When Daniel met Erik, he was unlike anyone Daniel had ever met. After a brief conversation, they both knew they wanted to spend much more time together.
Three years later and they are engaged to be married. Daniel has dreamed about his wedding since he was a boy and wants everything to be perfect. Erik just wants to marry the man he loves. But Daniel gets too caught up in the planning and the checklists set up by Aurora, the wedding planning app he installed. When every conversation becomes about wedding plans, it will either lead to the day of their dreams or utter despair as the men grow further apart.
With a title like Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist, I was expecting some fun or something fabulous, but that was not to be. What I did get was roughly 200 pages of Daniel and Erik planning their wedding via an app that provided a never ending checklist, while also getting flashbacks of how they met.
The guys have been dating for three years and we see how they first met and get caught up on a few dates and how their relationship progressed. It was all basic information. The characters have the appeal of young love where Daniel is said to be smitten. They are then said to be a lot of things, including being in love, but there was barely anything shown of that.
For a book billed as a romance, there was almost no romance and little emotion. One of the most “romantic” things these guys do is spend time together while they both have a stomach virus and comment that they wouldn’t have wanted to be that sick with anyone else. Because their relationship is seen in flashbacks, we only get little snippets of how they got together. Even within the flashbacks, there is little emotion and their proposal even mentioned tax breaks. Erik knew after a few minutes that Daniel was the one for him, but for as much as we were told this, I was just not feeling it with either of these guys. Then, once the flashback scene got to a certain point, we were once again returned to the present.
Current day they are planning their wedding. Daniel always wanted a big, traditional, heavily planned wedding and the Aurora app coupled with BeStabulous is helping him because “who wants to pin ideas when you can stab them.” The app also allows friends and family to comment on his possible choices and there is a never ending checklist where when one item is checked off, dozens more take its place so there is no finish line. The app entries were supposed to carry a good portion of the story, but they were repetitive with a mocking tone and became one of the weakest areas of the story for me. Daniel becomes consumed with it and all Erik wants to do is marry the man he loves. Daniel is so overly stressed during most of the book that it’s not fun and it’s not entertaining. But when Daniel can’t handle the pressure, he cracks and pushes Erik away. Erik just goes. And when Daniel cracks yet again and changes his mind, Erik just comes back.
There were secondary characters that didn’t add much to the story and some left questions as to their motives and some were entirely too convenient. There was a little bit of a sweet element with these guys, but for me they mostly read as bland and flat. While the guys are out of college, the book has a definite YA feel, they both had more juvenile characteristics, and there was no driving force here to hook me into their lives. I have read Belledonne’s debut book which I enjoyed, but this second book didn’t do it for me.