by Alexis Daria
Published by Avon
Release Date: August 4th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Diverse, Fiction, Humor, Romance
Format Read: ARC, eBook
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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book brought the drama and steamy romance on a level that I wish more books did, and I was completely about it. Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is reeling from a messy break up that has gone public, putting her in a spotlight she desperately does not need. Gorgeous telenovela star Ashton Suárez fears his acting career is slowly beginning to fizzle out, and in joining a new cast at the last minute, he has the perfect plan to showcase his incredible acting abilities and revive his career. However, a literal collision with Jasmine, his co-star, is going to cause some undeniable issues and tension (the good kind of course).
When I read the synopsis of this book, I have to admit that I did a quick happy dance. I loved the entire concept of the plot and it taking place in a telenovela setting. I have seen quite a few telenovelas, so in knowing that this book was going to practically be a telenovela in itself, I knew that the drama and romance were going to be fantastic. While there are many things I loved about the book, one thing that I have to applaud was the Latinx representation and the normalization of it. The characters were so diverse, and the topics and issues of the lack of representation and colorism in the telenovela industry were well done and it was constantly brought up. It felt that although we were escaping into this bright and lively story, Alexis Daria took the time to flesh out prevalent issues and inform her readers of these issues without ever losing the light feeling of the book.
Moving to Jasmine and Ashton, I was completely sold on their romance and their chemistry was undeniable. With their dual points-of-view, I enjoyed seeing how they viewed one another and the constant miscommunication that they kept enduring throughout the first portion of the book. It made the drama comedic at times and still felt realistic. Jasmine was such a fierce leading lady and I loved her confidence and passion. She was witty, bold and so loving. I also loved the chapters about her family, and I definitely wish that there had been more opportunities to really expand upon her complex relationship with her parents and siblings because that was something I felt that we only got a glimpse of. I also loved Ashton and his personality that might catch many by surprise if only taking him in for his outward persona that oozes confidence and charm. I also found myself relating to both Jasmine and Ashton, and the issues that they were presented with. They felt so valid and it made their development and growth incredibly rewarding by the end.
I also completely enjoyed the depiction of the behind-the-scenes aspects of producing a telenovela. It felt so informative but incredibly positive, especially in reading the scenes where Jasmine and Ashton had to showcase their on-screen chemistry. There were many moments where explicit verbal consent and communication was emphasized and positively reinforced, and it was written in a manner that showcased how valuable these aspects of a working relationship and personal relationship are, and why they are needed. These were details in the book that made it that much better for me, and it became much more than a story of drama and romance.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who, like me, has watched telenovelas and loved the drama and romance but tend to want something more. This book is filled with bright moments of fun and happiness, and realistic issues that I feel that many of us could relate to. Jasmine and Ashton will truly sweep you off your feet and have you rooting for a telenovela that welcomes you and brings you into a wonderful community filled with love and family.
Hi, I’m Elizabeth!! I am 22 with a bachelor degree in English Literary Studies. I love to read and talk about books 24/7, and when I’m not reading I am usually rewatching my comfort movies and shows for the hundredth time—specifically, anything Jane Austen!