Book Review: Party of Two

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory


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.

Party of Two released June 30, 2020, from Berkley Books.

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