Author: Jasmine Guillory
Rating: 4 Stars
Dates read: 07 Feb 19 – 08 Feb 19
Publication date: 30 Oct 2018
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
When Nik Paterson went to the Dodgers game with her C-list actor boyfriend, Ford, for his birthday, she expected nothing more than a few boring hours with him and his bros. She certainly didn’t expect a Jumbotron proposal. Or her name to be misspelled. Or to go viral in minutes…
Carlos Ibarra wants to hang out with his sister, catch a Dodgers game, and relax for once. But when a camera crew descends on Nik after the disastrous proposal, he has to rescue her. After they flee the stadium, he delivers her into the arms of her supportive girlfriends, and they both think they’ll never see each other again.
Fate has other plans. Nik and Carlos keep crossing paths, accidentally and on purpose. When they finally give in to their attraction to each other, they are on the same page: sex and nothing more. But the proposed friends-with-benefits relationship is turning into something more, and the pair have to decide if they have room in their lives for love.
Jasmine Guillory is a newish name in the world of New-Adult contemporary romance. I really enjoyed her novel The Wedding Date, and even though I didn’t like this quite as much, it was the right levels of fluffy romance, food, and humour to keep me going.
It follows the life of Nikole (Nik). After a failed and embarrassing proposal by a Hollywood actor who misspells her name after just 5 months of dating, she is rescued by Carlos and his sister. They whisk her away to meet up with her friends, she gets drunk and ends up tracking him down at his doctors surgery because yes ladies, Carlos is a tall, attractive, caring, funny, paediatrician. Their amusing relationship evolves throughout the book and it’s this relationship that we track from both of their view points.
Guillory writes the book from the perspective of both protagonists. I actually really enjoy this method, we get an insight into the thoughts of each character, and therefore know what they’re thinking when the other second guesses or questions their motives and driving forces. It leaves less traditional cliff hanger moments, but it creates a different kind of tension and keeps you hooked into the story.
They’re great together, they start as friends, evolve into friends with benefits, and despite their growing reliance and trust in one another, they are in denial about the status of their relationship. She becomes friends with his sister, calling her for him in times of family emergency, he befriends her closest friends and even helps her friends when their business requires delivery assistance.
It’s clear that Nik has some issues relying in men, and doctors, and is confident and comfortable on her own with a bit of fun on the side. It is also clear that Carlos’s work and family life are enough to keep him occupied and that he isn’t looking for anything serious. It is this delusion that hinders their relationship and the story progressing, and despite literally dropping food at his ill relatives side, it is what ultimately leads to the make or break that comes near the end of the book.
I liked this book in so many ways. It addressed a lot of the feelings that young professionals feel when they’re trying to progress and support themselves and realise who they are. It also touches on the complexities of dating in the modern internet fuelled world, and really shows the nasty side to hiding behind and online persona to deliver swift and aggressive judgement. It also does that thing that I absolutely adore in this genre where characters that appeared in a different book then appear as side characters in this one. She does that bit well, very well!
Despite liking it so much, some bits felt a little forced. I liked the side characters, but they felt simultaneously under and over developed. I don’t know if that was an editing point, or if Guillory only got so far developing areas of their personality and story, but the background didn’t gel quite as well as I would have liked. I still like her work, and will most definitely look to read her next book when it comes out later this year and would recommend her books to any loves of contemporary new adult romance.