You Had Me at Hola

A Novel
Narrated by: Seraphine Valentine
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"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 best-selling author)

RITA® Award-winning author Alexis Daria brings listeners an unforgettable, hilarious rom-com set in the drama-filled world of telenovelas - perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin and The Kiss Quotient.

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.  

©2020 Alexis Daria (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Editor's Pick

A rom-com with sabor Latino!
Okay, I’m not really a romance kind of guy, but when I hear the word telenovela my ears automatically perk up! That’s because I was reared on them and like them. A lot! Spanish-language soaps, or telenovelas, have evolved from cheesy, low-budget productions to lavish multimillion-dollar franchises that often go on to be remade as successful American TV shows such as Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin. Alexis Daria’s, You Had Me at Hola, is exactly what I was expecting—a laugh-out-loud, rom-com set amid the production of a newly greenlit novela. A spilled cup of coffee leads to a romantic chance meeting between the two main stars. And yes, sparks immediately fly. Seraphine Valentine’s narration is spot-on with the Borinquen-inspired lingo delivered with perfect comic timing. If you liked the Americanized versions of the telenovelas I mentioned, you’ll surely enjoy the Latin flavor of You Had Me at Hola. —Edwin D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about You Had Me at Hola

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun read

So this novel isn't my first by this author but probably my fave of the three I've tried. There were things I liked that I thought I wouldn't; there were things I did not connect to that I thought I would. Overall it was a really strong four and I hope she continues to write latinx male heroes for my enjoyment since they're what I don't see any much as latinx women in romance. Likes: I loved that Angel-Luis aka Ashton was a single dad. His path to fatherhood kinda sucked but he wore the tag well. I also loved that he was trying to break out into mainstream Hollywood. SInce he had an accent, it was relatively harder for him despite to me, him having a fairly white-presenting appearance, and he just wanted to do more and be seen more to normalize himself and his culture onscreen. I also loved the family dynamics on both he and Jasmine's end. Family was very present, extended included and it was awesome to see someone so family oriented in a romance novel. I loved that both he and the heroine were in their 30's, as being there myself, it's nice to see people still trying to break out and not giving up because they're no longer in their 20's. Jasmine wasn't bilingual, which I felt was realistic for some Mainland born PRs or latinx folx in general. It made her relatable but cool that they took a chance on her despite her linguistics skills. I also loved that the transition from filming the show and being out of character wasn't confusing because I feared it would be. It was awesome they had an intimacy coordinator since in tv and film they're fairly new. Things I didn't connect to: As a Black latinx woman, I get my hopes up everytime that non-Black latinx folx will care enough about my representation as much as their own. Almost if not all the people had tans, hazel/green/light eyes and white presenting features. There was one "Afro-Latinx" person mentioned, but I noticed he was the only person lazily described as "Afro-Latinx" with no culture or physical attributes described, while every white or non-Black Latinx person was described in strong detail and by their cultures. It's like non-Black latinx folx really don't care about their most vulnerable and don't even try to hide it. A conversation about colorism was a blink you miss it/missed opportunity that mainly centered on the most privileged characters(aka the least close to Black). I'm going to die on the hill that Blackness is just not something non-Black Latinx folx care about and they'd be content if all the latinx representation looked like Gina Rodriguez. Especially for this project to be a telenovela on a streaming service, that has more freedom than the racist/anti-black Spanish language channels, it just wasn't brave enough for me to challenge anti-blackness and we are just in these times where saying BLM isn't enough. I also felt Jasmine being part filipino felt a little like a diversity checklist. She went out for SE Asian roles despite her physical appearance; to me that felt like the equivalent of light skinned people being in Black Panther. I would've liked more conversations about her navigating and having to validate both her SE Asian heritage and how that fit into Latinidad. Asian-Latinx folx DO NOT have it easy and they're not warmly celebrated or welcomed like white presenting and mixed-looking Latinx folx. There was something to delve in there that never got fully explored for me. She could've just been PR on both sides and it wouldn't have made her character read any different to me. For as enjoyable as the book was, while I loved the acting aspect, I didn't feel like Jasmine and Ashton had any chemistry. They rarely went out on dates that didn't end up in nooky and they didn't make strong efforts to learn about one another outside of filming. In fact, 90% of their problems could have been solved with just actually having a conversation that wasn't work related. They suffered from serious lack of communication. That could've been Ashton's fault because he was so guarded but that leads to my next point. He wasn't warm or charming for me. He felt super normal, which in a book about attorneys would have made sense but as actors, i didn't find him gregarious or warm or leading man worthy at times. Because he was a single dad, I excused his behavior most times but he never impressed me as a reader. Most times outside of physical attraction, it felt like they didn't have real chemistry. Also because it's 3rd person, I'm pro-1st person. 3rd always feels tell vs show to me, but that could be a me problem. I also wished that their mental health had been addressed in more than the epilogue of the book. Overall this was a super fun read.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Run of the mill romance

Don’t let the amazing cover fool you, this is a run of the mill, somewhat juvenile romance. I was only able to get to Chapter 16 before I gave up. I regret spending a credit on this but feel too guilty to return it since I listened to a lot. The story is ‘fine’ but then the storyline of the telenovela gets mixed in and everything just becomes confusing. I would understand this plot device if the telenovela story mirrored the real life story in any way, but it doesn’t. The chapter with the uncomfortable kissing scene in the telenovela was so cringe-worthy to even read. The texts with Jasmine and her sisters read like high school girls giggling over boys not grown women. Overall, this one was just not for me.

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Making Jefa Moves

You had me at Hola by Alexis Daria was spectacular! I absolutely enjoyed it. If you are a fan of telenovelas or soap operas, you will love this book. Think Jane the Virgin but steamier. The main characters, Jasmine and Ashton are two actors staring in a new streaming telenovela type show. Jasmine just got dumped by her rockstar bf through tabloid headlines. Ashton is making the transition from Spanish telenovelas to English television. The two have an instant connection when they meet, Ashton is closed off and very private about his personal live. He has a son he will do anything for and keeping him out of the limelight is his number one priority. As Jasmine and Ashtons relationship develops, secrets come out. Will Jasmine forgive Ashton for keeping his son a secret? Jasmines relationship with her cousins was my favorite part. It was so beautiful how they pumped each other up and call each other out on their BS. It also featured a variety of Latinx characters from different backgrounds and it was so refreshing. Also, I sorta geeked out when Jasmine mentions she was a fan of the soap opera Passions!! Ahh! Loved it! This book was amazing! It had it all romance, drama, witty banter, laughter out loud moments. The narrator was great and really brought the story to life. I’m glad she got all the Spanish dialogue to sound authentic. First time listening to this narrator and I really enjoyed her voice.

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Making those Jefa moves!!

Ok, so I just finished You Had Me At Hola and can I just say... Ay, Dios mio! (Swoon) 😍 . I loved the angst between the leads Jasmine and Ashton. It was so sweet and their chemistry was spot on. And can I just say usually when I read a rim-com, I expect cute and cuddly, but this book was sexy too. Like steam up the windows sexy! It was unexpected, but done oh-so well! 😏 . Being a huge fan of telenovelas growing up (ex. Marimar, Maria la del Barrio, Rosa Salvaje, Muchachitas, Quincenera, I can go on and on), I'm also a huge fan of the stylish modernized versions like Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin that are popping up. It's what I was raised on, so getting a glimpse into the world via You Had Me At Hola was a treat! . Also, I loved, loved, LOVED the diverse Latinx cast!! I love reading books with characters that look and sound and have backgrounds similar to mine. You have no idea what reading about these characters lives and their families mean to me! Way to go Alexis Daria!! I can't wait to read your work in the future and I can't wait to check out your backlist!! . Si se puede!

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Loved the story

I loved the storyline and the characters. However, the narrator sounded like a robot and it took until 3/4 of the way in the book to adjust to this narrator. The dialogue portions were good but the narration of the storyline was horrible. Other than getting over the narrator I loved the book, the storyline, the characters and their dynamics.

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Pure fluff and very predictable

I guess I just prefer a more serious read. This might be good as a beach read if that is what you have in mind.