Spotlight Review: DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN by Denise Williams

From the publisher:

After butting heads, an event planner and a wedding officiant begin an enemies with benefits arrangement as wedding bells chime around them in the newest rom-com from acclaimed author Denise Williams.

Divorce attorney RJ would never describe herself as romantic. But when she ends up officiating an unplanned wedding for a newly engaged couple in a park, her life is turned upside down. The video of the ceremony goes viral, and she finds herself in the unlikely position of being a sought-after local wedding officiant. Spending her free time overseeing “I dos” isn’t her most strategic career move, but she enjoys it, except for the type A dude-bro wedding planner she’s forced to work with.

Former pro-football event manager Lear is a people person, but after his longtime girlfriend betrayed him, he isn’t looking for love. He knows how to execute events and likes being in control, so working with an opinionated and inflexible officiant who can’t stand him is not high on his list. He’s never had trouble winning people over, but RJ seems immune to his charms.

Surrounded by love at every turn, their physical attraction pulls them together despite their best efforts to stay an arm’s length apart. Lear refuses to get hurt again. RJ refuses to let herself be vulnerable to anyone. But when it comes to happily ever after, their clients might not be the only ones saying “I do.”

“RJ and Lear are instantly likable: Each has a lovely sense of humor, and their personal struggles ring true and demand empathy…Williams has a talent for weaving moments of genuine warmth and tenderness with sizzling sexual chemistry in ways that are consistently engaging.”Kirkus

Lear has hit rock bottom. He lost the woman he loved and his dream job event planning job for an NFL team. He’s moved into his cousin’s basement and is helping her with her wedding planning business. His cousin is going to be out of town for a while, and Lear basically has to run things. Easy peasy. Until he meets RJ.

RJ is a divorce attorney who sort of fell into the wedding officiant business after a viral video. She is a workaholic who enjoys the extra wedding work. Until she meets Lear and their first interaction is when she runs headlong into him and he tells her she should smile more. Do men really still say that? He knows as soon as it comes out of his mouth he shouldn’t have.

That inauspicious beginning leads to an “enemies with benefits” situation and their chemistry is off the charts. RJ’s ex is getting married, and she’s determined to stay prickly enough to keep any man at a safe distance, especially Lear. But as they spend time together, well, you know what happens.

Both of these characters have back-breaking baggage so it takes a long time before they can move past all of it, but the journey is a fun and sometimes emotional ride. I wish RJ didn’t take forever to move past her issues, but maybe that is more realistic anyway. All in all, this was an enjoyable read with a satisfying ending.

9/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN by Denise Williams. Berkley (September 6, 2022). ISBN:‎  978-0593437193. 352p.





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