NEW YORK — “While We Were Dating,” by Jasmine Guillory (Berkley)
Jasmine Guillory has built a universe with her six romance novels, where each story stands by itself but a character in one book can pop up in another. They’re fun Easter eggs for her loyal readers.
In her new book, ‘While We Were Dating,” Guillory brings back Ben Stephens, the fun-loving playboy brother of Theo, the central male character in her third book “The Wedding Party.”
Ben’s landed his big break at work as an advertising executive where he’s tasked to lead an account featuring famous actress Anna Gardiner.
Sparks immediately fly between the two but neither is looking for a relationship. Anna’s Hollywood star is fading and Ben is not serious boyfriend material.
A flirty friendship develops but when Gardiner needs some good press, the pair begin a relationship for the cameras. Over time they realize there’s more to this coupledom of convenience, but is it enough to actually make the relationship work?
This beach read has some bite as there are also themes of mental health struggles, body image, cultural differences and race, present throughout the novel.