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ARC Review: All the Feels by Olivia Dade

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Publishing November 16, 2021


Following Spoiler Alert, Olivia Dade returns with another utterly charming romantic comedy about a devil-may-care actor—who actually cares more than anyone knows—and the no-nonsense woman hired to keep him in line.

Alexander Woodroe has it all. Charm. Sex appeal. Wealth. Fame. A starring role as Cupid on TV’s biggest show, God of the Gates. But the showrunners have wrecked his character, he’s dogged by old demons, and his post-show future remains uncertain. When all that reckless emotion explodes into a bar fight, the tabloids and public agree: his star is falling.

Enter Lauren Clegg, the former ER therapist hired to keep him in line. Compared to her previous work, watching over handsome but impulsive Alex shouldn’t be especially difficult. But the more time they spend together, the harder it gets to keep her professional remove and her heart intact, especially when she discovers the reasons behind his recklessness…not to mention his Cupid fanfiction habit.

When another scandal lands Alex in major hot water and costs Lauren her job, she’ll have to choose between protecting him and offering him what he really wants—her. But he’s determined to keep his improbably short, impossibly stubborn, and extremely endearing minder in his life any way he can. And on a road trip up the California coast together, he intends to show her exactly what a falling star will do to catch the woman he loves: anything at all.

My Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was really cute. Some of the plot was rehashed a bit from the first novel, so it didn’t feel quite as strong as a stand-alone, but I loved Alex and Lauren’s dynamic.

Alex is A LOT and he knows it. He has ADHD, is charming and goofy, and constantly, constantly teases Lauren and tries to get her to open up. Lauren knows how to be professional and close herself off so that she’s perfectly blank because she’s taken a lot of abuse in her life. And I loved seeing her let go and let herself be seen.

My favorite moments were when the two of them were alone together, because they could just *be* together and it was so sweet.

The sex wasn’t my thing but I skipped over it and didn’t feel like I missed anything. Aside from some teasing references to it, it was contained in one section so it didn’t overwhelm the plot which I appreciated.

Also my favorite was Alex’s unabashed love of fanfiction tropes. The joy he got when there was only one room at the hotel and it had *only one bed!* His love of the soulmate trope, and the tooth-achingly sweet gesture towards the end, which I won’t spoil but oh, you have to read it.

Overall, sweet and fluffy and charming.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for providing an e-arc for review.

Favorite Quotes:

Lauren Clegg might well be the most frustrating human being on the face of this planet, and coming from him, that was a fucking indictment.

Only to find, instead of a frown or weary resignation, an expression of dawning delight. “Let me get this straight.” He braced his hands on the counter and leaned in closer to the clerk. “There’s only… one bed?”

The young man blinked at him. “Yes, sir.”

When Alex pumped his fists in triumph, punching the air, Lauren and the clerk both jumped.

“This is the best day of my fucking life!” he shouted. “Only! One! Bed! My second-favorite trope!”

He swung around to beam at her.

“Do I want to know?”

“He couldn’t help but snicker. “Probably not. But I’ll send you links to my favorite sex pollen fics anyway. I have a few bookmarked.”

“Oh.” her fingers curled against his belly. “I, uh, may not need you to send me the links, then.”

When he tried to move far enough away to see her expression, she clung to him like a limpet. “Lauren Chandra Clegg, have you been looking at my bookmarked fics?”

Her entire body seemed to radiate fresh heat, and she didn’t need to answer out loud.

You have,” he crowed. “You’ve read about pegging and consentacles and–“

ARC Review: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book  – publishing October 6 2020 – is so wonderful. It’s a lovely romance, but it’s also a love letter to the fanfic community and writing fanfic that captures the beauty and possibility of it. As I also have found community through fic there were so many passages I just wanted to hug the book to my chest I loved it so much. It’s geeky and heartfelt and just warms my heart.

My first impression – besides the fanfic parts that I loved – was that it had too much sex. This isn’t unusual for a romance and usually it’s just that I’m uncomfortable with all the sex since I’m ace. I want the emotional connection and closeness of a romance instead of the physical connection.

However I am willing to make allowances for this story.

April is fat and has been fat-shamed her whole life by family and friends and boyfriends. She has so much self-confidence and is defiantly in love with her body and it’s beautiful. She knows her body and revels in it and the pleasure it brings – and since she does have a history of being fatshamed I’m willing to accept that the sex showing both her and her partner (Marcus) absolutely loving her body is in fact necessary to the story.

Marcus is dyslexic and has been shamed for it for so long that he adopted a ‘beautiful and dumb as a rock’ persona that he has hidden behind his entire career. But he’s not dumb – he’s very intelligent and thoughtful and I love how April slowly helps him become more confident in himself.

Also they both write fanfic and actually met by beta-ing one another’s fics and becoming close fandom friends long before their in-person meeting. She writes gleefully smutty fics and he writes unapologetcally angsty fics and there are snippets of their past conversations and fics scattered through the book.

Also! He’s 40 and she’s 36 and they are both such avid members of the fanfic community and I think that’s beautiful and realistic – fandom is not in fact a place only for teenagers.

Their relationship is such a warm and supportive one and it’s so refreshing to read in a romance. I will *definitely* be picking up the sequel — which is about Marcus’ hilarious friend Alex and is called Slow Burn so I kind of have to.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing an e-arc to review