Two people who can’t stand each other but have burning chemistry, inconvenient feelings, and a wedding all come together for Jasmine Guillory’s entertaining romance novel The Wedding Party.
Maddie and Theo are two of Alexa’s best friends. To clarify: Maddie and Theo are best friends with Alexa separately. But with each other? Not so much. Maddie thinks Theo has a stick up his ass and is condescending towards her career as a personal stylist, while Theo thinks Maddie is just a frivolous girl who only cares about clothes and celebrities. But after a hot but unexpected evening between the sheets, they find that they can’t get the other person out of their heads. The solution? Hook up in secret but break up after Alexa’s wedding.
Overall, The Wedding Party is a fun read. Maddie and Theo as characters are fleshed out, with distinct personalities and backgrounds and motivations that match said background. For better or for worse, there are no plot twists or deus ex machinas in the story. The situations and issues that come up are realistic (e.g. Theo’s big rally that goes south and Maddie’s possible new job), and the plot concludes organically, with turning points that make sense for the characters. The supporting characters like Maddie’s mom Vivian are also well-formed, and interact naturally with the leads.
Another thing I appreciated was the characters being African-American and how the issues associated with African-Americans, such as having to dress well to avoid racial profiling, are seamlessly woven into the story.
The Wedding Party is the third book in Guillory’s The Wedding Date series, so the leads of the previous books also show up. The most prominent one is Alexa (and Drew, by association), the leads from The Wedding Date who get married in this book. We also glimpse Nikole and Carlos from The Proposal, but they’re not pivotal to the story.
The Wedding Party still has its issues though. Despite the great character development, majority of the conflict could have been solved if Maddie and Theo just talked to each other. The simplicity of solving their relationship issues by talking things through lowers the stakes significantly and takes away the suspense from the final scene. See kids? This is why communication is essential to all relationships.
The ARC for this review was provided by Fully Booked. Thank you so much!