All the Feels

(by Olivia Dade)

I’d been a little curious about Olivia Dade’s writing since I read Jenny’s post on Reading the End about Spoiler Alert back in 2020, but I never got around to actually reading anything by her until now. I’ve never really been into fan fic (though I guess I did read a few Mulder/Scully fics when I was in high school), and I also never got into watching Game of Thrones, so I wasn’t sure if books with a fan fic element that are about cast members from a GoT-ish show called Gods of the Gates would be for me. As it turns out, All the Feels is still an enjoyable read for someone who hasn’t watched GoT/doesn’t care much about TV in general/isn’t into fanfic—and luckily for me, it reads fine as a standalone, so it didn’t matter that I still haven’t read Spoiler Alert.

At the start of All the Feels we meet Alex, who plays Cupid on Gods of the Gates, which is filming its last season in Spain. When the book opens, he’s getting chewed out by one of the showrunners because he was in a bar brawl the previous night: the showrunner is not at all pleased with the negative publicity and tells Alex that he will now have a “minder” – a woman named Lauren who’s the showrunner’s cousin. Alex is annoyed, and this isn’t exactly what Lauren signed up for, either: she’s burned-out from having worked in the ER for years and was planning on taking a relaxing Spanish vacation before deciding what to do next, and now she’s basically babysitting a grown man who can’t seem to ever stop talking and let her read in peace.

Though Alex teases Lauren about being his joyless nanny, they actually get along well, and despite his claims of self-centeredness, he’s really sweet, which sets the stage for a cute slow-burn romance. Chapters alternate between Alex’s PoV and Lauren’s, and there are other things interspersed between their narratives—fics about Gods of the Gates, and an excerpt from the show’s script, and various text message conversations between various characters. I appreciated the humor of the banter between Alex and Lauren, and I liked that they’re both in their late 30s, so they’re established in their careers and routines and are used to making decisions for themselves (though this turns out to be something of an issue for both of them, as it turns out). And as a bonus, I learned about the Saroyan Stairs, which I would definitely like to visit!






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