4.5⭐️. Tropes: f/f, age gap, workplace Q: what’s a book set in Hollywood that you love?
I flew through the pages of Meryl Wilsner’s Something to Talk About rooting for Jo & Emma but also not feeling like my heart was held hostage by a stoically evil mastermind with nothing to lose & that made for a wonderful reading day. I’m highly recommending this adorable, funny, astute book that also feels pretty darn hopeful.
Jo Jones, a writer & producer on one of tv’s hottest shows, tells her assistant Emma Kaplan that she’s coming with her to the SAG Awards. The press turns a red carpet moment between them into a tender moment between a couple, & suddenly both women are battling invasive interest from paparazzi, friends, & family about their supposed love life. But they don’t even think about the other that way...right?
Something to Talk About puts a welcome spin on the age gap, boss-employee romance. Jo is not willing to let her attraction make Emma feel any kind of way in the workplace & this leads to some back & forth between the two that is at times a little annoying (kiss already!) but that I ultimately respected. Emma is her employee & that boundary means something to Jo.
Luckily for them they won’t have that dynamic for long, & that was another aspect of the romance I loved: both female leads’s ambition. As a Chinese American, female child actor & then writer/producer, Jo has faced her share of discrimination, & this was before their red carpet episode put a newly intense focus on her love life. But she’s taking on a major franchise. And Emma’s attached to Jo & her job but she’s not afraid to go after what she wants. Through it all they support each other generously & fiercely (do not come for either of them!)
The way that they finally realize their feelings, the way that they finally act on them, makes for the slowest of the slowwwww burns, and encouraging them along is a truly fantastic cast of secondary characters, including Emma’s sister Avery.
The ending chapter feels the slightest bit abrupt but the Epilogue is one of those perfectly fitting endings that left me feeling replete with those HEA feelings. . . CW: sexual harassment.
Something to Talk About releases on 05/26. Thanks to the publisher & Edelweiss for my complimentary ARC; all opinions provided are my own.