You Had Me at Hola
Grade : B

You Had Me at Hola was released back in August, but I’ve been on hold for it at the library for a while. In the spirit that you may have been, too, or may have missed it in These Times, I’m here to follow up on the Pandora’s Box my colleagues Maggie and Caroline wrote when it was released. Overall, I liked it more than they did, but I do agree with their problems with the romance. There was so much going for this story and I wanted to bump it to a DIK, but there were a few things holding me back. 

Let’s get into it. 

First off, Ms. Daria is an exceptional author at creating authentic worlds that feel completely lived in. I loved the Latinx cast and world, I loved that the Spanish and English flowed back and forth so well and that none of the Spanish dialogue was italicized. I loved that I felt like I could hop a plane and find these people - that’s how real the world felt. 

Jasmine is excited to get her big break as the lead in her own telenovela. Her Spanish isn’t quite up to snuff, so she’s a little nervous, but she’s even more nervous when her co-star is revealed to be a massive telenovela star. Ashton, for his part in this, is hoping this show will be a big jump out of telenovelas and into English-speaking television, but knows his English is a little rusty and has the additional baggage of a secret family that he’s trying to keep under wraps. 

Jasmine and Ashton are awkward with each other at first, but soon they hit a rhythm and an understanding and the sex happens on camera and off. Other reviewers on Goodreads found it steamy and all of that, but… where? My AAR colleagues said that the romance didn’t quite have the foundations it needed to carry the story and I have to agree. I still turned the pages readily and enjoyed my time in this world, but I didn’t ever find myself rooting for Jasmine and Ashton and since this is a romance, that’s kinda the point. 

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible, or your local independent bookstore

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Reviewed by Kristen Donnelly
Grade : B

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : November 20, 2020

Publication Date: 08/2020

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Kristen Donnelly

Voracious reader, with a preference for sassy romances and happily ever afters. In a relationship with coffee, seeing whiskey on the side.
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