The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory | New Release & Review

SYNOPSIS

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...

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

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

Review & Excerpt | The Wedding Date

by Jasmine Guillory 

"I’m so glad I got stuck in that elevator with you.” she said.
“Me, too.”

The Wedding Date is an adorable romance about two people who aren't quite sure how to navigate a "relationship" that was never part of their plans. With a cuter than cute meet-cute, you'd expect things to go smoothly. But when you put together two people who aren't in their element, things are bound to get complicated.

It's serendipitous when Drew Nichols and Alexa Monroe first meet. Drew needs a plus-one last-minute, and after getting stuck in an elevator together, Alexa agrees to become the good doctor's date to the wedding of his ex-girlfriend. From there on out, things go neither of them expect, not that their first meeting is something you'd expect to happen on a daily basis anyway. From an elevator, Alexa and Drew end up in a wedding, a hotel room, and Los Angeles and Berkeley back and forth. 

Things are going great, and they're having a lot of fun, but soon enough, reality catches up with them. Drew isn't quite sure how to be in a relationship, and Alexa has never been in a situation like this. Both stand on shaky ground and are afraid that any step they take might ruin everything. They need to figure out what they are to each other and if it's worth fighting for.

First of all, I love that they're both dedicated to their careers. Drew clearly loves being a pediatric surgeon, and he's a pretty great one at that. So is Alexa. As the mayor's chief of staff, she has the power to start change. She's working hard to lobby a project that will help at-risk teens and is doing everything it can for the project to get the green light. Issues about race, while not the main theme, is never set aside. It's sad how casually those issues came out in this story because it is how it is in real life. It's usually not a shout or a huge scene. It just is. So, I loved it that Alexa educated Drew about it, and that Drew was open to seeing things from the other side.  

This book was as cute as its cover! The chemistry between Drew and Alexa was palpable throughout the story, and I honestly loved how the issues between them went about. It was exactly what would happen when a couple like Alexa and Drew are in that situation. Once reality came knocking down their sexed-up and infatuated bubble, they didn't know how to handle it since they've never been in that situation before. I have to admit though that somewhere in the middle, things became a little repetitive. The story gained traction again soon enough, and I kept crossing my fingers they'll finally figure it out.

Aside from Alexa and Drew, there are a lot of lovely side-characters that made this story even more enjoyable. There was Drew's best friend, Carlos, Alexa's officemate and friend, Theo, and her sister, Olivia. While they weren't always on screen, they helped keep the story going in their own ways. 

This book was a sweet and lovely debut novel, and I'm definitely keeping an eye out for Ms. Guillory's future works. If you're looking for a sweet and charming book with intense chemistry and realistic tension between two promising characters, you might enjoy The Wedding Date.

Tropes: Fake Relationship, Long Distance
POV: Third Person, Dual POV
Standalone: Yes

EXCERPT

Alexa danced with Lauren, letting the movement and the laughter shake away her annoying thoughts. When she felt a hand on her waist, she turned to see Drew behind her and laughed again, at how ridiculous the evening had been and how much fun she was suddenly having. He took ahold of one of her hands and swung her around to face him and laughed back down at her. Other members of the wedding party joined their group and danced with and around them, but song after song came on, and he never moved from her side.

“Water?” he said in her ear after they’d been on the dance floor for a long time.

“Yes, please.” She walked with him over to the bar.

She glanced up at the ornate clock over the bar, surprised at how late it had gotten. And how much she didn’t want this night to end. Damn it, it had been fun to be Drew’s fake girlfriend, but she knew that once the clock struck midnight, so to speak, the fairy tale would be all over.

He leaned against the bar, his jacket off, his bow tie untied, a little sweaty and disheveled from dancing. Good Lord, this guy was hot.

He rolled up his sleeves, exposing his tan forearms. She wanted to run her fingers up and down them and feel how warm and strong they were.

She needed to stop letting her imagination run away with her.

“Um,” she said. “It’s getting late, and if I want to make the last BART train back to the East Bay, I should probably leave pretty soon.”

Why had she said that? Why, when she was standing next to a hot guy, basically panting over him? If she was Maddie, hell, if she was Amy, she would have grabbed one of those hot forearms and wrapped it around her body, letting him know what she wanted without having to say anything. Sadly, she was Alexa, so she would flee instead.

He put his water bottle down and looked at her.

“Okay.”

“Okay,” she said. Olivia and Maddie would get mad at her for not throwing herself at him, but they didn’t understand that she just didn’t know how. Plus, rejection from this guy was the last thing her self-esteem needed. Talk about the opposite of getting back on the horse; that would make her avoid horses, and stables, and all farm animals for another few years. So to speak.

He stepped closer to her and put his hand on her waist. Her hand landed on his arm, and, without even meaning to, she ran her fingers up and down. Oh God, touching him like this was as good as she’d thought it would be.

“Or”—he looked straight down into her eyes—“you could stay.”

A question was in his eyes, and a smile hovered over his lips. His thumb drew slow circles on her hip and then moved up her side to her ribs. His other hand moved up to her face and traced the outline of her lips with his fingers.

She shivered.

He waited.

“Or,” she said, “I could stay.”

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