Release Date: September 13th, 2021
CW/TW: Mentions of sexual abuse, power imbalance in the work place, mentions of cheating spouse
Meet Jemma. Her growing catering business is toast thanks to one Facebook post. With her reputation in tatters and all her clients gone, she’s stuck cooking hipsters brunch at a local cafe. When she’s offered the opportunity to plan a social media darling’s wedding, it’s the answer to all her prayers. There’s just one small snag, the new gig also comes with an assistant, the bride-to-be’s brother. Who just so happens to be the sexy as hell nameless guy she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since he left her bed.
Enter Nash. Hotshot chef whose life has spiraled out of control. His wife of 6 years walked out with some guy named Trent and he hasn’t cooked a single thing since. He’s back in New York for a fresh start and to try and make sense of his life. That started well with a night tangled around an anonymous magnetic blonde. But the very last thing he expected was to see her again, or that they’d have to work together to plan his sister’s wedding.
Will these two headstrong chefs be able to maintain their professional distance to get the job done or will the simmering chemistry be too much to resist?
After finishing this book, I had to take a few hours to collect my thoughts because I still can’t believe that this is Erin’s debut and I still can’t get over just how much this book broke me – in all the good ways, of course.
The Wedding Planners follows Jemma and Nash as they navigate life in New York while being forced to plan a wedding together, days after they shared the hottest night of their lives, working around their feelings for each other and their struggles with finding themselves in the mess of it all. It’s a fun, sexy and beautiful read that I think everyone desperately needs in their lives.
“You were exactly who I needed you to be. You were yourself. And you showed me what I can be. You set me free. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for that.”
After a Facebook post about her cooking making people sick goes viral, Jemma has decided that she wants to curl in on herself and forget about her catering business or her job and hide away forever. But her friends force her out of that pity party and into another kind of party, where she meets a tall, brooding gentleman who kisses like sin and makes her toes curl in all the right ways. They spend the night together – and it’s a really really good night together – and then part ways without names or numbers. Only for Jemma to come face-to-face with him when a new friend insists that she plan her wedding and gets her brother (the very same tall brooding gentleman) to assist her in the endeavour. Oh, and they only have four weeks to plan the wedding of the year. What could possibly go wrong?
Erin Thomson sucks you into her story right from page one. I loved these characters so much and their relationship with each other, as well as their family and friends made them so much more relatable and well rounded. Jemma likes to be organised and in control of as much as possible, so being thrown for a loop with 4 weeks to plan a wedding (when she’s not a wedding planner) is impossible, but she’s not going to let that stop her. Always up for a challenge, even when it’s tough, is her life’s motto. Except, in the middle of all of this, she needs to resist the way her body reacts to the presence of Nash every time they have to work together to get something done. Jemma is an absolute hoot. I loved her so much and related to her on so many levels. She’s tough, but she’s also unsteady on her feet. She’s not going to take anything lying down, but she’s also been walked over enough times to know what that feels like. Jemma works hard and puts her 100% into everything, which means that when things go wrong, she can’t handle it. And then there’s Nash. Ah, Nash. Swoony, sexy Nash. When we first meet him, you’re unsure of how you feel, but as the book progresses, the way you fall in love with him makes it clear how Jemma is unable to stop herself from doing the same. It’s just so wonderful. He’s struggling to not wear his heart on his sleeve, but he’s also holding himself together with duct tape and you can see how strong he’s being for everything and everyone in his life. Nash is not perfect, but he’s not a mess either.
“You are my favorite thing to read, so that might have something to do with it, too.”
Their first hook-up really sets the tone for the rest of their relationship. The sexual chemistry is strong in this book, because they both know what it feels like together and Jemma’s got memories of every orgasm that ricocheted through her body and Nash knows what she tastes and feels like. Being around each other is a test of their will power and the way their relationship progresses felt so real and natural. The tension drives them to make snap judgements and get frustrated, they pick at each other and poke each other in all the best ways. I really enjoyed seeing how Nash was the calmer one in this struggle – most of his frustrations happen in his pants – while Jemma lashes out and makes all the appropriate noises to let Nash know she’s not happy with him. At all.
You are NOT ready for the steam in this book. Erin turns it up to 11, as the kids say. It’s sexy, delicious and all together very very satisfying. After pages and pages of their chemistry setting my kindle on fire, when they finally decide to just say ‘screw it’ and jump each other is a moment that will be imprinted on my brain forever.
Huge special mention to the friendships and bonds in this book! Jemma’s connection with Harley and Darcy made me so happy, because I love reading about friends and how wild and weird they can get, and these three were amazing. But I also really enjoyed Nash’s friendship with Mack and Chase (please tell me they get a book, Erin!) because that shows you a completely different side of him and I loved that so much.
Erin Thomson knocks it out of the park with The Wedding Planners. It’s a steamy contemporary romance with fantastic dialogue and delicious banter, the chemistry is at an all time high and it keeps you immersed in their little world long after you’re done reading.
Thanks to Erin Thomson for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.