The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory | Review + Excerpt

Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: standalone
My rating:

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...



I first heard about The Wedding Date when the the Berkley Romance team gushed about it during a Booze with Berkley episode and I knew it had to be one of my first reads of 2018. 

I know it's very early in the year, and I'm going to be reading a lot more books, but I can confidently say that The Wedding Date is one of my top reads of 2018. So, skip that lame date this Valentine's Day and spend it with Alexa and Drew instead--seriously, if you're going to pick one romantic book this February, you can't find a more perfect one than The Wedding Date

I love the premise of The Wedding Date. Alexa Monroe and Drew Nichols met when they both got stuck on an elevator and after a super cute banter about cheese and crackers, Alexa agreed to be Drew's plus one/fake girlfriend to his ex's wedding. Having more fun that either thought they'd have at the wedding and not wanting their time together to be over, Alexa and Drew ended up spending the night and the day together. As well as the next several weekends, flying from one end of the state to the other (Alexa is from Berkley and Drew lives in LA) as they fall into a long distance dating situation. Drew wasn't looking for anything serious and Alexa decided, for once, not to overthink things, but will their fling turn into something more?

I love everything Drew and Alexa! One of my favorite things about them was how secure they were and the satisfaction they feel in their chosen career. I found it very refreshing (and relatable) to read about people who are at a different point in their career--dealing with challenges on the job rather than struggling to get a job. Individually, Alexa and Drew were both wonderfully written characters. I so very much related to Alexa in her hangups about her body and her feelings of awkwardness when being the only PoC in a room of white people--some of the situations she experienced in the novel were almost the exact ones I've experienced. I do wish I have her confidence in public speaking and her ability to make small talk. As for Drew... I can only hope and pray that get stuck with my own Drew Nichols in an elevator. He's my new favorite book boyfriend. I love Drew and Alexa together! All their scenes, from their meet cute to them just hanging out and eating Mexican food/In-N-Out burgers/coffee/donuts to their fights and makeups, I ate it all up. They are my new favorite OTP!

I also enjoyed the secondary characters we met like Alexa's best friend Maddie and her sister Olivia, and Drew's best friend Carlos. It's been announced that Ms. Guillory's next book will be about Carlos, and I'm hoping the women will also get their own book so that we can spend more time with these group of characters that I've fallen in love with.

The Wedding Date was written with a very deft hand--it didn't read like a debut novel. The characters and plot were spot-on and we got a superbly charming and genuine novel about a mixed race couple. I both wanted to devour it and take my time with it so I can savor the story because I knew once I turn the last page I was going to miss Alexa and Drew (and I did--crossing my fingers we'll see quite a bit of them in Ms. Guillory's upcoming book The Proposal that features Carlos). Ms. Guillory has definitely made her mark in the women's fiction/contemporary romance genre with The Wedding Date and I have a feeling she will soon be a household name à la Emily Giffin or Jane Green but better because she adds sorely needed color to a very white genre.


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.”

Watch author Jasmine Guillory talk about The Wedding Date

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