A loose theme today – celebrity romances! Be sure to check out the posts on Lucy Parker & Abby Jimenez too!
I’ve had Alexis Daria on my radar for awhile, so I was so excited to see her new release, YOU HAD ME AT HOLA, was coming out in audio.
And friends, this is a fabulous read (and listen – Seraphine Valentine did an excellent job narrating this vibrant, lively novel that has quite a bit of Spanish in the text).
The set-up between Jasmine and Ashton is great, since he has reasons to keep his private life completely off grid, and she’s social media shy because of her very public and humiliating break-up with a jerk rock star. She’s also determined, thanks to that horrible break-up, to focus on her career and avoid relationships.
Of course they’re insanely attracted to each other and fight that attraction for a good part of the book. Then, once they get together, there are other complications they have to navigate (of course).
Jasmine and Ashton are terrific characters, trying to figure out how to maneuver attraction, careers and family. Family, especially, has powerful impacts on Jasmine and Ashton. Jasmine’s cousins are her best friends and comrades-in-arms supporting each other in reaching their dreams. Ashton’s father and grandparents are doing the day-to-day labor of raising his son in his native Puerto Rico.
Daria populates her book, and the telenovela world-building within the book, with a full cast of Latinx characters from across the Latinx world map. One of the most impressive and dynamic aspects of the book are the descriptive sketches representing the telenovela episodes, and the interesting way they mirror and contrast what’s going on in real life between Jasmine and Ashton.
This book is getting a lot of great buzz, and it’s so well-deserved. It’s wonderfully written with great personalities and a lean into smart, successful, compelling fully-realized Latinx characters.
A great book by a writer on the rise.
YOU HAD ME AT HOLA
RITA® Award Winning author Alexis Daria brings readers an unforgettable, hilarious rom-com set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas—perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin and The Kiss Quotient.
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.
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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