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review 2020-07-28 17:33
Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
Something to Talk About - Meryl Wilsner

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Jo was a childhood actor who is making the transition to director and about to take on a new tv show. When a moment on the red carpet with her assistant Emma has gossips wondering if there is more between them, she goes with her standard “no comment”, not wanting anything to jeopardize her career.
Emma is an aspiring director herself and getting to work for Jo has been a dream come true, even when she has to keep her childhood crush she had on Jo a secret. Jo's her boss, there's an age difference, but Emma can't help but think she isn't the only one having feelings that go beyond friendship.

Something To Talk About had a set-up that pulled me into the story, Jo wanting to keep her private life private because of the backlash it could cause in her career, Emma not wanting to ruin a friendship and feeling too insecure to believe her feelings could be reciprocated. This brushing up and then retreating worked to pull the reader into their budding romance and created some good tension in the beginning but then the story started to spin its wheels.

Jo wasn’t sure what it was, exactly, about Emma in her office that helped her. She thought perhaps it was Emma’s sturdiness. Emma was steadfast. To have Emma there, silently accomplishing things—it made Jo’s troubles seem irrelevant.

Jo's background of childhood actor and all the issues that come with that, her coming out not being fully supported by her father, and being a woman in a misogynistic industry made her the more flushed out character to me. These layers helped explain why Jo was more closed off and how she would be tentative to share her feelings and made the angst from her believable. Emma was the character that I felt I didn't know as well. We get some scenes with her sister Avery but they never seemed to click together and the angst from Jo and Avery's relationship that develops didn't quite flow.

Maybe this wouldn’t work. Maybe saying anything was a terrible idea. But these feelings mattered now. The chance that they might be mutual mattered. Emma didn’t know what she was going to say the next day, but she had to say something.

It wasn't until around the 70% mark that I felt there was some significant movement on their physical romance and addressing it. The flow of this story made it feel less like a slow burn romance and more like unmotivated movement. We also get a forced angst moment from Emma, who at this point should know Jo better, and then at the very end we get a fairly unsatisfying “I like kissing you, guess we're doing this!”. There is one sex scene at the very, very end but otherwise there is only around three kisses from these two.

Jo with her insecurities about the age difference (14yrs between the two) and worries over impact on career made her the more flushed out and emotionally easier to connect with than Emma with her lack of more solid characterization. Their relationship took too long to develop for me and lacked some driving force, which caused the story flow to drag and stagnate. There are some issues woven in that I think many will appreciate brought up and connect with and enjoy how Jo and Emma do get their happily ever after despite them all.

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text 2020-06-18 00:59
Reading Update: 30%
Something to Talk About - Meryl Wilsner

Midweek calls for chocolate chip cookies and some “Are they?” romance trying to stay out of the public eye.
Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!


Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner purchase link




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review 2020-05-25 22:08
Review: Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
Something to Talk About - Meryl Wilsner

Reviewed for Wit and Sin


There are some books that make you smile just thinking about them and that’s exactly what Something to Talk About does for me. Meryl Wilsner’s debut won me over with their endearing characters and a lovely slow-burn romance that made me sigh.

Jo is one of my favorite kinds of heroines: the secret softie. Jo is a Hollywood powerhouse with brains, skill, and savvy you have to admire. But even after three decades in Hollywood and a number of Emmys to her name, as a Chinese-American woman Jo still faces racism and sexism constantly, especially now that she’s been announced as the new writer/producer for a James Bond-type franchise. Jo knows how to navigate Hollywood, but she’s had to build high walls to protect herself. Underneath those walls is a marshmallow heart and a spine of steel. Jo shows her caring in actions rather than words and she made me melt more than once. As for Emma… A bisexual Jewish cinnamon roll? Yes, please! Emma is so kind and caring, an emotionally demonstrative heroine who frequently made me smile. She’s got a strong work ethic and is a quick study, but she is unsure of herself when it comes to what direction she wants to move professionally.

As individuals, Jo and Emma are fantastic characters, well-drawn and an endearing mix of strength and vulnerability. Together their chemistry is fabulous and makes the pages of Something to Talk About fly by. The romance between Emma and Jo is extremely slow-burn. Both Jo and Emma are wary of risking their hearts by revealing their feelings. Jo is also very conscious of her position as Emma’s employer and the power disparity that results from that. Added to that she’s aware of the age gap between them and the racist and ageist blowback from some corners of Hollywood that she may face. Emma also faces comments, innuendo, and outright sexual harassment because some people think she slept her way to the top. Given the characters’ histories and the events of the story, the fact that the romance takes so much of the story to build worked for me. Jo and Emma’s love story felt solid by the end of the book, which may sound staid and boring but it’s not; I loved these two together.

Emma and Jo are the heart and soul of the book but the supporting cast rounds out the story and helps bring it to life. I loved Jo’s friendships that were depicted, both with her lifelong best friend, Evelyn, and with Emma’s sister, Avery. And Emma’s relationship with her family – complete with their teasing – warmed my heart. All in all, Something to Talk About is a book that can lift your spirits and make you smile. Jo and Emma are both strong, intelligent heroines with kind hearts that make them easy to root for. Their love story builds piece by piece in an organic way and the result is a lovely, fulfilling romance I cannot wait to enjoy again and again.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-something-to-talk-about-by-meryl.html
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