Release date: August 4, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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 feel like this is the romance novel I’ve been waiting for because it had so many of the elements that are a must for me in a perfect romance as well as some additional added things I didn’t even realize I was missing. It was a book centered around the world of TV, which hello isn’t that always fun? But it had a ton of depth as well and was much more than a fluffy book about two actors hooking up. Culture and family played a huge role as well and I felt like I learned quite about about their backgrounds. I wanna add that I switched between the physical and the audio and the narrator was so great and really brought the characters to life, especially with bits and pieces of it being in Spanish, she had a beautiful accent that I could’ve listened to all day.
Jasmine and Ashton’s chemistry started off a little bit on the slow burn side but when things finally heated up it was super steamy. It’s partly because Ashton was a more reserved character and he has his reasons, but Jasmine was a fierce woman who kinda overpowered him to begin with. One of my favorite aspects of their relationship was how open they both were about sex and how positive their interactions were. Consent played a big role and there was a mutual respect between the two that made me swoon. Physical relationship aside they both come from families that value their heritage and culture and I loved learning about both of their families and traditions.
The TV show they’re filming throughout the book is based on a telenovela and I loved the chapters that were scenes from Carmen in Charge. There was a lot of discussion about Latinx representation in the media and besides the juicy look behind the scenes of a TV show, I appreciated that once again, there was another layer of depth to the story. Can you tell by my rambling how much I freaking loved this one?! Seriously a must for romance fans, it’s sexy, funny, sweet, tender and had such great representation across the board.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.