For What It's Worth

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Review: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

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. ~ Goodreads

Source: Purchased

 


A cute romance between very likable characters (including the supporting cast) set within the taping of a telenova that gives lead  actors – Jasmine and Ashton - a chance to get their big break. If only they can keep their hands off each other, protect their hearts and stay out of the tabloids.

 

💑 Both Jasmine and Ashton have had bad experiences with the press (Jasmine because of a break up with a popular singer, Ashton – a stalker) and are hoping starring in the new ScreenFlix streaming services series – Carmen in Charge will be their big break. After a classic meet cute moment, and initial antagonistic relationship, they are drawn to each other and have a really nice chemistry. Both empathetic and relatable.

👏 I loved the trope twist where Ashton plays the aging ingénue type character. He’s been in telenova's for years and had hoped it would be his big jumping off point to film but instead he’s just been killed off from his latest roll in favor of a younger actor. He’s a little insecure about his looks – not in a vain way – but in the way that women always have to worry about in looks obsessed industries.

⭐ There are a lot of progressive details that permeate this story – from the full Latinx cast, crew for the show, trans, gay and non binary characters. There’s also a plotline involving intimacy coaching for the sex scenes emphasizing consent and again – the author includes Ashton in this. Most books usually focus on the female characters but YHMaH makes sure Ashton is comfortable as well.

👌 The story switches between Jasmine and Ashton’s story and the scenes from Carmen in Charge. I was a little unsure of the shifts at first but I ended up hooked on those characters and their story and it was a way that the real life couple got to work out their awkwardness and parallel relationship.

😒 So – our couple has baggage and sometimes they both annoyed me lol Jasmine is determined not to get sidelined by a guy again and then whines non stop about wanting love and a man. She JUST broke up with her ex and is already head over heels for Ashton. Yes, they’re perfect for each other but I would have loved to see her on her own a bit first.

Aston has a big secret – which I won’t reveal. But the way he kept that secret made me think a little less of him at times. As Jasmine says to him later in the book – you can’t have it both ways and…yeah. SPOILER –> He has an 8 year old son who lives with Ashton’s father in Puerto Rico. He’s worried for his safety – with good reason – but choosing to pursue his career instead of living with his son put a bad taste in my mouth even though he was a good dad.<- END SPOILER

👍 Overall – I’ll be honest – this wasn’t an *all the swoons* romance for me but it was a fun story with a wonderful cast of characters in a world that was a delightful escape. I mean…I actually finished it! So that should be saying something lol

22 comments:

  1. "I mean…I actually finished it! So that should be saying something lol".
    That's good recommendation from you these days LOL.

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    1. Instead of a rating...I finished it=endorsement lol

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  2. Great review, Karen. I liked that these characters had flaws and weren't the best versions of themselves, yet overcame the obstacles to grow. Like you, I wasn't sure about the switch between the show and "real," but ended up finding it a unique and useful tool to help the characters express themselves and really be "in their heads."

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    1. Thanks Jen. The telenova parts were surprisingly fun!

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  3. I'm happy you enjoyed this! I think you liked it a bit more than I did but I liked all of all the parts you pointed out, I just wanted sold on the romance.

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    1. I was sold on it but it also didn't wow me if that makes sense.

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  4. I have no idea why I thought this was YA. *scratches head in puzzlement* Even if the romance didn't bowl you over, it sounds like a good read. And just a general hooray for finishing a book, right?!

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    1. Lol That's funny. Nope-totally adult.
      I don't know why, but I'm having a difficult time getting lost in romance lately so yeah... just finishing is an accomplishment lol

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  5. This sounds pretty good but probably not for me. I'm all about the PNR right now. lol

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    1. I haven't read PNR in so long and I have no idea why lol

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  6. I would be good with a fun story, and I like that it's the man is the aging star.

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  7. I enjoyed it, it was fun, but yes I agree, not all the swoons

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    1. I'm glad I read it but yeah... not a fave

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  8. Yea for finishing and enjoying it! When reading is a struggle, we need reads like that!

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    1. That's why I haven't been reading much. Nothing was really grabbing me and I don't want to torture myself into finishing.

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  9. Sometimes the atmosphere is worth more than clicking with the two protagonists. I've seen my share of heroes and heroines making choices so stupid and questionable it just leaves you bewildered. Glad you enjoyed I overall.

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    1. They were great characters so that helped. I just wouldn't say I was all swoony over them and their romance lol

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  10. "rehearse in private" haha. And this part too "He’s a little insecure about his looks – not in a vain way – but in the way that women always have to worry about in looks obsessed industries." Nice that she's covering some serious topics

    I love your review format on this one BTW :)

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    1. It balanced things very nicely and without coming off as a lecture.

      Thank you! I needed something to kick start me into reviewing again. I almost forgot how lol

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  11. I wish I liked Romance because this sounds interesting. 🙌

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    1. I've had the hardest time reading romance lately! But this is very romancy so if that's not your jam then I would definitely pass on it.

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