By: Alexis Daria
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 loved Jane the Virgin and after reading the blurb I was hoping for something similar. I was not disappointed. I’m really glad I recently picked Duilingo up because there was a fair amount of Spanish in this book and most of it was not explained. I didn’t always understand what was said by Ashton and his family, but I could get the general gist.
Jasmine is a soap opera star that has earned a starring role in a “Netflix” original series. She’s had an Emmy nod for her last role, but on the heels of that her rock star boyfriend dumps her by way of tabloid. Completely reprioritizing her life she makes a list of things she’s going to do so that she stops repeating a cycle of romantic doom.
Ashton has got bucket loads of anxiety and has seriously chosen the wrong career for the level of privacy he wants. He’s got a secret that he’s hiding from the rest of the world and after a traumatic experience with a stalker he’s not ready to share his secret with anyone. All of that and he’s got a goal to win an Oscar which means he’s taking a leading role in the “Netflix” telenovela adaption.
Sparks are instantaneous with the couple but they are able to resist for a while. It helps that Ashton has bad anxiety. Eventually, though, they overcome their struggles and start a relationship. Kind of. They’re physical, and spend some time in Jasmine’s room cuddling, but they keep it secret. Apart from work they don’t seem to spend much time together that isn’t physical. At least, it’s not shown in the book.
Jasmine does a pretty good job controlling her own anxieties but with everything that ends up happening Ashton basically explodes. He says some things that I felt like ended up being glossed over in his apology, but Jasmine forgives him quickly.
There were a lot I liked about You Had Me at Hola, namely the characters, story, and the setting. The few things I didn’t like, how fast Jasmine forgave and Ashton’s levels of anxiety (seriously dude after eight years he should have been talking to someone or medicated or both), were easy enough to set aside. All in all I’m hoping that this is made into a series and we get books about Ava, Michelle, and even some more for Ashton’s father.