You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
August 4, 2020 by Avon
1. Leading Ladies only end up on magazine covers with good reason.
2. Leading Ladies are whole and happy on their own.
3. Leading Ladies are badass queens making jefa moves.
And then there was the fourth mental item she hadn’t dared write down: Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.
If you are desperately looking for a fun, fresh, romantic time-out from the craziness of 2020, this book is for you. It was everything I didn’t know I needed until I opened up my Kindle and started to read.
First off, who can resist that cover? Certainly not me, a self-professed cover addict. The art department at Avon outdid themselves and set a new bar for cartoony covers. I fell in love at first sight and never looked back.
Secondly, Alexis Daria gives her readers two gorgeous, talented Latinx protagonists in Jasmine Lin and Ashton Suarez. Jasmine is a soap opera regular looking to make her big break and change the narrative after a bad break up with a douchebag pop star. Ashton is the king of telenovelas but is still looking for his big Hollywood break. They both get their chance with Carmen in Charge, Screenflix’s (a huge streaming service) newest project, and one could possibly boost their careers.
You just can’t help but like these characters. Jasmine loves what she does and is so very talented, but she tends to fall for the wrong men. She craves attention, mainly because she’s the classic middle child who is overlooked and a bit understood. Especially because of her choice of career. But she’s so easy to relate to and you can see yourself befriending her and her cousin girl gang.
Ashton has many, many secrets. This biggest is that he has a son and in order to protect him (something happened in his past to make him super wary) he keeps him out of the limelight and his existence hidden. This leads him to appear standoffish, but he is super professional and determined to make it to Hollywood and the A-list roles.
And last, but certainly not least, the romance. I ADORED this couple. They start out on the wrong foot, but it doesn’t take them too long before they begin a friendship of sorts. They are insanely attracted to each other, and despite both knowing they shouldn’t start something, they just can’t help themselves. Their romance had so much sexual tension. The LUST. The angst. The hot as hell love scenes. So. Damn. Sexy. And of course, there is a BIG MISUNDERSTANDING, but I knew it was coming and I knew what it would be about and to be honest, it was handled in a way that made sense. It allllll worked for me.
I loved the secondary characters, which were mostly the big, loving families of both Jasmine and Ashton. You will love them too. I enjoyed meeting the crew of Carmen in Charge and seeing how they worked together. I can’t wait to see them all again in the future.
One last thing, this book follows Jasmine and Ashton’s romance, but also leads readers through each of the Carmen in Charge episodes as they are filmed. I looked forward to these little breaks and seeing them immerse themselves in their onscreen characters. It was fun to follow along as their characters (who are divorced) slowly move closer together, especially knowing Jasmine and Ashton are also falling in love.
You Had Me at Hola is a lovely treat for romance lovers and I highly recommend. I predict we will see it on many a best-of list at the end of the year.
Final grade- A-