The Charm Offensive

A Novel

audio cd, 1 pages

Published Sept. 7, 2021 by Simon & Schuster Audio and Blackstone Publishing.

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3 stars (1 review)

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 …

4 editions

Fun. And..?

3 stars

Solidly in the rom-com genre, with a gay romance at the heart of the story. It seems like the real emphasis though is on the mental health struggles of both characters - and the ways they help and support each other through them. In that sense, it warps the genre some, because so few emphasize mental health almost exclusively. However, for me at least, the story started to drag about half way through and was kind of slow to the finish. Loved the idea more than the execution.