The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

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ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Alexa Monroe walked into the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco that Thursday night wearing her favorite red heels…”

I loved so much about The Wedding Date! Like, oh my word, what a damn treat! Seriously friends, I know this cover screams Valentine’s Day, but this is the perfect summer read! Jasmine Guillory’s beautiful debut novel stars two people who take an elevator ride that will change their lives.

Drew Nichols – Pediatric Doctor from Los Angeles, white, and freaking out that he is in San Francisco to attend the wedding of his best friend to his ex, dateless. Oh, and Drew doesn’t do girlfriends.

Alexa Monroe – Lawyer, and now Berkley’s mayor’s chief of staff, black, and just trying to get to her sister’s hotel to celebrate her graduation. But Alexa is too busy with her career to risk her heart.

And while Drew and Alexa are stranded, and bonding over crackers and expensive cheese that Alexa had in her purse because she’s my damn idol, Drew realizes that Alexa might just make the perfect wedding date to the wedding he is dreading.

You all know this is a romance book, so you all know where this is going. And, Lord, it’s adorable. But you also know what it is? Important. Alexa constantly checks Drew on his privilege. And for the most part, he understands and learns from it. From Drew letting Alexa know if she is going to be the only black person at an event, to Drew realizing the different opportunities and free passes he had growing up just based off his skin color. This book has so much good inside it.

“White men hated it when you reminded them of their privilege”

This book also puts a spotlight on how important it is for us to work with underprivileged youth, especially from low-income areas. Not only was Alexa smart, beautiful, and successful, she also went the extra mile for what she was passionate about and what she believed in. Systemic oppression is real, and I loved how the author found a way to shine a light on it in a steamy romance book.

“I know, but Drew, you’re a white guy. Life is different for you. You were born with a benefit of the doubt that black kids never get.”

And even though I was completely living for this romance in every way possible, my only real “critique” of this book is that it has somewhat fade to black sex scenes that just kind of feel abrupt and disjointed. Like, the sexual angst, tension, and scenes are all there, but it just doesn’t feel as good getting a few sentences of what is happening and then *bam* they are back to doing whatever they were doing before, or whatever new activity after. This is honestly my only real complaint about this book. But this book is really sex positive, and I was here for that from start to finish!

The only other kind of side-eye I have going on is because Drew didn’t realize how amazing Alexa was right away. And sometimes it seemed like his friend Carlos was the best wing man in the entire world and deserved just as much credit as Drew! Also, side-note, The Proposal is about Carlos, Drew’s colleague and friend, and my heart is so damn happy.

Also, food is brought up constantly in this. Like, I was highkey hungry every time I picked this book up! In my opinion, I think this book is really food positive, too, but there is also a constant discussion about Alexa’s body in this book. And even though I think it’s super well done and empowering, I can also see how it could be triggering for some. Also, trigger and content warnings sexual content, for racist comments that are always challenged, and talk of disease diagnosis for a child (I know this is specific, but it’s one of two triggers that I personally have).

Overall, I loved this. And you know I’m always here for the fake dating trope done right! And Alexa was a treat to read about, and she deserves the entire world. Also, this is completely irrelevant and unprofessional, but Jasmine Guillory is honestly the cutest author in the damn world. Seeing her author picture at the end? Oh my word, what a confirmed angel! Also, I can’t wait to read the The Proposal and everything else this author creates, because The Wedding Date was such a blessing.


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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

I’m read this for #smutathon, which is being hosted by Lainey and Riley! ❤

And this is a buddy read with Lilly at Lair of Books! ❤

The King of Bourbon Street (NOLA Nights, #1) by Thea de Salle

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“I want her, she wants me. I’m willing to see where it goes even if it’s only two weeks of fun.”

The King of Bourbon Street was nothing short of a treat to read. It had me smiling, it had me laughing, and it had me happy from first to last page. Plus, this book was so damn sexy! And it had so much good representation that I’ll talk about lower in my review! But if you’re looking for a steamy romance read, that’s different than so much out there, I completely recommend picking this one up!

Sol DuMont – 37 years old, hotel owner, who is still grieving the loss of his father, and is dealing with a divorce that is very fresh. He and his siblings split up responsibilities between all the different hotels, and Sol lives and works at the New Orleans location, where the community is still dealing with the impact of Hurricane Katrina. Sol is also into BDSM and is pan, bi, or some kind of MGA sexuality. Yet, finding a new romantic partner isn’t something that he plans to look for anytime soon.

“You know that cliché about the best bottoms being the best tops.”

Arianna/Rain Barrington – 24 years old, plus sized, socialite, doing everything in her power to get her way out of a relationship she never wanted to be a part of. Yet, the only way she can think of to break it off is a sex tape. She is also the youngest of many siblings, but one of them, Vaughn, takes her on a much-needed vacation to get away from it all, and their mother. And what better place than a certain hotel in New Orleans?

“Pretty blond men with tattoos were a dime a dozen in New Orleans, but jiggly blond girls spinning in circles and peppering corgi muzzles with kisses? Those were a rare breed.”

And obviously you all know this is a romance book, so these two’s paths inevitably cross. But when they cross it’s like a match to a flint box, because it gets hot as hell. Like, seriously, the sex in this book is very explicit and very abundant! So, if that’s not something you’re into, please use caution or maybe skip this one. Also, trigger and content warnings for drug use, grief, talk of loss of a loved one, talk of past sexual assault (unwanted touching/groping), and abusive parenting.

But if you are looking for a sexy read, this story has so much good in it! First off, Rain and Sol both have such amazing friendships with their siblings. You all know I’m a sucker for a good brother and sister relationship always, because my little brother is my best friend. And Vaughn reminded me so damn much of my brother. I also loved Sol’s friendships not only with his best friend and accountant, Cylin, but with his ex-wife Maddy! Give me all the books about people having healthy friendships with their exes, please! Seriously, I loved this element so much of the book.

I know I touched on this a tiny bit, but Maddy and Sol had a pretty serious BDSM relationship, so now Sol is slowly and sweetly trying to see if that would be something that Rain would also like. And even though Sol fills out the role of Dom so very well, he emphasizes asking for consent. And seriously, fam, in 2018, nothing is sexier in an erotic read than consent! But seriously, some of the things Sol did in this book? That boy can get it. 11/10.

“You could stay for a longer visit if you’d like. Two weeks isn’t enough time to fully appreciate you.”

I also really appreciated two things about Rain that I feel aren’t in too many books that I read. One, is that she had a toxic mother who not only abused their relationship, but was manipulative and controlling. Not everyone comes from perfect parents, and I just loved how realistic this felt, even though they are all millionaires. And I also loved the heavy emphasis on Rain’s tidying up (maybe OCD). I, too, must have things tidy in my house or even while traveling. Seeing Rain have to clean the counters after she applies her make up, or pick up and fold her clothes because she won’t be able to be calm and focus, is something that I really relate to. I just really appreciated that on a personal level. Like, I literally get out of bed and have to make it immediately or my whole day will be ruined and I won’t be able to relax or focus on anything in or outside my home.

Now, I only have two “negative” things to say about this novel. The first being one that might be something a lot of people won’t like, and that’s that this story is rather instalove-y. I do think it will well done, but I will not deny that it is instalove, and I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea! The second, and most important thing, is the cover of this book. Now, I won’t hold this against the author or the story what-so-ever, but look at the cover of this book. You’d never guess that this book is about a sexy, proud, and happy plus sized girl. Rain’s weight is something that’s constantly brought up and celebrated, but the cover model is legitimately nowhere near plus sized. If this book had a plus sized model (like it should) I would have picked it up earlier!

But those are my only two complaints about this book. I truly think this is a must read for all romance readers out there. It’s so damn heartwarming, too! And Rain and her corgi, Freckles, legit had me laughing out loud in bed. Her inner monologue is honestly perfection and so damn realistic.

“Her very own Prince Charming. Spanky, licky Prince Charming. Why, brain? Why?”

Overall, I just really loved this. From the body rep, to the sexuality rep, to the sex positivity, to the friendships, to the sibling relationships, to the New Orleans setting, to the sexiness; this book was easy to love! And I read the first chapter of The Queen of Dauphine Street, and it starts out with a w/w sex scene and I was so here for it. Give me all the pan and bi rep, please! Especially with BDSM and sex positivity being at the forefront! Like, it’s going to take all my willpower to not ignore my TBR and pick it up next!


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This is the July pick for the Book Hangover Book Club that Julie and Chelsea host! ❤

I’m also reading this for #smutathon, which is being hosted by Lainey and Riley! ❤

And this is a buddy read with Lilly at Lair of Books! ❤

American Queen (New Camelot Trilogy #1) by Sierra Simone

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“…it’s easier to remember why I sought out this life. A life of books instead of kisses.”

Good Lord, this was a ride! But this is a super enjoyable erotic novel that surrounds a girl, that has grown up in politics, and is now walking down the aisle to marry the brand new, thirty-six-year-old, President of the United States of America! Yeah, you read it right. But what kind of erotic novel would this be without some angst? Also, her and the President are both sort of in love with, wait for it, the Vice President!

Okay, I’m doing a bad job at selling this to you all. Honestly? This was a refreshing to read. The author does a wonderful job not assuming everyone in the world is default heterosexual and does an amazing job at being inclusive and actually uses inclusive terms. This story constantly impressed me by doing something that most erotic authors don’t even try to do. Also, this book showcases polyamory beautifully. Even though this is not an own voices review, one of my dear friends is exploring polyamory right now, and based off what I know, I feel like this story was done very realistically and accurately. And a tiny bit more rep: The President in this is white, but he is an adoptive son to a black mother and has a black sister. I’m telling you guys, this book tried, and I really appreciated it.

Also, because I know most of you follow me for my fantasy reviews, I always feel it necessary to state that I rate erotic books differently than other books! I know many of the relationships are toxic and problematic and I completely understand that they wouldn’t be the healthiest and/or most ideal of starts for people in real life, but I love steamy reads and I rate them purely off my enjoyment.

“I want to be handled and cherished and used and worshiped. I want a man or woman to claim me as their equal partner in every way—until we’re alone. Then I want to crawl to them. I can have that someday, right?”

And this book for sure has its problematic aspects that I completely realize. For one, there is some borderline cheating, maybe cheating, grey area cheating in this book. I really didn’t enjoy that at all, especially because relationships like this really only work with an incredible amount of trust, and once it’s broken, it’s for sure hard to get back. Yet, it’s very much brushed off and deemed “okay” when it happens.

The other, much bigger, problematic element is that the first sexual encounter happens to our main protagonist and the soon to be President, who is ten years older than her, when she is only sixteen-years-old. Full disclosure, it was only kissing, but there was still a much bigger promise of more. And… it was still a kiss. I could write an entire review on the power imbalance alone, and I know it will bother a lot of people. And not to lessen the situation at all, but it’s not terribly done in my opinion, and it didn’t make me uncomfortable, but it is for sure problematic content.

The thing I didn’t like the most about this read was how the main protagonist lack common sense for the point of story development. When you are in a relationship, especially the kind Geer and Ash are in, you have to trust that person completely, in every aspect of life. Why wouldn’t she trust him when he tells her about someone close to her? I just do not understand. On top of making really unsafe choices, when you know the information he told you. Also, miss me with that cliffhanger ending. Like, I can’t.

“I saw that you can be hurt—mortally wounded, in fact—and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. Sometimes the world is just cruel that way, and it wasn’t fair to grudge them their happiness even as it tore down my own.”

Also, one small last qualm: During sex scenes Greer would sometimes call Ash “Mr. President” and I would immediately think of Trump, get turned off, and want to take a shower and/or die. This is no fault of the book’s, but my own personal bias.

Overall, I did really enjoy this. Again, this is a very erotic read, and you totally get what you bargained for if you’re looking for a steamy read. Yet, I truly do think this book is better than most, and I really appreciated the author using inclusive terms and adding small amounts of diversity. Also, I loved every sexy scene except for part of the very last. The rest? Honestly 10/10. If you guys are looking for a sexy polyamory read, please give this a try! I can’t wait to read more by Sierra Simone.

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Buddy read with:
💖 Paloma from Bookish Paloma
💗 Kayla from Books and Blends
💘 Wren from Fables&Wings


This is the February pick for the Book Hangover Book Club that Julie and Chelsea host! ❤ The liveshow discussion will be held on Chelsea’s Booktube channel on February 21st at 9EST!