Review of ‘Something to Talk about’ by Meryl Wilsner
This was a sweet and enjoyable read. By accident, I seemed to have gotten into a roll of debut reads. This is my third debut in a row and not only is this Wilsner’s debut book, but this is also Berkley’s women loving women romance debut. I love seeing lesfic in mainstream literature so I hope this is just the first of many WLW books to come for Berkley.
When I heard that not only was this a Hollywood romance but that one of our mains was an ice queen too, I could not wait to read this. That is pretty much a perfect combo in my mind and I was instantly hooked into this story. Jo Jones is a Hollywood powerhouse, think Shonda Rhimes meets Miranda Priestly. And Emma is her personal assistant who keeps her grounded. After a picture taken of them on the red carpet looks anything but innocent, rumors of their affair abound. While having to spend plenty of energy convincing everyone that it is not true, both women can’t help but wonder what if. Could there ever be a chance for anything more or is the power imbalance in their jobs too much to overcome?
I want to talk about some of the things I really liked or thought were well done. First of all, I was happy to see that one of the mains was Chinese American and there other was Jewish. Secondly, there is a bit of a #Metoo moment that I thought was handled well and I also liked the way Wilsner addressed the power imbalance between a boss and employee. I thought it was much better done than in a lot of boss/employee romances.
I mentioned before how I was hooked instantly and just loved how sweet and angsty this book was turning out to be. After the first half, I was thinking this was going to be in the high 4 stars maybe even hit 5. I’m sorry to say that started to change and I was a little bit deflated in the last quarter of the book. There were a few issues that started to compound in the end.
The biggest issue for me was that this was a slow burn romance. I love slow-burn and I prefer them, but this wasn’t slow this was so super slow! This might be in the running for slowest ever read by me. There was a ton of angst to keep the character apart so they would take 1 step forward, 30 steps back. I didn’t mind for a while, but towards the end, I wanted to yell “enough already!” This was so drawn out to the very end that the big payoff, the big payoff of a slow burn romance of waiting for the whole book, felt too rushed.
This is a romance, we want to see the couple together as a couple. As readers, we want to connect with these characters as a couple so a potential happily ever after means more. It’s the same as any M/F romance, no one wants to wait to the last couple pages there either. If Wilsner would have just cut out one of the angst moments and turned it into another couple moment, it would have made my heart so happy.
In the end, I liked this book, I’m just a little bummed since I could have loved it. Ice queen-Hollywood romances are just such a good premise and so many parts of this book were really enjoyable and a lot of fun. And while I really needed more couple time, this is well done for a debut. I like to think that Wilsner’s next book and Berkley’s next WLW release will only improve with more experience and it makes me excited for the future. 3.75 Stars.
A big thank you to Berkley for this ARC copy.