and go to the doctor to get a check-up.

 

The cooking scenes were sweet to me and I loved how much pleasure he got out of giving Nik food and her appreciation of it made him want to do it more and more.

 

I also loved Nik meeting Drew and Alexa and both women going later, how could those two nit-wits not tell us the other women was African American. I know that some people who are not black won't get it, but that's always a question I am probing for when I ask friends who is going to be at this party, event, etc. I am still shaking my head at being the only black person at my friend's wedding two years ago. Somehow the photographer still managed to not get me in a single picture. Side-eye. 

 

The secondary characters are great, and I loved seeing Drew and Alexa again. 

 

The writing was really good and I have to say that I liked how Guillory works in how women are harassed on social media into why Nik decides to go out and take a women's self defense course with her two friends, Dara and Courtney.


The flow was good, but the pacing was off for me while reading this. As I said above, the book takes place I think over a four week period. I wish that Guillory had broken it into a 2-3 month period. It would have made more sense. 


The setting of the book is LA and Guillory has given us a LA that sounds genuinely fun to live in (cupcake shops, favorite bars, and taquerias oh my!).


The ending as I said above was a bit abrupt. This is a romance book though, so there is going to be a happy ending. 

ETA: I didn't realize this would fit a book task! Yes! 

 

Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1): Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author OR a book with a green, red, or black cover.

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review 2018-10-22 14:18
Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Jasmine Guillory is the master of meet-cutes. In The Proposal, a spectacularly awful proposal at a Dodgers game kicks off a sparkling romance between two smart, funny, endearing characters.

Carlos won me over in The Wedding Date and I couldn’t have been more excited for his book. Carlos has a huge and generous heart that made me sigh. And since the death of his father, he is extremely protective of the women in his family. He has a tendency to take over because he wants to take care of people, but to his credit he acknowledges this and works on holding himself in check. Carlos isn’t a perfect man, but he’s as close a knight in shining armor as possible without coming across as cardboard perfect. Nik doesn’t generally need rescuing, but even she has to admit she’s in over her head when her self-absorbed boyfriend surprises her with a proposal on the Dodger Stadium jumbotron. Escaping a stadium full of disappointed fans and a camera crew closing in is made a lot easier with the aid of Carlos and his sister. Nik and Carlos hit it off from the start, but having literally just ended a relationship Nik isn’t ready to jump into another. It was easy for me to fall for Nik. She’s smart, honest, witty, sarcastic, and independent. She’s also incredibly relatable and I had a blast reading about her.

Nik and Carlos’s romance is filled with humor and heart. Their chemistry is excellent and it made the pages of The Proposal fly by. As with The Wedding Date, this book features two people who are successful in their careers and both of them respect and value each other’s work, which I really enjoyed. The two of them fit one another like lock and key, but that doesn’t mean the road to happily ever after is an easy one. Nik has been hurt before so she guards her heart fiercely, not wanting to let herself fall for Carlos. As for Carlos, he has never truly dealt with the death of his father, a loss that has left its mark in unexpected ways. So while Nik and Carlos have no problem falling into lust, opening themselves up to love is another story. I won’t give away spoilers, but this is the one part where the story hit a big snag for me. I found Nik’s actions and reactions to be consistent all the way through the story, but Carlos takes a major left turn in character near the end of the book that felt manufactured for drama. This is a pity because it’s a clunky bit of false drama in an otherwise charming romance.

It’d be a crime to write about The Proposal and not talk about Nik’s two best friends, Dana and Courtney. They are both fantastic, fun, and exactly the kind of best friends you want to have. Though Dana finds love in this book, it’s not told from her point of view and I really, really hope Ms. Guillory gives Dana and her girlfriend (whose identity I won’t spoil) their own book or novella. And oh, do I have my fingers crossed in the hopes that Courtney gets a book. Courtney’s spirit and love of all things glittery (not to mention her cupcakes) made my heart sing and I desperately want her story. So while I thoroughly enjoyed The Proposal, it did leave me hungry for more of Ms. Guillory’s work.


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.

 

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review 2018-09-04 06:17
The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory

I received this book for free from the publisher (Berkley Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Please note that I have not read The Wedding Date, so all the characters in this book were brand new to me. I also cannot speak to how this book compares with that book. 

 

It took me forever to read this book because I just started law school, but this was such a fun romance! 

 

First off, I loved the diversity! The main character is black. One of her friends is a plus sized Korean American. The other is a black lesbian. The love interest is Latino. It was just so refreshing to see and read about, especially since the book takes place in Los Angeles which is so diverse. 

 

The premise of being proposed to at a baseball game (if only it wasn’t a Dodgers game- Go Giants!) and saying no was so creative and fun. I could picture this being turned into a great rom-com movie. 

 

I also loved the overall vibe of the book. It felt very LA. Like when I was reading it, I could totally tell that it was LA and I felt like I was there with the characters. 

 

The romance was really good as well. Nik and Carlos made a great couple. I loved their interactions, especially the ones with Carlos’s family. His family is the best. 

 

The ending for me fell a little flat which is why I gave this 4 stars. It ended quickly and I wished that it would have been fleshed out more. 

 

Overall, this was an enjoyable diverse romance! 

 

 

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review 2018-04-30 17:41
Wonderful Biracial Romance Novel!
The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory

Oh wow, this was so good. I had no idea how much I needed a really good romance novel in my life. The "Wedding Date" hit the spot. I haven't read anything by Jasmine Guillory before, but I will definitely seek her out in the future. 

 

"The Wedding Date" has Drew Nichols and Alexa Morgan having the sweetest meet cute in literary history. They get stuck in a hotel elevator and while waiting, Drew let's Alexa know he's dreading being in town. She finds out he is a groosman's (best man) in his former best friend's wedding. His best friend is also marrying Drew's ex girlfriend. Now he is dateless and dreading showing up solo. After the elevator starts moving again, Drew decides to ask Alexa to be his date. She ends up saying yes and from there we got ourselves a good romance.

 

I really liked Alexa (or Morgan as Drew calls her). She is the chief of staff to the mayor and is fighting really hard to get an at risk teen project off the floor. There is some tension between her and her older sister (we find out why later) and she seems to have a solid friend group (has a work hubby and a friend who is stylist). Alexa is initially going to the wedding since she thinks Drew is cute, when it starts to turn into something more, she tells herself to keep it light and fluffy since she quickly finds out Drew is a commit-phobe. 

 

Although I gave this five stars, I have to say that I wish that Drew had been a little bit more developed. We know he's not into commitment, but I wanted a reason why. He just mentions being freaked that his ex-girlfriend was thinking of marriage while they were in medical school and from there he just jumped from relationship to relationship. Even though I thought that part was weak, I would still argue most romance novels have the guy being against commitment, and the authors never really explain it, so I am not going to give Guillory grief over it. He does seem dedicated to his job as a pediatric doctor, I wish we had gotten more scenes with him at work. We did get a lot with Alexa at work and her back and forths with her work husband.  


The heat between these two is fantastic. I loved all of the sex scenes. I also liked that Alexa brought up her job, differences between white and black people in America and you get to see the casual racism she is just used to dealing with. One of my favorite scenes is when she asks Drew how many black people are going to be at the wedding. His embarrassment that he didn't even think about it and what that would mean to her was very well done. And I loved Alexa's explanation to him, she needs to know so she can prepare herself. I am the same way and I have to explain to my non-POC friends, it doesn't mean I won't come, I just have to know in advance so I can prepare myself for someone to make a dumb and possibly racist comment my way.


The secondary characters were enjoyable. I did think that Guillory left something dangling there with Alexa's work hubby. I don't know if she's planning on writing a sequel to this (she should!) but there was obviously some non-friend feelings happening for him. I think she was pretty clueless about that though she seemed to be particularly insightful about people she just met.


Drew's best friend Carlos deserves a medal. He ends up being his "magical Hispanic" since his only thing to do apparently is sit around and tell Drew about himself and listen to his problems. Once again if there's a sequel (please!) I hope that Guillory has Carlos with his own plot. He just seemed to be there to propel Drew to become a grown-up. 

 

The writing was really well done. Guillory has third person POVs of Alexa and Drew so you get into both character's heads. The flow was exceptional too. You quickly get why these two like each other and it was nice to see how their relationship was progressing even though they were trying to see each other long distance. 

 

The book takes place in California (I think the locations were San Francisco, San Diego (I feel like this may be a mistake, don't have the book in front of me to check) and Los Angeles) and it really made me want some tacos. All these people seemed to eat were tacos and pizza. And drink wine and beer. I am not complaining, it just made me hungry the entire time I was reading this book. 

 

The ending was really well done and it made me smile.

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text 2018-04-29 22:27
Reading progress update: I've read 304 out of 304 pages.
The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory

Wow!!! Five stars!

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