I received this ARC from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time—threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.
As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.
With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?
This book will be released May 26th, 2020.
Apparently, it’s a recent trend for me to be unsure about a book at the start and then be head over heels for it by the end.
So let’s start with characters first. Jo is a middle-aged, Chinese-American show runner with Emma, her assistant who is bisexual, Jewish, and asthmatic. There’s a bit of an age gap as Emma is her late 20s, but it’s nothing the average reader to be creep out by, they are both adults.
This book does not start with their introduction, as they are already been working together for a year or so, which is a first for my romance reading experience. My initial issue was that at first, I felt we weren’t in the character’s heads enough, but that quickly changed as I began picking up on the small stuff that made up their relationship. Like, the book starts off with a very cute scene, but I still felt detached from the characters. That changed as the book continued.
I really got into the romance as it became clear this relationship is built on respectful mutual pining, and I have no choice but to stan. It’s all small acts of kindness and caring followed but inner monologue of “I’m just concerned, there’s no deeper meaning behind it” and I was here for it.
As this book is about an assistant and her boss showing up, it is made perfectly clear that there is no power imbalance in the relationship. It’s also set in Hollywood and so there’s a side-plot in the middle of the book regarding the #MeToo movement. There is no overset sexual assault, but there is a scene with sexual harassment and the emotional fall out, but the sexual harassment is challenged multiple times.
3.75 stars! A solid romance debut, would have been rated higher if I had gotten that introspective-ness from the beginning, but I would recommend picking this book up.