If I find an author I like, I tend to commit. I’ll go back and read all of their previous books (time permitting) and then automatically save their next releases to my “books” list on Amazon. That way, I don’t forget to check out the new ones, even if the release date is a year from now. I did the same with this next author. Guillory’s books have been featured on AYOB in the past, and her next book, due to be released in May 2022, is sitting in my TBR list.
Book Read: While We Were Dating
Author: Jasmine Guillory
2021 Book Count: 50
Ben Stephens has enough to keep him busy so he keeps things casual with dating. When he lands the lead position on his company’s latest ad campaign, featuring a famous movie star, it’s hard to keep things completely professional. Ben can’t help but flirt with Anna Gardiner.
Anna is patiently waiting to hear if she landed her next big movie; it’s a role she thinks could take her right to the top. This ad campaign is the perfect distraction to bide her time, but Anna didn’t expect Ben to also be a distraction. She flirts right back.
After a family emergency, Ben’s and Anna’s light-hearted, casual sort-of-friendship takes a serious turn. They find themselves opening up to each other in a way neither has done with even those closest to them. When Anna’s manager suggests Ben and Anna “date” leading up to a movie premiere, Ben agrees.
But will their “relationship” end when the cameras stop rolling?
I’ve read every book in Guillory’s The Wedding Date series. There have been some highs (see The Wedding Date and The Proposal) and some lows (see Party of Two and Royal Holiday). Guillory ended on a high.
While We Were Dating is charming. It’s light-hearted yet heavy. It’s funny yet serious. It’s everything you’d want in a fake-dating turned-real rom-com. Both Ben and Anna were enjoyable lead characters and this book had the perfect mix of both. I never felt like the book was too one-sided. Guillory switched between characters with ease, as she always does.
This plot, minus the whole “fake dating" piece, felt so realistic (although maybe that’s a thing, what do I know!). The timing especially. Sometimes, you get a rom-com and things all happen in a week or two and then bam! The end. This one spanned a longer time frame which felt more realistic. There was also a positive portrayal of therapy, talks of the importance of mental health, and dealing with anxiety. It all made the book feel more real. Guillory handled each topic so well.
While each book in the Wedding Date series is a standalone, seeing characters from other books is great. Nik and Carlos, from The Proposal pop up at one point and I was excited to see it! You’ll also see a few other characters as well.
While We We Dating is humorous, serious and enjoyable. Readers will enjoy the main characters’ witty rapport and be rooting for them, both together and individually, the entire way.
Next Read: The Layover by Lacie Waldon