Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 352
Date of Publication: September 6, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
After butting heads, an event planner and a wedding officiant begin an enemies with benefits arrangement as wedding bells chime around them in the newest rom-com from acclaimed author Denise Williams.
Divorce attorney RJ would never describe herself as romantic. But when she ends up officiating an unplanned wedding for a newly engaged couple in a park, her life is turned upside down. The video of the ceremony goes viral, and she finds herself in the unlikely position of being a sought-after local wedding officiant. Spending her free time overseeing "I dos" isn't her most strategic career move, but she enjoys it, except for the type A dude-bro wedding planner she's forced to work with.
Former pro-football event manager Lear is a people person, but after his longtime girlfriend betrayed him, he isn't looking for love. He knows how to execute events and likes being in control, so working with an opinionated and inflexible officiant who can't stand him is not high on his list. He's never had trouble winning people over, but RJ seems immune to his charms.
Surrounded by love at every turn, their physical attraction pulls them together despite their best efforts to stay an arm's length apart. Lear refuses to get hurt again. RJ refuses to let herself be vulnerable to anyone. But when it comes to happily ever after, their clients might not be the only ones saying "I do."
Enemies with benefits. Most certainly not friends with benefits. RJ and Lear find themselves working together quite a bit all of a sudden. RJ did a favor for friends and officiated their wedding ceremony. The ceremony went viral and before long, RJ is now an officiant. Her full-time job is a busy divorce attorney, one who sees the worst of couples who fight tooth and nail as their marriages are ending. For her to be on the other side of things, playing a big role in couples starting their lives together seems rather contrary.
Lear was a sports event planner and has amazing organizational skills. This helps him now because he was at a turning point in his life, and his cousin has brought him into her business as a wedding planner. So, RJ is involved with weddings. Lear is involved with weddings. The two now find themselves in each other's company quite often. However, one thing is clear. For all intents and purposes, they hate one another. This is majorly complicated by the fact that they share an intense sexual attraction, an attraction that cannot be denied.
There is no stopping RJ and Lear when it comes to them taking every opportunity to demonstrate how they affect one another. However, they are both beset with baggage from previous relationships, as well as RJ's constant stream of clients ending their marriages via divorce, so emotion cannot and will not factor into whatever it is that is happening between them. What an angst-filled story! While there are definitely light moments in this book, the drama that this couple faces while navigating a physical relationship that is not and will not go further was done quite well by Denise Williams.
I love how this story evolved, and wondered who would take a chance to push things further, all while loving how both RJ and Lear had people in their corner in their lives, It is those secondary characters that gave this delightful read an extra lift. This wonderful story definitely packed a punch and kept my attention from beginning to end.
Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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