TITLE: You Had Me at Hola
AUTHOR: Alexis Daria
RELEASE DATE: August 4, 2020
SETTING: New York
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins / Avon
GENRE(S): Contemporary Romance, RomCom
Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books for my DRC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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 was a great book, don’t get me wrong. And while I COMPLETELY enjoyed the first half, I more than lost interest in the second half.
Jasmine was such a wonderful heroine! I want to get that out there first. While I tend to usually dislike female leads in books due to their annoying-ness, I 100% adored Jasmine! All she wants is to be a great leading lady who doesn’t have to depend on a man. After a bad break-up before the book starts, she is left reeling. But, telling yourself that you don’t need a man or love, while simultaneously falling for a new man, especially when that man is your new co-star, is rough. She tells herself not to, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And through all of this, she does remain pretty true to herself. She is giving and kind, but she loves love… and that is okay. She is strong and brave, especially when it comes to how badly she is dragged through the mud at every turn in the tabloids. That stuff was rough. But she goes on with her head held high even when she is dying inside. That was AMAZING!
Ashton, on the other hand… While I didn’t dislike him through the whole book, his character as a whole was whiny and just absolutely annoying. He is constantly standing in the way of his own happiness. He sought out a career in the public eye, yet he absolutely HATES being in the public eye and acts like the world does him a disservice when they inquire about him or his personal life. I do understand, to an extent, of why he wants to keep certain aspects of his life under wraps, but he is just insufferable. And, when he is on the brink of losing everything, even though it is all his fault and he knows it (he admits to it), still all I could envision was him – a grown man – throwing himself down on the ground in a fit of temper tantrum pounding his fists and kicking and screaming that (yet again, yes, it is his fault, but) HE is still the one unhappy. It’s very much all about him all the time.
I loved all of the family in this book. Both Jasmine’s family and Ashton’s were a pure delight. Coming from a big family myself where there are so many different dynamics, this was really fun to see. And all of the representation was wonderful.
I love me some juicy drama and this book was packed full of it. I really did enjoy it for the most part. I loved everything about the families and all of the working on the set parts. But the relationship between Jasmine and Ashton, while was wonderful for me at first, was something that by the time the end happened and we learn if the two can really put everything behind them and make things work, I didn’t even care anymore.