Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for You Had Me At Hola (from Goodreads):
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.
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Primas of Power
Author: Alexis Daria
# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: August 4, 2020 – ongoing
Source & Format: Netgalley–eARC | Thank you Harper Collins!
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**
Ever since I read (and loved) Alexis’ Dance Off Series, I’ve been keeping an eye out for her other releases. When she announced this title on her eNewsletter I was SO EXCITED! I LOVE the TV shows Jane the Virgin and Ugly Betty so anything that is recommended to fans of them, that’s me!
What I Liked:
–It Reads Like a TV Show–
It felt like I was binge-watching a TV show–which is exactly what I wanted out of this.
It is easy to see how this series is inspired by telenovelas and shows like Jane the Virgin. You’ve got the focus on family roots; highlighting the prejudices Latin Americans face; and those highly entertaining moments of comedy laced throughout a story about love and all the drama it brings about.
–Slow Burn Romance–
The steady slow burn romance between Ashton and Jasmine that sucked me in. They take their time to get comfortable with each other. And I really thought their love scenes together were refreshing in the sense that they communicate about what they need intimately from a partner by talking and seeking consent. It isn’t just hot and heavy immediately; rather it is sensual and romantic.
What I Didn’t Like:
–Slightly Off-Pace for the Romance–
I think Ashton was maybe a little too aloof at the start? I wish that they had a few more interactions to really cement that deeper bond at the start by simply talking to each other. While the attraction is slow burn, those deeper feelings just seemed to happen pretty quickly once these two give into the attraction and I wasn’t entirely sure the intensity was warranted.
–The Episode Scenes As Chapters–
I wouldn’t say that I disliked this approach–I thought it was neat and did add to the story overall. I just think some formatting needed to be done to distinguish the characters’ feelings from the actors’. It was a little hard to separate the inner monologue. I’m hoping that is just a formatting issue in the ARCs.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I’m really excited to explore this cast of characters a little more. I know from Alexis’ newsletter who the next book will be about so I’m curious to see what will happen next!
–September 17, 2021– Book #2: A Lot Like Adiós
I felt more chemistry with these two after one chapter than I have in some entire romance novels!
There are a lot of tropes at play here (friends to lovers, second chances, fake dating) but the story always feels organic. I always worry with second chance romances that I won’t see the connection between the two leads; sometimes authors think it’s enough to mention the shared past to establish that connection — not the case here! There’s a great mix of past and present experiences to help cement that romance but also provide some solid character growth.
Just like the first book in the series, I loved how these two talked about their intimate moments and needs with each other throughout. There’s also an incredible amount of diversity throughout this book when it comes to race and sexual orientation. Whereas the first book focused a little more on racial prejudices, I felt like this one focused more on the family core and how that can be strained over time; which is universal for all cultures.
My Rating: 4.5/5
You Had Me At Hola 4.5/5 | A Lot Like Adios 4/5
This reads like a great rom-com movie and it’s perfect for fans of contemporary romance looking for diverse, well written reads.
Read if You Like: telenovelas, diverse reads, rom-coms
Avoid if You: want erotica, dislike rom-coms
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