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Book Review: The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

This post contains affiliate links. In addition, I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

Author: Alison Cochrun

Sub-genre: Contemporary

Release Date: September 7, 2021


I really love when a book sneaks up on you. Like you’re enjoying it, it’s entertaining, and then all of a sudden it just wallops you over the head with magnificence. That’s what The Charm Offensive did and honestly, everyone should have this book on their TBR.

Dev is a producer on a very Bachelor-esque reality dating show, and not one of those jaded ones (Dev, not the show). Dev joined the production team of one of his favorite shows because he is the kind of person who believes in true love. So even though his ex also works on the show and they will have to be together for the first time since breaking up, he goes into his new season with a positive attitude. Charlie is, on the outside, everything the show looks for in a lead. He’s handsome and wealthy, and really what more does a reality TV show need? Charlie also has OCD and anxiety, which no one knows about before casting him. He’s only doing the show because his best friend/PR manager thinks it will help him find a new job after he was ousted from his own company for being “mentally unstable”. Dev seems to be the only one who can get through to Charlie, so he becomes his designated “handler” and the two are suddenly forced to spend hours and hours of time together. What starts as a partnership to help Charlie find love with one of the women and rehab his image becomes so so so much more. And of course, in the end, it all manages to work itself out.

Okay, where to even start with this one? First, I was so on board for a light and fluffy Unreal meets Red, White and Royal Blue romcom. I am an unabashed fan of the Bachelor franchise and so I was here for the concept from the get. And then I absolutely fell in love with Dev and Charlie because the two of them together are truly just magical. And then I found myself completely wrapped up in a story about so much more than finding love. It’s about identity and sexuality and labels and mental health and loving yourself first and found family and gender roles and honestly, I don’t know how Alison manages to balance all of the amazing threads of this story without it ever once feeling overwrought. Like the whole thing is just beautiful? I had actual tears streaming down my face at multiple points? And yet I also laughed out loud and got to indulge in my love for trash reality TV? It’s been a few days since I finished this one and I am still thinking about it. Hopefully that’s enough of a rave to convince you to buy it because you need to read it. Period.

Overall Rating: 5 stars

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