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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2020)
A chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that gets everyone talking in this New York Times bestseller. 

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message, she can’t resist—it is chocolate cake, after all. 

Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble—not just some privileged white politician, as she assumed him to be. Because of Max’s high-profile job, they start seeing each other secretly, which leads to clandestine dates and silly disguises. But when they finally go public, the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past and criticizing her job, even her suitability as a trophy girlfriend. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?

320 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 23, 2020

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About the author

Jasmine Guillory

18 books20.7k followers
Jasmine Guillory is a graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law School. She is a Bay Area native who has towering stacks of books in her living room, a cake recipe for every occasion, and upwards of 50 lipsticks.

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5 stars
9,567 (21%)
4 stars
19,371 (42%)
3 stars
13,107 (28%)
2 stars
2,647 (5%)
1 star
541 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,392 reviews
Profile Image for Roxane.
Author 121 books157k followers
May 13, 2020
Jasmine Guillory never disappoints. This is as charming and romantic a novel as her previous works. It was fun to see Olivia and Max fall in love and then have to figure out if a relationship between them could be possible.

Also they ate CONSTANTLY. Like so much food. Cakes. Pies. Tacos. Pizza. Burgers. Charcuterie. Literally there is food in every scene. There is ten times more food than sex. I think half the fantasy here is eating without the realities of living in a body. Food is great. But no heartburn, ever? Okay!
Profile Image for Jasmine Guillory.
Author 18 books20.7k followers
February 20, 2020
Jasmine Book Five! I love this book a whole lot and I hope you will too!!!
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,536 reviews9,771 followers
January 31, 2023

Party of Two is my favorite Jasmine Guillory yet!!!

This installment follows Olivia Monroe, who has just moved back to California to open a law firm with her long-time friend, Ellie.

Some of you may remember Olivia as Alexa's older sister; the one Alexa is going to visit at the hotel in the beginning of The Wedding DateThe Wedding Date.

Olivia has been living in NYC since law school and when the opportunity presented itself to get out of the big firm game, and move closer to family, she jumped on it.

That atmosphere had a few negative aspects that came with it, and she is ready to be on her own and out of that semi-toxic environment.

Setting up temporary lodging at a L.A. hotel, she has a lot on her plate. In addition to all of the busy work starting a new business entails, she also needs to find a more permanent place to live, buy a car and get a lot of networking done.

The last thing she is thinking about is starting a relationship. That is, until a very handsome man at the hotel bar starts chatting her up over one of her favorite topics: DESSERT!

She is polite and does enjoy talking to him, but seriously, the last thing she needs is to hook up with a stranger from her hotel bar.

He was charming though. Those eyes...

Saying their goodbyes, Olivia heads back to her room, exhausted. As she turns on the television, she can't believe her eyes. It's the man from the bar!

Senator Max Powell.

When the two accidentally run into each other again, the spark is still there and this time, there's no turning Max away.

Y'all, this book was so much fun!

As mentioned above, it's my favorite of The Wedding Date series thus far.

I think as far as protagonists go, I related to Olivia the most. I love how analytically she views her world and the cautious way she has of interacting with others.

I liked that she did fall all over herself just because a cute guy was paying attention to her. She had her own goals and wasn't letting anything distract her from reaching them.

Max as a male lead was great. I loved how earnest he was with his feelings and how genuine his intentions were toward Olivia.

I would say in comparison to the earlier novels in the series, this one had more of a solid foundation to the relationship. There wasn't as much unnecessary drama, which I appreciated.

I liked the open communication between Olivia and Max. They both exuded maturity which could be expected with two such successful people.

We saw a lot behind the scenes of Max's life as Senator, the travel required, the staff, the schmoozing. I love politics in books, so was definitely down for all that.

In addition to the normal things you go through when starting a new relationship, Olivia and Max had to navigate surviving a long distance relationship and the paparazzi.

If there would have been a couple more sex scenes, this could have been a full five stars. However, in this installment, there was more dessert than sex and sometimes, that's okay.

Overall, this is a great summer romance. Available now!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate it so much and would be more than happy to get more books in this series.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,194 reviews40.5k followers
February 25, 2021
This book is sweet, smart, entertaining, scandalous! ( the heroine is kickass lawyer and her name is Olivia, too but she doesn’t have any gladiator minions worshipping her and she’s not dating -thankfully- with first man Fitzgerald but privileged, wealthy senator and their chemistry is sizzling, hot as hell!) I may say this is one of the best books of the series and more realistic approach to the struggles having in a relationship when you’re dating with hotshot, rising star of political arena.

Both characters are well-developed and the opposite attracts situation well reflected: Max, charming, brilliant, intelligent and also romantic senator is like a dream come true. But he is impulsive, spontaneous, hot-blooded. When he wants something, he wants to get it whatever it takes. (It reminded me of a Leo or Aries man, ascendant could be Cancer because there is domestic side and lots of love of food!)

And when it comes to astro analysis of Olivia: she reminds me of Aquarius (Intelligent, visionary, independent, carrier oriented and her reputation is so important for her.) Her reluctance of taking risk and being poised, strategizing and planning everything help her to distance herself from the merciless blows of outer world but it also prevents her live her life fully.

But the best thing about the book: (at the same time it was the worst thing because even though I don’t have sweet tooth, I craved, screamed for cake! Now I understood and adored Marie Antionette so well. This book’s motto must be: “LET THEM EAT CAKE”) there are too many pies and cakes spattered around each pages and I literally bit my Ipad so many times and my teeth bled! At 3 a.m. I woke my husband( okay, I lied we’re in quarantine and we are up all night, watching Netflix like other regular people!) and forced him to bake some cake but unfortunately we stocked so many unnecessary things (like veggies, fruits) and necessary things (booze, new tequila shot glasses) but we forgot buying flour! (Actually throughout 14 years of marriage we never bought flour and we confuse it with chalk dust)

So my friends I advised you before reading this book: stock cakes and pies at your home to enjoy this book or you can turn into me a crazy redhead scream for additional sugar fix!
Overall: Characters are lovely and we welcomed two characters for first book of the series (Alexa and Drew) Olivia is sister of Alexa. Even though at the last part of the story: I found Olivia way too much stubborn and insecure, I still got their differences and her past frustrations. At some parts her lack of romantic look and so much realistic approach to their relationship bothered me as Max acted like enchanted puppy dog who worshipped the way she walked.

Pacing, angst, drama: It was well balanced and necessarily well told.

Ending: Conclusion is a little formal for old school romantic like me. I am always great fan of big romantic over exaggerated gestures. Epilogue was much better but predictable.

My stars: 3.5 (I cut some points that I mentioned at the top paragraphs) rounded up to 4 stars. It was still entertaining, lovable, moving, thought provoking, motivational book with great and important political, social messages. So far, my favorite of the series!

So much thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for sharing this sweet (cake craver) ARC with me in exchange my honest review.

Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,051 reviews48.9k followers
March 15, 2021
perfectly fine

i appreciated having 2 high powered career people fall for each other and not have any silly conflicts keeping them apart. i mean there is still a 3rd act conflict but it was more of an emotional miscommunication which felt mature.

i guess my issue is just... how tame this felt? like if you're looking for a really safe romance, this is absolutely a winner. but i personally like melodramatic stuff or at least books with a little more character detail. the characters felt kind of flat to me and like the other 2 jasmine guillory books i've read, the only real connection that the characters seem to have is food. don't get me wrong, i love food. but the key to a REALLY good romance for me is seeing how characters come together like puzzle pieces. few romances successfully do this, so again... it's not really this book's fault. it just didn't go the extra mile for me.

i have enjoyed my listening experiences with these books though. and i wouldn't hesitate to recommend these for a casual beach read. they just don't have a lasting impact on me.
Profile Image for myo ✧༺ ༘♡ ༻∞.
740 reviews6,443 followers
July 15, 2020
i actually did enjoy the book but their relationship just wasn’t convincing, it seemed very dull and i was more bored than in awe. their relationship in general was boring like it wasn’t friends to lovers or anything, they just meet, immediately take interest in each other and date.

which i just find very boring, on top of that the smut scenes were fade to black which is fine but when the relationship is this boring the people need more. i do like the senator aspect and how they had to keep it a secret but all in all i was bored the entire time.

olivia was my least favorite part, she was dramatic. the argument at the end was annoying as hell and she most definitely overdramatic especially the part where she broke up with him? it’s like the author couldn’t come up with a better argument so she just quickly came up with something. it really ruined the book for me. their argument was stupid and they hadn’t had any problems before so for her to break up with him for the reason she did was completely irrational.
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,596 followers
August 13, 2020
The little blurb below really sums up what I felt about this.

I've only read 3 of Jasmine's books and this one landed right in the middle. It wasn't my favorite of hers but it wasn't my least favorite.

I was a little annoyed at first by the "I'm not like other girls" vibe from Olivia but it wasn't that bad.

Other than that, I don't have much else to say. This book was sweet and enjoyable and I can't wait to see what else this author has coming.

- - - - - -

pleasantly pleasant! review to come

- - - - - -

here we go

- - - - - -

[12/26/19] - COVEEERRRRRRRR.
also amazing synopsis



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Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,065 reviews3,607 followers
February 20, 2021
A chance meeting in a bar.... Olivia and Max each at the hotel bar for different reasons. Can a spark of love ignite out of this chance meeting. Or will they be two ships that sailed in different directions.

Olivia a lawyer who moved from NY City to California to start her own law firm with a close friend. She is single and not looking for a romantic entanglement.
She finds herself at the hotel bar just looking for a quick drink to unwind after a long cross country move.

Max is a California junior senator. He has the baseball cap on low hoping to catch a quick drink without being recognized.
His reason for being at the hotel bar - a water-main break on his street.

For Max it’s “infatuation” at first site! For Olivia, well she doesn’t give in to emotions that easily. Her walls are up and it’s up to Max to find a way in.

I know Max found Olivia likable, unfortunately I didn’t. She seemed to lack warmth. As the relationship was building you could feel how much Max loved and wanted her. But I never got that same feeling from Olivia.

This was my second read from Jasmine Guillory. Having read The Wedding Party and thoroughly enjoyed it I was hoping for the same amount of chemistry between these characters, and I just didn’t feel it.

I toggled back and forth between the 🎧 and the written form to attempt to get the best experience from this read.

I do enjoy Jasmine Guillory’s writing and will be watching for her next release While We Were Dating due to be released this summer.

A weekend rom com buddy read with Susanne.

Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley Publishing for an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,808 reviews32.3k followers
September 3, 2020
3.5 stars


Party of Two is the fifth book in Jasmine Guillory’s ‘The Wedding Date’ series. I’ve enjoyed every book in this series and this one was no exception. I absolutely adored the hero and the romance was sweet and swoony.

Olivia Monroe is an attorney who’ just moved from NYC back to her home state of California. At a hotel bar, she meets a man and they’re both smitten with one another. Max Powell is that man. Max is a senator and when he sees Olivia a few weeks after their first meeting, he doesn’t let her get away so easily.

Things are a little complicated for this couple due to Max being so in the public eye, but they start to fall in love anyway. I thought Max was just the sweetest. I mean, who doesn’t love a guy who woos you with bakery treats? And I liked Olivia a lot, even though she frustrated me at times. Overall I liked it a lot and was happy with how it turned out!

If you’re looking for a sweet and enjoyable romance that will leave you with a smile on your face, check out Party of Two.
Profile Image for Taylor Reid.
Author 25 books145k followers
July 10, 2020
I just finished Royal Holiday, also by Jasmine Guillory, and I absolutely loved it. It is so nice to have an author like Jasmine Guillory out there—she delivers every time and it’s pure delight. Party of Two is also absolutely fantastic. It’s about a woman who starts dating a politician and it gave me some American President vibes.
Profile Image for Heather.
387 reviews16.8k followers
June 10, 2020
This is my third Jasmine Guillory book & it might be my favorite. The romance was so sweet and the characters were so easy to like.
It's a great summer read for this year. The romance, the great characters, the talk of diversity and all the mention of cake. Max randomly surprises Olivia with cake & pies, SIGN ME UP!
Profile Image for Emma.
911 reviews869 followers
June 23, 2020
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

2.5/5 Stars

Full review HERE

Even though there was nothing wrong with this story, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. I really liked Olivia as a character and I must say that Max had its moments, but their relationship didn't really convince me. It seemed a bit dull and also quite repetitive, especially in the first two thirds of the novel. They were always doing the same things and talking about the same stuff, and it was a shame. Since they got to spend such little time together, I would have loved to see them doing different things.
By the way, this is the fifth book in a companion series, but you can totally read this as a standalone if you want to.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
July 29, 2020
One of my go-to authors, Jasmine Guillory, is back with Party of Two , another fun, sexy, and timely rom-com!

Olivia has just moved back to California from NYC so she can open a law firm with her best friend. While staying at a hotel until her place is ready, she meets a handsome man at the bar. He looks vaguely familiar, but she figures he must be an actor or something. (It is LA, after all.)

They talk and joke and flirt all night, and she definitely feels the attraction to him, but they go back to their respective rooms at the end of the night instead of getting together.

It’s not until she turns on the television that she discovers she spent the night flirting with Max Powell, the junior senator from California. (Also known as the "sexy senator.") She’s not really interested in dating, but when he pursues her with cake, she gives in fairly quickly.

They really enjoy being together although they keep their relationship secret given his high profile. While he’s impulsive and a little arrogant, Max is highly committed to social causes close to Olivia’s heart, not to mention he’s sexy, smart, and fun. Both can’t help but fall in love, although Max falls quicker and more intensely.

When they decide to make their relationship public, and Olivia’s past becomes news, things start to go awry. She’s not sure she wants her life on display and she’s not sure if Max is really right for her. But can they move on without each other?

Guillory’s books are just so engaging and romantic and sexy (there’s some pretty serious steam in a few places) so they’re just fun to read. While each book features a minor character from a previous book, each can be read as a stand-alone. (But they're all really good, so you don't want to miss any of them.) This book really felt timely, too, with conversations about privilege, sexism, and racism, which felt natural, not forced.

And now the wait begins for Guillory's next book!!

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
June 22, 2020
This is my fourth by Jasmine Guillory and by now I know I can rely on her impeccable style and ability to create strong female characters.
Olivia Monroe leaves a big shot law firm in New York to start her own practice together with her friend Ellie back home in LA. Olivia is smart and hard-working, but moving across the country and starting a new life isn't easy. You need to find a house, buy a car, go to endless networking events to get new clients and so on. There is absolutely no time for dating and it is fine for Olivia at the moment. When she meets handsome Max in a hotel bar, Olivia doesn't even tell him she is a lawyer. Who needs another stupid lawyer joke? Much better kill any future questions by pretending to be an accountant. After all, she isn't going to see Max ever again, so she can talk about anything she wants and that is desserts and infinite superiority of three-layered chocolate cakes. Olivia discovers later that Max is a rising political star and hotshot junior senator from California. Max knows that he met someone special in Olivia, and he would like to take things slowly and build a proper relationship, but his job comes with its own challenges, not least of which is being in constant media spotlight.
I loved both protagonists. Olivia isn't perfect, she has her own doubts and insecurities. Most importantly, she is a planner. She likes to check all the details and analyse all aspects before committing herself to a decision. Max, on the other hand, is quite impulsive. Opposites may attract, but making this kind of relationship work requires special attention and willingness to communicate and compromise.
Another charming entertaining addition to Wedding Date series which already has numerous fans.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley forthe ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Profile Image for Cait Jacobs (Caitsbooks).
303 reviews14.3k followers
January 30, 2021
Check out this review (and more) over on my blog!

Quick Stats:
5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Party of Two was the exact read I needed. It’s cute and fun, but has true depth.

”Sometimes the only way to get something good is to take a few risks.”

// Content Warning: Racism (Mention) //

Release Date: 6/23/2020
Publisher: Berkley Books
Page Count: 320

Party of Two follows Olivia Monroe, a lawyer who moved to L.A. to start her own law firm, and Max Powell, a junior senator. When the two meet, sparks fly, but with Max's high profile job, and Olivia's desire to stay out of the spotlight, is what they have special enough to survive?

- Writing & Setting -

The writing in this book is very well grounded, with great dialogue and a great blend of humor, depth, and drama. This book takes place in L.A., following a character who has just moved back to California from NYC. While I could do without the NYC bashing (kidding!), I really enjoyed seeing L.A. from the perspective of someone new to the city, and not there for Hollywood. It shows a different side to a city I would love to visit one day.

- Plot -

Normally, romance books revolve around the “will they/won’t they” dynamic, except we all know they will so it’s more of us just racing to get to that point. While there's a few seconds of that, the rest of this book is really about the characters deciding if the relationship is worth it, and fighting to keep their relationship strong despite the world. It was honestly, really refreshing to read a book dealing with the actual struggles of a relationship, and not just the struggles of trying to get in one. The plot also includes some political aspects as well as some aspects you typically see in books dealing with fame, and I loved how they were included.

- Characters -

These two characters might be one of my favorite Jasmine Guillory couples. They are such well developed characters on their own, and together they work together so beautifully. But let’s talk about them individually. Olivia is driven, dedicated, and private. She plans things in advance and is never one to make a quick decision. Max is equally driven and dedicated, but he’s fine with living a public life, and is just a hint impulsive. Okay, maybe a lot impulsive. Honestly, he reminds me of a golden retriever and I love him.
We also have a good set of side characters, with a couple of familiar faces if you’ve read previous books. I can definitely see one of the side characters being the lead in Jasmine’s next book, but that’s all I’ll say about that.

- Conclusion -

Pros- Great characters, addictive, interesting plot
Cons- ????
Overall- 5/5 stars.
Do not miss this book. If you’re looking for a fun romance with all the drama and actual healthy relationships, please pick up Party of Two!

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Profile Image for Usha.
138 reviews7 followers
July 14, 2020
2.5 stars.
I had same issues with this book as I did with Book #1 in this series. Guillory's main characters, a 39 years old US Senator and a 30 plus years old attorney enter into a relationship and eat a lot of food (diet centering on pizza, tacos, fries and baked goods galore). The issue is - that their banter and interactions are comparable to that of a teenager. I swear, my children, who are in their early twenties have more mature conversations, and most of the time, can address their relationship issues with a level of intelligence and aptitude reflecting of their age. Why can't these characters?
Profile Image for Ashley.
2,647 reviews1,691 followers
June 24, 2020
NB: I received a free copy of the ARC from Netgalley and Berkeley, but that has not affected the content of my review.

This was a perfectly fine romance. Certainly it was leaps and bounds better than her last book, which felt rushed and forced. But Party of Two was missing the spark for me that her earlier stuff had, particularly the second book in this series, The Proposal, which is my favorite of hers.

Our two main characters, Olivia and Max, are very cute together. They meet at a bar one night when Olivia is slightly tipsy, and charm each other while arguing about dessert. (This part had me loving the book.) Olivia leaves without getting his name, but when she turns on the TV she realizes he's famous, a senator (I was a little unclear about if he was a state senator or not, that could use some clarification. I believe the text said he was, but everything after that made it seem like he was in the actual Senate). Olivia has just moved to LA to start her own law firm with her friend Ellie, and is consumed by getting her business off the ground. She doesn't have time to date seriously, let alone date someone with the fame and responsibility baggage Max has. But then, it was just more of them being cute and seeing in flashes as they get to know each other and fall in love.

My problem is that aside from moments of them being cute together (the scene where he tells her he loves her for the first time made me feel gooey inside), this book didn't really draw me in emotionally. There just really wasn't much emotional conflict! Olivia is bothered slightly by Max's impulsivity, and made uncomfortable by the level of public scrutiny she comes under by dating him, but they seem to move past all of their speed bumps relatively quickly, so you as the reader do, too. Even the calls from the press, her race, and the issue of her being arrested in high school are moved through rather quickly. It felt like an easy ride to their HEA.

Which is a problem, because as we learn in the last 20% of the book, it didn't feel like an easy ride to Olivia, and we should have been let in on that much earlier. Where the first 80% of the book felt like an easy ride that I never really felt an urgency to finish, the last 20% is full of angst and pain and conflict and I needed to know how it would resolve. All of a sudden, all those little things add up for Olivia It was just bad pacing, in my opinion. That conflict should have been there from the beginning, and should have been building up the whole time, not just exploding all at once at the end.

On a personal preference note, she's at it with the rhetorical questions again as a narrative device, and there were a ton of them, which was irritating. They weren't as bad as they were in Royal Holiday, though, so there's that. I will read her next book, but if the books continue to feel as, I don't know, *uninspired* as these last two have felt, I may be done reading Guillory's books.

[3.5 stars]
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,410 reviews389 followers
July 6, 2020
Olivia Monroe has zero intentions of dating anyone, particularly not someone as high profile as a US senator. She's got a new firm to launch, a new city to get used to, and a car to (eventually) purchase. Yet there's something about Max Powell that makes her knees go weak, and soon the two are engaged in a clandestine relationship—that's about to go public.

This was super cute!

My twenty were exciting in New York, too, but then I reached that age where I got horrified when someone invited me to something that didn't even start until nine pm.

After reading a bunch of contemporary romances of people in their twenties or early thirties who acted like they were in their twenties, it was a little refreshing to read a book about two protagonists in their middle and late thirties—they both knew exactly what they wanted, and they both were fairly open in their communication with each other. And both were passionate and career driven, and unready to sacrifice their goals for a relationship that wasn't going to last.

I loved that Olivia was a lawyer who had left a big firm in New York to set up her own, and that the realities of a woman of color setting up her own law firm (she had a white partner) was realistically portrayed. It wasn't easy and took a lot of sweat, connections and labor, particularly when she needed to hold her own against potential clients looking to exploit her relationship with a senator for their personal gain.

And I liked that Max was idealistic, but willing to listen to what people actually needed and try to fix it. He wasn't perfect, but he was working on using his privilege to help. It definitely took him a while to get there, however, something that one of his best friends (and a US House Representative) often reminded him when he was being bone-headed. I also liked that his hyper-hectic schedule was shown too.

This was one of those new theaters with reserved seats and big comfortable chairs, and when they sat down, they grinned at each other. "Can you believe we put up with those old, narrow movie theater chairs for so long?" Max asked her.

But I think the thing I liked the most was that both of them liked cozy things. Did I possibly bump this up a star because of the swanky movie theaters with the big, comfy chairs and table service? Um, yes. Because I have horrible movie theater luck and children are loud and these movie theaters are so much nicer. Yes, they're a little more expensive, but fuck it. It's worth it. Just try one and you'll see.

And speaking of cozy and being in your thirties, both of them were homebodies who enjoyed staying home and getting delivery, and both were like, fuck waiting an hour and a half to get food. Seriously, fuck that. No food is that good, not even Mrs. Wilkes in Savannah (although that is pretty damn delicious, I had to get a snack while waiting because we were in line for two hours and my blood sugar was dropping and my back was giving out).

Anywho, this is a book about chasing your dreams, and the realities of being ambitious and a woman of color. It's also a cute contemporary romance, and definitely my favorite of The Wedding Date series so far.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,089 reviews922 followers
April 24, 2020
A recently relocated lawyer meets cute with a generically handsome white guy at her hotel bar, gushing over there love of basic desserts. She regrets not having a one night stand with him, but soon discovers via the nightly news he's the famously hot new California junior Senator. After another run in at a local board meeting, Olivia and Max agree to start dating, agreeing to keep it on the down low. Olivia's reluctance to be thrust into the spotlight and Max's tendency to jump head first into anything he believes in without though lead to struggles in their romance.

I found this romance dull. Olivia and Max spend most of the book apart and in their heads, and the times they do spend on page together are repetitive and lack any spark of real chemistry. The description of the copious amounts of cake, donuts, and food the characters eat are more exciting than the couch cunnilingus scene. DO NOT tell me this is the first time you've read a couch cunnilingus scene.

Also, I am tired of political romances refusing to name political parties. The only allusion to Max's party is that "his date should be wearing blue, not red" and Olivia looking up his stance on the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Max is a Democrat, take a stance.

I'm sure this story will be wildly popular. The cover is cute and the marketing dollars will be pushing it in this 2020 election season.

*official review for LJ will be posted after publication.

*I received a free copy for review for LJ

Profile Image for Lisa (Remarkablylisa).
2,252 reviews1,811 followers
January 3, 2021
it talked about a lot of important issues from politics, black women in the workplace, feminism, sexism, while also focusing on the love story between a black female lawyer and a white governor/ political figure. I enjoyed it for the fluffy sweet bits but it lacked in steam factor. The scenes were fade to black or lacking in a lot of ways. The main conflict was unreasonable as it came out of nowhere. The action done by the character did not seem fitting as he's described as perfect and intelligent and knowing exactly what people say. I just didn't like the conflict and resulted in me rolling my eyes. Overall, this book was lacking in tension and events. They were just cute together for the majority of the book until the end.
Profile Image for Becca Freeman.
Author 1 book3,027 followers
July 5, 2020
This series just keeps getting better and better. My favorite book from Jasmine Guillory yet!
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,025 reviews142 followers
February 8, 2021
An absolutely charming romance with lots of cake!

This is the sixteenth book in my #atozchallenge! I'm challenging myself to read a book from my shelves that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Let's clear those shelves and delve into that backlist!

When Olivia Monroe randomly chats with a handsome stranger at a hotel bar, she has no idea that they will wind up making a lasting connection. After her chance encounter, she learns that man was no other than Max Powell, a hotshot junior senator from California, where Olivia has just moved to start her own law firm. Olivia is focused on her firm--and she has no desire to date someone well-known--but when she and Max meet again, and he then sends her a cake, she can't help but be charmed. She finds she really likes Max, but not the scrutiny that comes with dating a high-profile figure. Olivia knows she and Max have something special, but is it worth all the other stuff?

This was my first book by Jasmine Guillory, but it will certainly not be my last. I found PARTY to be completely charming. I had no idea it was the fifth book in a series, and I'll definitely be going back and catching up on the previous books. That being said, this one seems to stand-alone.

PARTY is one of those romance books that just sweeps you off your feet from the beginning. It's incredibly fun and sexy and made me smile while reading it. Oh how I needed a book that made me smile. Olivia is smart and easy to identify with: I have a soft spot for skeptical workaholics. She also loves cake, and there are so many references to baked goods in this book. I was truly in heaven! (And hungry.) Max is handsome and a bit too perfect, but, yes, you learn, he too has flaws. And honestly, I was quite protective of my Olivia, so I only wanted the best for her anyway.

So sure, maybe this is a little predictable, but who cares, because it's so fun, and it made me laugh and tear up. Our couple is adorable, and the supporting cast is excellent (and, as far as I can tell, links to other books). I liked the references to politics and adored any and all mention of sweets. The book also touches on racism and the issues plaguing working women, so it's not just fluff. Overall, I loved basically every moment, and I can't wait to read the copy of THE WEDDING DATE I immediately bought upon finishing this book. 4.5 stars.

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Profile Image for Blackjack.
422 reviews143 followers
August 24, 2020

This was my first Jasmine Guillory novel and I came to it with high expectations, which may partly explain why I finished it feeling disappointed. However, if I had to sum up succinctly why this book didn't work for me as much as I had hoped, it is because the Issues overwhelm the romance. I sympathize with and even share Guillory's social ideas but not far into the book, I began to feel as if the characters became mouthpieces for the issues Guillory is examining, and it felt awkward and transactional.

The book opens with a charming scene where newly transplanted attorney Olivia, having just arrived in Los Angeles from NYC, is ready to begin a new life. She's desperately hoping that she and her best friend can succeed in their new start-up law firm, and Olivia is ready and committed to devote her life to its success. Meeting a handsome and funny man at the hotel bar on her first night in town was the last thing she was expecting. Max too finds Olivia witty and beautiful and is immediately smitten, and though he feels too uncomfortable asking her for a date then and there, he doesn't forget about her, and the next time they accidentally cross paths, he's ready to try his hand at getting Olivia to go out with him. Thus begins a rapid flurry of texts and dates that lead quickly to sex and falling in love. I was a little surprised by how smoothly their romance takes off and like most romance readers, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. What is the conflict in this story?

Well, for one, Max is a junior senator, and as such, he leads a highly public life that jars with Olivia's understated and cautious personality. She's not at all sure if being in the spotlight is a role she can envision for herself. Then there is the Issue of Olivia's arrest as a young black teenager on misdemeanor breaking and entering, and Max is a white politician who has invested a great deal of energy into dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Olivia becomes suspicious that she functions as a token person of color in Max's life to bolster his image as a white pol wanting to be a public ally with racial civil rights movements. In actuality, Max is madly in love with Olivia, but she feels he is also fully immersed in white male privilege that at times allows him to exist in a somewhat arrogant bubble. They never really talk about their racial differences, and it surprised me that their interracial relationship is not really addressed until three quarters of the book is underway. At times it's difficult to determine if their interracial relationship is central or if the main conflict of the book is that their unique personalities of Max as an extrovert versus Olivia's introvert nature is more of the problem. I think too that most romance readers know that communicating with a partner is key to a relationship's success, and this is one area of the story that exasperated me to no end. Hurt feelings took center stage far more often than mutual understanding.

As a heroine-centric reader, I tend always to look to the female protagonist first and foremost, but in this book Olivia is a brittle, insecure, and tightly wound perfectionist and those traits serve as the reasoning behind some unfair treatment of the hero. Max is represented as impetuous and clumsy in his timing, and his missteps seem to offer a motive for Olivia to end their relationship a number of times. Thus, we have the clunky emergence of best friends to step in and help shed light on the misunderstandings. These secondary characters felt one-dimensional and exist to further the plot. Max's best friend is black and so his advice is to remind Max of the extra burdens black women face, while Olivia's best friend is white and she reminds Olivia that Max needs educating on his privileges. So this is all fine, except that it is telling and a very obvious and direct manner of storytelling. Overall, there is a lack of seamless storytelling here that could have taken these ideas and presented them in less pedantic ways.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,037 reviews3,437 followers
June 10, 2020
Party of Two is an opposites attract romance following Olivia, the sister of the MC in The Wedding Date, as she moves back to Los Angeles to start her own law firm. She unexpectedly meets Max, a junior senator who is charming and does well in the spotlight. This book feels very timely in terms of having a hero who is an elected official advocating for a criminal justice reform bill. And in fact, we get some great conversations about the unequal effects of the criminal justice system on those from low income or minority communities.

I liked the thematic content and thought the romance had a good arc and some great moments. The early part of the book where they have very different expectations was fun, and I liked that it showed a couple working through conflict from personality differences and finding ways to resolve it.

On the other hand, this felt very bloated and really dragged in the middle. I'm not often bored in a romance, particularly a political one with so much potential, but parts of this were rather bland. I think with some editing to make this faster paced it could have been fantastic. As it is, it was fine but less memorable than I had hoped. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,650 reviews3,234 followers
December 10, 2020
3.5 Discovering Differences Yet The Same Stars
* * * 1/2 Spoiler Free-Congratulations
goodreads Choice Awards 2020 Best Romance, Nominee
A Quick Review

This had all the makings of the continuing series by Ms. Guillory. She has a deft hand with touching timely, so incredibly timely issues of the day.
She is able to bring them to life with a coupling of people we have met from the past books and have them discover their attraction to someone unexpected.

With the characters having massive amounts of yummy food, snacks, and meals throughout the book and you will have something to not only think about but also whet your appetite.

The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date, #1) by Jasmine Guillory The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1)
The Proposal (The Wedding Date, #2) by Jasmine Guillory The Proposal (The Wedding Date #2)
The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date, #3) by Jasmine Guillory The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date #3)
Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date, #4) by Jasmine Guillory Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date #4)
Party of Two (The Wedding Date, #5) by Jasmine Guillory Party of Two (The Wedding Date #5)

A gifted copy was provided by Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Natalia Allen.
119 reviews
December 1, 2020
I love the Wedding Date series and can’t wait to read more about this wonderful universe Jasmine Guillory has created.
Olivia is my favorite protagonist so far, and I really resonated with a lot of the feelings and struggles that she faced. However, her chemistry with Max for me was just...not there. Their relationship issues did not seem resolved at the end and they were overall not my favorite couple from this series.
It was still a fun read and I still recommend it if you’re into the series. But after Royal Holiday it was really hard to get into this couple.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews703 followers
June 17, 2020
Well, this one is definitely my favorite of the series.

I’ve been intrigued by Olivia since we met her in The Wedding Date. She’s smart and loyal and strong and seriously kickass. Max is charming and adorable and so impulsive. Together, they are opposites and it was delightful reading their meet cute and bonding over desserts.

Plot wise, it was good. Their relationship moved organically and even though they were often apart, it didn’t feel that way. There was a good amount of communication and the lead up to the angst was deliciously slow. The break up was short and the grand gesture was perfect for them.

Overall, it was so easy to root for these two and while I wanted just a little bit more from the epilogue, it’s only because I’m greedy and wasn’t ready for it to end.

**Huge thanks to Berkley for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Helen Dunn.
919 reviews47 followers
July 9, 2020
This was cute! It reminded me a lot of the OG book The Wedding Date when so much of the romance centered around eating junk food together! I really like that first book by Guillory but was harder for me to warm up to the characters in the other book of hers that I've read (The Proposal) (I suspect that has more to do with me than her and is more about my mood when reading them than anything else.)

But like I said, I enjoyed this one even if it's a little bit of a crazy plot and I'm reading mostly to escape from politics right now. (Although I admit I do know who Cory Booker is dating and would happily look at paparazzi photos of them!)

Profile Image for Jenny Jo Weir.
1,545 reviews79 followers
December 24, 2020
This has to be one of the most annoying female characters I've come across in a long time. For as independent and successful she claims to be, she sure is insecure and immature. I honestly don't get what he saw in her nor why she was so great that he had to keep chasing after her like a dog. She should have been the one apologizing to him in most incidents, yet the events made it seem like she was some treasure worth chasing and it simply wasn't the case. This was a serious bust for me.
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