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All the Feels


All the Feels

Olivia Dade is a novelist who has been putting in the work for a while now. Thanks to her 2020 bestseller, SPOILER ALERT, she is finally starting to achieve wider-spread recognition and appreciation. The book received well-deserved accolades both for its well-informed glimpse into the world of fanfic and for its celebration of sex and romance that includes a variety of body types.

Careful readers certainly got a sneak peek (but hardly a spoiler) at the main players in Dade’s companion novel, ALL THE FEELS. It stars Alexander Woodroe, who was a supporting character in SPOILER ALERT, a co-star in the “Gods of the Gates” television series. Alex, who’s a big talker and something of a loose cannon, is assigned a “babysitter” after he gets in a bar brawl while the show is filming in Spain. The producers can’t risk any more bad press after Alex’s latest blunder. His minder is Lauren Clegg, a cousin of one of the showrunners and a self-proclaimed harpy and shrew, seemingly impervious to Alex’s roguish charms and sly sense of humor.

"It’s gratifying to see an author as talented as Olivia Dade finally receive the mainstream recognition she deserves --- and readers will eagerly look forward to whatever she writes next."

Alex is intrigued by Lauren, who’s unlike any other woman he’s met; she sees through his bluster and enables him to admit his insecurities and past failures. Similarly, Lauren very gradually lets down her guard with Alex; she allows him to see her self-doubts, and he encourages her to step back and regroup after a career burnout.

Lauren (or Wren, as Alex comes to call her) is confident in her body, but she knows that her short round figure is not what Alex has typically looked for in past love interests, nor would she ever be someone whom his professional colleagues or the tabloids would pick as a romantic partner for him. So even though she is growing increasingly attracted to Alex’s self-deprecating humor, generosity and thoughtfulness (not to mention killer forearms in her favorite shirt), she doesn’t allow herself to indulge in too many fantasies. But little does Lauren suspect that her attraction to Alex is more than reciprocated. When the two of them head out on a road trip, perhaps their journey will represent an opportunity for Alex not only to jumpstart his sputtering acting career but also to kickstart their romance.

Fanfic fans will be pleased to see their favorite genres referenced here as they were in SPOILER ALERT. The chronology of ALL THE FEELS overlaps with the previous book, which is also fun. Readers can flesh out the rest of Alex and Lauren’s story, which they only glimpsed in passing in SPOILER ALERT. Their chemistry is both sexy and frequently funny; Alex’s motor mouth and Lauren’s surprisingly barbed tongue complement each other in the novel’s numerous scenes of verbal banter. It’s gratifying to see an author as talented as Olivia Dade finally receive the mainstream recognition she deserves --- and readers eagerly will look forward to whatever she writes next.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on November 19, 2021

All the Feels
by Olivia Dade