WARNING: the following review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!
I don’t typically do this- I’ve always posted my reviews in the order I’ve read the books. The exception to this rule is The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun.
This is one of those timely reviews. The Charm Offensive was the #TeamSteam selection for the #SteamAndScreamBookClub and we are meeting tonight (virtually) to discuss the book. I AM SO EXCITED.
This book is just… everything. It’s amazing.
I don’t think happily ever after is something that happens to you, Dev. I think it’s something you choose to do for yourself.
“Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.
Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.
As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.
In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy—reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch—an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.”
Read This If You Love…
- The Bachelor
- LGBTQIA+ romances
- Steamy scenes (not AS steamy as other books I’ve reviewed but still!)
- Books about mental health
Quite frankly, you kissing your producer is the most interesting thing that’s ever happened on this heteronormative cesspool of a shitty television show.
I definitely expected to enjoy this book, but I honestly didn’t think it would become one of my five-paw reads! I loved everything about it except maybe the really long chapters – but that’s a *Kayla thing* not at all anything I hold against Alison Cochrun!
There are major Bachelor/Bachelorette vibes in this book, but instead its all about royalty and crowns instead of bachelors and roses. I laughed out loud so many times when it really felt like I was reading a Bachelor episode, down to the moment a contestant says, “can I steal you for a sec?”
The characters are amazing. They are complex, diverse, and interesting. I felt like they were all my friends who would fiercely support me but also let me know when I’m really messing up.
And Dev and Charlie!!! They complemented each other so well, and both were so relatable. I feel like I fell in love with their love and was really hoping that Charlie would go against his contract and end up with Dev. You will have to read the book to find out what happens.
As if all of this wasn’t enough for a five paw review, I also loved the mental health focus- and the “uniqueness” of how Alison Cochrun wrote it. It was nice to see depression depicted in a different way, other than a character crying or being numb all the time.
And because obviously this is worth mentioning- this book had LGBTQIA+ characters and representation, and I LOVE that. Books having main characters who are LGBTQIA+ is something that is long overdue and I can only hope that more books come out that are similar to The Charm Offensive. I can only imagine how important it is to the LGBTQIA+ community that they are seen as main characters and not just a supporting character.
It’s not just important, y’all… it’s needed.