Book Reviews

Book Review – While We Were Dating

While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory is the sixth book in The Wedding Date series. Each book in this series can be read as a standalone but there are overlapping characters. These are contemporary romance books and each one follows a different couple. In this book, we follow Anna who is a well-known actress and Ben who works for an ad agency. They meet during an ad campaign and well, it’s a romcom so you can guess the rest.

I really enjoyed this one. It reminded me of Notting Hill but with a modern twist. It had a touch of fake dating but otherwise stayed away from the major romance tropes and seemed fresh and different which I always appreciate. There were also some good discussions of mental health and body positivity which were great to see. In all books in this series, at least one of the main characters is a person of color and in this one, both main characters are black. There is little to no discussion of race though, they are two young successful black characters and it’s mostly left just to that with the exception of a couple comments on how race has impacted Anna’s career.

I loved Anna’s character. She was so well developed as this almost-A-list actress who was struggling with anxiety. The scenes with her parents, brother and best friend also added a sense of her being a normal person despite her fame. Ben was ok but he just wasn’t developed enough. He didn’t have a lot going on outside of his job and Anna. The only people from his life really mentioned were Theo and Maddie (from The Wedding Party) who given that Theo is supposed to be the brother he doesn’t really get along with or see enough seemed a little strange. He also was in therapy but it seemed more like a plot device to have him and Anna get to talk openly about mental health than really used to explain Ben. I also didn’t understand the whole sister he didn’t know about plot line and why it was included, it seemed like an extra story line just for the sake of adding drama and it added nothing to the plot.

The romance piece of this was cute and there were definitely a few scenes that made me laugh out loud. It was predictable of course but that’s pretty much every romcom so I don’t hold it against it. This one did have more smut than I remember the previous books having (but its been a while). It was mostly handled well but there were a couple lines/scenes that just seemed off or out of character to the book.

I’ve given this series 3 to 4 stars across the board. They’re fun but definitely one time reads and not really anything that special. This one is a 3.5 stars for me, rounded up because for about 5 pages in the middle, I couldn’t stop laughing and that’s quite an achievement for any book.

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