Published: January 30th by Berkley Pub
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Romance
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
First off, thanks a million to Berkley Publishing for sending me a free copy of this gorgeous little book. The second I had read the blurb I was completely sold. And maybe it was because I had watched way too many Hallmark movies during the month of December… but I was completely on board for a love story that starts out with the two main characters getting stuck together on an elevator. A little Goodreads research also brought me to the fact that Roxane Gay raved about this book… and do you really need any more of a recommendation that that? (Go ahead and skip my review if you’d like–if Roxane Gay likes it you know it’s going to be good.)
If you’re sticking around, the plot is this: Alexa is successfully working in the office of the mayor of Berkeley, California, putting together projects and working with city councils and generally doing pretty well for herself. She hasn’t been dating much, much to the disappointment of her best friend and her sister. Drew Nichols is a pediatric surgeon in L.A. He dates… a lot… but doesn’t do girlfriends. They meet on a hotel elevator, which gets stuck, stranding them somewhere in between floors with only each other for company. When they finally get out of the elevator, Alexa has agreed to be Drew’s date (and fake girlfriend) at the wedding of his friend and his ex. What starts out as a casual fake date to a wedding has the potential to be so much more…
This book was such a wonderful, charming story. Although somewhat silly… yes, the elevator really does get stuck with our two heroes inside of it… it felt real. The concerns and trials of a modern day relationship, complicated by distance and past experiences, were well rendered. The difficulties of an interracial relationship are also presented, and I was happy to read this story from the perspective of a woman of color, particularly when so many books of this genre only feature white couples.
The book alternates between our two lovers, jumping back and forth between their perspectives. I loved this technique. So much of relationships is communication and perception and I found that going back and forth really showed when they were on the same page, when they were worrying over nothing, etc. I really loved Alexa’s character. She was authentic and warm-hearted, and has a major love for donuts, which I can relate to (although gluten free life has made finding good donuts rather difficult for me). I didn’t feel quite as strongly about Drew (meaning I didn’t feel as connected to him, not that I didn’t like his character). I enjoyed watching him grow and I loved the progression of their relationship.
I loved getting to see the whole beginning of the friendship/relationship, but there were times in the middle where I felt we were just seeing the same thing over and over again. And while it really did paint an accurate picture of this relationship, it made the middle drag a little bit. The beginning and end really made up for it though, and overall I really loved this book. It was fun and sexy and heart-warming and I’ll be looking forward to anything Jasmine Guillory comes out with next!
The Wedding Date hits the shelves next week on January 30th!