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The Charm Offensive
The Charm Offensive: A Novel | Alison Cochrun
54 posts | 46 read | 27 to read
In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedyreminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watchan 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 its no wonder then that hes spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchises 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 doesnt believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, hes a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, hes cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off. As Dev fights to get Charlie to open up to 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, theyll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.
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corireadslife
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Audiobooks and puzzling is a great combination but I will say, this has been one of the hardest puzzles yet!!

catiewithac I like this puzzle 😍 3d
12 likes1 comment
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kera_11
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this is hands down one of my favorite romances I‘ve read this year. it‘s so freaking good.
Charlie is the new “Bachelor”™️ and Dev is a producer/handler tasked with making this very awkward man into a prince. Dev starts to get Charlie to open up to him so he can open up to the women he‘s dating on the show but also like what women??? positive gay relationship, mental health rep, no gay panic, I can‘t say enough how much I loved this book

Sydneypaige Yay! This has been in my holds for weeks so I‘m excited for it to be available!! 3d
kera_11 @Sydneypaige OMG text me the entire time you read it 3d
KelsiTaylor Add this to my stack please 3d
5 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Dragon
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Pickpick

Just finished this totally awesome m/m #romantsy rom-com. Dev is a producer on Ever After ( a tv show very reminiscent of The Bachelor) and Charles is the star for this season . Dev is tasked with turning Charles into Prince Charming so he can choose his future Princess. But Charles is so sweet and gawky and lovely…Dev just might be falling for him. This book is so sweet and so positive - all the feels !

Centique Awww it sounds lovely! 3w
Dragon Thanks @Centique it definitely was , a charming romance 💚🐉 3w
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Zuhkeeyah
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Pickpick

As a Bachelor and Bachelorette fan, I was all in for this book. It absolutely delivered. Charlie is utterly adorable and will tug at all your heart strings. Dev will make you want to believe in Disney-like happy endings. Honestly, I could gush about all the characters. The interviews and the extra footage transcripts really sold the behind-the-scenes feel of a reality show. I‘m very glad I treated myself and bought this book.

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 4w
12 likes2 comments
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Julsmarshall
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Pickpick

This quirky queer romcom was a fun bit of escapism during a busy work week. I loved the diverse cast of characters and found family vibe along with the behind the scenes setting of a The Bachelor-type show. #BookspinBingo @TheAromaofBooks #awesomeapril @Andrew65

Andrew65 Well done, looks fun 👏👏👏 1mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 1mo
42 likes2 comments
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xicanti
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I read a ton of great stuff in March. Alongside the tagged 5-star read, I revisited my favourite romance series (Rachel Reid‘s Game Changers) and found four new-to-me 4.5ers: THE STRANGERS by Katherena Vermette, SOMETHING FABULOUS by Alexis Hall, DRAGON HOOPS by Gene Luen Yang, and MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

WJCintron This is AWESOME!! 2mo
26 likes1 comment
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Zuhkeeyah
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April #bookspin! Where did March go? I know I lost at least a week adjusting to Daylight Savings, but it really feels like the days are flying by.

I caved this month and made a NetGalley account. Not sure yet if this is a good or bad thing considering how it has distracted me from my original reading list for the month (though, to be fair, it doesn't take much). I'm adding specific spaces to limit my NetGalley requesting to a manageable amount.

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Mindelan
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Pickpick

Of course I loved this book.The romance is sweet and steamy, it has LGBTQIA+ representation coming from a bunch of places, and it takes on mental health in a respectful way.The author does a great job of making the cast of characters lovable and memorable.The only thing I was disappointed by was a B-plot that went in a different direction than I expected (spoiler below) but I think the author‘s resolution was just as good!

Mindelan I was hoping that Daphne would come out during the show and Angie and Daphne would fall in love and leave together. I‘m into Daphne having her own season though, I would definitely read it as a sequel! 2mo
xicanti I spent the whole book rooting for Daphne and Angie to fall in love! 2mo
Mindelan @xicanti right?! It would have been so cute! 2mo
5 likes3 comments
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Mindelan
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Going to try to finish The Charm Offensive today while I enjoy the good weather (until the temperature drop and rain comes this afternoon ☹️). Still loving the book. The coming out and mental health conversations are so kind.
My crocuses just started blooming in the warmest part of the yard, I hope they pull through!

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Mindelan
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Having a rough migraine week, so I spent the morning making some chocolate chip banana muffins. This book is a really nice antidote to feeling run down. I am loving the friendships and support, the mental health representation, and there is a certain B plot that I am very excited about. I can‘t wait to see them get into the end-game aspects of the show and see how those add to the chaos!

Soubhiville Yum! I hope you‘re feeling better soon. 2mo
6 likes2 comments
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xicanti
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Pickpick

HOLY CRAP, Y‘ALL. THIS BOOK.

I FELT SO MANY THINGS. I CRIED SO MUCH. IT‘S SO DAMNED GOOD I DON‘T EVEN WANT TO DISSECT IT. I JUST WANT TO SHOUT ABOUT HOW GOOD IT IS, WITH ITS GLORIOUS MIX OF QUEER DISCOVERY AND REALITY TV AND MENTAL HEALTH AND FRIENDSHIP. 😭😭😭😭😭

5 stars

Liatrek Great review! Love when you can tell someone really loved a book ❤️❤️ 2mo
Nutmegnc Looks like I‘ll be adding that ASAP to my library!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! 2mo
Nutmegnc Welp. Took me less than 5 minutes to add this to my collection 😍🤣🎉 (edited) 2mo
See All 10 Comments
xicanti @Liatrek IT‘S JUST SO GOOD. 😭 2mo
xicanti @Nutmegnc this makes me so happy! I hope you love it, too! 2mo
CarolynM 💖 2mo
peanutnine My sentiments exactly 💯 loved loved loved this one! 💖 2mo
xicanti @peanutnine I‘m excited to read whatever Cochrun publishes next! 2mo
Nutmegnc @xicanti I loved it. Swooning. 🥰🥰🥰 2mo
xicanti @Nutmegnc hurray! 🎉 2mo
48 likes4 stack adds10 comments
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xicanti
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Earlier, I ate sausage and barley soup (it tastes way better than it looks, I swear) and read a nice wee chunk of THE CHARM OFFENSIVE. It feels like a book I could love.

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peanutnine
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I read a lot of great books in February but this one snuck in at the end and overtook them ALL 😍
#readingbracket

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Mindelan
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Enjoying this book so far! I love a good trope, but I always come in wondering if the author will lean on it too hard and the characters will end up feeling like cardboard cutouts. That‘s not the case with this book! The characters are likable, the narrator is great and the premise just brings a lot of fun and chaos in.

I‘m working on my first brioche stitch piece while I listen. It‘s tricky, but I love how cushy the fabric is! #audioknitting

Soubhiville I love the colors! 3mo
9 likes1 comment
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tracey38
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Pickpick

Another cute rom com with a good representation for mental health. This revolves around a Bachelor like show where Charlie goes on, not to meet women and get married like the show calls for, but to get back into his tech world. His handler on the show Dev believes in the shows Happily Ever After story. What happens when these two develop feelings for each other? We also get good rep for Charlie who has OCD and anxiety, and Dev who has depression.

33 likes1 stack add
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bookandbedandtea
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Pickpick

As the title promises, this is charming. I loved both of the MCs (Charlie is especially wonderful) and every single one of the side characters. I liked the love story but most of all I liked that nearly all the characters either did, or learned to, take their mental health seriously. Love stories are all well and good but Dev, Charlie, and even Daphne all needed to learn to love themselves first. The "finale" was perfect. ?

peanutnine The characters' mental health journeys were so well done 🥰 3mo
27 likes1 comment
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peanutnine
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Pickpick

I absolutely adored this book! It's a heartwarming romance that also hits on coming to terms with your mental health and sexuality. I loved Charlie and Dev's relationship and how they loved each other's flaws. I seriously stayed up half the night finishing this (on a weeknight!) because I couldn't put it down. I foresee it becoming my newest comfort reread 💗🧡💗

GondorGirl This one was REALLY cute! 3mo
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Nessavamusic
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Pickpick

This was adorable queer rom-com about a Bachelor like show‘s prince and his handler. So sweet and cute and another hug of a read. Also lots of representation, LGBTQIA+ and mental health. 4.5⭐️
#ReadHarder - an aromantic character
#romancereadingchallenge - cinnamon roll hero
#bookspinbingo - square
#roaringwolfchallenge - self love
#fabulousfebruary #readathon

Roary47 I love rom coms that give the warm and fuzzies. 😊💛 3mo
Andrew65 Great 👏👏👏 3mo
59 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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peanutnine
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@TheSpineView Lisa, thank you so much for this lovely package! You seriously spoiled me, I was not expecting all these goodies 😍 I love it all, thank you ❤️

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Love it 💗 3mo
TheSpineView So glad you enjoyed it!😊 3mo
47 likes2 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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Some of my favorite romance novels for Valentine's Day ❤

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LaraReads
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It‘s a beautiful afternoon for a little romance! 💕

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Ashley_Nicoletto
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I pulled this off my shelf last night after it came in as a Get TBR rec and oh ‘em gee it‘s adorable. I read the first 65 pages grinning ear to ear.

GondorGirl I really enjoyed this one! They boys are freaking adorable. 🧡🧡 4mo
49 likes1 comment
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Deetorr
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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mgschu
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Pickpick

My heart is so full. How fun, how lovely, how queer. I can‘t stop smiling.

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CaitlinSiem
Pickpick

There are so many positive things in this book. So many things worked through and a slew of feels along the way. It was so lovely. A great read.

14 likes1 stack add
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Sharpeipup
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32 likes1 stack add
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mdemanatee
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Pickpick

Okay, you win. This was cute. I oddly really enjoyed the backstage production parts of this reality dating show—while knowing the verisimilitude may not be high.

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CarolynM
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Pickpick

Certainly charmed me💖 #romantsy

And that's it for 2021 for me, I'm going to bed.

Happy New Year everyone.

bthegood Happy New Year - 5mo
squirrelbrain Happy New Year Carolyn! 5mo
rockpools Good night. And Happy New Year, Carolyn 🥂 5mo
See All 14 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm Happy New Year, Carolyn 🎇🤗 5mo
youneverarrived Happy New Year 🥂 5mo
batsy Happy New Year! ✨🥂 5mo
rohit-sawant Happy New Year! 🥂 5mo
MaureenMc Happy New Year! 🎊 5mo
Ruthiella Happy New Year Carolyn! 🥂🥳 5mo
LeeRHarry Happy New Year 🥳 🥂 5mo
CarolynM @LeeRHarry Happy New Year Lee😘 5mo
Tamra Happy New Reading year to you! 🥳 5mo
Nute Happy New Year, Carolyn!💜🥳💜 It‘s getting harder and harder to have high energy levels past midnight!😴 I‘m starting to like the idea of “Early to Bed…”🛌😂 5mo
52 likes14 comments
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akfreeborn
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Pickpick

Nice romance with lots of LGBTQ rep. I‘m not a reality TV watcher but the setting helped force situations and contact. I liked the characters and message.

21 likes3 stack adds
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veebib
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"... you're not obligated to figure it out, or come out, or explain yourself to anyone ever. But also, labels can be nice sometimes. They can give us a language to explain ourselves and our hearts better. And they can help us find community and develope a sense of belonging. I mean, if you didn't have the correct label for your OCD, you wouldn't be able to get the treatment you need, right?"

8 likes1 stack add
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rachelsbrittain
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Pickpick

An absolutely adorable reality TV-style rom-com with big Red, White and Royal Blue vibes (banter + clueless men falling in love and not realizing the other one loves them back). Represents and addresses a whole host of mental illnesses including OCD, anxiety disorders, and depression and does it well. Only small negative is Dev is described as Indian but that rep feels very surface level. Overall so so good, though. Highly recommend this one!

rachelsbrittain Also features: questioning, ace / demi, and gay rep in MCs and bi, pan, nonbinary, and lesbian rep in side characters. Almost the whole rainbow! 6mo
Nebklvr I loved this book!! 6mo
rachelsbrittain @Nebklvr it's just so good, isn't it? 5mo
44 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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Nalbuque
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Pickpick

Solid read, super cute and relatable (apart from the whole being on tv thing)

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BookishTrish
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Pickpick

This was a heck of a lot of fun. I‘m not a Bachelor fan, but I‘d watch this.

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chasjjlee
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Pickpick

I am really no good at reviews but.....

This book was so good. SO GOOD. I don't normally like rom-com books so I fully expected to not like this and DNF it. The total opposite happened. I could not put this book down. The foundation of this story...just wow. I'm absolutely here for it.

See, I've told you how much I loved it without actually telling you anything about it.
Not good at reviews 😅. Just read it. Worth it.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 likes1 stack add
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chasjjlee
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Cannot put this book down 😍!

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NicoleCeBallos
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Mehso-so

I've seen so many 4 and 5 star reviews, but for me this was like a 2.5. I liked the attention to mental health, the message that everyone is deserving of love, the LBGTQ+ rep, and Charlie. Things I didn't like: the fact that Dev is Indian American, but that plays absolutely no factor in his personality. Dev is also very blind/naive about the reality show which he's worked on for 6 years. Lots of drama at the end that was unnecessary and avoidable

Reggie Total pet peeve of mine with “representation.” Saying someone is something but not backing it up with some kind of language, family tradition, or food, or anything that says they are from that background. And who knows maybe they are totally Americanized but it still makes me itch a little. 7mo
NicoleCeBallos @Reggie mine too. It really felt like she was like my book is diverse because one of the leads is an Indian American. You could call him David instead of Dev and the story wouldn't change at all. And I feel like that's a problem. Especially since she's selling this as a gay romcom with a biracial relationship. 7mo
16 likes2 comments
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WonderlandMind
Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this romcom. I could not put it down. I loved the attention to mental illness and the acceptance that the right partner will provide. I also loved the parallels to a real life reality show and how it humanized the behind the scenes talent. I loved Dev‘s quirkiness and Charlie‘s awkwardness. It felt genuine and sweet. Highly recommend.

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GerardtheBookworm
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Pickpick

An Indian American producer of a Bachelor-type reality dating show falls for its star and vice versa in this LGBTA+ queer based rom-com.

CarolynM This rounds good🙂 8mo
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
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StellaDz
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Pickpick

This is probably the most inclusive and diverse LGBTQ+ book that I have read in years! It‘s ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for that alone, but it was also just a cute, fun read. It‘s handling about mental health and self-care was also overwhelmingly mature.

Having just come out as asexual, I truly appreciated the author‘s inclusivity and maturity, while still having fun!

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StellaDz
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It‘s a good vacation when you‘ve read the 3 graphic novels, and 2 out of the 3 books you brought! Picking up the last one!! #currentlyreading

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Mpcacher

This was a sweet, funny, gay romance featuring a “The Bachelor' type reality show. I really enjoyed it. I do not read a lot of romantic comedies but a good one can be a wonderful form of entertainment and this one certainly was.

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TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

This rom com features a diverse & inclusive cast along the drama of a reality TV show called Ever After- a Bachleor-esque program with a fairy tale slant. Dev grew up loving the show, & as a producer on it believes that the magic & romance of the show is real. Charlie, the season‘s latest Prince Charming, comes with his own agenda for the show- complicated further by his mental health. While the romance is predictable, it‘s an entertaining read!

GondorGirl I just finished this one last night and REALLY enjoyed it! 9mo
TorieStorieS @GondorGirl I am so glad you enjoyed it 🏳️‍🌈❤️ 9mo
46 likes2 comments
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GondorGirl
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I spent a lot of years refusing to read anything even remotely romantic, first because I was freaked out by the harlequin covers, and then because they never seemed to be about the types of relationships I was in. I'm a pansexual white person, so I'm sure that disconnect was probably a lot worse for many other people.

Now, I know we've got a LONG way to go, but this was a really nice surprise when I sat down to read & review this ARC.

#romantsy

28 likes1 stack add
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Bakingbookworm
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Pickpick

5 STARS - This debut knocked my socks off! It's an LGBTQIA+ romance set in a Bachelor-type reality TV show. The characters were wonderful but its focus on mental health & gender identity was my fav part. Look for it Sept 7 from Atria Books.

REVIEW: https://bit.ly/CharmOffensiveReview

15 likes1 stack add
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kimmypete1
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Pickpick

So much to like! It‘s fun, cute, and well done. I loved how things unfolded and Dev and Charlie were absolutely adorable together.

Could have done without the long chapters though.

@Eggbeater @midnightbookgirl awyr

rachelm I loved this one!! 9mo
MidnightBookGirl Down with long chapters (although, it doesn't bother me at all on audio, lol) 9mo
kimmypete1 @MidnightBookGirl lol, audio doesn‘t bother me either. :) 9mo
23 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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kimmypete1
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I‘m really enjoying The Charm Offensive but OMG these chapters are long AF and it‘s driving me bananas. I hate long chapters with a burning passion

Megabooks Same! I love short chapters! 9mo
13 likes1 comment
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Jas16
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Pickpick

I loved this. I wanted to rush to the happily ever after while also never wanting it to end. Charlie signs up to be on a dating show to revamp his image not expecting to find love. Then he meets Dev the producer who seems to understand him in ways no one else ever has. A m/m romance with an emphasis on diversity and mental health that also delivers on the swoon. Definitely a book all lovers of Red White and Royal Blue should add to their TBRs.

51 likes1 stack add
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nitalibrarian
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I'm on vacation for the next 6 days! I'm headed today to the Twin Cities where all my family lives. It's been a year since I've seen them. Yay vaccinations!
I'm starting the tagged book and bringing these #botm books that I've already read to see if my mom wants to read any of them.😁☀️

MayJasper What is/are (?) the twin cities? 😊 11mo
nitalibrarian Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota. 🙂 11mo
Tamra Pack your shorts! 😊 I hope you can get to some bookstores. 11mo
BennettBookworm Enjoy!! 11mo
Avanders Yay have fun! 11mo
28 likes1 stack add5 comments
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silentrequiem
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And finally, my May 2021 reads! On a rom-com kick right now and loving it.

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Preciouz29
Pickpick

So, so, so, so good! I don‘t think I‘ve ever read a novel that‘s made me laugh out loud, made me cry, and taught me all about LGBTQ+; asexual, pansexual, I romantic....I learned so much new stuff! All the feels from how she handled the mental health issues, showing that it‘s totally normal and totally ok. Our author really covers a lot in such a short time, but she does it so well. I‘ve already preorder this to give as gifts to so many people!