Solange Pereira agrees to help her cousin at a wedding and inadvertently becomes the main attraction when she overhears the bride profess her love to a man who is not the groom. Dean isn’t heartbroken about being left at the alter. It’s disappointing though. He had hoped to get life partner ticked off his to-do list, but he wasn’t in love. Dean knows love exists and wants nothing to do with it. Solange knows some people play at love and she only wants someone who will love her the way she deserves.
After some classic rom-com shenanigans, Dean and Solange enter into a fake dating arrangement so that he can woo a promising attorney to his law firm and strengthen his shot at partnership (also on the to-do list). Naturally the fake dating gets out of control with part of her family in on it, and part being hoodwinked. While Dean is trying to keep his life plan on track, Solange is trying to figure out what’s next for her professionally.
A common complaint in rom-coms is that the whole plot could have been solved with a conversation. Solange and Dean have many conversations about what they want and why the things they want for themselves make a long term relationship between them impossible. The problem isn’t communication between them, but the defenses they’ve built to avoid future hurt. The two of them are lovely together. My frustration was never about their communication, and always about their failure to recognize that they had met the person that would change their life for the better.
I love the way Mia Sosa shows off Washington DC in a way that makes you believe the characters really live there. My thighs were screaming when they walked up 13th St NW from U Street to Columbia Heights. I think that’s the steepest hill in DC. Solange and Dean don’t turn around to admire the view from the top because they’ve seen it a hundred times.
Content notes: watching public sex, office sabotage and toxic work environment, absent fathers, drinking, a nice woman married to an awful man, discussion of evictions.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Avon and Harper Voyager via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.