I’ve turned a sharp corner on romance ever since I read Red, White & Royal Blue last year. I used to basically shun it on sight, and now I have several romances that are part of my regular recommendation rotation, so it was a pretty big shift. The Wedding Date, unfortunately, is not one I’m going to push my friends to pick up. It’s well written, it’s cute, there are definitely feelings, but it leans hard into one of my least favorite things about the genre – when they just. won’t. talk.
It’s not a bad story and the premise does some of the legwork in why they won’t just have a g-d conversation. Alexa and Drew meet stuck in a hotel elevator – her sister is visiting and he’s in town to attend his ex’s wedding. There’s a pretty immediate bond so on a whim he asks her to help save him from himself and come with him as his date that weekend. She agrees because what’s the harm so we get a thrown together by circumstances which with one misstatement becomes fake relationship, it’s cute.
Drew is very upfront about being commitment-averse so when they do quickly, gleefully fall into bed together, Alexa tells herself not to catch feelings and this is where they stop talking. They are both catching feelings, hard, but they both convince themselves the other person isn’t and no one wants to be the first to say something. It becomes kind of rage-inducing by the end. I sped-listened to the end just to get to the end.
Jasmine Guillory is a Black woman here writing about a Black woman dating a white man and that is part of the story. Alexa asks ahead of time if she’s going to be the only Black person at an event and is experienced in fending off the not-so-microagressions of men who see her only as a trophy or think she doesn’t belong. Drew’s cluelessness about programs for at-risk youth is also kind of glossed over – like he gets it by the end, but that transition is never mentioned.
It’s cute, but I look more forward to my next book.