Something to Talk About
A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn't come at a worse time—threatening Emma's promotion and Jo's new movie.As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

Something to Talk About Details

TitleSomething to Talk About
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 26th, 2020
PublisherBerkley
ISBN-139780593102534
Rating
GenreRomance, LGBT, Contemporary, Fiction, GLBT, Queer

Something to Talk About Review

  • chai ♡
    January 1, 1970
    SAPPHICS, HOW ARE WE DOING AFTER THIS COVER?
  • chan ☆
    January 1, 1970
    on the 6th day of december my true love gave to meeeeeGAY RIGHTS
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    Something to Talk About is Berkley's first published F/F romance. Believe me when I tell you, I was HIGHLY anticipating its release.However, as intriguing as the premise sounds, and as monumental as its release is, it unfortunately left me underwhelmed.Honestly, it hurts me to write this. It is a good book, there is nothing off-putting about it, and it even tackles some fairly serious issues, but I was expecting to be swooning the whole way through.Picturing in my head, Red, White and Royal Blue Something to Talk About is Berkley's first published F/F romance. Believe me when I tell you, I was HIGHLY anticipating its release.However, as intriguing as the premise sounds, and as monumental as its release is, it unfortunately left me underwhelmed.Honestly, it hurts me to write this. It is a good book, there is nothing off-putting about it, and it even tackles some fairly serious issues, but I was expecting to be swooning the whole way through.Picturing in my head, Red, White and Royal Blue, but with lady loves and it just fell flat. It took me close to a month to finish it, where normally it would take just a few days to read an Adult Romance.Initially, I found myself connecting with Jo, the older of the two main characters, who happens to be a big shot Hollywood director. We're the same age and a lot of the feelings she was having surrounding her career and relationships, I could relate with.Emma, Jo's intelligent and capable assistant, is about a decade younger and an aspiring director herself. The two have been working together for just over a year and slowly begin to notice their feelings for one another may be pushing the bounds of what is acceptable in the work place.Forbidden, age-gap romance, uneven power dynamic, anticipation of physical contact; I was into it in the beginning.Unfortunately, for me, it never seemed to go anywhere. Jo and Emma struggled with the same feelings over and over and over; never communicating and never progressing in their relationship.It was like the wheels of the plot were just spinning. I started to get a little frustrated at about the halfway point, but stuck with it.I am glad I did, as at least I know the conclusion. (view spoiler)[The steamy scene at the end was quite the payoff, but I WANTED it no later than the 50% mark, not the 96th!! (hide spoiler)]I think as far as romances go, and I am by no means a sophisticated romance reader, but for me, this was a little too straight and narrow for my tastes.I understand in reality, these were huge choices these women were making, but make a freaking decision already!Overall, I am excited that this book exists. I certainly hope that Berkley continues to publisher more Queer Romance for a long time to come!Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate it and although this wasn't necessarily the story for me, I know a lot of readers are going to really enjoy this one!
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  • Lex Kent
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 Stars. 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 WLW romance debut. I love seeing lesfic in mainstream 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 per 3.75 Stars. 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 WLW romance debut. I love seeing lesfic in mainstream 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 was 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 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 HEA 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 next WLW release, both will only improve with more experience and it makes me excited for the future. A big thank you to Berkley for this ARC copy.
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 150 pages-This book should’ve been amazing, I’ve been dying for a good f/f romance and with that premise and that cover I was hoping this would be a five star for me -So boring, nothing has happened yet-These characters are so bland and boring and they don’t have any chemistry, their relationship is so co-workers like but there’s just no tension -It just isn’t for me sadly This is Berkleys first published f/f romance and I’m sad that it was a disappointment. I hope Berkley romance continu DNF at 150 pages-This book should’ve been amazing, I’ve been dying for a good f/f romance and with that premise and that cover I was hoping this would be a five star for me -So boring, nothing has happened yet-These characters are so bland and boring and they don’t have any chemistry, their relationship is so co-workers like but there’s just no tension -It just isn’t for me sadly This is Berkleys first published f/f romance and I’m sad that it was a disappointment. I hope Berkley romance continues to publish f/f romances I just want them to be better than this one 😅😭
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars Something to Talk About is Meryl Wilsner’s debut novel, and I really enjoyed it. But reader beware, this one starts out slow. So slow, in fact, that I almost gave up on it. I’m so happy I didn’t. I ended up loving so much about this story and I love a good slow burn romance! Emma is the assistant to Jo Jones. Yes, that Jo. Jo has been in Hollywood for decades. Starting off as a child actor, then moving on to other behind the scenes things such as writing. Jo takes Emma to an awards s 4 stars Something to Talk About is Meryl Wilsner’s debut novel, and I really enjoyed it. But reader beware, this one starts out slow. So slow, in fact, that I almost gave up on it. I’m so happy I didn’t. I ended up loving so much about this story and I love a good slow burn romance! Emma is the assistant to Jo Jones. Yes, that Jo. Jo has been in Hollywood for decades. Starting off as a child actor, then moving on to other behind the scenes things such as writing. Jo takes Emma to an awards show to run interference on some questions she doesn’t want answered and the two get caught on camera smiling and laughing. The picture is innocent, but it starts a huge rumor about Jo dating her much younger assistant. Now, there is this tension vibrating between them. They slowly start to both realize they have feelings for each other, but neither one of them know what to do with them. It’s a tricky situation, as any boss/employee relationship would be. Jo wasn't lying when she said Emma got her through most days. She did it because of things like this, because of the way she had Jo's back, the way she took care of her. I adored watching Jo and Emma start to fall for one another. Their flirty and cute moments were so sweet. I also loved that both characters were so different. Jo is more standoffish and a bit tougher of a nut to crack, but she’s really soft underneath it all. And I just loved Emma. I also really liked the relationship they both had with Emma’s sister. 
There honestly wasn’t much I didn’t love about this book, aside from it being almost painfully slow. I do love me a good slow-burn, but this was slower than I’m used to. Still, in my opinion, the payoff was worth the wait. I'm so glad I read it!
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  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Welp, I am bummed as heck. I was SO excited for this book because it is Berkley's first F/F title, but I gotta be honest: nothing happened in this book. It started out fun enough, but the pacing was sooooooo slooooooow and the characters had little to no sexual OR romantic chemistry and this just.. let me down in a big way. It wasn't tHe WoRsT thing I've ever read (hence the 3 star rating and not anything lower), but it was just especially disappointing because I had such! high! hopes! for this Welp, I am bummed as heck. I was SO excited for this book because it is Berkley's first F/F title, but I gotta be honest: nothing happened in this book. It started out fun enough, but the pacing was sooooooo slooooooow and the characters had little to no sexual OR romantic chemistry and this just.. let me down in a big way. It wasn't tHe WoRsT thing I've ever read (hence the 3 star rating and not anything lower), but it was just especially disappointing because I had such! high! hopes! for this one. I am big sad. Womp.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    Something to Talk About is a sweet rom-com set in the entertainment industry. And the way it reads, it’s perfect for a movie or television adaptation itself.Jo was once a child actress, but now she’s an Emmy Award-winning television writer. She’s about to embark on her most ambitious project yet, completely out of her comfort zone, and the chatter has already started that she’s not qualified.With the SAG Awards coming up, she knows everyone will ask about the new project so she decides she n Something to Talk About is a sweet rom-com set in the entertainment industry. And the way it reads, it’s perfect for a movie or television adaptation itself.Jo was once a child actress, but now she’s an Emmy Award-winning television writer. She’s about to embark on her most ambitious project yet, completely out of her comfort zone, and the chatter has already started that she’s not qualified.With the SAG Awards coming up, she knows everyone will ask about the new project so she decides she needs a buffer. She invites Emma, her assistant, to be her date. When the paparazzi catches a fleeting shot of Jo making Emma laugh, it fuels gossip that the two are an item.Suddenly the world—and even those close to the two of them—believe there is something romantic going on. Jo doesn’t want to dignify the rumors, as she's never made any public comments about her dating life. But the gossip intensifies when it appears there’s an anonymous source in the office leaking things to the press.The more time they spend together, Emma starts to realize that maybe she does have feelings for her boss, but she’s afraid to acknowledge them, and she doesn’t want to jeopardize her career or the project Jo is working on. For her part, Jo knows she feels more open, even happier and more secure when she’s with Emma. But does she want to be part of an old Hollywood cliché, the boss sleeping with their younger assistant? And would acting on this have even greater ramifications because they're two women?This was a light, sweet, fun book, full of emotion and romance. It’s an interesting exploration of how easily we get affected by what people think—or what we think they think. I also loved the way Meryl Wilsner explored the different ethnicities and religious backgrounds of the characters. (I've got to say, it was so refreshing to have a character go to temple and meet with her rabbi to discuss issues. That just doesn't happen often.)This was another great book for PrideReads. One warning: I had Bonnie Raitt’s song, “Something to Talk About,” stuck in my head the whole time!Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Is that cover gorgeous or what? Hello, sweet, slow-burn romance!Jo is recognizable in Hollywood since she was crowned a TV star early in her life. Emma is her assistant. The two are proclaimed a couple by the media when a picture circulates of Jo making Emma laugh. It’s supposedly a scandal, and it’s not good timing for Emma and her job working for Jo, or Jo and her new movie launch.Hollywood gossip spreads as it does, and the press is following them everywhere. As the movie premiere approaches, Is that cover gorgeous or what? Hello, sweet, slow-burn romance!Jo is recognizable in Hollywood since she was crowned a TV star early in her life. Emma is her assistant. The two are proclaimed a couple by the media when a picture circulates of Jo making Emma laugh. It’s supposedly a scandal, and it’s not good timing for Emma and her job working for Jo, or Jo and her new movie launch.Hollywood gossip spreads as it does, and the press is following them everywhere. As the movie premiere approaches, Emma and Jo spend more time together, and they forge a friendship and bond that grows. Slowly. I thought this was an enjoyable and memorable slow-building romance!I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
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  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    Within a chapter or two I knew that I loved the writing. The smart and crisp style was what made it such an easy read for me, but the banter was what had me smiling and chuckling. It didn’t hurt that I was easily captivated and enchanted, thanks to an original plot, and lots of wonderful characters.Here are the few things you should know about Something To Talk About:The novel is the epitome of a SLOW BURN romance comparable to Mariana Zapata.The story is fabulously romantic, sweet, and has lots Within a chapter or two I knew that I loved the writing. The smart and crisp style was what made it such an easy read for me, but the banter was what had me smiling and chuckling. It didn’t hurt that I was easily captivated and enchanted, thanks to an original plot, and lots of wonderful characters.Here are the few things you should know about Something To Talk About:The novel is the epitome of a SLOW BURN romance comparable to Mariana Zapata.The story is fabulously romantic, sweet, and has lots of tension between the two main characters.Something to Talk About is full of amazing female characters.And it doesn’t read at all like debut novel.AND it’s set in and about Hollywood – enough said.I adored the book, and read it in just two sittings. I wasn’t even bothered by the back and forth, and the missed opportunities, because it felt right, especially in context with Hollywood. The author also touched on a very timely subject, in a very sensitive way, which I appreciated.I probably enjoyed the relationship between Jo and Emma the most, but I adored the support that both received from friends, siblings and Emma’s family. In short, the book was uplifting, had a feel good vibe, and was definitely swoony.For a debut novel it was almost perfection. Jo and Emma’s internal monologues sometimes took over, but overall I didn’t mind too much. The author’s style of writing was what I enjoyed the most. I easily connected with both of the characters, that’s not an easy thing to do. And finding a new author for my never ending tbr was just the cherry on top. Because that’s actually my top most goal each year. Find new favorite authors. And I definitely did that with Meryl Wilsner.ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.___________________________________Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog.Find me on Bookstagram.
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  • sarah xoxo
    January 1, 1970
    This is Berkley's first sapphic romance and on one hand- yay Berkley! But on the other hand- what the heck Berkley it's 2020. If Something to Talk About is any indicator of what's to come, then I am really excited to see what comes next from the publisher! the charactersI knew going in that this book would have a f/f romance, but I was happily surprised by the other little bits of diversity sprinkled in. Emma is Jewish, and Jo is Chinese-American. I was reasonably attached to out main couple- al This is Berkley's first sapphic romance and on one hand- yay Berkley! But on the other hand- what the heck Berkley it's 2020. If Something to Talk About is any indicator of what's to come, then I am really excited to see what comes next from the publisher! the charactersI knew going in that this book would have a f/f romance, but I was happily surprised by the other little bits of diversity sprinkled in. Emma is Jewish, and Jo is Chinese-American. I was reasonably attached to out main couple- although I never felt completely invested in Jo particularly. the writingThis book was excellently written, and I would never have picked it for debut. The writing style wasn't overly flowery or too robotic, but a nice medium ground between the two. the romance while this book is a romance, don't go into it expecting romantic scenes every two pages. Something to Talk About was extremely slow burn, and not especially explicit. While I have heard this being levelled against the book as a criticism, I actually really enjoyed that element. The slow burn nature of the romance felt natural to me, and I enjoyed seeing how their relationship progressed. However, I am not typically a fan of age-gaps, and unbeknownst to me there is one in this book. While it wasn't enough to completely turn me off the romance, it did lower my investment. it wasn't made better by the fact that Emma calls Jo 'Boss' seemingly every page, which for some reason really irked me. Obviously this will not be the case for most people who read this but I wanted to mention it, in case you think it will bother you. "not like fate- not like they didn't have a choice, but like in a thousand different universes they would always make the choices that led them here"the settingThis book is set in Hollywood, and it is used to great effect to add drama, plot and atmosphere to the story. However, the less savoury elements of the industry are not ignored just for the sake of having the story centred around fame. Issues such as sexual harassment in Hollywood were tackled, and they ended up being some of my favourite parts of the story. I really loved how that storyline was handled and wrapped up. I also enjoyed how queerness in Hollywood was presented, as it something that is not talked about regularly. "Thank you for being proud in the face of people who think you should be ashamed. Thank you for being here, in this world. For surviving. You are an inspiration."the verdictoverall, this was quite an impressive debut. While not the strongest romance I have ever read, I loved the representation and diversity that is well overdue in the genre. ★★★☆☆.5 starsThank you to Berkley and Edelweiss for this ARCRelease Date: 26 May 2020
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  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsThis book... I just. I am disappointed and I didn't even have super high expectations, either. So, what's this book about? Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn't come at a worse time—threatening Emma's promotion and Jo's new movie.As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, c 2.5 starsThis book... I just. I am disappointed and I didn't even have super high expectations, either. So, what's this book about? Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn't come at a worse time—threatening Emma's promotion and Jo's new movie.As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames? This may be one of the first lesbian romances I've read... ever. I've never really had an interest in them because being 100% gay, I am attracted to men, both physically and romantically. So, I love gay romances because it's two men. I enjoy straight romances because there's one man but lesbian romances don't have men and therefore, they don't have the same sexy, heart-melting chemistry... does that make sense? So, I wasn't expecting that same sexy buzz but I was hoping to be heart-warmed and entertained. And I sort of was... but not really. There was a decent plot but I did not enjoy any of the characters and there wasn't any character growth.➵ Jo - I didn't really like Jo at first. She gave me a kind of alpha-y, badass vibe which can be well done but in this case, I just found her to be blunt and unkind. I wouldn't have minded this if it had been a character flaw (whether Jo was aware of it or not) but it wasn't and it didn't really change. She also had a tendency switch back and forth from cold and uncaring to sweet and loving. ➵ Emma - I just... eh. Didn't care about this protagonist... My other problem was that there was no chemistry between Emma and Jo. They both talked about each other with obvious... love? (I apply that term loosely here.) ...in spite of the fact that there were no experiences that should have or could have caused that... the "love" kind of just happened? It wasn't totally unbelievable but it didn't have that magic touch I would have liked to see.Overall, I ventured into new(er) territory with this book and I didn't enjoy it that much. I will definitely continue trying with this genre, though.Bottom Line:3.5 starsAge Rating - [ R ]Content Screening (Mild Spoilers) Positive Messages (1/5) - [Female empowerment]Sex (3/5) - [Brief, semi-detailed sex scene, Kissing, Sexual themes]Language (2/5) - [Brief language]Drinking/Drugs (2/5) - [Alcohol consumption]Content and Trigger Warnings - Homophobia (kind of), Sexual themesPublication Date: May 26th, 2020Publisher: Berkley (an imprint of Penguin Random House)Genre: LGBT/Romance---------------Review to come---------------ITS HERE ITS HERE ITS HERRRREEEAND ITS NARRATED BY JORJEANA MARIE!!---------------Just requested the audio from my library!!! I'm honestly not sure how I'll end up enjoying this! I don't read lesbian romances that often so this is relatively new territory---------------COVER COVER COVER---------------omg, Berkley's first lesbian romance!!!! This is really Something to Talk About...sorry i had to| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
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  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5/5Solid enough, just not amazing.Pros:🌸Slow build of a relationship🌸Lots of filmmaking background, super detailed setting🌸fun background characters, including great friends and a bunch of family members🌸dealt with workplace romance and the power imbalance of that really well🌸handled sexual harassment in the film industry well🌸the trope where a character never uses the love interest’s real name until a moment of emotional tension and it’s very good Cons:🌸Emma and Jo are pretty 1-dimensional *3.5/5Solid enough, just not amazing.Pros:🌸Slow build of a relationship🌸Lots of filmmaking background, super detailed setting🌸fun background characters, including great friends and a bunch of family members🌸dealt with workplace romance and the power imbalance of that really well🌸handled sexual harassment in the film industry well🌸the trope where a character never uses the love interest’s real name until a moment of emotional tension and it’s very good Cons:🌸Emma and Jo are pretty 1-dimensional characters🌸the build to the romance ultimately takes forever and it gets frustrating when just nothing is happening between the leads🌸lots of “just talk to each other!! Oh my god!” throughout my reading experience🌸there are only so many times a pair of ladies can almost kiss but then not quite kiss but wow the almost kiss almost happened y’know?Neutral:🌸if you’re looking for romance with very view sex scenes then you might like this. If you prefer more than one/more detailed sex scenes then skip this. I felt like this point could go either way on the good/bad scale for meI wish Emma and Jo had had more depth to them beyond just what could fit on an auto-fill character sheet. At one point it felt like Emma’s only character trait was having asthma and Jo’s only character trait was worrying about Emma’s asthma. They eventually branched out a little but they never really reach full complexity.The build got started right away, and I’m always drawn in by filmmaking/celebrity elements, but I think my love of this setting only distracted me for enough time that I still started to get tired of the slowness. Plenty happens, characters are constantly working on projects and this book is set over months of time, but the actual romance took ages. I did love how much the idea of comfort around someone else can be the necessary foundation to romantic feelings, but there’s only so much I can handle.As a queer woman who hasn’t read as many sapphic romances as I would like I think I was drawn more to the novelty of reading a joyful book about lady love than I was to the plot itself. I know there is much better out there, so for now I’m leaving this at a 3 and a half star rating.
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  • mina reads™️
    January 1, 1970
    This was a DNF at 73%This book is a sapphic romance about a Hollywood powerhouse named Jo whose experiences in the spotlight for years have cause her to become very jaded about sharing her love life with the public. As an asian american lesbian Jo refuses to give the tabloids Something to Talk About other than her many career achievements. One day at a red carpet event with her assistant Emma, the two are photographed in an intimate moment of shared laughter. The tabloids and rumor mill explode This was a DNF at 73%This book is a sapphic romance about a Hollywood powerhouse named Jo whose experiences in the spotlight for years have cause her to become very jaded about sharing her love life with the public. As an asian american lesbian Jo refuses to give the tabloids Something to Talk About other than her many career achievements. One day at a red carpet event with her assistant Emma, the two are photographed in an intimate moment of shared laughter. The tabloids and rumor mill explode over the presumed relationship between Jo and Emma and that's were the story takes off. Sounds pretty cool right? Wrong.This book was so so boring to me and while I do understand the concept of the slow burn I truly do not feel like these two characters had even one iota of chemistry, every scene between the two just read in a very bland way to me. I simply was not drawn into this supposed romantic dynamic between them. In the beginning I was liking the mild mutual pining but it failed to be enough to sustain me because literally nothing happens during most of this book besides the two going about their regular work routine, and I never became attached to the characters individually or as a couple. Every scene between them mostly seemed like the intereactions of a worker who greatly admires their boss and a kind, understanding boss. I didn't feel romantic chemistry, I didn't feel sexual chemistry, the writing simply failed to make me feel anything. Actually that's a lie, I didn't feel anything other than a growing sense of annoyance over the absolutely absurd conflicts that arise in this story. For 15% of the book Emma is seethingly angry with Jo simply because Jo has befriended her sister, I fail to see what the big deal was and since we spent ages dealing with that I completely lost interest in this story as whole. I'm so saddened that I didn't love this one because it was one of my most anticipated reads of the year but it truly did not work for me. I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. cw: workplace sexual harassment
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  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    January 1, 1970
    Ahhhhhh this book was so good! I'm always a bit nervous to start a book that I have such high expectations for, but this delightful and so real queer romance absolutely exceeded them. This Hollywood set love story between a showrunner and her assistant was done so beautifully and thoughtfully, addressing the power dynamics of a boss/employee relationship.The slow burn.... I love to see it!!! What I love about that trope is how it lets the couple get to know each other so well and develop a frien Ahhhhhh this book was so good! I'm always a bit nervous to start a book that I have such high expectations for, but this delightful and so real queer romance absolutely exceeded them. This Hollywood set love story between a showrunner and her assistant was done so beautifully and thoughtfully, addressing the power dynamics of a boss/employee relationship.The slow burn.... I love to see it!!! What I love about that trope is how it lets the couple get to know each other so well and develop a friendship and a respect, which is absolutely what Jo and Emma did. And there were plenty of things going on in their relationship up until they kissed, with tensions and dilemmas at work. The characters were authentic and flawed, funny and vulnerable. Both their career subplots and one about sexual harassment in Hollywood were excellently done. Representation is a Jewish bisexual woman in her late 20s, a Chinese American lesbian in her early forties. The only rep I can speak to is the bisexuality, which I thought was wonderful in the ways it was addressed and left aside when it wasn't relevant. And the side characters! I loved Emma's snarky fat baker sister Avery as well as Jo's childhood BFF Evelyn. I can't wait to read what Meryl Wilsner writes next! I will never see the term "yes, boss" in the same way again.
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  • charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
    January 1, 1970
    On my blog. Actual rating 1.5Rep: Chinese American lesbian mc, Jewish bi mcCWs: sexual harassment, misogynyGalley provided by publisherNothing is as bad as a mind-numbingly dull book and nothing is as painful as pushing yourself to finish said mind-numbingly dull book. But I did. And thus, you will benefit from the full extent of my sheer frustration at this novel.Firstly, the 1.5 stars rating is a culmination of my probably-actual-rating (2 stars, it was okay, not really for me, but maybe so On my blog. Actual rating 1.5Rep: Chinese American lesbian mc, Jewish bi mcCWs: sexual harassment, misogynyGalley provided by publisherNothing is as bad as a mind-numbingly dull book and nothing is as painful as pushing yourself to finish said mind-numbingly dull book. But I did. And thus, you will benefit from the full extent of my sheer frustration at this novel.Firstly, the 1.5 stars rating is a culmination of my probably-actual-rating (2 stars, it was okay, not really for me, but maybe someone else will enjoy it) and my anger (1 stars, burn it with fire, the entirety of this plot is stupid af and I am about to die from boredom). So yeah.Basically what we have here, is a romance lacking in intensity, lacking in characters who have any sort of discernible personality (no, really, I spent the first three chapters or so confusing who was supposed to be the producer and who the assistant), and lacking in an engaging plot. A disaster for me, all said.Let’s take the characters first. There is nothing to me that distinguished them from one another. Sure, we’re told that Jo is Chinese American, over 40, and a lesbian, and that Emma is Jewish, bisexual and in her late-20s, but that’s about it. I couldn’t tell you a thing about their personalities, or what they liked, or really their hopes and dreams, beyond the stated “Jo wants to produce Agent Silver” and “Emma wants to be a director”. They are so bland they feel more like cardboard cutouts of people than anything approaching real.Which makes them boring.So it follows that the romance is also going to be boring. And, lo and behold, it is. There’s never any sense of attraction between the two characters, never any reason to be rooting for them to be together. They were bland, their romance was bland, and I honestly could not have given less of a shit whether they ended up together. You know how in a good romance, you get a natural progression into a relationship? Here, it was like the characters were slotted into what the author thought ought to be the progression, without any consideration of whether they would fit that.And, God, if the conflict in the middle section isn’t the stupidest I’ve ever read.It basically centres around the fact that Jo and Avery (Emma’s sister) spend time together at baseball games (because Jo’s nephew and Avery’s children play on the same team) and they don’t tell Emma. That’s it. She gets pissed off because neither tells her they’re spending time together. “Emma had forgiven too many people in her life too easily” so she decides not to forgive this. To make it into a big thing about them somehow lying to her. Someone needs to tell her she isn’t entitled to knowing every aspect of either Jo or Avery’s lives, and to get over herself.That conflict is what made me want to scream the most.But even still that’s probably the strongest emotion I felt when it came to the plot of this book. I mentioned in another review that what bores me about sapphic romances is a tendency to go for day-to-day events and life, but with someone else along too, instead of initiating a change and developing characters like that. And that is so obviously the case here, it’s not even funny. The whole plot just revolves around Jo and Emma doing their jobs and apparently just so happening to spend a bit more time around one another than they had been in the previous however-many-years that Emma had been Jo’s PA. That’s all.I almost fell asleep reading it.In fact, I wish I had just gone to sleep instead of reading it.
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  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars "Dude," Avery said. "She wants to wife you.""What?" Jo, a longtime Hollywood hustler, decides to bring her assistant, Emma, on one of her various red carpet events.Surrounded by photographers, Jo makes Emma laugh and the intimacy of that perceived moment sends the press in a tizzy. "Ms. Jones, you do not need any more bad press at this moment," Amir said, "A short statement would be an easy fix." Jo absolutely refuses to comment on the event, and her silence is all the fu 4.5 stars "Dude," Avery said. "She wants to wife you.""What?" Jo, a longtime Hollywood hustler, decides to bring her assistant, Emma, on one of her various red carpet events.Surrounded by photographers, Jo makes Emma laugh and the intimacy of that perceived moment sends the press in a tizzy. "Ms. Jones, you do not need any more bad press at this moment," Amir said, "A short statement would be an easy fix." Jo absolutely refuses to comment on the event, and her silence is all the fuel the press needs.Little does Jo know, Emma has had a crush on her boss for years. She's never even considered acting on it but now that Emma's time as Jo's assistant is coming to the close...Emma can't help but wonder...what if? "Do you think maybe the rumors aboutyou two might have a point? One that maybe you didn't realize before?" This ended up being SUPER cute and an instant hit for me.I loved the quiet dynamic between Jo and Emma. This is a relationship where the actions speak louder than words and there were so many subtle moments that just had me going 'SQUEEE.'Jo was such a powerhouse and she hid her emotions really well. Every time she "broke character" it was an instant beeline to my heart.Emma was so open about herself and truthful - she was the perfect match.I also was surprisingly invested in the plot. It was so much fun to watch the two of them navigate the world of scandals as they attempted to bring Jo's career back on track and kickstart Emma's.All in all, this was a fabulous first lesbian romance a la Berkley publishing. I cannot wait to see what this author publishes next!A huge thank you to the author and Berkley Publishing for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review
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  • Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    I mean, it's about time Berkley got gay.Edit: there's a cover now.. and it's one of those over stylized cartoons lol
  • Nina
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I overall definitely enjoyed reading Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. The first third of this novel was very entertaining and I thought it was really easy to get into the story. I also really liked the premise of the novel because I don't think I've ever actually read a f/f workplace romance and was very excited for it since it sounded like a book I'd love. Unfortunately though, I ended up having a few problems ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I overall definitely enjoyed reading Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. The first third of this novel was very entertaining and I thought it was really easy to get into the story. I also really liked the premise of the novel because I don't think I've ever actually read a f/f workplace romance and was very excited for it since it sounded like a book I'd love. Unfortunately though, I ended up having a few problems with this novel. My main problem definitely was that I feel like we just never really got to know either of the main characters Jo and Emma. For most of the novel they only spend time together at work going about their usual routine and I just feel like I didn't learn enough about them to actually figure out whether they'd fit well together. Thus, I was just never actually rooting for their relationship or waiting for them to finally get together. At first it actually didn't bother me too much because I thought it would get better at some point but around the halfway point of Something to Talk About I kind of began struggling with it and had to push myself to actually finish the book. That was mainly due to the fact that I didn't really care about Jo and Emma's relationship since I still didn't know them well enough to say whether they'd be a good couple and so there wasn't really anything about the novel that still kept my interest at that point. Furthermore, I also think this book was too much of a slow-burn romance. I'm usually a huge fan of the whole slow-burn thing but due to the fact that we mostly saw Jo and Emma interact with each other in work situations and nothing really happened between them, I think the book would've benefited from them falling in a love a bit earlier. That way they would've spent some more time outside of work with each other and I'm pretty sure the book would've kept my interest for longer if I'd just cared about the main characters a bit more. However, I really liked Meryl Wilsner's writing style and I think they did a good job with their debut novel, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for future releases. I also liked the thematisation of sexual harassment in the work place in Something to Talk About because it's unfortunately a very current problem and I liked seeing how Jo was using her position in Hollywood to help people and how seriously she was taking the topic. instagram || my blog || twitter
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    This is a light novel set in Hollywood. Emma is the assistant to Jo, who initially became famous thirty years ago when she was just a youngster. Jo, who’s Asian-American, called out the TV show she’d starred on for its racism. That made her less popular as an actress, so these days she’s the writer and showrunner for a network TV powerhouse. The book alternates between Jo’s and Emma’s points of view, so we know that they are attracted to each other, but both feel they can’t act out on it because This is a light novel set in Hollywood. Emma is the assistant to Jo, who initially became famous thirty years ago when she was just a youngster. Jo, who’s Asian-American, called out the TV show she’d starred on for its racism. That made her less popular as an actress, so these days she’s the writer and showrunner for a network TV powerhouse. The book alternates between Jo’s and Emma’s points of view, so we know that they are attracted to each other, but both feel they can’t act out on it because of the power differential. Jo is rich, famous, and successful, but when she invites Emma to accompany her to the SAG awards, rumors start flying that Emma is sleeping her way to the top. Even though the rumors aren’t true, it makes them both examine their feelings for the other. This is a sweet book. Not tons of tension, sexual or otherwise, although the attraction they can’t act out on is always there. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES MAY 26, 2020.
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  • aarya
    January 1, 1970
    CW under spoiler tags: (view spoiler)[off-page parental death from cancer (years before book starts); on-page asthma attack that requires medical attention; on-page sexual harassment and an ensuing #metoo storyline; discussion of racism/sexism in film industry; on-page fight/difficulties with toxic parent (hide spoiler)]The execution of the slow burn and the languidness of the relationship development didn't appeal to me. Not every book is for every reader, and SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT will deser CW under spoiler tags: (view spoiler)[off-page parental death from cancer (years before book starts); on-page asthma attack that requires medical attention; on-page sexual harassment and an ensuing #metoo storyline; discussion of racism/sexism in film industry; on-page fight/difficulties with toxic parent (hide spoiler)]The execution of the slow burn and the languidness of the relationship development didn't appeal to me. Not every book is for every reader, and SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT will deservedly receive love and accolades. Read other reviews and an excerpt to figure out if it'll be a good match for your reading preferences. Not gonna write a longform review, but here are some brief thoughts:1) The age gap + boss/employee trope is handled okay. I liked the navigation of consent dynamics, particularly around the problematic aspects of the boss/employee trope. It's generally not something I enjoy, but the thoughtfulness in execution made it decent here. 2) I enjoyed the Hollywood setting and I thought the brief #metoo subplot was handled well. I wish that it hadn't disappeared suddenly. In the middle of the book, it seemed like it was going to be this big storyline... it wasn't. It took the spotlight for a few chapters and then quietly went away. It felt like a wasted opportunity, especially because I wanted to learn more about the aftermath and the Cassandra Project. Still, what little there is on page handled the topic with sensitivity and empathy toward the victimized women. 3) Emma is Jewish and Jo is Chinese-American. As I am neither Jewish nor Chinese-American, I am unqualified to assess the rep and will defer to #ownvoices reviewers. From my limited perspective, these are some things I noticed. The only Chinese spoken out loud is the word "Aiyah" (per google: an exclamation of surprise, dismay, and exasperation). There is a scene where Jo speaks in Cantonese with a family member. Jo's ethnicity affects her career and history in Hollywood. Jo's best friend is also Chinese-American and she has a good relationship with her brother; I'm happy that she isn't isolated from her community.Nothing struck me as offensive or problematic (keep in mind that I might have missed something, so this isn't a definitive assessment). That being said, I’m not sure that the rep is good either (it’s not in my lane to figure that out). I am disappointed in the packaging of the book. I wish Jo's ethnicity is evident from the cover and blurb. Jo's legal surname Cheung isn't in the blurb (her stage name is Jo Jones). Jo's face isn't showing on the cover, either. It's just the cheeks/back of the neck. Once you know she's Chinese, the skin color is easier to recognize as not being white. But it's not 100% obvious from just glancing at the cover. I really wish that the blurb/cover art made an effort to center Jo's ethnicity so that it's impossible to miss. I didn't even realize that one of the MCs was Chinese-American until I started reading the book. 4) I enjoy slow-burns and assumed this book would be perfect for me. After I finished reading it, I came to a revelation. I only like slow burns with the following criteria: 1) it can be slow initially, but it needs to heat up intensely once the MCs begin a relationship, 2) it can't be slow for the entire book; I need a romantic confession/being in love for at least 30% of the book, and 3) I don't like slowness when most of the pining/angst happens in one's head and not between the couple. I'm sure you can see where this is going, right? SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT isn't just a slow burn; it's the slowest burn that I have EVER read. I love slow burns, but this was too slow for the reasons described above! Because of boss-employee power dynamics, they don't make a romantic declaration of interest for a long time ("long time" being the 92% marker of the book). The first deliberate kiss is at the 85% marker. The first and only on-page sex scene occurs at the very end of the book. These things are all fine, but it took SO LONG to get to the romantic declaration. I was bored/tired by the time we got there. I couldn't handle 80% of the book being two different inner monologues of pining/unrequited love on either side. I would've liked the book more had the romantic confession occurred earlier. Emma and Jo talk about their romantic feelings to OTHER people all the time; it's all they ever muse and pine about. But they rarely talk or address it to EACH OTHER. Most of the action (aka pining) in the book occurs in their heads. I prefer slow-burns where both parties are aware that the other one is interested in them. Here, Emma thinks that Jo has a secret girlfriend until the last quarter of the book. At a certain point, you just want to scream at them to set a wedding date already. It was less of a slow burn and more... slow. YMMV of course. For all the reasons above, I don't think I am the correct audience for this book. If you're into everything I just described, you'll like SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT.Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • zaira
    January 1, 1970
    "Jo wasn't lying when she said Emma got her through most days. She did it because of things like this, because of the way she had Jo's back, the way she took care of her." tw: sexual harassmentThis is a f/f romance book set in Hollywood! Jo Jones was a child actress and is now a writer/producer in the industry. Emma is her assistant who dreams of becoming a director someday. After Jo brings Emma as her date to an awards show, they get swept up in rumors about the two of them dating. The roman "Jo wasn't lying when she said Emma got her through most days. She did it because of things like this, because of the way she had Jo's back, the way she took care of her." tw: sexual harassmentThis is a f/f romance book set in Hollywood! Jo Jones was a child actress and is now a writer/producer in the industry. Emma is her assistant who dreams of becoming a director someday. After Jo brings Emma as her date to an awards show, they get swept up in rumors about the two of them dating. The romance is definitely a slow-burn. There’s a slow build-up towards Jo and Emma realizing they do have romantic feelings towards each other. They go from having a professional relationship to becoming friends and then eventually lovers.
Jo and Emma’s cute moments together had my heart fluttering. Their relationship is so wholesome and they wholeheartedly care about one another as seen by how Emma does way more than just being an assistant. She became Jo’s friend, one of the few people she trusts in the industry and even someone who helps her get through the week. Likewise, Jo is attentive towards Emma as well and she continues to support her with her dreams.This book tackled sexual harassment specifically in Hollywood and the #MeToo movement. I feel that how it was tackled represents the reality in the industry especially with how abusers can still continue to get projects while the victims suffer from the fallout of the situation.Overall I really liked this one! To be honest I don’t gravitate towards slow-burn romances. When I picked this up I honestly didn’t know it was one but luckily it worked out fine.
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  • anna (½ of readsrainbow)
    January 1, 1970
    rep: bi Jewish mc, Chinese-American lesbian mc, Chinese-American side characters, Jewish side characterstw: sexual harassment ARC provided by the publisher. Something to Talk About is a perfectly fine book. Technically there isn’t much wrong with it. It’s actually really cool to see a book about an interracial sapphic couple, especially one where a Chinese woman openly admits she’s a lesbian and uses that word more than once.The sapphic rep is the strongest part of the book. It’s pretty obvio rep: bi Jewish mc, Chinese-American lesbian mc, Chinese-American side characters, Jewish side characterstw: sexual harassment ARC provided by the publisher. Something to Talk About is a perfectly fine book. Technically there isn’t much wrong with it. It’s actually really cool to see a book about an interracial sapphic couple, especially one where a Chinese woman openly admits she’s a lesbian and uses that word more than once.The sapphic rep is the strongest part of the book. It’s pretty obvious from the start that this is an ownvoices story and that the author knows what they're writing about, knows how to write about it. Knows the intricate details of how it feels to navigate the world as a sapphic.The plot isn’t bad. The individual components make total sense. It definitely worked at the outline stage; it holds together well, it’s pretty logical. It’s fine. But plot in a book shouldn’t feel like something completely separate from the characters & here, it does. Any plot lines in a book are literally only taking place because characters have certain desires & need, and the make things happen for themselves. Meanwhile, in Something to Talk About it’s like the author had that pretty solid outline and then just wrote it all down, without worrying if it makes sense for the characters.And really, that’s the main problem. Because the characters don’t seem like real human beings, don’t make the reader root for them. They’re just… there. Things happen to them that were planned ahead of time, and they rationalise those things via a lot of internal monologue. But nothing more. No emotions.Something to Talk About is just slightly boring. It’s not necessarily badly written from the technical point of view - the style is good enough. The boringness is in the substance. It tries to have a slowburn romance but instead makes its characters miscommunicate and obsess over small, not really important details. It could have been sped up by at least 30% and we would only win by that.All in all, it absolutely is not a bad book. It’s just extremely slow and there’s no real heat anywhere in sight.
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  • Sana
    January 1, 1970
    I DON'T KNOW WHAT I DID TO GET AUTO-APPROVED FOR HALF OF THE BERKLEY GALLEYS BUT OBVS, THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE THAT I HAD TO DOWNLOAD IMME-FUCKING-DIATELY 🙏🙏----------------------------------BERKLEY IS FINALLY PUBLISHING ITS FIRST (SLOW BURN) QUEER ROMANCE AND A WLW AT THAT BY A QUEER AUTHOR EEEEEEEEEEEE I DON'T KNOW WHAT I DID TO GET AUTO-APPROVED FOR HALF OF THE BERKLEY GALLEYS BUT OBVS, THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE THAT I HAD TO DOWNLOAD IMME-FUCKING-DIATELY 🙏🙏----------------------------------BERKLEY IS FINALLY PUBLISHING ITS FIRST (SLOW BURN) QUEER ROMANCE AND A WLW AT THAT BY A QUEER AUTHOR EEEEEEEEEEEE
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This book was amazing and I need more sapphic books like this in my life. In this book, we follow Emma, a young assistant that loves her job and is doing everything that she can to help the life of her boss, Jo, a forty-one years old woman who has never commented on her love life in her entire career. She's a successful writer and she is challenging herself by branching out. One day, Jo invites her assistant to go with her to an event. She tells her that she needs her as a buffer but we know dee This book was amazing and I need more sapphic books like this in my life. In this book, we follow Emma, a young assistant that loves her job and is doing everything that she can to help the life of her boss, Jo, a forty-one years old woman who has never commented on her love life in her entire career. She's a successful writer and she is challenging herself by branching out. One day, Jo invites her assistant to go with her to an event. She tells her that she needs her as a buffer but we know deep down, it's because she likes her company - more than she probably should as her employer. However, when Emma tries to rescue her boss when photographers are asking her uncomfortable questions about her new job, the way they look at each other on the photos taken create a rumor that both women are trying to shut down by not commenting on it, hoping it will die down. Emma doesn't want to be seen as someone who would sleep with someone else just to get a job and Jo doesn't want Emma to be hurt. I started reading this book not knowing anything other than it was a F/F romance and that's all I needed. I fell in love with the main characters but also their families and friends who were so adorable and funny. This book also addressed sexual harassment (especially in Hollywood) really well.This book comes out on May 26th and you all should be prepared to read it. I'm not kidding, this book is one of my favorites now and is definitely one of the best books I've read this year. It was so enjoyable and the whole time, I kept swooning over these two women who I wanted to just KISS already! Because yes, this is a slow burn romance with an age-gap so be aware of that. The only negative thing (which isn't negative if you think about it) I have to say is that I wish we would have had a little bit more time with the characters as a couple towards the end. It was satisfying to finally see them together but I would have loved to have just a little more. I would gladly re-read Something to Talk About and that's something I never do with contemporary romances. I'm so sad the author doesn't have any other books out at the moment because I would have read them asap. That's how much I loved this one. I hope Meryl Wilsner will write more because I might have found a new favorite author to follow! <3 Also, I could picture everything so easily that I could imagine this becoming a movie I would love to watch. I truly hope you will love this book as much as I did. (Thank you so much for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)
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  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    When Hollywood A-Lister Jo takes her assistant, Emma, with her to a red-carpet event, neither have any idea of the scandal and rumors that soon surround them—and how there might actually be some truth to the rumors. As Emma's promotion is threatened and Jo's future teeters, both struggle with their professionalism and feelings. Are the rumors just rumors, or is there something more?This was very cute, although it rushed the ending (and I wanted a longer epilogue).I liked it quite a bit, although When Hollywood A-Lister Jo takes her assistant, Emma, with her to a red-carpet event, neither have any idea of the scandal and rumors that soon surround them—and how there might actually be some truth to the rumors. As Emma's promotion is threatened and Jo's future teeters, both struggle with their professionalism and feelings. Are the rumors just rumors, or is there something more?This was very cute, although it rushed the ending (and I wanted a longer epilogue).I liked it quite a bit, although the writing was a little rough. I felt like Jo, a powerhouse and Type A dynamo, had literally one emotion: that of a teenaged child. She rolls her eyes so much I thought they'd roll right out of her head, and the constant overuse of this expression nearly made me DNF within the first chapter.Maybe the eye-rolls stayed in the final edits. Maybe they were removed.Regardless, if the eye-rolling (see, even I'm doing it!) is too much and that's the issue—keep reading. It gets better.Mild spoiler: they do get together. This is a romance, y'all!I loved how this March-September (it's not that big of an age gap) romance was portrayed, with Jo at the height of her career yet poised for more, and Emma just at the beginning of hers. I did like that the power dynamic was addressed—although resolved too rapidly—between the two, and I also appreciated the nuance towards the cessation of Jo's acting career and the racist microaggressions she experienced throughout her child-acting and current rise. I also appreciated that there was a heavy nod to the #metoo movement, although I had wished there was a little more resolve to it.Emma liked knowing how the whole thing worked. She knew every part of the machinery of the show.Anywho, I loved Emma and Jo separately. I liked the juxtaposition of Emma's drive and lack of ambition. She loved her job in and out—and I completely empathized with her feeling of being a failure, when in fact the failure wasn't her at all but was still internalized.And I really liked that Emma was fantastic at her job because she freaking worked at it, and the work was shown. She knew the ins and outs of everything because she was curious, she asked, and she was nice about it. She had initiative and anticipated Jo's needs, and was just a fantastic assistant (that this gets addressed later as a potential obstacle in their relationship was good too).She was an open bisexual, and tall (she was tall!!!) and filled with insecurities based upon what had happened in the past. But she had a dream of one day directing, even if it had been sidelined."The original recipe for this called for one clove of garlic, which is ridiculous," Jo said. "I used three tonight."While Emma was my favorite, I did like Jo (minus the eye-rolling). She had scrambled upwards in a profession that valued women only for their beauty, and reached the top in a male-dominated world as a successful writer and as a (closeted queer) woman of color. Now she was about to be a woman writing a James-Bondesque script, which was so cool—and I loved the comments on James Bond, script-writing and who can and can't write action movies.Anywho, I also loved the supporting cast. It's been a hot minute since I read the book (shame, much shame heaped upon me for procrastinating), but they were hilarious. Jo's support network was fantastic and uplifting, and her best friend was truly amazing.This one is definitely worth the read if you're into Hollywood romances and are thinking of stepping into sapphic romances.I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*This was really sweet and I absolutely flew through it, but the pacing just felt slightly off to me. I also wish we had gotten to know the characters a bit better! Overall, though, def def recommend because, hello, slow-burn sapphic romance with a Hollywood setting!
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    * Happy publication day to this one!3.5 slow-burn Hollywood starsThis one has a behind-the-scenes Hollywood setting with Jo Jones, once a famous childhood actress and now a writer/producer for a TV series, and Emma, her personal assistant. This slow-burn romance starts out with gossip magazines guessing that there is a romance between the two based on a photo taken at an awards ceremony. Is it just gossip or do they have feelings for each other?Jo has vowed to never comment on her personal life, * Happy publication day to this one!3.5 slow-burn Hollywood starsThis one has a behind-the-scenes Hollywood setting with Jo Jones, once a famous childhood actress and now a writer/producer for a TV series, and Emma, her personal assistant. This slow-burn romance starts out with gossip magazines guessing that there is a romance between the two based on a photo taken at an awards ceremony. Is it just gossip or do they have feelings for each other?Jo has vowed to never comment on her personal life, so she continues that trend, and the rumors grow like crazy. Jo and Emma circle each other at work and neither is completely honest with each other.I loved the relationship that Emma has with her older sister Avery and I found their sibling relationship a great addition to the book. I want to visit Avery’s bakery and get one of her hugs!Gossip and what people think about Hollywood stars plays a key part here and the constant vigilance against paparazzi. There is a bit of the #metoo movement, and I was hoping for a bit more storyline there. I did want the characters to actually tell each other how they felt! Overall, this was a sweet romance and I enjoyed the Hollywood setting.Thank you to Edelweiss, Meryl Wilsner, and Berkley for an early copy of this one to read.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    NB: I received a free ARC of this book from Netgalley, but that hasn't affected the content of my review.This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I ended up being pretty disappointed with it. It's pretty rare that a book charms me the way this one did, only to fizzle out so hard later on. Usually if I'm going to dislike a book, I know almost right away. But really, the first third of this book was great! Jo Jones is a Hollywood powerhouse, a childhood star who worked her way in NB: I received a free ARC of this book from Netgalley, but that hasn't affected the content of my review.This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I ended up being pretty disappointed with it. It's pretty rare that a book charms me the way this one did, only to fizzle out so hard later on. Usually if I'm going to dislike a book, I know almost right away. But really, the first third of this book was great! Jo Jones is a Hollywood powerhouse, a childhood star who worked her way into being a writer and creator, and now runs one of the most successful, award-winning TV shows on the air. She's also in line to write a script for a famously masculine movie series, Agent Silver, and is already getting flack for not being able to handle it, just because she's a woman. She takes her assistant Emma, who is very competent and wants to be a director someday, to the SAGs as a "buffer" so she doesn't have to talk to anyone. But after years of taking no one to any award shows, and never commenting on her love life, when a suggestive picture starts making the rounds, rumors flourish that Jo and Emma are dating. Jo is a no nonsense Chinese American who has worked very hard to become as successful as she is, and she holds things close to her chest. Emma is beautiful and too qualified for her job. They have always gotten along really well. But the rumors throw things into upheaval, mostly for Emma, who is on the wrong end of the power differential. (That's one thing this book gets right; it's very conscious of the huge power difference between the two of them, and steps carefully.) She's the one who gets hounded by paparazzi, joked at even by her supposed friends after repeatedly telling them to stop, and worst, made to seem like she is sleeping her way to the top. If all of this sounds interesting, well just wait for the middle section of the book, where the author decided to have the two characters stop communicating with each other almost entirely, and have them by turns become upset and completely overreact about trivial matters. Jo and Emma have always had a friendly, professional relationship, but when Jo does one thing wrong, Emma acts like she just isn't going to take this anymore! Wait, I have a quote:"Emma had forgiven too many people in her life too easily. She was finally learning to stand up for herself."I get the feeling that line was meant to land hard and make us like Emma more, but it had the opposite effect. The author spent zero time before this scene establishing that Emma was a doormat. In fact, the opposite. She is portrayed as smart, competent, efficient and articulate. Zero mention is made of any self-esteem issues, or issues with people bullying or tearing her down. That line is also preceded by Emma thinking that she didn't need to apologize to Jo (for an accidental drunken kiss on the corner of her mouth; Emma had been aiming for her cheek; it's as dumb as it sounds), that her actions were enough. Immediately following this is Emma's thoughts that Jo needs to apologize more with her actions. I basically hated Emma in that moment.It's just chock full of artificially inflated conflict, and it almost made me turn on the book completely (the biggest source of "conflict" is that Jo befriends Emma's sister Avery at a baseball game for Jo's nephew and Avery's kids and neither of them tell Emma right away. Upon finding out, Emma doesn't speak to Jo for a week aside from acknowledging her professionally, i.e. "Yes, Ms. Jones," kind of thing). My liking of the first section made me keep going, though. I get that the author was going for a slow burn, quiet pining sort of thing, but there are much better ways to do that that don't involve your leads not talking to one another for extended periods (romantic pairs getting to know each other in new contexts is the entire point of romance as a genre, and we need to see it! not pages and pages and endless pages of them stewing in their own heads over nothing), and making mountains out of mole hills. In romance, if you don't see the talking and the feelings grow yourself in authentic interactions between the characters, you're not going to feel it, and I didn't feel it here. There is also such a thing as too slow of a burn, and that was also the case here. Also, it was weird and slightly annoying that Emma called Jo "boss" all the time. The rest of the book was less frustrating, but it was still full of them not talking to each other, and stupid misunderstandings (like Emma assuming Jo's best friend is her girlfriend, when in real life Jo would have introduced her, like, "Emma, this is my best friend, Evelyn, we grew up together in Chinatown," not what actually happens, where no one tells Emma that Evelyn is Jo's girlfriend, she just assumes, and then gets butthurt about it). Also, and please consider this a PSA for every author, nobody likes reading about characters misunderstanding everything about each other! It is not fun! Also, when your main characters spend more time talking to other characters about each other than they do actually having conversations, maybe rethink some things.Anyway, this wasn't great, and I'm sad about it, and when is there going to be a good f/f romance that I can actually swoon over?[2.5 stars rounded up, because I feel bad giving it two]
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  • Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an early copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of an honest review*aAAAAAAaaaaaAHHH!!! This has GOT to be the most frustrating book I have ever read. I literally had a physical reaction to the frustration. I'll review it soon bc I have a lot to say once I've calmed down.RTC!!
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