Today I have a review of You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria!
Title: You Had Me at Hola
Author: Alexis Daria
Age Category: Adult
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Number of Pages: 384
Buy the Book: Amazon
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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 book came into my life when I picked it up for the most recent round of the trope-ical readathon. This was one of the two team romance books and I’m very glad I grabbed it because I ended up loving it.
My favourite thing about this book was the main character, Jasmine, and her two cousins Michelle and Ava. These three characters were so much fun. I loved how they supported each other and their friendship. I also loved the family aspect of this book in general. I loved seeing these three characters at large family gatherings and the banter they had with other family members. I’m very happy that the second book in this series features Michelle and the third features Ava because I need more of these three characters in my life.
I enjoyed that this book had a fair share of funny moments in it. I like it when romances make me laugh or have scenes that I find amusing. I especially enjoyed the meet cute in this book and it’s one of the more memorable meet cutes I’ve encountered.
I also enjoyed the celebrity aspect of this book. I haven’t read a lot of celebrity romances, but I enjoyed this one enough that I want to pick up more of them. I liked seeing the film set and the behind the scenes aspects of the television show. I also liked the relationship that the cast and crew had with each other. I especially liked that the tv show had an intimacy coordinator.
Speaking of the intimacy coordinator, I loved the consent in this book. I loved the emphasis on the television set of making sure Jasmine and Ashton were okay and comfortable with any intimate scenes. I also loved that Jasmine and Ashton had conversations about consent in general. This is something I would like to see in more romance novels so it can become normalised because talking about consent is always a good thing.
As far as the relationship between Jasmine and Ashton goes, I enjoyed it but I also found it kind of forgettable. I appreciated the build-up and tension leading up to the pair finally kissing, but I thought the story went from almost no spice to spicy very quickly. This book had the “character has a secret” trope in it, which I wasn’t a fan of because I thought it led to some overreacting. I don’t want to say much more than that because I don’t want to spoil anything.
My favourite thing about this book was the family aspect of it and the different family dynamics that were going on. I liked seeing Jasmine’s relationship with her cousins, her larger extended family, and even her immediate family. I also liked Ashton’s relationship with his family and meeting his family members. I also loved the Latin American representation and that the show Jasmine and Ashton was working on had a largely Latin American cast and crew and that they were bringing telenovelas to a wider audience.
Overall, this was a fun book to read and I’m looking forward to reading the second book sometime soon.
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