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248: Chencia C. Higgins’s D’VAUGHN AND KRIS PLAN A WEDDING - February 2023 Book Club

Episode Graphic - D'Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

Are you looking for an uplifting romance that's full of sweet moments but also powerful social commentary? Check out this month's Unabridged Book Club pick, Chencia C. Higgins’s D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding ( | Listen in to hear Jen and Ashley discuss this one and share our pairings including Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola ( | and Sophie Gonzales’s Never Ever Getting Back Together ( |

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Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place ( |

Jen - Sofía Lapuente and Jarrod Shusterman’s Retro ( |

Main Book Club Discussion

Chencia C. Higgins’s D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding ( |

Our Pairings

Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola ( |

Sophie Gonzales’s Never Ever Getting Back Together ( |

Other Mentions

Alexis Hall’s Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake ( |

Give Me One - Favorite Reality TV Show

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Bookish Check-in

Ashley was reading...

Book Cover of Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place

Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place ( |

From the Publisher: "Daniel Sullivan leads a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and his wife, Claudette, is a reclusive ex–film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Together, they have made an idyllic life in the country, but a secret from Daniel’s past threatens to destroy their meticulously constructed and fiercely protected home. Shot through with humor and wisdom, This Must Be the Place is an irresistible love story that crisscrosses continents and time zones as it captures an extraordinary marriage, and an unforgettable family, with wit and deep affection."

Book Cover of Retro by Sofía Lapuente and Jarrod Shusterman’

Jen was reading...

Sofía Lapuente and Jarrod Shusterman’s Retro ( |

From the Publisher: "It was never meant to happen this way.

"Things were never supposed to get this out of hand.

"After a cyberbullying incident at her school goes viral, Luna Iglesias finds herself at the heart of a brewing controversy. When the social media company Limbo—who are also implicated in the scandal—sweeps in with an offer that sounds like an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and receive a scholarship to the college of her dreams, she’s happy to jump on the new trend. It’s called the Retro Challenge, where contestants live without modern technology, wear vintage clothes, party as if the future weren’t already written, and fall in love as if they were living in a movie.

"At first, the challenge is fun. But then things get dangerous. Kids start disappearing, including Luna’s friends. There are voices in the woods. Bloodred markings on the trees. And Luna increasingly begins to wonder if all these strange happenings are connected with the Retro Challenge.

"Secrets. Lies. Betrayal. The weight of her family on her shoulders. There’s so much on the line for Luna, not to mention she’s falling in love with the last guy she expected. Unless she can figure out the truth behind who’s sabotaging the challenge, the next person to disappear may be Luna herself."

Main Book Club Discussion

Book Cover of D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

Chencia C. Higgins’s D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding ( |

From the Publisher: "D’Vaughn and Kris have six weeks to plan their dream wedding.

"Their whole relationship is fake.

"Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either.

"D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs.

"All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake.

"But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts."

Our Pairings

Book Cover of You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola ( |

From the Publisher:

"Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.

"After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new 'Leading Lady Plan' should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

"Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

"After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

"Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

"With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret."

Sophie Gonzales’s Never Ever Getting Back Together ( |

From the Publisher:

"It’s been two years since Maya's ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.

"Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.

"When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes—to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted."


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