Events planner Lily Perry hooks up with sexy chef Vin Caro at her sister’s wedding but is determined not to fall under his spell; he’s disappointed her before, and she knows the time is right to focus on herself and her growing business, no matter how tempting he might be.
Months ago Lily met Vin, made out with him under the stars, gave him her number—and never heard from him. Now she meets up with him again, makes out with him again, then slams the door on the next step. However, when she realizes his up-and-coming restaurant would be perfect for some events, she opens up professional lines of communication that lead to an affair. Lily and Vin are both adamant they don’t want anything beyond a physical relationship, yet they each begin to feel much more attached to the other than they want to admit. Meanwhile Lily’s decided to throw a wedding—for herself, promising to love and support herself forever, goaded mostly by her family’s relentless disappointment at her lack of a mate. Vin doesn’t understand her need for such a public display of self-love, which Lily interprets as a lack of support and which complicates their relationship, especially since she’s throwing the party at his venue. Navigating his and her family’s initial skepticism causes her to question her idea, but when her grandmother lands in the hospital, she is forced to step back, breathe, and work through her emotions, admitting to herself that what she truly wants, she must decide to embrace, including fierce love from her family and from a good, worthy man. Jackson revisits a community of successful women of color making their marks on the world and finding their soul mates along the way. While the premise is cute and promising, it never quite reaches its potential for emotional intensity, hindered by inflated conflict around things that don’t matter and a lack of heartfelt resolution between Vin and Lily around things that do.
Fun and flirty despite its flaws.