You Had Me At Hola
By Alexis Daria
Rating: 5/5 Genre: Contemporary Romance Steam: Explicit/Descriptive/Multiple References Publisher: Avon Books Pub Date: August 04, 2020 Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop
You Had Me At Hola Synopsis:
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.
You Had Me at Hola Review:
First, let me say I loved this book. It’s duel POVs, heavy multi-latin influences, involved families, intense secrets, and a telenovela, what is there not to love? I loved Jasmine’s personality, Ashton’s vulnerability, their romance, their families, the scenes of their show as small chapters, and everything else. Sure I had a few nitpick-y negatives, but for the most part I enjoyed this novel (obviously). I found Alexis Daria’s writing to be easy to follow and captivating. The way that this novel handled the other side of fame such as tabloids and stalkers was well done and really added to the plot. All of the side characters had their own personality and were allowed to live. Also, can we just appreciate the cover of You Had Me at Hola? Absolutely phenomenal!
Jasmine and Ashton: Yes, I am putting them together. I loved them both so much in this novel and only wanted the best for them. Jasmine’s tabloid troubles were so understandable and thus her whole “Leading Lady Plan” of staying away from relationships, especially with her coworkers, is such a sticking point with her. Ashton has so much going on with his life from his complicated family life to getting killed off his telenovela. He wanted to do well in Hollywood so bad to prove that he was more than just a telenovela actor. Plus with his secret, you almost wanted to keep it for him as well. Their chemistry on set and off was so great. Watching them warm up and trust each other was the highlight of this novel. So freaking sweet.
Their Families: I wanted to be part of their large mixed-latin families so much. And when they would bring up their foods! Ugh, give me the monfongo. But seriously, both of their families were amazing and complimented their characters. I wish there would have been more of them in the story, not that there wasn’t a lot already, but I love them. Especially Jasmine’s cousins and Ashton’s father, so great at pulling their heads out of their asses. Thank goodness for them.
“Scenes”: In between many chapters there would be a scene from their show that would correspond to Jasmine or Ashton in real life. I enjoyed “watching” the show through the scenes and seeing how they reflected in the characters’ real lives. Plus Daria wrote the scenes so that we were still inside Ashton or Jasmine’s head so that was neat with them acting and understanding where the characters were coming from.
Lack of Resolutions: There are some resolutions that are made in the novel, but I felt like they were incomplete. Jasmine had a whole slew of problems with her parents and siblings and it wasn’t really addressed. There was one sentence, but them being a fairly important reason as to why she felt the need to be on the show and prover herself it just didn’t feel complete. There should have been a conversation/scene something with them. Also, Ashton needed a bit more time with his father and figuring everything out there as well. There were so many problems throughout the novel that dealt with his father about his mother, grandparents, and balancing life. I wish there had been a bit more to the ending. Basically if there had been another chapter or two I would have been happy!
Long Story Short:
Do I recommend this book? Yes, 100% yes (I already gave it to my aunt to read). It features a diverse cast of characters with vivid stories and life. The romance is adorable and you can’t help but to fall in love with Jasmine and Ashton. I found myself often pacing the house with excitement when the characters would start to fall for each other or secrets came out–I loved it. If you love a good romance featuring conflicted characters and a host of lovable, developed side characters with a fun dash of Latin flavor, this one is a need! I can’t wait to see what else Alexis Daria will publish in the future because they’ll be instant buys for me!
If You Liked This One…
I would highly recommend reading Spoiler Alert, All the Feels , or Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade. All these deal with actors from a big tv show and their relationships, Ship Wrecked is probably the closest in comparison to this book. Otherwise How to Fake it In Hollywood by Ava Wilder is the absolute perfect recommended book to this one. Hollywood, fake dating, actors. Perfection. Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey is another