Last year, I found Jasmine Guillory. She’s a romance author who loves writing contemporary stories of people of color falling in love. Her first book, The Wedding Date, was absolutely adorable. Her second book, The Proposal, was cute too, but it didn’t live up to its hype for me. Her third novel, The Wedding Party, doesn’t come out till later this year, but I’ve already read it and I’ll tell you now that you’re going to love it.
The story follows Theo and Maddie, two acquaintances meeting by a mutual friend, Alexa, who just happens to be getting married. Theo is a young political person (I don’t know exactly what he does, but he works in the same mayor’s office as Alexa). He loves the meticulous processes of things like making coffee from scratch. He also seems super smart, sweet, and really loves his younger brother, Ben. Maddie is a young stylist with big dreams and throughout the novel you see her go through the interview process of becoming a TV stylist.
They finally meet in person at a party and while first impressions are a little snubbed, they somehow have an instant connection and end up going home with each other. Thus begins a casual relationship between the two of them with a rule that their encounters would end by Alexa and Drew’s wedding. Since they’ll be seeing each other often for wedding preparations, of course it’ll be tough to keep this all a secret from Alexa and rein in some of that sexual tension during dress fittings and rehearsals.
The book follows along the same universe as The Wedding Date and The Proposal. I mean, the premise of the book is Alexa and Drew’s wedding. Theo and Maddie belong to Alexa’s wedding party (now you see where the name of the book comes from?). The book begins in the middle of Drew and Alexa’s relationship. However, this isn’t another book about Drew and Alexa’s love story.
I thought the overlapping of stories was cute, but a little confusing at first. I found myself trying to remember this moment in The Wedding Date, but once I let go of that pursuit, I found the story to be super adorable.
The best part about this story is that you don’t have to read The Wedding Date to understand what’s going on. Yes, the story is a continuation of Alexa and Drew’s relationship, but it’s not the focus point. The focus is on Theo and Maddie, who’s relationship goes from casual to serious throughout the story.
I think I loved how natural everything felt. Theo and Maddie agreed to a casual relationship with a lot of blush-filled sex scenes and reaffirming of the “rules of conduct.” But like many romcom stories, they eventually fall in love. I liked that neither Maddie or Theo had to remind each other of their casual affair. There wasn’t a point where someone stopped the entire relationship because they got insecure. They just kept going at this natural progression leading up to the end.
I will admit the relationship isn’t perfect and you will definitely see conflict in both their lives, but you know well before the book is over that they will turn out together.
I received a copy of this book from Berkley for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.