The Wedding Date ##
Written by: Jasmine Guillory
Read by: Janina Edwards
8 Hours and 59 Minutes
Penguin Random House Audio | Imprint: Penguin Audio
Genre: Fiction – Romance – Multicultural & Interracial Release
Date: October 30, 2018
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.
When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise — or happen in front of 45,000 people.
When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part—they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…
At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up—in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes… https://www.jasmineguillory.com/the-proposal/
The Proposal continues Guillory’s exploration of interracial relationships. With the last book we saw a black woman in politics hook up with a white pediatric surgeon. Here we have Carlos, a Latino doctor who jumps in in to help a black woman, Nik, whose idiot boyfriend, in whom she wasn’t seriously interested, proposes in a very public way. He’s not at all thrilled when she says, “No.”
Carlos and his sister jump in to give her a hand after the jerk stalks off. And, with an attraction on both sides, Carlos and Nik have dinner, meet up coincidentally, and, as one thing leads to another they end up in bed, for what they each promise is “Not a relationship.” Guess what, after a few dinners and experiences together, guess what, you have a relationship. And, once you sleep together that relationship intensifies it’s just the nature of the beast. Even if you think it is going to be casual it isn’t, unless you have a one-night stand.
So we have strangers to friends to friends-with-benefits, but I feel racial issues take front and center in this book. Nik’s ex-boyfriend, a , a “cool” actor and a white guy, tells her that he can get her into places “people like her” cannot. I don’t think he means “people like her” to signify “women” or “writers.” What is Guillory’s intent? I found it interesting that when Drew and his fiancé Alexa come to visit, Nik is upset a little because no one told her that Alexa is black. And, Carlos is Latino, and while the difference in culture is discussed, the difference between Black and Latino seems to lack the degree of tension as there is between black and white.
Our society is struggling with issues of race. I don’t know how or why and I don’t know what the answers are. I think the only way to conquer discrimination is with discussion – and that can start with a book. I spent too much time trying to figure out if I should capitalize “Black,” and “White” in this post.
There’s more in the book: Carlos struggles with a need to take over his father’s role in caring for the extended family. Nik has to get over her hang-ups with men and repair her confidence.
Janina Edwards has a modern, edgy style. Her voice has the slight accent and cadence, of African American Vernacular English – I think that is the correct term – please let me know if I am incorrect. She walks a fine line between narracting (my own word) and simply reading out loud — I prefer this method to all acting or being read to without affect. I find her voice pleasant, and even though it is, as I said, “edgy,” I find it relaxing.
This is part of a series, but it is stand-alone. I do like her writing. There’s a good amount of steam, but it is tasteful as well as hot. I appreciate the insertion of an important topic in the a steamy romance. In our world, love is one way to change hearts and minds. Hopefully we will eventually develop into an inclusive world that appreciates diversity.