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.