Thanks to Partner Edelweiss for the digital ARC of Jasmine Guillory's Party of Two in exchange for an honest review. The book releases Tuesday, June 23.
Party of Two, the fifth book in Jasmine Guillory's loosely connected The Wedding Date series, is a joyful read. I loved the main characters, Olivia and Max, and we watch the development of their relationship from alternating perspectives, which I think is fun in romance novels.
Olivia--who first appeared in The Wedding Date--is an attorney who just moved from New York, where she was a small part of a big law firm, to L.A. to start her own firm with her friend. She's staying in a hotel until her house is ready and having a drink at the bar one night when she meets Max, a handsome guy with a great sense of humor. They have a good conversation, and then Olivia goes to her room, amused to turn on the television and see the guy she just met. It turns out that Max is a public figure, a first-term Senator. She laughs and then shrugs it off. Then, by chance, they see each other at an event a few weeks later, and Max starts to woo Olivia. She's willing to see him again but isn't looking for anything serious . . . until (of course!) romance ensues.
Their relationship really is the sweetest, and Guillory does a great job showing them as characters who connect and have chemistry but who have to work to understand the other's life. Max is white, grew up in an affluent family, and is incredibly impulsive. Olivia is Black and is a thinker and planner. They work through their conflicts and differences through honest conversations and compromises and sincere attempts to understand the other person's outlook.
I've been a fan of each of Guillory's books, but up until now, book one was my favorite. I think this one has taken its place for me because of its authenticity in following a relationship over time. I definitely recommend Party of Two for contemporary romance fans!
I'm Jen Moyers, co-host of the Unabridged Podcast and an English teacher.