Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I have to admit that my foray into Monica Murphy’s Dating Series began with her second to the last book, Rate A Date. And to be honest, I thought it was decent. While I loved Eleanor and Mitch’s chemistry, I had some issues with the pacing of the story, and I ended it not thinking I’d go further. Until I read a chapter from her most recent book, Wedding Date. We met her hero, Theo, in Rate A Date, when Eleanor’s friend, Kelsey, talks them into a date with Paul and Theo. We find out quickly that Theo is still pining for his ex-fiancee, Jessica, who cheated on him before their scheduled wedding date. Not ready for a relationship, Theo becomes friends with Eleanor and Kelsie instead. (His friend, Paul, however, is awful, and thankfully, we never read him again).
In Wedding Date, Kelsey and Theo have continued their friendship, meeting weekly for lunches or at business functions. They enjoy each other’s company and have a general compatibility that makes their time together easy. Neither of them is interested in a relationship, or so they say. When Theo receives a wedding invitation to his ex’s wedding (to his cousin, with whom she cheated), Kelsey encourages Theo to go…with her as his “pretend” girlfriend. Wedding Date becomes this sweet story about their journey to that moment and so much more.
While I struggled with Rate A Date, for me, Wedding Date was a fresh ocean breeze. I began reading this book concurrently with a very serious, heavy romance, and it easily provided me with a respite from that book. Theo and Kelsey have the three qualities you love in a romantic comedy: solidarity, steaminess, and sweetness. From the start, it is clear that Theo and Kelsey are fated for each other. Their companionship leaves them contented, even when they note their chemistry. Murphy does a superb job in this story balancing their friendship with their attraction. For me, this is often an area of her stories where I struggle. These two succumb to their attraction at just the right moment, and while they wrestle with it initially, they learn fairly quickly to accept it. It is other aspects of the story that cause the tension of their journey. I loved this about Wedding Date.
Additionally, the main word for this book is vulnerability. Kelsey struggles with sharing her private life. She’s had a difficult past, so her ability to expose herself to Theo and her larger girl group causes her problems. Similarly, given that Theo has been hurt, he too contends with accepting Kesley as a potential girlfriend. Murphy creates these sweet moments between them as they learn to become vulnerable with each other, and for me, it’s the best part of their story. It’s as though Murphy is pointing to the message of transparency in love for her readers.
Lastly, this is the last of Murphy’s Dating series, so this book wouldn’t be complete without the special group of women who support and love each other found in the other books of this series. There is so much beauty in their relationships, and Murphy illustrates that well in her epilogue for this book. If you have read this series thus far, then I know you will love the end of this book.
Monica Murphy has ended her Dating series with a beautiful sweet story that will steal your heart. If you love friends to lovers with a chemistry that flies off the page, then you will love Wedding Date. Theo and Kelsey’s story will leave you wanting just a little bit more of their journey.
In love and romance,