[Audio Book] Primas of Power 1: You Had Me At Hola 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.

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I had seen this book before but only decided on reading it with my book club group.

Thus, I was somewhat forced to finish it in a short term. But I wouldn’t have needed this encouragement at all. Once started, this audio book just flew by. I quickly enjoyed both characters‘ perspectives and each of their encounters made me smile and internally cheer for them. I simply can’t resist a spicy slow burn. And spicy it was.

Moreover, the spice was quite original and nothing I’d read several times before. I loved the dynamic between the protagonists, as much as their relationship to other characters. Especially one was crucial to the book’s overall development. Although rare for a story with this setting, this character did not seem forced. Instead, he was thoroughly worked into the characters‘ perception of the world. You will get what I mean when reading this book.


A movie set in New York City is not the most common setting of a celebrity romance…

but then again, I liked how this whole story shows new-to-me elements. Both characters have a latinex background, they only start out in the business, they want to get ahead. When they met, they do not aim for a relationship but we can feel their tension and great chemistry. Their conflicts and differences also seem plausible, as are they reactions a bit rushed sometimes. This just renders them authentic people with insecurities and individual plans. And both bring their baggage to be cautious and hurt at some point, but also find the courage to step up to their unintentional, hurtful deeds.

Despite these more serious observations, I also had a lot of fun listening to this audio book. It moreover featured parts of the shot scripts that seem artificially produced but reveal a lot about the characters while entertaining us with one more story.


In conclusion,

Between scripted and real feelings for her sudden co-star, Alexis Dara’s protagonist tries to find herself–also in an intercultural sense. Her co-star on the other side attempts balancing his private and public life as an arising star. They both hilariously and movingly get to see through their facades and learn to trust and love each other within publicity chaos–spice included.



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. Source

More works by the narrator

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