Book Review: Do You Take This Man by Denise Williams

Quick Summary:

Do You Take This Man by Denise Williams follows the story of divorce attorney RJ, who despite having an already demanding job, also has a side hustle officiating weddings. She ended up officiating a couple’s impromptu wedding in the park, which went viral, and caused her to be in demand for brides and grooms all over North Carolina. 

While working her side hustle, she ends up meeting Lear, a very attractive and newly minted wedding planner. Well, sort of – he’s helping his cousin Penny, as he used to be an event coordinator for the NFL. They got off on the wrong foot, almost literally, as RJ and Lear collided in the street. They exchanged some less than pleasurable words before they realized they had to work together. They kept the same energy though, verbally sparring whenever possible, until RJ admitted there was some heat and attraction between them.

Plot Overview:

In a classic “enemies to lovers” move, RJ and Lear decide to explore that attraction, where neither of them want to let their guard down around each other at first. Much to his dismay, Lear ends up falling first – big softy! – but wants to hold back given the fact that his last relationship crushed him. Likewise with RJ, she struggles to acknowledge and admit her feelings for Lear and is afraid to let him in because her last boyfriend claimed she was difficult to love. 

After that blow, RJ basically vowed that she wasn’t going to let anyone else in like that out of fear of getting hurt, hence her lack of belief in love. Throughout the book, Lear and RJ grapple with their feelings and what to do with them. I’ll admit, there were times where I wanted to yell at them both for being stubborn, RJ especially. Though I get where she was coming from, it also felt like she was sabotaging herself most of the time.

Common Themes + Opinions:

The big theme here, as indicated by Denise’s dedication in the beginning of the book: “for the ones who think they’re hard to love,” revolves around RJ’s belief that she is hard to love, which is why she believes she won’t have a happily ever after or possibly be deserving of one. In her last relationship, her ex had claimed that she was difficult to love, and at one point in the story, Lear almost admits it as well. 

Like I mentioned above, RJ knowing this information, this massive blow to her, seemingly sets out to sabotage herself unintentionally. She thinks that by keeping things casual, despite harboring feelings for Lear, that this is all she can give and all she can receive. I feel her on this because it’s not easy being vulnerable with someone when you believe someone else’s opinion of you is true or fact. She did end up being hot and cold, by taking the smallest baby steps to be vulnerable with Lear only to follow that with giant steps backward to shield herself from potential hurt. From Lear’s point of view, it was confusing and made it difficult for him to consider being vulnerable with her.

Final Thoughts + Ratings:

I enjoyed reading Do You Take This Man. Having read some of Denise Williams’ other books, and getting to see a cameo from Britta and Wes again, I knew I was in for a good story. Despite getting annoyed at RJ’s stubbornness, I was glad she got the ending she deserved. I do think Lear could have been fleshed out a little bit more. I wanted to see him get on his own two feet and out of Penny’s house before the story was over. Either way, I enjoyed RJ and Lear’s story and give this book 4.5 stars. As for the spice, things heat up fairly quickly and repeatedly for RJ and Lear – nothing super graphic of course but enough to make your eyes widen a little!
Have you read Do You Take This Man? Let me know in the comments!
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