Review: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 4th 2020
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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.

If you’re a fan of the show Jane the Virgin, you’re gonna want to try You Had Me at Hola! There’s Latinx rep, telenovelas, actor main characters, and a ton of on- and off-screen steam. It was my first book from Alexis Daria and I really liked her writing. I loved the telenovela aspect and that we actually get to read the script (which is a dramatic second chance romance I was super into) and see how the actor characters play it out. While I did have my issues with parts of the book, I still would recommend it if you’re looking for a romance with great Latinx characters who are making their way into Hollywood.

Soap opera actress Jasmine Lin Rodriguez has just landed the lead role on a Latinx romantic comedy show, to be streamed on a Netflix lookalike, so you know it’s a big deal. She’s paired up with a famous telenovela star in his own right, Ashton Suárez. They get off on a bumpy start after he accidentally spills coffee on her during their first meeting, and try as they might to create some chemistry between them while filming, something seems to be missing. So they agree to work on their lines behind the scenes, and that’s when things really heat up.

Jasmine and Ashton’s romance was sweet. I liked the fact that the hero is the one who is awkward and a bit shy when it comes to the romance. Ashton has his reasons for being very wary and closed off from relationships. He doesn’t want to be in the limelight because of a secret he’s keeping that he wants to be kept hidden. Unfortunately, I think Ashton took this a bit too far for too long. I got frustrated with how hot and cold he was with Jasmine and wasn’t a fan of the way he didn’t understand that his pursuit of Hollywood came with the cost of his privacy. He sadly took too long for my taste to realize he had something good with the heroine.

Luckily, Jasmine wasn’t as frustrating for me. I loved her character! I enjoyed her ambition and how much she loved being a lead role on a Latinx rom-com. I adored her relationship with her family and close cousins – the female friendship in this book was lovely and family plays a huge and important part to both Jasmine and Ashton’s lives. And one of my favorite aspects of this book was actually the show, Carmen in Charge! I’ll admit, at times I was more invested in the show’s romance than the off-screen romance. It’s a second chance romance with a ton of angst and I 100% would not mind if it turned into a real book or show. I do wish I could’ve loved You Had Me at Hola more but I would still highly recommend it if you want some fantastic Latinx characters!


lacey


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
✦ INSTAGRAM • YOUTUBE • FACEBOOK • TWITTER • GOODREADS • PINTEREST • BLOGLOVIN’ ✦

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Review: One Hot Italian Summer by Karina Halle

One Hot Italian Summer by Karina Halle
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 28th 2020
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

An author finds inspiration in Tuscany in the form of a hot Italian single dad…
This summer is going to be a scorcher.

A writer who’s blocked–I’m a total cliche.

Lucky for me, my agent has a cure that’s an even bigger stereotype–a month at her villa in Tuscany, with nothing to do but find my muse.

When he walks right in the front door, adorable son in tow, it feels like fate has finally done for me what it does for every other cliche’d girl I’ve seen in the movies. Except that he’s completely off-limits. In this case, business and pleasure can never mix.

Because Claudio is my agent’s ex.

Still, he’s smart, charming, and wickedly sexy, plus a great father to Vanni. He’s fast becoming the cure to all my writing woes. And it’s clear he wants me as much as I want him.

As the hot Italian summer wears on, it becomes harder and harder to resist. Succumbing to the heat even just one time could ruin my career.

Or he could be exactly what I need.

Holy. SWOOOON!!! One Hot Italian Summer was pure romance heaven and I loved it! Karina Halle has been killing it with her recent releases and this latest one is now a new favorite of mine. You will 100% get swept off your feet and wish you were in Italy once you read Grace and Claudio’s romance. It’s feel-good, steamy, and so sweet, I couldn’t help but adore every moment I read it.

Grace used to be one half of an author duo, but after the death of her writing partner, she’s feeling adrift and experiencing writer’s block. Her new agent offers a solution: Grace will take a much needed vacation from Scotland and stay in her agent’s villa in the Italian countryside. It’s perfect… until she finds herself naked (so she can take a dip in the pool) in front of a gorgeous stranger and his son. Turns out, Claudio and Vanni are Grace’s agent’s ex-husband and son, and all three of them will be staying in the Tuscany villa together for the time being.

Grace and Claudio have SO much tension between them from the get-go. You can clearly tell how much they want each other but are trying so hard not to act on their lust and chemistry, not just because of Vanni but also his mother. But there’s nothing more romantic than spending time together in the Italian countryside, where the sun is shining, the food is decadent, and the hero is a hunk, a sculptor (there’s a pottery scene a la Ghost), and can speak to you (dirty) in Italian. These two fall and they fall hard. It’s actually Claudio that dives in headfirst regarding the romance, and I loved that so much. He knows Grace is The One for him and will do anything to make her fall in love with him.

This book is the definition of the heart-eyes emoji. Grace is a lovely, relatable heroine, Claudio is swoony and sweet, even Vanni is hilarious and adorable! Karina Halle always writes such incredible romances that take place around the world, and this time she had me wishing I could live in Tuscany… and fall in love with a gorgeous Italian single dad. If you’re looking for the perfect summer romance, look no further than One Hot Italian Summer.


lacey


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
✦ INSTAGRAM • YOUTUBE • FACEBOOK • TWITTER • GOODREADS • PINTEREST • BLOGLOVIN’ ✦

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Review: Lovewrecked by Karina Halle

Lovewrecked by Karina Halle
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 25th 2020
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

What happens when you take a grumpy yet oh-so sexy groomsman, add a cheerful maid-of-honor that gets under his skin, and strand them on a deserted island together? Lovewrecked is the sexiest, funniest, sweetest romantic comedy of the year, from the NYT bestselling author of The Pact and A Nordic King

Daisy Lewis is experiencing a relentless string of bad luck.

Fortunately, Daisy has her sister’s destination wedding coming up. A week of sand, sea, and sun in the South Pacific as the maid-of-honor is exactly what Daisy needs to forget her upturned life and focus on the positive.

That is until Daisy meets the best man.

If you take tall, dark, and handsome, and add a dash of rugged, a pinch of brooding, and a whole lot of sexy, you’ve got Tai Wakefield. Unfortunately he’s also a major grump, total alpha, and seemingly out to antagonize Daisy at every turn.

As if being part of the wedding party with Tai wasn’t bad enough, Daisy’s bad luck soon resurfaces when she ends up on a cramped sailboat with Tai and the newlyweds.

Which then shipwrecks on a deserted island near Fiji.

Okay, so they aren’t completely alone. There’s an oddball research scientist who has been isolated for far too long, they have rundown bungalows as shelter, stores of water and canned food, plus a feral goat named Wilson.

It’s Lost…without the smoke monster.

But with rescue weeks away, Tai and Daisy realize the only way they’re going to get through this mess is to stop fighting and start working together.

And with their guards down, they get closer.

A lot closer.

Soon, Daisy realizes that the only thing worse than being stuck on a deserted island, is being stuck on a deserted island with a man she hates to love and loves to hate.

A man that can break her heart.

If you ever wanted to read a rom-com about getting shipwrecked and stuck on a deserted island, and NOT have to worry about anyone dying on that deserted island, Lovewrecked is your book! This was a hilarious, low angst/drama, entertaining romance that I highly recommend.

I’ll admit, if you ever show me a romance with the grumpy hero + sunshine heroine trope, I will read it 99% of the time. This trope just always gets to me! I love the dynamic and Karina Halle writes it wonderfully in Tai and Daisy’s relationship. They get off on the wrong foot from the very second Daisy lands in New Zealand and it only gets better when they get themselves into trouble (along with Daisy’s sister and her new husband) by getting shipwrecked on their way to Fiji and forced on an island together.

I had a grin on my face pretty much the entire time I read Lovewrecked. Daisy and Tai are so funny and charming together, and once the romance picked up, I was swooning! There were times when I genuinely laughed out land over the craziness everyone gets up to while stranded on the island (like a certain someone using some poisonous leaves when there’s no toilet paper around). This book was truly a blast to read and I already can’t wait for another rom-com from Karina Halle!


lacey


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
✦ INSTAGRAM • YOUTUBE • FACEBOOK • TWITTER • GOODREADS • PINTEREST • BLOGLOVIN’ ✦

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Review: All I Ask by Corinne Michaels

All I Ask by Corinne Michaels
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: March 17th 2020
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Teagan Berkeley is trying her best. A single mom raising a precocious teen, she may have given up on her dreams, but she’s accepted her life in her small beachside hometown. Now the one person who abandoned her when she needed him the most has returned, bringing back memories of what might have been.

Derek Hartz arrives in town with a teenage daughter-and he’s full of guilt over his failed marriage and the way he ended his friendship with Teagan. He’s determined to set things right with her, but first he needs to gain her trust, something he’s not convinced he deserves.

As Teagan and Derek open up to each other-and confess their deepest secrets-it’s impossible for them to deny what’s always been between them. But just when their happily ever after is within reach, their complicated history surfaces again and threatens to keep them apart. Forever.

I was so excited when I got an early copy of All I Ask. First, the cover is STUNNING. Second, two single parents! And third, it’s the (ex) friends to lovers trope. Which means all the angst and all the feels. So I am a bit disappointed that I couldn’t enjoy this book more. It’s not a bad read, just a frustrating one. You can tell Corinne Michaels knows how to write, but the miscommunication in this romance got on my nerves. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when characters just don’t TALK to each other. The reason why our hero and heroine became estranged for over a decade was because they couldn’t express their feelings towards one another. This book is definitely a “it’s me, not you” kind of read, but if you also don’t enjoy reading about miscommunication, I would pass on it.

While the book is told in alternate POVs (IMO, there weren’t enough chapters from the hero), we also get two timelines: the past, when Teagan and Derek first meet in high school and fall in unrequited love, and the present, when they reunite for the first time in a decade as single parents. I have to say I wasn’t a big fan of the past chapters – they were boring and didn’t add all that much to the story because I could already tell how in love Teagan and Derek were through their present chapters. And, this is when they start keeping their feelings a secret and Derek uses his new fiancée to cope with the fact that he thinks Teagan doesn’t love him back. Did I also mention Teagan is pregnant by her deadbeat ex and Derek gets his fiancée pregnant? I guess no one uses condoms anymore. It just annoyed me to no end that they could’ve saved over ten years worth of hurt and heartache with a simple conversation.

The present day reunion is underwhelming. It starts off with some fantastic angst and I could just FEEL all the emotions and hurt from Teagan. Derek ghosted her, his best friend, like she didn’t mean anything to him. He stopped all communication with her and dropped off the face of the planet. I really wanted her to make him work towards earning back her trust and heart, but after maybe two conversations they start dating already. So that whole thing was anticlimactic. The thing is, I truly don’t believe Derek would’ve ever gone after Teagan, the woman he supposedly loved, if he didn’t become a widower. I never understood why he was okay living married but separated with his wife, a woman he didn’t love. So Teagan comes across as second best, his second choice, and that left a bad taste in my mouth.

The good things I did enjoy? The writing, which is solid, and Teagan’s daughter, who has such a personality. I’m sure I’m in the minority for this book, but I wanted more – more angst, more GROVELING, more chapters from the hero. And sadly, this just didn’t work for me.



FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
✦ INSTAGRAM • YOUTUBE • FACEBOOK • TWITTER • GOODREADS • PINTEREST • BLOGLOVIN’ ✦

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Audiobook Review: Starfish by Lisa Becker

Starfish by Lisa Becker
Series: Standalone
Audiobook Publication Date: December 10th 2019
Length: 8 hours and 33 minutes
Narrated by: Erin Mallon & Sebastian York
Links: Audible • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

Ambitious graduate Marin Collins accepts a four-month internship at a prestigious public relations firm to work on a tech account, but her plans are derailed when she’s assigned to go on the road with touring rock band Kings Quarters, hailed by Rolling Stone as the next big thing.

Enter Brad Osterhauser, the reluctant rock star who would rather be coding computer games than penning Grammy-nominated songs.

Traveling by bus, city to city with a group of practical joking bandmates and a greedy manager, Marin and Brad forge a friendship and forbidden romance over a shared love of Seinfeld episodes, stolen moments and Red Vines.

But when Marin’s accused of betraying her company and the band, will Brad come to her defense or believe she was disloyal to him for the sake of her career?

I adore rock star romances, but it seems like they’re being published few and far between, which means I don’t read them as often as I used to a few years ago. So when I had the chance to listen to Starfish, I was excited. It’s not really about the glam and glory life of rock stars – it’s a more realistic aspect to it, as the heroine is interning at a PR firm with a rock star band as a client. The book was surprisingly down-to-earth for a rock star romance, but I appreciated a different take on this trope.

When Marin Collins goes on tour with rock band Kings Quarters, she expects the rock star life to be all about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It’s… not. It’s non-stop, on the road bus touring, lots of jokes and banter between bandmates, and a really sweet guitarist she can’t not fall for. But obviously as the band’s PR company’s new intern, she can’t exactly get involved with a client without losing her internship. So Marin and Brad try the friends route, which leads to a ton of longing, some back and forth between do we or don’t we, and lots of flirting. The romance is fairly low on drama but the audio was still an entertaining listen. It definitely helps that two of my favorite narrators, Erin Mallon and Sebastian York, narrate Marin and Brad!

If you’re looking for something that’s sweet and slow, Starfish is a great romance to try! I’m really glad I got to try this new-to-me author for the first time. I’m not sure if she’ll be writing any books for the other members of Kings Quarters, but I wouldn’t mind if she does!


lacey


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
✦ INSTAGRAM • YOUTUBE • FACEBOOK • TWITTER • GOODREADS • PINTEREST • BLOGLOVIN’ ✦

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.