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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 07, 2018 1:00 am

Breezy read still slips in latest themes

Reviewed By TRACEE HERBAUGH | Associated Press

If you've ever met someone and felt an instant connection, you're not alone. It happened to Alexa Monroe, who was visiting her out-of--town sister at San Francisco's Fairmont hotel.

Shortly after she walked into the elevator, it stalled. Conversation ensued with the disabled lift's other rider, a hot doctor named Drew Nichols. This is the premise of “The Wedding Date,” Jasmine Guillory's debut novel.

Readers are taken on a journey following the main characters' relationship. The elevator pair start by sharing cheese and crackers and a bottle of champagne originally meant for Alexa's sister as they wait for a repairman.

Drew is in town from Los Angeles for an ex-girlfriend's wedding. He has no date. After a drink and light flirting, he asks Alexa to accompany him to the soirée the next day.

“I am a dateless groomsman in the wedding of my ex-girlfriend and former best friend,” Drew says. “My date bailed on me last-minute, so I'm going to look pathetic, and I'll probably get drunk and hit on a bridesmaid — the whole thing is going to be a nightmare.”

“The Wedding Date” is a romance story with plenty of sex, though not on the scale of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Guillory, whose writing is clean, yet elegant, does a fine job of leaving much of the sexual content to the reader's imagination.

The book also explores, on a surface level, interracial relationships. Alexa is black; Drew is white. They have plenty in common: they're both highly educated, have successful careers and live in big coastal cities. Some modern dating themes are also explored.

The novel is a light-hearted and quick read with fully drawn characters, and it's likely to resonate with many readers.