This post contains a gifted item.
I’m so happy to be sharing my spoiler free review of All the Feels by Olivia Dade, her latest adult romance release!
Last year I was introduced to the wonder that is Olivia Dade’s writing, in the form of her novel 40-Love. I fell in love with the story and devoured it in one day, and since then I’ve been desperate to read more of her work. Luckily, not long after I read 40-Love her next book and first in a new series, Spoiler Alert, was published and (spoiler alert) I loved it.
The next in the series, All the Feels, was published just a couple of days ago, and as such a huge fan of Olivia’s I was so excited and grateful to be granted early access to an e-arc which I of course could not put down. Keep reading for my spoiler free review but be warned… I tend to talk a lot about Olivia’s books.
Genre: Adult romance
Length: 320 pages
Source: E-arc via Netgalley
Spice Rating: 🌶🌶.5
Alexander Woodroe has it all. Charm. Wealth. A starring role on the biggest show on TV. But the showrunners have wrecked his character, he’s hounded by old demons and his future remains uncertain. When all that reckless emotion explodes into a bar fight, the tabloids and public agree: his star is falling.
Enter Lauren, the former therapist hired to keep him in line. Compared to her previous work, watching over a handsome but impulsive actor shouldn’t be especially difficult. But the more time she spends with Alex, the harder it is to hold on to her professionalism, and her heart . . .
When another scandal lands him in major hot water, and costs Lauren her job, Alex becomes determined to keep his impossibly stubborn and extremely endearing minder in his life any way he can. On a road trip up the California coast together, he intends to show her exactly what a falling star will do to catch the woman he loves . . .
Content warnings: domestic abuse, mental health, fatphobia, abusive relationships
In a few words:
A steamy celebrity romance, with a fat main character, ADHD representation, only one bed (wink wink) and lots of heart.
My review of All the Feels
In All the Feels we follow Alex, a famous actor who’s having a hard time with his public image and the showrunners on the hit TV show he stars in, and Lauren, the no nonsense hard working woman hired to watch over him to make sure he doesn’t get into any more trouble.
This book had everything I love about a good romance. It was funny, it was sweet, it was steamy, it discussed important topics and it was romantic. Throw in a bit of angst, some excellent plus size representation and there we go!
From the very beginning it was clear to see how much of a loyal and caring person Alex is. Sure he may have his moments of being a “delightful asshole” as Lauren says, but his tenderness was obvious. From his close relationship with his mother, the guilt he carries on his shoulders, the numerous charities he supports but doesn’t necessarily shout about to how he treats Lauren from day one, he’s truly a good guy. And while I can’t comment on the accuracy of the representation myself, Alex does have ADHD which is something that is shown throughout the story, and so it’s not just a throwaway inclusion.
“He was brighter than any spotlight. The wattage of his star power left afterimages behind her eyelids, and that was before he even opened his mouth.“
I love that Olivia is always challenging outdated gender stereotypes, and it was beyond refreshing to read about a male protagonist who is not afraid to show his true feelings. Whether that be elation, love, fear or sadness and tears. Not to mention, he’s also gorgeous, cheeky, charming and hilarious.
Lauren is the kind of person you would always want in your corner. Thoughtful, caring, a great friend and confidante, everyone should have a Lauren in their life. But beneath the tough exterior we initially see, she is such a sweetheart and I found her so endearing. The shit she has had to put up with from other people, including her own family, because of her appearance really made my blood boil but reading her story and how she deals with the idiots was so empowering.
“That smile. Oh, God help him if she ever realised what he’d do to elicit that brightness in her astounding eyes and that sweet curve of her mouth.”
I loved Lauren and Alex’s relationship, even before it became intimate. The pair loved to bicker and rile each other up, but truly came to know and understand one another. Even if there were disagreements or one upset the other, the two would talk it out and clear the air, as they truly did want the best for one another from the beginning.
Though I did love their friendship, the romantic relationship and spice was also so good. There was never any power imbalance, and without spoiling anything let’s just say there was no taking advantage as a boss/employee. The smut is always top tier and Olivia never fails to create such thick sexual tension between the couples. Also I’m a sucker for protectiveness, and they both have a fierce loyalty to each other that made me so happy.
I mentioned the the plus sized representation before, but I just had to expand on it. As always from Olivia, I found the rep to be impeccable (for me, anyway). Lauren wasn’t just “curvy”, we are told explicitly about her round belly, her large arms and legs, and I always love that these aren’t just glossed over. Her size is considered at all times, whether that be in steamier scenes or day to day scenarios in which she is affected.
“He lifted their joined hands and rested them against his bristly cheek, and people on other continents must have been able to feel the thud of her rocketing pulse.”
The discussions about conventional beauty and how she is treated by others because of her physical appearance were also so important and I loved how these scenes were handled by both our characters. Alex was always ready to step in to defend Lauren and berate those causing offence, but on occasions where Lauren wanted to advocate for herself, he understood how important this was to us.
Like Spoiler Alert, fan fiction played a role in this story. The plot didn’t revolve around it as heavily as it did in the first book, but for me there was the perfect amount to support this story. I loved how much Alex was into fan fiction himself, how he both read and wrote it and how much he enjoyed a good trope.
Speaking of, there is such a good “only one bed” situation in this book. Ohhhh boy. I won’t go into detail because of spoilers, but I loved this fresh take on the much loved romance trope. The only thing that topped it for me is how excited Alex was about the prospect of there being only one bed, and how he was always so overjoyed at the romance between himself and Lauren.
“He’d never read a fic this fucking good. Not one. Not ever.”
Part of the story features a domestic abuse storyline, and while it isn’t the main plot it is worth mentioning as a trigger warning just in case. Alex recognises the issues with the TV show he stars in when it comes to abusive relationships and so he does a lot of work with domestic abuse charities for women, but specially mentions the struggle of LGBTQIA+ women and women of colour as vulnerable groups who are often excluded from the help they need and I was so happy to read about that inclusion.
I consumed All the Feels like I just couldn’t get enough of it, and my only disappointment is that now I’ll need to wait even longer for Olivia’s next novel. It gave me butterflies and was the perfect romance read I needed right now.
If you like the sound of that, you may fancy these!
40-Love by Olivia Dade
A steamy age gap summer holiday romance with fat rep, the least problematic love interest and a happy every after. Also 10/10 smut.
The first book by Olivia that I read and immediately fell in love with and recommend to EVERYONE.
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
This is the first book in the series so far, in which we are first introduced to Alex and Lauren but the story is focussed on Marcus and April.
Another body positive romance with lots of fanfic and spice!