Title: You Had Me at Hola
By: Alexis Daria
Published: August 4th, 2020
Genre: Adult – Contemporary – Romance
Buy it: Book Depository
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.
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“Sometimes the feeling of loss faded, more like a forgotten task nagging at his attention, or a misplaced item waiting to be found. But it never truly went away.”
This book was very light and fun to read, I also adored the amount of Latinx representation we have, which I dare say it’s almost 100% of the characters, in addition to this, I loved the family dynamics as such. On the other hand, I wasn’t the biggest fan of romance, but I understand that this is something that usually happens to me especially because I don’t like plots highly focused on romance, even so, I know that many people will be able to enjoy this factor & also the style of the author is very light and easy to follow.
In this book, we follow two main characters: Jasmine Lin Rodriguez, who despite being a great promise of soap operas after playing a huge role, is going through a public breakup with his ex-boyfriend that’s difficult to ignore since everyone is talking about it. On the other hand, we have Ashton Suarez, the well-known super king of telenovelas, who now faces a possible downfall in his career, while he must deal with a difficult family situation. Both paths will cross in the promise of romantic soap opera, where both have the main role, and although they have a complicated beginning, intense chemistry begins to grow between the two. 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.
I don’t think this book is bad at all, in fact, I quite enjoyed many factors that I want to talk about below, but I keep thinking that maybe heavily romance-focused plots aren’t my thing, and that’s fine, I do like, though, when is kind of hard-hitting romance, you know?
I really enjoyed the family dynamics and I want to start with it because OMG, I love Latinx families, they always remind me a little of my own family and make me very happy, there’s something disastrous and messy, but a lot of unconditional love and support in Latinx families and I’m happy to see such a varied portrait here that shows two very accentuated faces of a Latinx family, both in Jasmine’s and Ashton’s families. I love the interactions because, with their problems and everything, they’re very honest and open, and it shows a lot the depths of the family and what this represents for each of the characters & another thing that I liked a lot was the characters, especially the female ones, I liked them all. I think there’s something about them that felt very real, and even though I don’t really agree with certain attitudes, especially Jasmine’s, I understand where they come from and I really appreciate her honest stance on herself, with everything and mistakes.
I liked the author’s style a lot, I think it’s light and easy to read, but it’s also very honest in descriptions and extremely entertaining. Each scene is constructed in such a way that you put yourself in the place of each character very easily and that’s great, but above all, I loved it because funny things are happening all the time and that makes it very dynamic and easy to read.
My “problem” with the book or maybe just what I didn’t like so much was the romance itself, it seemed kind of silly to me and I don’t think there’s so much chemistry between the characters, I liked them individually, but not as a couple so that’s obviously a huge obstacle to the full enjoyment of the book, even so, I think you can enjoy it yourself, this is totally personal. I loved that the author included scenes from the telenovela itself in the book because OMG, I loved them more than the original story lol
I don’t have much more to say about this book, I know this review is kind of short compared to most of my reviews, but I wanted to give the book its space anyway and share my opinion on it without spoilers, I think the book deserves it. I know I tend to be much more specific in general about my thoughts about each character, but this time I don’t think there’s much to analyze about them, I liked them but I didn’t love them, they’re alright and they’re solid for what the plot wants to get.
It’s still not my kind of book, but being totally honest with you, I think if you like intense/cheesy romance, then you’ll love this one, it has very sweet scenes, I loved the family dynamics, so I’m sure you can enjoy the author’s style as well, it’s funny and honest. It’s also a book that will be great to pick up in the summer or when you want to read a little light romance, it will bring out a few smiles I’m sure of it & I LOVE the diversity in the characters, whether in terms of their race, heritage and sexuality.