You Had Me at Hola: A Novel

· Primas of Power Book 1 · Sold by HarperCollins
14 reviews

About this ebook

National Bestseller

"I could not get enough of Jasmine and Ashton! I adored Jasmine--her ambition, her confidence, her attacks of self-doubt, and especially her hilarious, snarky, and loving cousins. She and Ashton have such a steamy, swoony, love story that I didn't want the book to end!"--Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author

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. You Had Me at Hola is a New York Times Editor's Choice Pick, an O Magazine Best Romance Pick and on many more Best Of lists!

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.

Ratings and reviews

14 reviews
Lenore Kosinski
August 4, 2020
4.5 stars — In so many ways this was a typical romance — I could see the conflict coming from a mile away. But in other ways it was something altogether new and different — the challenges that each of our characters faced, their quirks, were wholly unique. And in the end, both aspects played out perfectly for me and I loved it! I feel like no author ever outright writes characters with the kinds of flaws that existed for Jasmine and Ashton — and as such I loved that. Jasmine was this lost middle child looking for love and attention from every guy she met. That’s not unusual, but when do you see that represented in a heroine? Those kinds of characteristics are looked down upon, and yet they’re entirely valid. And through Jasmine we see how much it can mess a person up, even if at the core the person is a kind-hearted good person. She’s smart, savvy, determined…but not without her scars from her family. And I loved that in general her family was actually a good family, they just had their flaws as well. It’s not always black and white, good and evil. Sometimes families can hurt even when they don’t have bad intentions. In fact, that’s the norm. I just loved the way that was presented. And I appreciated seeing Jasmine struggle with it, struggle with her self-worth, struggle with finding balance in her life, learn to love herself and be content just as she is, without exterior validation. And so it made me cheer when she did semi-accomplish that. She was not without her stumbles. It does make for a strange bedfellow to a romance novel — because you want her to get there, but you also want them to get together. And I thought Ms. Daria balanced that well. Ashton, on the other hand, was filled with so much fear and anxiety. I loved how vulnerable and real that made him. So often we get these toxic ideas of masculinity in our heroes, and Ashton was presented just as he was — sexy and sweet, but with a lot of weight on his shoulders. I also loved that we got to see this guy who loved being a Dad, even as he struggled with balancing that part of his life as well. So often we see women struggling to balance career and family, and we got to see the other side of that with Ashton. He made some huge bumbles in this story, but I still felt for him. And even through Jasmine’s eyes, we were reminded of how long he’s lived with these secrets, and how much it has affected his life…she helped me be more forgiving, if that makes sense. And they were fire together. I loved seeing them unable to resist the pull, even though neither of them was looking for a romance — quite the opposite! They had great chemistry, and I just wanted them to find their way together so badly. There were a lot of elements of…forward thinking? in this story — some side characters that added to the diversity (a brief appearance of a non-binary individual, a fellow actor who was trans). And my favourite was wholeheartedly the addition of the intimacy coordinator, Vera! I loved seeing that process play out, and how it really helped the actors. I think normalizing that is fantastic, and it was exciting to see its addition. I also loved seeing how much having this mainstream latinx show affected our characters — how to see themselves represented in normal lives and romances instead of as stereotypes really got to them. I loved seeing all the different flavours of latinx through the characters as well — and exploring some of the issues that they deal with (colour issues with Ashton, lack of bilingualism with Jasmine). It was basically this adorable romance that I would have loved no matter what, sprinkled with a beautiful mix of issues that I’m not used to seeing represented. I want more. As a side note: there were a lot of Spanish phrases in this story — sometimes they would be translated through reaction thoughts in our characters heads (like “I can’t believe he’s telling me to ”), and sometimes not at all, but you can muddle through
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Sheena Martinez
August 22, 2020
YAAAAAAS! As a Latina (Puerto Rican) woman myself, I instantly gravitate towards this and I’m so happy to get my grubby little hands on it. It was a cute, fun read and even though the instant love vibes made me cringe more than I liked to admit, I actually enjoyed this. The plot, the storyline, the unfolding drama that didn’t seem to stop with the constant misunderstandings, our leading actors and their sizzling romance made this an instant page turner plus the cover is absolutely gorgeous. The only cons I would point out was the instant love (for obviously reasons) and the flow of the story. The POV between the lead characters and the TV characters didn’t transition as smoothly as it should have with the constant back and forth. Despite that, I had a decent reading experience with Alexis Daria’s latest release.
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About the author

Alexis Daria writes stories about successful Latinx characters and their (occasionally messy) familias. Her debut Take the Lead won the 2018 RITA® Award for “Best First Book” and You Had Me at Hola is a national bestseller, Target Diverse Book Club Pick, and New York Times Editor’s Choice Pick. Alexis is a lifelong New Yorker who loves Broadway musicals and pizza.

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