I read You Had Me at Hola in about a day. It’s a fun sexy romance featuring two Latinx Telenovella leads in a steamy story about leading ladies and family. I love how dimensional the characters felt while also being grounded by their loud and loving family. Keep reading this book review to find out if You Had Me at Hola is right for you.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
What I loved about You Had Me at Hola was how this dual POV novel focused on the main characters, Ashton and Jasmine, but also on their families. There was a fabulous balance of their lives and struggles with ambition and heartbreak, while also being grounded in their roles in their families. Jasmine and Ashton aren’t just Telenovella actors, or love interests, they’re also their son’s father, their mother’s middle child, and all of their different roles combine to form their pressures and expectations.
Their personalities jumped off the pages immediately. You Had Me at Hola was so richly steeped in Latinx culture and I loved how it tackled issues of representation, colorism, and racism in Hollywood. While it was a story about Jasmine and Ashton as individuals, it was also very clear how much their roles/representation and their supportive work environment meant to everyone. It enforces the importance of having the roles for Latinx families more accessible and more prominent especially in Hollywood, while also discussing the desire to make it big.
You Had Me at Hola had everything I could want – sizzling chemistry, supportive best friends, family oriented characters, and a fierce heroine – all in one. There’s fabulous emotional build up and it even includes scenes from their show in the book! I also feel like we all need a copy of Jasmine’s leading lady mottos because we all should be our own leading lady.