THE WEDDING DATE is getting a lot of buzz this year, and I predict it'll be The Valentine's Day Book for 2018. And you know what? I think it's the perfect choice to fill that niche. It's a solid book and, while it may not be inventive or breathtakingly emotional, it's happy and welcoming and warm. If you need something happy to read in the grueling weeks of February, this may work for you.
Alexa and Drew meet in a hotel elevator while she's on her way to visit her sister and he's in town on business. Because it's a romance novel, the elevator gets stuck for a few minutes and they bond over the cheese Alexa has in her purse (for her sister). He's a doctor in LA and she works for the mayor's office in Berkley. They're both good at and passionate about their jobs, so if competence is something you enjoy, you'll get it in this book.
The plot kicks off with a fake-dating situation, as Drew needs a date to his ex-girlfriend's wedding. Aside from some really awkward body-shaming in the bathroom at the wedding, the whole thing is handled well. Guillory doesn't draw out The Big Reveal and both characters handle everything with maturity... until they don't.
Drew has a fear of committment and, after several weeks of dating long-distance, Alexa gets fed up. They fight. They get back together. They live happily ever after. It's a completely believable, realistic story. Something your friend might tell you. It's also not very high-stakes. I really liked the characters, but it was so obvious that they ought to be together and that they made each other happy that I sort of tuned out while reading. I'm not sure if the book needed another subplot or something, but it wasn't a totally successful novel for me. I've never done well with "happy" books, though. Must speak to therapist about that.
One last note - I loved the best friends in THE WEDDING DATE. Drew and Alexa both have best friends who aren't plot devices and pretty much constantly call the main characters on their nonsense the entire book. Can I tell you how much fun it is to see quality friendships in a novel? Can I? I guess I did. I hope Carlos and Maddie get their own books or end up together.
TL;DR - This is a super happy book! The characters are great! It's funny! I had a hard time finishing it, but I'm not accustomed to happy books, so make of that what you will.