You Had Me At Hola
by Alexis Daria
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.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
For some reason, You Had Me At Hola. Perhaps when I first read the blurb I read it too quickly, because I assumed this was a YA novel, so when I got a few pages in and realised it wasn’t, I guess you could imagine my surprise. However, that’s not a bad thing. With a Jane the Virgin style novel, I was still really excited because I love that show. So what did I think of this?
It follows the ultimate slow-burn romance between two actors, Jasmine Lin and Ashton Suárez, when they both get cast in a new TV show. But both of them are holding onto their past baggage and unwilling to open up to one another and it gets in the way of their potential. Will they be able to put aside their pride so they can allow themselves to fully explore their romance?
I thought this book was good. I enjoyed Daria’s writing style, because once I was thirty or so pages into the novel, I raced through it in a day. It had a really good pace, and I really liked how it was told from a dual POV – Daria crafted really strong and consistent voices for her two narrators that it was never an issue when they switched from perspective to perspective. I also really liked how she weaved in their characters’ storyline in the TV show they’re filming – I thought this was a nice touch and love when this kind of stuff happens in books.
However, the overall plot and romance for me felt quite predictable that I don’t think I enjoyed this as much as I could have. I don’t think there was enough twists or ups and downs to really make me question the ending of this novel – I felt like I already knew what would happen and the outcome before I began even reading it.
However, this book has a lot of heart and humour and I would definitely recommend for fans of Jane the Virgin – and who doesn’t love that show?!