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Publisher's Summary

A Most Anticipated Rom-Com Selected by Buzzfeed, LGBTQ Reads, Bustle, The Nerd Daily, Entertainment Tonight, Frolic Media, and more!

"The Charm Offensive will sweep you off your feet." (PopSugar)

​​In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy — reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch — an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.  

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.  

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date 20 women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.  

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told. 

©2021 Alison Cochrun. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Charm Offensive

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  • SL
  • 10-07-21

Wow, that was EXCELLENT

I wasn't sure what to expect but I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely, romantic, modern story. Terrific writing, well-developed, charming characters, great humor, lots of twists and turns, lovely slow burn, and never a dull moment. And, most importantly, representation, queerness and mental health are front and center -- a complete part of the story for many of the characters. It was wonderful to see these topics dealt with so smartly, accurately and sensitively. I especially enjoyed the delicate nuances and complexities of each character - mental struggles, sexuality and identity aren't just one dimensional and the author did an amazing job with these topics. Yes, the story is a bit formulaic but this is what you want in a modern love story: romance tropes cleverly turned on their heads. I don't think I've enjoyed an MM romance this much in a while. Highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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Fun!

A very fun and cute romcom. I laughed out loud and loved it! Great narration.

2 people found this helpful

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Tiresome

I had to break off listening to this title about 5 hours in, as it just got so tedious! More angst, more awkwardness, more anxiety, more "it could never work... it must never happen again..."
Oh, get on with it!
A fluffy little rom-com story like this could have been told just as satisfactorily without dragging on for TEN HOURS. Take a pass on this one and re-listen to one of your other favorite rom-coms instead.

1 person found this helpful

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This book was everything!!!

It was so brilliant and like able. The characters felt very three dimensional. They weren’t perfect. They were both neurodivergent and it was beautiful handled. I laughed with them and got so caught up in their story I didn’t want it to end. This MM romance has real substance. In the write up it mentions red white and royal blue and I agree that this story has a similar weight and depth to it. It’s also very light on sexual detail so if you love MM but don’t want something to explicit this is for you. And if you love explicit. You won’t feel cheated by this book.

1 person found this helpful

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My new favorite romance

The Charm Offensive follows the star of a reality dating show (*cough* The Bachelor) falling in love with a producer behind the scenes, but it’s so much more. It’s an LGBTQIA+ love story with an earnest exploration of mental health, and it doesn’t shy away from the hard parts… but that makes the sweet parts that much sweeter. I loved the audiobook, the actors did an amazing job bringing Dev and Charlie to life. This is a story that sticks with you and raises the bar for what contemporary romance stories can be.

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pretty good

a cute story. liked the representation and advocacy of people with mental health issues. Loved even more the open discussion and variances of asexuality. I feel like the part where the characters were misunderstanding each other and not realizing that their connection was a real thing went on too long. The ending was sweet and made it all worth it though .
*edit* hard copy arrived and, I'm a little annoyed to see the character's name is Dev because both narrators made the name sound like "Dave". Marking down the performance for that.

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So CUTE 🥰

This book is just beautiful! I loved the characters and the way they came together at the end was just amazing.

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A sweet classic romance with modern subtext

As a romance this is a solid story. But there is a whole lot more to our than that. Yes, it has a whole lot of LGBTQIA+ representation. But it also has a great message about mental health and how loving yourself is integral to truly loving other people. The added environments of a global jaunt and behind the scenes of a reality TV dating show are just icing on this tasty treat.

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incredibly sweet

absolutely love it. would love to see a book with Daphne as the MC too!! really good!!!

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The best of 2021

The best book I listed to this year! So lovely! Could not stop listening to it and thinking about it when I was not listening...
So happy it touches topics such as mental health and selv love!
And it is romantic as a true farytale!
More of books like this!

And narrators were excellent! Wanna go on a date with them!

Hilsen,
Marko

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  • brigitta
  • 11-18-21

Amazing!

Amazing queer rep (especially the demisexual main character), great story and characters. Had lots of fun

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  • Pavel Obolensky
  • 10-11-21

Weak plot, but promising author

The writing style is good, the characters are well constructed and the main couple is likeable. But the plot just didn’t work for me. It was an interesting premise, but it was poorly executed. The reason why Charlie decides to join the dating show and later remain in it is unconvincing and the ‘obstacles’ that Dev and Charlie face hardly feel like real obstacles. Moreover, the show, for most of the book, doesn’t seem to add anything to the advancement of the plot and at times one almost forgets about it. The twenty contestants, for example, play virtually no role in the story. The book feels too long, like it could have been five hours shorter. I also found it astonishing that Charlie and Dev talk to each other about their sexuality for the first time only very late in the book, despite opening up about many other personal things before that. This is just so unrealistic. I was sure the author was a straight woman because of that, but she actually isn’t! Despite this book’s being a disappointment for me, Alison Cochrun is a talented writer and I will definitely give her future work a chance.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-21

We need a story about Daphne

Okay so Charlie must be protected at all costs he is the most precious human being ever and he deserves the universe. I absolutely loved how this story wasn't just unapologeticly queer but it focused on mental health and actual good representation. I love the fact that people are mentioning with they them pronouns or as someone's partner and the author doesn't feel the need to explain it. People can just exist and that makes this book incredibly comforting. I also love how side characters with the tiniest part are still complex and fascinating everyone in the book feels like a fully realized human and it's so perfect. I of course struggled with the conflict because I wanted to see my babies happy and together and without pain but it hit extremely hard because Dave is very similar to me sometimes. You know a book is good when the main character feels like your best friend and you just want to go shake and yell at them so that they understand that they are good enough and soooooo deserving of everything they want and this book made me feel like that all throughout. I honestly think it's impossible not to fall in love with the book and everyone in it and I'm going to need stories about all of them. I'm really hoping there's going to be a story about Daphne and a certain hot af med student because I would absolutely sell my kidney for that. I can't sell my soul cos Charlie owns it along with everything I have. I could literally gush about this man forever, he makes me wanna play the protective big sister who goes and beats up all those fucking idiots who were ever mean to him and protect him and Dave and their happiness so they can live happily ever after. This book deserves sooo much love and I am soooo happy I read it.

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  • Emily Nash
  • 10-08-21

so cute

I love a good rom com and this was exactly what I needed! Great writing

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-21

Golden and Fun

I finished this in 2 days, too good to be true. I saw the book and was interested and when I saw my friend got a hard copy of the book. I decided to purchase them. No regrets.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-21

Not what I expected

This book leads you to think the love interests are two women and instead it’s two men. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this book, it’s just the blurb is misleading

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-21

A big heart and lots of laughs

As a woman in an interracial queer relationship I loved seeing myself reflected in this story. It was such a fun book which made me laugh but was also grounded in its well developed and nuanced characters, huge heart and respectful exploration of mental health and discovering self identity. This is a new gem. I would die for Charlie.