I took a break from the heavy lit fic and dark thrillers to read a *gasp* romance novel! I can count on one hand how many romance novels I have read, especially rom-coms, but that is all the more reason to branch out of my comfort zone. The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun is absolutely adorable. A rom-com novel about finding love in the most unique places, even on the production sidelines of a cringy Bachelor-esque production show.
Dev Deshpande believes in fairy tale love and he spends his day grooming women on a dating show, Ever After. After meeting the shows next "Prince Charming" he starts to question what love is and if fairy tales really do exist.
Charlie Winshaw goes on Ever After for the purpose of revising his stalled career. He doesn't believe in fairy tale love and he has plenty of OCD and anxiety drive tendencies that keep him precluded from worrying about love. That is, until he meets Dev.
These characters are endearing and lovable, not to mention amazing representation of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as mental health awareness. I was all about this storyline and it's added context that gave it much more substance than what I think of when I think of cheesy romance. This one gets a solid thumbs up for me! I also loved the subtle stabs at shows like The Bachelor. I got several chuckles out of the similarities and the poking fun at how staged these love shows tend to be.
The Charm Offensive would pair perfectly as a beach read or fun summer book fling. After reading, you might be tempted to binge watch a trashy reality love show, such as The Bachelor or Love is Blind. You also might feel the urge to throw a one man dance party to Lady Gaga's biggest hits. You also might feel inspired to give yourself some self-care and schedule a therapy session to take care of yourself. Whatever you are in the mood for after reading this book, I guarantee you will also be wanting more Charlie and Dev, because they are the most loveable characters I have come across in a long time.
The Charm Offensive is the perfect non-traditional love story that breaks the mold!