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.
You Had Me at Hola is Alexis Daria’s Avon debut (I love her Take the Lead, set behind the scenes of a “Dancing with the Stars”-type show). It is a fun, entertaining, and steamy romance set behind the scenes of a new telenovela filming for a “major streaming service” (and check out that awesome cover). In between chapters of Jasmine and Ashton “in real life” are fun insertions of scenes in the show as they are shot where Jasmine’s and Ashton’s characters overlap with their real-life selves. Daria hits it out of the park in creating the show Carmen in Charge – I would totally watch it and cheer on its amazing, diverse creative team if it were real! Daria really knows her way around the entertainment industry (look, if you haven’t read Take the Lead go do that). Jasmine and Ashton were such excellent characters, too. They each have some stuff to work through – Jasmine feels like she doesn’t get support from her family in both her career and her dating life (her two cousins are pretty awesome and that’s it) and Ashton has PTSD, and maybe a little paranoia, from a crazed fan’s break-in attempt years ago. I would have maybe had them grovel a teensy bit more to each other at the end since they said some really below-the-belt stuff during their big blow-up. And Ashton’s dad is a love 💖.
PS: Paparazzi are trash scum and wtf, people, don’t take sneaky pictures of famous people out minding their own business, that’s rude. It did make me feel a little sad when Jasmine is basically like “we sign up for some of this when we’re famous” – and yeah, I can see the press interviews and such, but the garbage invasions of privacy? Nah. No one deserves that.
You Had Me at Hola is out today!!
Dear FTC: I read a finished copy of this book that the publisher sent to me.