The Ups & Downs of a Long-Distance Relationship THE WEDDING DATE

The Wedding Date

THE WEDDING DATE coverBy: Jasmine Guillory
Narrator: Janina Edwards
PRHA | Imprint: Penguin Audio
Genre: Fiction – Romance – Multicultural & Interracial
Release Date: January 30, 2018
8 Hours and 28 Minutes

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

 

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in this 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… http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/557171/the-wedding-date/

 

My Take Oblong Shaped

 

The audiobook recording of Jasmine Guillory’s debut novel, THE WEDDING DATE, offers a natural-feeling narration.  Edwards doesn’t give as much of an “acted” narration to which I have become accustomed.  I like her more natural style. Sometimes her timing is awkward but I enjoyed her pleasant voice and the feeling I was being read a novel and not hearing a “one man show” without the video.

Romance novels often hinge on both internal and external obstacles for the developing relationship.  When they are too many or feel contrived it can totally ruin the book.  The balance is crucial.  This debut works because the relationship feels good, some of the obstacles are obvious going in and they are just big enough to create tension without sinking the relationship.

The first obstacle is how the couple meets (in an elevator before Drew’s ex’s wedding) and the temporary nature of the bargain they make.  Compound this with distance with a new relationship and the author ups the tension but not so much that it feels contrived.  An additional obstacle is the the race question — but in an interesting twist the problem seems more, but not entirely, in how the person of color is concerned with how people perceive her. While there are some yahoos in Drew’s acquaintances most are not as concerned with Alexa’s color as she is.  It’s not as much about her worry about discrimination or danger, but more about being prepared. 

One encounter was one I was not aware Americans of African descent had to deal with is the “where are you really from” question that I have understood was mostly an issue for people whose culture of descent has a more recent history of voluntary or necessary emigration.  As a “white” person who grew up when the “flesh” crayon was a pastel orange-pink, I have not endured racial discrimination, so I cannot speak to the experience, so I think it is important for us to all continue discussing it from all perspectives. Even mentioning color in a review can feel like I am setting myself up for attack, but I believe that only with honesty,discussion — true dialog, and by truly putting our hearts and minds into it can we end discrimination and racism.
 
For his part, Drew is somewhat oblivious to her color.  In other words he sees her skin color, but he doesn’t seem to think it matters in his world. I guess if you are a surgeon you can’t help but see that people of all colors are just human.

Unfortunately, Drew is also oblivious to his own emotions and the changes in his psyche, pfft! men!

This is another thing about the romance genre, women always seem to fall in love or develop an attachment to a guy before the guy does.  That seems to be changing but, Drew seems more attached to his habit of serial dating until it is almost too late for the two of them. 

At times Drew seems too distant, but he is also vulnerable and if his mind doesn’t see he is falling fro Alexa his heart does.  Alexa sees it, but she can’t help him to – and she is a little too prone to angrily jumping to conclusions and silent-seething for her to be able to communicate with Drew openly. Sometimes their issues are not helped by the drinks they have consumed.

The bulk of the story is full of nicely done steamy sex and getting to know each other fun, and the  climax (no pun intended), denouement, as well as the epilogue, are both romantic and sexy and show that Drew and Alexa have both woken to their hearts. 

With several interesting support characters, this story is ripe for development into a series.

Great debut, warm, funny, thought provoking. I recommend it.

 

 

Links Blue Horizontal

PUBLISHER: http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/557171/the-wedding-date/

AUTHOR: https://www.jasmineguillory.com/

AUDIBLE: https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Wedding-Date-Audiobook/B078RSPLYP