Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Book Review and Giveaway: The Charm Offensive

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. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Melissa Amster:

I had been interested in reading The Charm Offensive, as I love LGBTQ novels. So when Jenny from Book Coffee Happy said she had purchased it (more on that below), I added it into my Kindle TBR so we could review together. I'm so glad for that extra push, as it was a great story that I still think about and recommend! 

The story was really well told, with some laugh-out-loud moments and some tissue-worthy moments. It shines a light on what happens behind the scenes on reality dating shows, and it's not all sunshine and roses. (I watch only one reality TV series and even that one has reported a lot of behind the scenes scandal and manipulation.) Both Dev and Charlie were sympathetic and lovable lead characters and there were some great supporting characters, as well. (Especially Parisa and Jules!) There's a lot of focus on mental health throughout the novel and that is what has the most emotional impact. It also has some typical romcom elements that I enjoy in any novel. 

Having Dev and Charlie both narrate in third person got confusing sometimes because I wasn't always sure who the focus was on, even if it said the character's name at the beginning of the chapter. That was the only issue I had with this novel, which is small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

Overall, it is a sweet and romantic story, and definitely worth checking out!

Movie casting suggestions:
Dev: Nik Dodani 
Charlie: Harry Cook

Jenny Share:

Thank you so much for having me, Melissa!  It’s so nice to be back guest blogging on Chick Lit Central.  

I’m Jenny, and I blog over at Book Coffee Happy.  I’ve known Melissa for years and was excited when she asked if I would like to review Alison Cochrun’s The Charm Offensive with her.

I bought The Charm Offensive at the most lovely little bookshop while vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin (If you ever find yourself in the area, you MUST stop in THIS ADORABLE bookshop)!

I’ve been holding on to this book for a few months and couldn’t wait to finally crack it open.

A smart purchase, indeed.

I loved EVERY SINGLE WORD of this beautiful book!  I never wanted it to end!  Alison Cochrun’s writing is a GIFT.  Each character was so perfectly crafted and each storyline was so perfectly created.  Together, all of it made this such a gem of a book in every single way.  This book tackled some really big topics (love, mental health, sexual orientation, gender identity, family, friendship, etc.) in the most perfect of ways.  I ADORED THIS BOOK SO, SO MUCH.

I’m a huge Bachelor fan and I absolutely loved the behind the scenes view that this book gave into the creating of a reality show love story.  I mean, everyone knows it’s fake but THIS fake?  Mind blown.  Yikes.  And yet…I’m still such a fan, lol.

If you are a Bachelor fan, this book is a MUST READ.  Another must read for Bachelor fans is One To Watch by Kate Stayman London (you can read my review of that one and my thoughts on the Bachelor franchise HERE).

What a perfect read for me to start off 2022!  I can already confidently say that this will be one of my favorite books of the year…and it’s only January :)

Alison Cochrun’s next novel comes out this fall and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!  If it’s even a smidge as wonderful as The Charm Offensive, I love it already...

Thanks to Atria for the book (for Melissa) in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy for a lucky reader!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends January 31st at midnight EST.

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Kelley said...

Red, White and Royal Blue. Thank you kindly

Mary Preston said...

Nothing comes immediately to mind.

diannekc said...

I can't think of any.

bn100 said...

no fav

Nancy P said...

Nothing I can think of.

Lelandlee said...

Nothing comes to mind

Fizzy said...

Notes of a crocodile is my recent favourite!