Recently, I’ve been accused of hating romance. Truth is, I hate romance because I love it so much. I hate that romance is straight-up fiction and *this girl* prefers nonfiction. Do I want some grand gesture that is borderline creepy to warm this icebox where my heart used to be?
But, also no!
This girl who loves a fun, romantic comedy about the career woman who just needs that warm hunk who wants nothing more than to provide a safe space and support for the woman who has always had to be tough and drag herself to the top says yes. Absolutely! Please! Break into my apartment and stand in the middle of my kitchen and present the lamb chops and Brussel sprouts (that you used my electricity and dishes to cook) with “Beauty” by Dru Hill playing on a loop and change my life forever!
The girl who navigates this messed up world and listens to true crime podcasts religiously says, no! Absolutely not! Stay away from me and mine. I will not hesitate to break out my nearest taser on you, even if Sisqo is wailing in the background. I’ve been practicing scenarios in my head to prevent my own murder and, since you only get one chance to fuck up preventing your own murder, I’m going to go for gold.
This is her and Beauty will kick your butt.
So when I heard Jasmine Guillory on a podcast talking about her books, I was intrigued. I’d seen the books in stores, so I recognized her name. I saw words like “wedding” and “proposal” in her titles, so I was like “no thanks”. But something about her personality made me want to check it out.
So what happens?
The book opens with Nik at a Dodgers game with her boyfriend of 5 months and his friends. He decides that this is the perfect opportunity for a public proposal on the Jumbotron — a proposal that Nik does not want at all. When things don’t go his way, her boyfriend storms out and she is thrust into the spotlight. A few rows up, Carlos is at the game with his sister and feels bad for Nik’s situation. When he notices camera crews swarming on her, he recruits his sister to help him save her from the camera crews by pretending to know her and blocking her from their direct view. Obviously, the two become attracted to each other. However, there are conflicts for independent woman Nik and Carlos, the self-proclaimed rock of his family. From there, Carlos and Nik engage in “will-they-won’t-they-of-course-they-will-duh” banter that ends in both of them letting go of their reasons to stay single.
I loved that this book is light and easy to read. I’m a slow reader and a poly-reader who prefers non-fiction. My last few fiction books have been more like sagas with multiple characters and a few storylines. It was nice to be able to follow the storyline without predicting exactly what would happen.
The characters are also fun. Nik is the quintessential independent woman who has been hurt and is afraid to love again. Carlos, her love interest, is the classic example of the “different” guy who hides behind excuses he’s built to protect his heart. Both are great catches but are withholding their feelings.
I also love that Guillory features black women in her books. Black women don’t get enough opportunities to be woo’ed – especially without providing a deep struggle or some reason to feel profoundly guilty.
Recommend if: you need a fun, light read or if you love love.
P.S. Guillory has an entire series devoted to this world of romance circling this groups of friends, so if you are intrigued, maybe start with The Wedding Date, visit The Proposal and get into the latest, The Wedding Party. These books are full of girls you’ll want to be and men you want to fall for.