The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun // the queer romance I didn’t know I needed

Hey fellow ramblers! I know I’ve been reviewing so many books lately, but they’re just so many amazing ones that I just have to share my thoughts on! Today, I’m reviewing an ARC of The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun. This one was so cute and made its way to my favourites’ shelf! So let’s get to it!

Thank you to the author, and Atria Books for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! This did not affect my opinions in any way. Quotations may vary upon release date.

Genre: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary

Release Date: September 7th, 2021

Published by: Atria Books

click to view content warnings

depression, anxiety, OCD, panic attacks, biphobia, homophobia

(from Goodreads)

In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy—reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch—an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told. 

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I absolutely adored this book! It was such a breeze and I absolutely loved everything about it! Charlie is a multimillionaire techwiz who decides to participate in a reality dating show in order to get his reputation and career back on track after he’s fired from his own company. 

Dev is one of the producers of Ever After, a reality dating show he’s been working with for six years. This year he’s in charge of the bachelor in question, and needs to get him to connect with the contestants because he’s a literal mess everywhere he goes. This eventually leads to sparks flying and they need to work against all odds to make their relationship work.

Can I just start by saying that the plot for this book is so unique? I’ve never read anything like it! I know a lot of readers compare it to Red, White and Royal Blue (I mean, even the synopsis is), and yes, it has its similarities, but while I wasn’t a fan of RWRB, The Charm Offensive stole my heart!

The banter between the characters made me laugh out loud all throughout the book and all the relationships between the characters were so sweet and I couldn’t help but root for them! It was full of giddy feelings that was just so heartwarming to read!

“But Charlie doesn’t know how you show someone they’re worthy of being loved. So he just stays.”

The Charm Offensive also deals with topics like anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, and depression and I loved that even though the author took us through these themes in depth, it still managed to be a light read and overall very enjoyable! Charlie and Dev work so well together and seeing them help each other through their hardships and sometimes losing themselves along the way was awe-inspiring to read. 

The ending, like all good contemporaries drove me to tears. It was an overload of cuteness and emotions and I just couldn’t control myself. 

I’m going to shove this down everyone’s throat till September 7th and even afterwards. Mark your calendar guys. An amazing and witty rom-com is on the way!

And that’s all for today! What did you guys think? Have you read this yet? Do you plan on picking it up? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. the book that won the Readers’ Pick poll from my June Monthly Recap is We Are Not Free by Traci Chee! I’m so excited to start this book and can’t wait to share my thoughts with you!

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4 thoughts on “The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun // the queer romance I didn’t know I needed

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