Author: Olivia Dade
Following Spoiler Alert, Olivia Dade returns with another utterly charming romantic comedy about a devil-may-care actor—who actually cares more than anyone knows—and the no-nonsense woman hired to keep him in line.
Alexander Woodroe has it all. Charm. Sex appeal. Wealth. Fame. A starring role as Cupid on TV’s biggest show, God of the Gates. But the showrunners have wrecked his character, he’s dogged by old demons, and his post-show future remains uncertain. When all that reckless emotion explodes into a bar fight, the tabloids and public agree: his star is falling.
Enter Lauren Clegg, the former ER therapist hired to keep him in line. Compared to her previous work, watching over handsome but impulsive Alex shouldn’t be especially difficult. But the more time they spend together, the harder it gets to keep her professional remove and her heart intact, especially when she discovers the reasons behind his recklessness…not to mention his Cupid fanfiction habit.
When another scandal lands Alex in major hot water and costs Lauren her job, she’ll have to choose between protecting him and offering him what he really wants—her. But he’s determined to keep his improbably short, impossibly stubborn, and extremely endearing minder in his life any way he can. And on a road trip up the California coast together, he intends to show her exactly what a falling star will do to catch the woman he loves: anything at all.
[Spoiler Alert (#1) Review]
Before getting into the review I liked the title change for this novel. In the teaser at the end of Spoiler Alert, this novel was going to be titled Slow Burn. While that title accurately described the relationship between the main characters in this story, I prefer the new one, All the Feels, as the story is very heartwarming.
All the Feels returns the reader to the fictional show, Gods of the Gates. I maintain that I really would love this show to become a reality as it sounds like it would be amazing! While this is a sequel to Spoiler Alert, the reader could read this as a standalone. The main characters from the previous installment, April and, especially, Marcus, make appearances either in reference or on page throughout this novel, but their story is not necessary to fully enjoy this one. Lauren and Marcus both make appearances briefly in the other novel, so I loved that they now have the chance to become the main characters.
Alex is the best friend of Marcus and co-star on the hit show Gods of the Gates where he plays Cupid. Alex has experienced a public setback after an incident at a bar in Spain where he is filming. Enter Lauren, an ER therapist who is taking a break to Spain and visiting her cousin, Ron, one of the showrunners for Gods of the Gates. Ron enlists Lauren to watch over Alex to ensure his public image improves. Lauren and Alex do not start on the right foot, but they are now forced to spend time together. I love this trope in any story. It is a great plot device where characters get a chance to connect when they might have initially dismissed each other and missed any relationship (platonic, romantic, etc.). In addition to the tropes being presented to the reader, Alex is a huge fan of tropes and I love how they are woven into the story.
One thing that I felt was a missed opportunity was an interaction between April and Lauren. Both are confident plus-size women, who, like everyone, suffer some insecurity. This is especially the case when they are the love interests of conventionally good-looking famous actors. Since April is in a relationship with Marcus, it would have been nice to have a dialogue between her and Lauren once a possible relationship with Alex is on the table. For me, who is plus-size and together with someone in similar shape to Marcus or Alex, I have friends who are in similar relationships and together we can vent, discuss, and bond and I would have loved to see that with April and Lauren.
The story is told from both Alex and Lauren’s perspectives, which I loved as it gave a nice look at their motivations and thoughts. Alex has ADHD and takes medication for it and the story does a great job at integrating how this affects his life. He also has a lot from his past that affect his actions in the present. Lauren additionally has a lot from her past that has shaped her current self. Both characters were complex and felt natural. The attraction between them is present at the beginning, but I would have liked a little more progression before they reached the desire to be with each other. While I loved that they wanted to take the next step in their relationship, it felt a little sudden between their friendship and constant sexual attraction.
Overall, I loved this story as not only is it amazing to read about a plus size main character, but also I loved the integration of professional burnout. Both Lauren and Alex love their individual jobs, but they each have many pressures that given added stress. Lauren and Alex are fantastic characters as individuals and I loved the connection they share. They got to know each other and built a great foundation through their interactions. Marcus and Alex continue to be great best friends, although there is one scene with Marcus that I wish to know more (I do not want to spoil it, but if you read it, then you will most likely know which one I am referring to with him and April). I love this series and would love to see more installments added. This novel was an excellent addition to the series and I cannot wait to read more from this author!
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Avon, for the opportunity to read this heartwarming and enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**