Release Date: Oct 6, 2020
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: Avon Books
Spoiler Alert is Olivia Dade’s premier with Avon Books and what an awesome first outing it is. I’m an unabashed fanatic for anything Olivia writes. I’ve reviewed three of Dade’s recent self-published items and have begun reading her backlist, every time someone asks for cinnamon roll heroes, good fat rep, smart romance, low angst, or lead characters over thirty-five she is my automatic recommendation. So excuse me while I fangirl all over this review.
Spoiler Alert is literally the fan service type of story that every marginalized person dreams about. The story is about April Whittier a geologist who loves to watch fantasy tv shows, cosplay, and write fanfic in her spare time. She has a thriving hidden alter ego that writes fanfic for a popular fantasy show. April struggles with confidence and acceptance, not just because of her size but because of her interests. I had to stop reading the book several times because I was crying at how close to home Dade hits with April’s internal struggles. April decides that it’s time to step out of the shadows and posts a picture to Twitter of her full body in a cosplay she created. The attention is both good and bad, but it becomes surreal when the star of the show Marcus Caster-Rupp sees it and invites April to dinner.
What April doesn’t know is that Marcus is also a fic writer. He’s spent years in Hollywood hiding a learning disability behind a golden boy smile. He finds solace online writing fanfics for the show using storylines he wishes would have happened. Their first date isn’t the greatest but April decides to give him another chance, and soon April and Marcus are spending a lot of time together both in the bedroom and out. There’s a lot of secrets that Marcus is holding back from April, and I’ll admit it frustrated me enough to want to knock this book down a half a star. But Dade manages to write such an elegant solution to the issue that I can be that mad at her and I put this back up to a five-star review.
This book was everything my nerdy little heart dreamed about alone in my room staring at pictures of Orlando Bloom in his Lord of the Rings costume. In a less talented author’s hands, this could have been trite and full of overused tropes. But Dade gives us a multi-layered story between two imperfect protagonists who need to face both internal and external hurdles to get to their final HEA. This isn’t some simple girl’s wishful thinking, this is a story written by that girl now a smart and insightful woman who knows that the reality can be better than the dream. This is the kind of inclusive, thoughtful, sexy, and romantic type of story we deserve in 2020 and I beg you to pick it up this October 6th.