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Didn’t Stay in Vegas is a lighthearted romantic comedy about two best friends who wake up after a wild night in Las Vegas, and discover that they’re married. To each other.
Callyn’s life is a bit of a mess, but her best friend Emma is always there to bake her cookies and marathon TV shows. So when Callyn has a terrible hangover and underwear full of glitter the morning after their mutual friend’s bachelorette party, she immediately looks for steady, reliable Emma—only to discover her in a similar state, holding a marriage certificate. Emma claims she doesn’t remember the wedding, but she also suggests they stay married for financial reasons that feel like a stretch. After a string of life setbacks, Calyyn ends up moving in with Emma, getting a puppy, and being extremely adorable while spending most of their time nesting together. Even clueless Callyn starts to wonder if Emma’s been in love with her all along.
Didn’t Stay in Vegas is a low-conflict romance, perfect for when you want the book equivalent of a cup of sweet hot chocolate. As a reader, it was fairly obvious early on that Emma is into Callyn, so most of the book is just watching Callyn slowly figure out her own feelings, while getting her life together along the way. I liked that Callyn and Emma are both comfortably queer before their marriage. This is a friends to lovers romance, not a coming out story. And accidentally falling in the love with your friend is certainly something queer women are good at!
Of the two main characters, I found Emma’s kindness and competence more enjoyable than Callyn’s frenetic energy. But this story is told from Callyn’s point of view, so we can only guess at what Emma is feeling. This leads to many hilarious moments, because Callyn is incredibly slow about noticing that her BFF is definitely in love with her. Callyn’s denial persists even after they have sex!
Still, I was left feeling like Emma’s character was a little flat, and we don’t really learn much about her outside of the relationship. Since Callyn feels younger and less comfortable in her skin, reading the story from her point of view sometimes made the relationship feel immature.
I did enjoy the theme of chosen family. Callyn and Emma’s big queer friend group felt like extras on L Word Generation Q—attractive, vaguely interesting people that I found myself more interested in than the main characters.
Didn’t Stay in Vegas lacks the emotional substance of Cameron’s other romances, but it’s a frequently funny, comforting, easy read.