Cover Image: You Had Me at Hola

You Had Me at Hola

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Member Reviews

::I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work!::  
First off..look at this glorious cover!! Go ahead and judge this book by its cover...I loved everything about this story. In #YouHadMeAtHola by #AlexisDaria we get the story of soap star Jasmine. She's always in the tabloids for her love life, but deep down she just wants a real relationship. On her new streaming show, Jasmine gets to work with telenovela heartthrob Ashton. Over time they grow closer, Ashton has a big secret, and they're both avoid the spotlight of the paparazzi. This book reminded me a lot of the studio scenes in Jane the Virgin, and the show Telenovela with Eva Longoria. Both characters are driven and trying to navigate their passionate affair, but also the sudden realization that having something real will change their personal and working lives. Daria really makes it a point to celebrate Latinx community and culture, and the book is all the better for it. I really hope this book becomes a wild success, and we get a Netflix show out of it. Go ahead and pre-order this book today, it drops on July 7th.
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I don’t often seek out or read books featuring actors but this one is very well done. The acting chapters are separate from the main story so you get a two for one: the story of Ashton and Jasmine along with Victor and Carmen. The glimpses into the behind the scenes of TV making is a fun backdrop for a romance. And that Latinx led TV show (and by extension the book) features a highly diverse cast.

Jasmine is at a bit of a crossroads coming off a bad breakup and trying to not let the press ruin her life. She wants to focus on herself and her career without losing herself in another undeserving person. So the Leading Lady Plan is born. I loved her epiphany at the end. 

I also don’t always enjoy secrets plot points but I think it’s more the intention or motivation behind it that really matters. In this case, Ashton keeps a secret as a result of trauma and lingering fear. Not logical at all, but that’s what those experiences can do to us. 

The dark moment was tough. It felt like Ashton’s head wasn’t connected to his mouth so all the things he said could only hurt Jasmine. His grand gesture though was awesome. 

Other random bits: I really liked the normalization of using lube. Super cute cover and title. 

Thank you HarperCollins and NetGalley for the ARC!
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Ayyyy dios. All the tension. Hello sexy tension. This isn't the kind of tension were you're screaming JUST KISS ALREADY (although there is part of that). It's the kind of tension were they are kissing and you feel like you should look away because it's TOO MUCH. 

I'm making this sound like erotica, and it's not. It's a very lovely story about two people learning to trust again. Two people who have insane chemistry but also have a lot of trust issues. There's a lot of passion in this story, and while I didn't completely buy into the angst/conflict, the chemistry & desire between Jas & Ashton overpowered everything else. 

I loved all the Latinx rep--it was SO varied. There were first generation Latinx, second generation, spanish speakers, non-spanish speakers... I loved that there was mention of colorism, which is such a huge issue in Latinx communities. I loved that we have two Latinx MCs, but the conflict was not about their race/identity/ethnicity. 

I didn't think I'd love how Daria included scenes of the telenovela. At the beginning, it pulled me out of the Jas and Ashton's story, but by the end she wove it all together so well. 

You Had Me at Hola is a fun, sexy, and soft story. While it didn't sweep me off my feet, it did transport me to this fun-filled telenovela set in New York and I had a lot fun while I was there. (Also, the people on this set must have been placing big bets on these two...)

A whole star goes to Jasmine's grandmother, Esperenza, who deserves her own book.

**Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for providing an advanced ecopy in exchange for an honest review.**
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Thank you to Harper Collins Publishing and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader's Copy!

Available August 4th 2020

A novel within a novel, Alexis Dara's latest novel "You Had Me at Hola" is an intricate rom com with a heart of gold. When Jasmine Lin decides to take on Carmen, her first real break from the world of soap operas, she promises herself one thing - that she won't get carried away with romance yet again. Cue the handsome yet reclusive telenovela heartthrob Ashton, her costar. While things heat up on stage and in their private life, will Ashton and Jasmine be able to handle the stress? Or will the pressure of media and family take over? Seamlessly blending Jasmine and Carmen's narratives, Dara presents with a heartwarming love story, perfect for a summer read. 

While there were some things that slightly bothered me about the text - mainly the amount of "sheathing" (?) and the fact that Jasmine forgot that Ashton had given her the coffee cups later on in the book- there were many things that made me surprised and happy. For one, it was great to see a male lead display complex emotions. The character of Vera and the recurring importance of communication in relationships was another selling point. I especially love that no one character is perfect, but they work through their issues together. Overall, Dara conveys positive messages in an engaging, hilarious and empathetic romantic comedy!
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Love, love, love. You Had Me at Hola is phenomenal, romantic, and sexy as hell. Easily a candidate for one of my favorite reads of 2020 so far. RTC.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Jasmine and Ashton are both scared. Scared of fame, scared of not being in control, and scared of their feelings for each other. Their journey on the way to an HEA is beautiful and special, and I loved it!
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A telenovela romance in which Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds herself in the tabloids after a messy breakup, wants to do better for herself and moves back to NYC (where she’s from) to film a Netflix like English adaptation (think Betty La Fea / Ugly Betty). She thinks she’s gonna stick to her Leading Lady Plan (No Drama, No Hookups, Good Image) until the sexy Ashton Suárez walks in and spills coffee on her. 

He’s the biggest male lead in telenovela’s ever. Ashton is the male lead for this series, wanting to break out of his telenovela streak and into Hollywood proper. After their awkward first meeting, they have to build up chemistry to make it believable on screen. Rehearsing leads to shenanigans, but can Ashton keep his deep secret away for any longer? Can Jasmine stick to her plan and not get hurt?

It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed it. The story was really well done, and cheesy when it needed to be. Both Jasmine and Ashton were great to follow, and I felt the “insta love” thing wasn’t exactly true like some reviewers said, because Jasmine kind of knew of him since she followed his career for years. It also explored Latinx in the entertainment indusrry and it was pretty diverse in its cast of characters. I think the only thing I would add is that I felt that Ashton’s problems were resolved too quickly, but that’s mostly because I’m new to romances! I still really loved this book!
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4 - 4.5 Stars - I highly recommend if you enjoy contemporary romance. 

I'll admit that the gorgeous cover drew me to this book, but holy cow, it was so much fun to read. I loved the premise and the characters so much. The book switching back and forth between the show and real life, as well as dual POV made this book feel really well rounded. I loved Jasmine and her goals to improve her career and image. I loved her soft heart and young spirit. Jasmine's family was delightful, and it was so telling that they featured in her thoughts even when they weren't together how important they are to her. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I could relate to Ashton's character. His drive to take care of his family and improve his craft were very compelling. I thought that the chemistry between the characters, while a little bit slow burn, was really really steamy. I enjoyed the angst and the reluctance they had to be together. The steamy scenes were VERY STEAMY. I also enjoyed their dual language conversations and terms of endearment. I won't give any spoilers, but I also liked the mini twist at the ending of the book. Overall, this was a great book, very fun but also important in terms of representation and conversations about representation. This won't be my last Alexis Daria book!
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I enjoyed Daria's previous two books immensely, and You Had Me at Hola did not disappoint. Jasmine and Ashton are not only likable, they're flawed, which makes for a romcom where people are fallible and human in relatable ways. It's a book full of diversity that feels authentic and prescient; it unpacks the glamour of fame while also showing its dark side too. The romance was believable with a great arc throughout, complementing the TV show scripts as part of the plot line.
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You Had Me at Hola was such a treat to read and was the perfect story to break me out of this reading funk that I’ve been since the beginning of 2020. Following two actors who get off on the wrong foot at their initial meeting for their new Latinx streaming show, this romance mixes together the stress of making it big in Hollywood with two striking characters who each are heavily invested in making this new show break through and become an absolute success.

What makes a truly great romance are strong character dynamics and palpable chemistry between the two love interests. Here, we have Ashton, an adorably awkward character who tries his hardest not to let Jasmine past the walls erected around his heart, and then we have Jasmine, eager to ignore the press shadowing her every move after a bad breakup and to make it big as a Leading Lady. Together, as they slowly grow closer while being on set, they can’t deny the electricity that courses between them.

Not only do we get a wonderful, romance blossoming behind the scenes of this show but we also explore the variance of Latinx identity. Ashton is a Puerto Rican actor eager to make it big in Hollywood rather than being stuck playing love interests in telenovelas while Jasmine is a Puerto Rican-Filipina who isn’t completely fluent in Spanish but has to speak the language in this new bilingual show. Words can’t describe how much this meant to me as a bilingual who is too afraid to speak Spanish in front of non-family members because my grammar isn’t completely perfect and I don’t know how to conjugate as quickly as I’d like to.

I saw so much of myself in Jasmine, in her language, her family dynamics, and the way she seeks out validation through others’ love. Jasmine is both a powerful protagonist and a vulnerable one, and I’m forever grateful to dive into her world because it made me feel less alone as a Latina.

You Had Me at Hola is a vibrant celebration of Latinx identity in the backdrop of Hollywood without relying too heavily on the influence of the paparazzi like other Hollywood stories do. Mixing together dual perspectives from both Ashton and Jasmine who live such different lives but come together to form a healthy, loving relationship while also showcasing scenes from the show itself, You Had Me at Hola is a fantastic contemporary with a fiery romance that left me smiling long after I finished it.
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If you are a fan of Jane the Virgin and telenovelas and hispanic culture, you’ll love this fun romance read! As the telenovela characters got closer, so did the actors playing them, and it was a cute (and steamy at times!) story.
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From the very beginning of You Had Me at Hola, it's clear Alexis Daria has created something beautiful. We're dropped straight into Jasmine's big, boisterous family. She has returned to her hometown of New York City after an embarrassing public breakup, and she's determined to execute her "Leading Lady Plan" as she begins filming her latest project, Carmen in Charge, for the leading streaming service. Meanwhile, Ashton, a single father and longtime telenovela staple, is ready to tackle a role that he hopes will bridge the gap between Miami and Hollywood. This is a heartfelt coworkers/friends-to-lovers romance, and both protagonists are holding secrets and fighting anxieties as they grow close. I loved the extensive cast of characters—Jasmine and Ashton's families are both significant to the story, and the all-Latinx cast and crew of Carmen in Charge flesh out the background of the story. (Thank you to Avon and NetGalley for the eARC!)
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This book was so much fun & still had enough depth to make it a good read. I LOVED LOVED LOVED that both our main characters were Latinx and had their own character arcs while still having amazing chemistry. Jasmine's cousins were so much fun and I loved their group chat. I would love to see Michelle & Ava get their own books!! Overall, I fell into this novel and could not put it down. I recommend this one to fans of Jane the Virgin & romance novels!
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This book was a delight!

This book was so funny and charming and allowed me to be a voyeur into the world of telenovelas! I loved the authenticity of the representation and how seamlessly that IDENTITY was woven into the DNA of the story. Jasmine was kind of a hot mess, and I loved her because...she knew it! Ha! And Ashton, that sweet, sweet...very hot man. Their coupling had me swooning. 

LOVED IT!
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*Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for an E-Arc in exchange for an honest review.* 

This was a hard one for me to finish. I probably would have DNFd if it wasn't an arc I felt compelled to finish. My main issue. 

There was no tension. No chemistry. This is a romance, where's the pull? The intrigue? These characters fell absolutely flat to me. They were boring. All of their character arc is revealed from the beginning. The girl who falls too fast and too easily meets the man who has closed himself off because of his past. The worst part is we don't even get any mystery. It's all laid out for us from the beginning. 

If I don't care about characters I can't care about anything else and that's where this fell short for me. I did appreciate the representation but I just couldn't get into this one.
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Squeal, I absolutely loved this book! The characters were so colorful and full of authentic personality just like real #latinx people! I’m always so happy to see diverse reads featuring Latinx peeps but I do get nervous that someone will get it wrong and basically end up with caricatures. Definitely not the case here. I really liked that layers of Jasmine and Ashton were peeled back chapter after chapter, letting us in to their private worlds and helping us understand what makes them tick and why they are the way they are. The love scenes were very well written, a good amount of steamy and sensuality oozed off the page. One big source of enjoyment for me were the families, more often than not we come as a package deal so I was happy to see both families getting their due part in this book. Highly recommend it!
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I thought this was such a unique novel, and I very much enjoyed it. The characters were fun to get to know, and it was extra fun reading about two MCs that were from a hispanic background. 

The plot was interesting, and I liked the clever way their acting jobs were portrayed. It was a fun way to see Jasmine and Ashton in their roles, and at the same time seeing how their roles helped them get closer to one another. 

I also appreciated how they both sought out some help for their issues in the end. There were clearly some deep emotional traumas that hindered their relationship, so I liked knowing that they were both working on it individually. It made me feel like their HEA would be secure and realistic in the future.
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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.- Goodreads

I too had an obsession with American soap operas. However, One Life to Live was my favorite one of all time and it was because of three men;  Antonio (Kamar de los Reyes) and Cristian (David Fumero) Vega and Todd Manning (Roger Howarth). The Vega brothers were everything to me. I live to watch their stories and Todd. . . he was a mess but a mess with a soft heart.

This book. . . made me remember all of that.

First let me say how well this book was written. Not only do you get both Jasmine and Ashton's point of views but you also read the show; basically you are seeing reading two stories at the same time. So you're getting a bang for your buck.  The transitions are clear and smooth. The writing is engaging, extremely detailed without the drag and there is a balance of color and culture. What I mean by that is the author is trying to tell a love story and within that love story give you a glimpse of the culture while not stressing the politics of the culture. Honestly it was refreshing. I say that with no insult. I say that because its nice to read a diverse book without a struggle. We see it all the time in books by Black authors, Hispanic authors and any non straight, white authors. This book was refreshing.

Jasmine and Ashton have pure, makes sense chemistry. There is an instant attraction that wouldn't say is lust.  But they are grown adults (with baggage) that responsible (ish). There are definitely some drama within their relationship but it doesn't happen as sudden as other romances. 

Beyond their chemistry, Jasmine and Ashton were great characters with their own personalities that were different from each other but complimented each other.  They didn't allow their individuality to change or shape their relationship. I love that. Too often you see someone in a relationship trying to be someone different because of the person they are with. 

Both of them experience growth, not just at the end but also as you read. Also the author makes reference to their past growth (at least on Jasmine's end). 

I loved this novel and have every intention of buying a physical copy for my library. 

Overall, 

4 Pickles
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This is one of the best romances I have read in a while!! The plot, characters, story within a story all meld together to create this world that I couldn't leave until I had finished the book in one sitting. If you loved Jane the Virgin or really any telenovela, you will love this book.
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Gorgeous cover, a fun read, especially for anyone who has caught telenovas or at least can appreciate what they are about.  It was cute and steamy at the same time.  I enjoyed Jasmine, not so much on Ashton.  He was a little too guarded, would have liked to have seen more vulnerability.  I mean I thought he was vulnerable at times, and those were the times I really liked his character, but at other times not so much..  I also felt his character flip at the end was too sudden.  Definitely good for a beach read this summer
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