D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding

Chencia C. Higgins. Carina Adores, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-335-53494-1

Though the premise of this heartwarming rom-com from Higgins (the Vow series) occasionally strains credulity, its refreshing, well-handled focus on queer women of color finding love and affirmation more than makes up for its shortcomings. D’Vaughn and Kris meet through the reality TV show Instant I Do, which pairs up contestants who’ve never met and gives them six weeks to convince their loved ones they’re getting married, all while actually planning a wedding. If they pull off the deception and make it to the altar, they can choose to either accept prize money or get married for real. D’Vaughn auditioned seeking motivation to come out to her religious family, while Kris hopes to find true love. Their chemistry is instant and robust, but a number of obstacles stand between them and the altar. The show’s details are slightly convoluted, but the competition does create touching opportunities for the contestants’ families to bond and show support. The story strikes the perfect balance for its subgenre, reflecting queer people’s authentic experiences while keeping the mood light and frothy. Higgins gives world-weary readers looking for an inclusive and thoroughly enjoyable escape exactly what they need. (Feb.)
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