Title: D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding
Author: Chencia C. Higgins
Publication Date: January 25th, 2022 (expected)
Sub Genre(s): LGBTQ+
Summary: Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either. D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs. All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake. But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.
What I Liked: The representation in this book is incredible. The two leads are a fat, Black Lesbian and an Afro-Latina butch lesbian ,which would be amazing enough, but there are several queer side characters as well. This was fun from page one and I thought the reality show premise was clever and made the insta-love trope more believable. I loved that the angst in this book didn’t come from the main relationship but rather the very real and difficult task of coming out to your family.
What I Didn’t Like: The relationship between Kris and D’Vaughn moved very quickly and while I know that’s the point of this book, I’m not a huge fan of insta-love stories so I would have loved a few more scenes of them falling in love. I would have also liked more closure between D’Vaughn and her mother about her coming out and the feelings surrounding that. This was a large part of the beginning of the book and I would have enjoyed a conversation between them to wrap things up.
Who Should Read It: If you like your romances to be fun and low-angst, this would be a great read for you. The steam level is pretty mild so this would be a good book for people who don’t want too much explicit sex in their romances.
Review Wrap Up: It took longer than I would have thought but reality TV-themed romance novels seem to be popping up more and more (see “One to Watch” and “If the Shoe Fits”). While I’m not a fan of reality shows, I have to admit they make a great backdrop for insta-love romances. While I felt this story wrapped up too quickly, I thought it was really fun and I was rooting for Kris and D’Vaughn the entire time and had a smile on my face at the end.
Favorite Quote: “…it was no secret that reality shows tended to put a certain style and shape of woman in front of the camera. Petite, with flawless skin. Dazzling smiles and relaxed hair. Skin so fair it was almost translucent. So aggressively heterosexual they were willing to fight another woman over a man offering community dick that was mediocre at best.”
*Thank you to Carina Adores and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review*