Title: Better At Weddings Than You (Chic Manila Book 9)
Author: Mina Esguerra
Source: Arc provided
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Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. Thats why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his weddingbecause he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.
Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isnt good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.
Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but theres history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Whos the planner who can fix this impending disaster?
(Part of the Chic Manila series, but can be read as a standalone.)
I read Better At Weddings Than You after a two-week drought of not finishing anything. This novel is everything I ever needed and I gave it five stars. It was an exhilarating, fun, and steamy book. If that still doesnt convince you, I suppose we cant be friends.
I typically don’t enjoy the we-just-met narrative for romance. I prefer a long history of build-up, but Esguerra certainly knows how to flesh out her characters. Better At Weddings Than You follows the story of Daphne. Shes the biggest in-demand wedding planner in the country. Shes perfect, beautiful, and has a reputation for being petrifying. Its not rocket science why her friend Greg enlisted her help to overthrow their planner, a month before his wedding. Hes worried that his fiancée might be in love with this guy.
Its Aaron Trinidad, an amateur wedding planner. Hes oblivious that his friend Helen might be in love with him. Being fired from his job might not be the worst thing ever when hes roped into working with Daphne. He might learn a thing or two from the queen of wedding planning.
I love that both of them are wedding planners. It challenged masculinity and gender roles. Theres a twist, its the female character Daphne whos more reveled and prominent in the industry while the male character Aaron is the amateur.
Why dont you want a relationship? He blurted that out without an intro . I Im curious. You could be married with kids by now if you wanted to, but youre not.
Hmm. Daphne looked at him, but turned to the water when she answered. Do you think Im just saying that? Like Im reverse psychologizing the universe?
If you wanted to, you could have anyone.
This is so fascinating, she said. This conversation. I keep wanting to have this conversation with someone and it figures Ill be having it with a man.
Daphne did that. This scene just struck me, its so funny and ironic. I love that shes talking about the double-standard expectations we set for women in their thirties. Daphne doesnt give a damn. Shes flippant. She states her mind. Shes tired of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Shes in charge of her autonomy and sexuality. Shes too much for the barricade we subject Filipina to. I love a well-crafted character and shes one of them.
It’s also endearing that despite being crowned as a man eater and being considered as an unlikable female character you never see her bring down another woman to uplift herself. I wish more authors would remember that in terms of writing their female characters. Theres no necessary reason for pitting girls against each other.
What you can expect: wedding extravaganza, food descriptions, hot massages, and more.
Verdict: I would recommend Better At Weddings Than You in a heartbeat. I love the romance, the female characters, the lovely ambiance. It was a win-win situation.
Review also posted at Goodreads, and Amazon.