Reviewed by Ami
Title: Something to Talk About
Author: Meryl Wilsner
Heroines: Jo & Emma
Genre: F/F Contemporary
Length: 333 pages
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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?
I admit I was rather weary approaching LGBTQ romance with “Famous People” / Hollywood trope attached to it. Probably because it usually has the all hiding and deflecting that usually surrounds the relationship. Interestingly, it’s still the deflecting part that annoyed me here, but more towards each other rather to everyone else – because everyone else actually supported Jo and Emma to be together.
Jo Jones, a powerhouse showrunner in Hollywood, decides to take her personal assistant Emma Kaplan to the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. Tabloids soon going rampant with gossip of they are dating after the photo of Jo making Emma laughed at the red carpet surfaced. Jo refuses to make comment though, saying that after years of never commenting on relationship, she’s not going to do it now. So, the story goes…
Let me say that this book is VERY slow burn. Like, VERY, VERY much. The actual kissing and any sexy times didn’t happen until almost the very end, and it was quick, and heck, even the happy ending felt abrupt. Most times, it’s because of the boss/employee dynamic that plays strongly into the story – with Jo being Emma’s boss. I could understand the tricky part of navigating any path to relationship.
Unfortunately, as someone who adored slow burn, I thought this part wasn’t worth the reward in the end. I love slow burn romance, and I don’t mind when authors keep any physical action of the romance near the end. But I usually love it because the journey to get there is filled with unresolved sexual tension, or those sweet little moments of intimacy, or even some treasured heart-to-heart conversation…
Due to the fact that Jo is Emma’s boss, and gossips that follow that photo, Jo and Emma tries hard to NOT fuel the fire. Yes, there are few of sweet/caring moments, like when Emma’s asthma is acting up, or Emma helping Jo out of her writing block… but most of the times, they either keep the feeling to themselves (in their head, for the sake of us readers), or shared it only with their family and friends. Therefore, I felt that I didn’t get enough of built-up. I was rather bored to be honest. The writing made me feel rather detached to the characters and wasn’t too invested in Jo and Emma.
It’s still a nice book to read though – at least, we have an interracial relationship with Jo being Chinese American… ALTHOUGH, at the same time, this part of her identity is not being fully explored me thinks. We have a #metoo moment, which I think is very ‘current’ type of situation in Hollywood… ALTHOUGH again, that part disappeared very quickly.
I just didn’t love it as much as I wanted it to…
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*