You all know Candyce is a big contemporary and romance reader, but Isabelle is getting more and more into the genre as well. Last month TBR and Beyond did a buddy read for You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria, and we both participated. It’s so much fun reading and discussing a book with fellow booklovers and today we want to tell you about the book! So let’s jump in.
® 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.
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
Published by Avon on 04/08/2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
“The man was an enigma, albeit a sexy one. If she were smart, she’d keep her distance. Too bad Jasmine had never been smart when it came to men.”
Candyce: If I’m honest, the cover is the first thing that caught my eye when I first saw this book. The colors and how the title and author’s name jumps out works really well. I’m really glad that more and more books are getting illustrated covers!
Isabelle: I love the colorscheme on this cover, it grabbed my attention right away. The artwork is also really well done, definitely my preferred style. I also really like the typography! Overall a very good cover, even though it has two characters in a pretty cliche pose haha.
Candyce: I’ve never watched telenovelas, but I did watch soap operas growing up with my grandmother. So it was definitely fun reading this. I loved that besides the romance that You Had Me at Hola also focused a little bit on the recording of the episodes. So I want to start with talking about that.
I loved how the cast was diverse and it was mentioned that all members could hang up their flag on the wall (countries and even the LGBTQ flag). I really appreciated this and how the author took the time to put this in the story. Also, this was the first time I’ve ever read about an intimacy and consent director/choreographer. I loved this and am so glad it was in this story. I think it’s important that people give consent even for a kiss in a TV show. It was also interesting to see how they talked about the scenes and being comfortable. I really hope to see this more often.
Now back to the romance. In all honesty, how the story would go was pretty predictable. That’s not a bad thing, but I knew how it would end. That being said, I really enjoyed the way the author wrote this story. Reading from both POVs definitely helped a lot and I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it as much if it was only told from Jasmine’s POV. There were moments that made me laugh and the steamy scenes were balanced out really well.
Jasmine just had her break up all over the tabloids and is done with men. So much so, she even made a list of things she’s not going to do. We all now this is going to be thrown out the window, but it was interesting to see this. I think in the end all Jasmine really wanted to be loved for who she was. I didn’t like a few of her decisions, but in the end she came around.
Ashton is a character I really loved and feel we got to understand more as the story went on. He had his secrets, but if you’re scared of something happening again, it’s understandable. Ashton is a family man trying to live his dream the best he could. It was interesting to see him struggle and handle the feelings he was having.
Besides the romance and telenovela aspect of this book, Ashton and Jasmine’s family stole the show. Jasmine’s family had me laughing (and I really hope the rumors that the cousins are getting companion novels is true) and they may show it in different ways, but they do love each other. Ashton’s family was just as amazing, especially near the end.
I really enjoyed You Had Me at Hola and will definitely be keeping an eye out for new books by this author.
“I just… wanted to be in love. I wanted to love someone, and I wanted them to love me. And I thought he might. Instead, I got dragged by the press for daring to believe a man more famous than I am might possibly love me.”
Isabelle: I decided to listen to the audiobook of You Had Me At Hola and I’m glad I went that route. The narrators are enjoyable and it helped get through the little part where I struggled a bit.
Jasmine is done with the press and wants to focus on her acting career instead of on her romantic relationships. Sounds like a good plan! But as soon as we meet Jasmine, you get a feeling she is not the type of girl who does well without a relationship. She always makes a connection with people, and that is what she does with Ashton.
The plot for this book was extremely predictable, I already knew how it would go, where the ‘problem’ was going to be and how it would be fixed. And I was right haha. Luckily this book has some really good redeeming qualities so I still ended up enjoying it a lot.
First of all, I really enjoy Alexis’ writing style. I would love to read more by her, and I will absolutely pick up her next book. Rumors are that there will be a companion novel to You Had Me At Hola. I was hoping for it as soon as I started reading the book. Jasmine’s cousins are great and one particular line towards the end of the story convinced me that we will get a sequel.
The characters are interesting and pretty well written. I really liked Ashton and was intrigued by his struggles. At times I did feel like he was too accommodating toward Jasmine but most of the times I really appreciated him.
Jasmine’s cousins were my favorite characters and I would’ve loved to read more about them (fingers crossed!). They really called Jasmine on her bullshit, and she definitely needed that. For me, they saved the story in the end! Ashton’s family was so cute and caring! I really enjoyed reading about them, especially because of how supportive they were.
And lastly we have Jasmine. I find it pretty hard to for an opinion about her. At times I loved her and I really enjoyed being in her brain. But once we get the ‘conflict’ I really wanted to punch her in the face. She was so annoying and her thoughts were not fair at all. That ending bit was a little bit rushed as well in my opinion. I did like the way this was resolved (even though I called it during the first couple of chapters haha).
Overall I really liked this story. It was cute, the characters were well written and I enjoyed the writing style. You can bet I will pick up any future Alexis Daria books!
If you’ve read You Had me At Hola, we’d love to hear what you thought! Or if you’ve read some good romances lately, leave your recommendations in the comments. We’d love to hear what books you’ve loved recently!