This book has been on my radar for quite a while. I even dowloaded a copy a few months ago with the intension of reading it but then my ADHD kicked in and another book caught my eye and this one fell by the wayside. Every once in a while though I would see it pop up on my radar again and in my recommended reading, finally I decided to pick it up! I was really wanting something light and fun, and that fact that it was Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought why not read this one?!
I loved the idea of two soap opera/novella stars coming together for a romance. It sounded kinda cheesy but also kinda fun and just what I needed to keep me engaged but while being light enough where I could sort of ‘zone out’ while reading. I loved soap operas growing up as a kid. When I was home sick I loved throwing on Days of Our Lives to pass the time. I could fall asleep and wake up again and keep right on watching, and that’s what I was hoping for from this book.
So does this sound like fluff? Yes not might sound like it but there was a lot much of the book that wasn’t just ‘fluff’. Personally I am loving more fluff reading of late. There is something about romances that appeal to me so much right now, some of it is the fluff aspect where things are just lighter and fun to read while also getting a HEA. But occasionally there are romances that have more substance and those are fine too but generally I like the lighter fluffy romances. This was more on the fluffy side but there were some parts that had more substance to them—-over all a nice balance.
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. (summary from Goodreads)
I finished this book in a couple of days and it did exactly what I hoped it would do—-pass the time and provide a HEA. I loved ALLLLLLL the Latinx flare in this book. The author really brought Latinx culture and flavor to the pages and it was one of the things I liked best about this one. I don’t know that I loved the name Ashton for the main character, but I understood why he had that ‘stage name’ though out the story. The author did a really good job at highlighting the challenges of Latinx characters in mainstream entertainment. I also loved the novella angle and how much that impacted Ashton’s career and how he struggled to break out of that type casting. I also loved how the author portrayed Jasmine professionally—-personally I had some other issues with her but professionally in her role as soap opera star, I loved how the author showed her challenged and struggles within the industry both as a Latinx and a woman.
Where I struggled with Jasmine’s character was her need to be loved. I liked her ‘leading lady’ plan throughout the book which I think will resonate with a lot of women, but something about her journey rang false to me. She kept saying leading ladies don’t fall in love with their co-stars, but yet she did. She would then say things like leading ladies are whole and complete on their own, but yet it just rang false to me because she kept saying how much she wanted to be loved etc. So it didn’t totally jive with her character. I liked her but I didn’t love her in the way I was hoping. I also didn’t like the things that Ashton said to Jasmine when they had their big fight. She was quick to forgive him when I personally felt like the things he said (not his secret) was a little much for the situation and I wouldn’t have forgiven him as quickly as she did.
As far as romance goes, this book was more tame that I was expecting. Yes there are quite a few sex scenes but not nearly as graphic as I was anticipating. I was a little put off for the amount of lube references in the sex scenes though. It made things awkward for me. Like why does she need so much lube?!!?? But for the most part the sex scenes were pretty good and believable. Jasmine and Ashton had good chemistry, but now with the lens of having read the other book in this series, I can officially say that the second book is WAY better than this one. I ended up liking this one enough to pick up the second book but I don’t know that I loved this book in the way I anticipated. In the end I went with a 3 star rating for this one.
Book Info and Rating
Format: ebook 384 pages
Publisher: Published August 4th 2020 by Avon
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3 stars