Tag Archives: romcom

An absolutely magical opposites attract work romance

Total-Creative-Control-GenericTotal Creative Control by Joanna Chambers & Sally Malcolm

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If ever a book deserved more stars – and a TV adaptation – it’s this one.

It would make an utterly brilliant Netflix show as it has all the elements you need for success:

1) An opposites attract plot featuring a grumpy one and a sunshine one.

2) The UST of a pining ‘will they, won’t they’ office working relationship that’s really so much more.

3) Tensions galore with a secondary plot involving the adaptation of a British TV show onto one for the American market.

4) Fanfic 😉 the adoration lovers of a book or TV series or film can have for the characters. You only need to look at Hugo awarded A03 to see the power of transformative work.

5) Two heroes who truly see each other, flaws and all, even if one of them (yes Lewis, I’m looking at you here #sideeye ) needs it practically stamping on his forehead.

Bonus 6) Fantastic setting, great secondary characters, and a beautiful nod to the duplicitous way certain elements of the creative media industry have for queer baiting or burying the gays.

It’s also subversively funny, tender and witty, with an elegance of narrative that just flows beautifully from start to finish.

I cannot praise this book highly enough. I adore the work of both authors when they write separately, but together they’re producing something magical.

I cannot wait to see what comes in books two and three (Owen please?!)

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: Meet Me In Madrid by Verity Lowell

Meet Me in Madrid | Verity Lowell

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Release Date: October 26th, 2021

Buy Link: https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9781335631008_meet-me-in-madrid.html

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Blurb

In this sexy, sophisticated romantic comedy, two women juggle romance and career across continents.

Charlotte Hilaire has a love-hate relationship with her work as a museum courier. On the one hand, it takes her around the world. On the other, her plan to become a professor is veering dangerously off track.

Yet once in a while, maybe every third trip or so, the job goes delightfully sideways…

When a blizzard strands Charlotte in Spain for a few extra days and she’s left with glorious free time on her hands, the only question is: Dare she invite her grad school crush for an after-dinner drink on a snowy night?

Accomplished, take-no-prisoners art historian Adrianna Coates has built an enviable career since Charlotte saw her last. She’s brilliant. Sophisticated. Impressive as hell and strikingly beautiful.

Hospitable, too, as she absolutely insists Charlotte spend the night on her pullout sofa as the storm rages on.

One night becomes three and three nights become a hot and adventurous long-distance relationship when Charlotte returns to the States. But when Adrianna plots her next career move just as Charlotte finally opens a door in academia, distance may not be the only thing that keeps them apart.

Excerpt

The car arrived with the luggage while they were still flirt­ing and deliberating in the kitchen, the cava as yet unpoured. Hearing the buzzer, Adrianna had reluctantly thrown on a robe and slippers and run down the three flights, leaving Charlotte still leaning on the counter to contemplate what came next.

“I’m putting your very nice suitcase in my room,” a breath­less Adrianna said as soon as she closed the apartment door behind her. “It won’t fit in the study.”

It would have fit in the study. But it fit a lot better in the bedroom.

“I’m out here,” Charlotte informed her. She had taken the bottle and glasses and resituated herself on the living room sofa. If it had been in the States, the long, upholstered couch with its plethora of throw pillows would have sat smack-dab in front of a flat-screen TV. This one, by refreshing contrast, faced a wall of tall, arched casement windows looking onto mostly sky and a distant cityscape punctuated by the city’s nu­merous church towers. Today the potted trees and summer furniture on the neighboring balconies were coated with an inch or two of velvety snow.

What sun there had been was already dimming.

Adrianna was surprised, but certainly not disappointed, to find Charlotte curled up at one end of said sofa, glass in hand, taking it all in just as she herself liked to do at sunset.

“It’s beautiful,” Charlotte said. “Doesn’t look like any place else I’ve been.”

“Sure doesn’t.” Adrianna sat down close beside Charlotte. Encouragingly close, she hoped.

Charlotte filled Adrianna’s flute with pale bubbly and raised hers in a wordless toast. Their glasses clinked.

“What are we drinking to?” Adrianna asked.

“Bank closures and oversold hotels?” Charlotte replied with a laugh and a gulp. Her legs were folded under her and as she went to set down her glass, she slipped into Adrianna’s shoul­der, not seeming to mind at all when Adrianna leaned into her and caught her eye.

“If you’d have looked at me like that in school, I’m not sure what I would have done,” Charlotte said.

“I can’t promise I never did,” Adrianna admitted. “Espe­cially there at the end.”

“You were definitely shopping around at one point, as I re­call. Like a freshman for new classes,” Charlotte said. “Least that’s what it looked like from where I stood.”

“I was a train wreck,” Adrianna said solemnly. “My ex cheated on me with someone I cared about and I was worried to death I wouldn’t get a job—and interviewing cross-country practically every week while I finished the last chapter of my diss. Those days seem incomparably easy, yet completely im­possible when I look back. But I fucked things up with a lot of people and I hate thinking about it.”

“Your heart was broken,” Charlotte said, reaching for the cava. She’d stopped looking at Adrianna but her voice conveyed empathy.

Had someone broken Charlotte’s heart? Adrianna wanted badly to know.

“And I did that to others in return,” she said.

“You are indeed a heartbreaker,” Charlotte laughed.

“You’re one to talk,” Adrianna replied. “I can’t believe you weren’t dating your pretty little ass off—or seeing faculty on the sly at least. I don’t think I do believe it.”

“Well, you can believe it or not. I’m not saying I didn’t sleep around some. But grads and faculty were off-limits. Not out of moral approbation. I just knew it would throw me off my game. I don’t mind telling you I had tempting offers from both parties.”

Good thing Adrianna wasn’t one of those former suitors. It was so much better finding her again like this, now that they were both past the stage of perpetual heightened insecurity. Now that there was no history with Charlotte, only possibility.

Neither of them were drunk, just usefully relaxed, their inhibitions disarmed by the alcohol, their focus sharpened by the caffeine.

Adrianna set down her own near-empty glass and turned toward Charlotte.

“Let’s toast to layovers instead.”

“With what?”

“Come here,” Adrianna said, just to see how Charlotte re­acted to being told what to do.

“Make me,” she replied, finishing what was left in her flute and starting to rise.

“Where are you going now?”

“I’m thirsty. Think I’ll get a glass of water…”

“Fuck the water,” Adrianna said. She pulled Charlotte back down to her for a deep, wet kiss that burned deliciously from the sparkling wine in her mouth and on their lips. Charlotte responded with a kind of unrestraint, immediately taking the lead. God did she. Adrianna suddenly seemed to feel her touch everywhere.

It was one of those moments when you don’t realize how much you want something—someone—until she’s within reach. She wasn’t going to lose her second chance.

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Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

Discover a new Carina Adores book every month

The Life Revamp by Kris Ripper (coming November 30th)

If You Love Something by Jayce Ellis (coming December 28th)

D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins (coming January 25th)

Sink or Swim by Annabeth Albert (coming February 22nd)

Going Public by Hudson Lin (coming March 29th)

About The Author

Verity Lowell is a professor and occasional curator who writes queer of color romance. She likes imagining and describing a world where art, ambition, and history provide the background for diverse and steamy love stories, mostly about women falling hard for women.

She and her partner and their cats live in New England and sometimes elsewhere.

Social Media

Website: https://www.veritylowell.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21135117.Verity_Lowell

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Release Blitz: 666 Things to Do With a Demon by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead

666 Things to Do With a Demon | Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead

A Love Bites Short Story

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Blurb

Partying with a demon isn’t just fun…it’s practically devilish. So grab your broomstick and polish your horns—it’s going to be a wild night!

Without a date for the Halloween ball, Periwinkle Took uses her witchy skills to cast a sexy spell. She can’t believe her luck when the most handsome demon she’s ever seen struts her way with the promise of a Halloween to remember.

His Royal Infernal Highness Prince Gilderoy Asmodeus is the sort of satanic prince whose horns always match his outfit. From his hellish steed to his lusty appetites and his angelic good looks, he’s a Halloween A-lister.

Peri and Gil realise that their evening of passion just isn’t enough. There’s just one catch. If Gil wants to have more than one night on Earth, he has to fall in love and be loved in return. But this particular prince just isn’t the type…is he? 

Excerpt

Peri sat cross-legged on the floor in the middle of her chalked-out pentagram with Grizelda, her sleek black cat, on her knee. Supposedly this made looking for a boyfriend more effective, but all she was doing was swiping left on the app, with Grizelda occasionally intervening to swipe left for her. Why did none of the men on Spellr look even vaguely appealing? Some weren’t too bad. In fact, some were quite handsome, but they all lacked that certain something.

And Peri had no idea what that something was.

All her friends were getting married, one by one, and Peri’s wardrobe was bulging with bridesmaids’ dresses. But there seemed to be no sign of her ever adding a wedding dress to her collection.

Her friends had tried to pair her off, usually with their own brothers or their husbands’ friends. They told her she couldn’t keep hunting for the perfect man, because he just didn’t exist. But Peri couldn’t help it. Life was too short to settle for second best.

But the Assistant Great Wizard’s Halloween ball was that evening and Peri still didn’t have a date. She could have turned up as a merry spinster, but she just wanted to be able to sweep up the grand steps with a devastatingly handsome man on her arm.

Is it too much to ask for?

She got up to her feet and paced back and forth across the room. Spellr was hopeless. Her friends’ matchmaking attempts had been hopeless. Then her gaze fell on the pentagram.

What if I—?

She’d once found a spell that would conjure a demon who would materialise in the form of the most perfect man one could ever meet. He would exist for the night, then by morning would be gone—much like Peri’s last experience with the opposite sex. But at least he’d be her demon for a few hours, because after she’d summoned him, he would be hers, to follow her bidding. At least, within a carefully defined set of rules, because no one wanted to upset a demon.

Peri switched on her computer and flipped through a folder of photographs she’d taken on her various visits to the National Witchcraft Archives. She found the image she wanted, of crabbed handwriting on a page of parchment. A very rare spell, one that had been assumed lost, or known only to sorcerers of rank like the Assistant Great Wizard, until Peri had found it.

It hadn’t been in the grimoire’s table of contents, and had looked like nothing more than a blank page to start with. But slowly the words had appeared, as if bubbling up from the parchment beneath, and quite by accident Peri had found herself staring at Ye Spelle to Summune A Daemon Lover.

Or, as it had been whispered about at university, The Sex Demon Spell.

Peri hadn’t photographed the page with any intention to use the spell. It had been more of a trophy find. But that was then. Now she needed the perfect man for the party, and if that meant summoning a demon lover for the evening, so be it.

She made her preparations, lighting candles at the five points of her pentagram and sweeping the space with a bundle of lavender. She set up her cauldron on a trivet in the middle of the pentagram and added the vast number of ingredients demanded by the spell, including an Eve root and an Adam root in a pouch, rosemary oil and red rose petals, all stirred with a length of unicorn horn.

Which would have been easy had Grizelda not decided to help. She rubbed herself around Peri’s legs and nearly knocked her over. She sent a candle flying, spilling wax onto the floorboards. She climbed up the shelves of grimoires and ingredients and batted at the jars. She leapt with no warning over Peri’s head, hell-bent on catching a spider.

And brought down a shelf with a clatter.

“What are you doing?” Peri folded her arms as Grizelda nonchalantly rolled about on her back, tummy uppermost, and proceeded to have a wash. “Some witch’s cat you are!”

Peri crawled about on her hands and knees with a dustpan and brush, trying to clear up the mess. At least the jars were old and sturdy—none had broken, even though some had lost their lids, spilling their contents all over the floor.

But Grizelda continued in her efforts to be as unhelpful as possible. She walked through powdered centaur tears and chased a bead of quicksilver.

“Griz!” Peri picked the cat up and Grizelda slipped out of her clutches, purring as she slunk onto Peri’s shoulders and draped herself there. “Right, let’s hope you behave now.”

Peri carried on clearing up, balancing the cat as she worked. But when she went back to the cauldron, the ingredients had turned into a revolting soup. Peri gave it a stir, trying not to inhale the rancid stench.

Will this work?

She intoned the words of the spell anyway, hoping things might not be quite as bad as they seemed.

Lightning cracked overhead and she stepped back, holding the unicorn horn aloft and chanting the last line of the spell again over the motorboat roar of Grizelda’s purr.

“Demon I summon thee! Asmodeus, come!”

Peri fully expected the room to fill with the smell of scorching, swiftly followed by her perfect man.

But nothing happened.

Rain battered against her windows now, the storm growing keener all the time.

No demon appeared.

As Peri blew out the last candle, Grizelda hopped down from her shoulders and twined around her legs.

“You can’t really be my date, Grizelda, sorry…”

And now it was time to get ready for the party.

About the Authors

Eleanor Harkstead likes to dash about in nineteenth-century costume, in bonnet or cravat as the mood takes her. She can occasionally be found wandering old graveyards. Eleanor is very fond of chocolate, wine, tweed waistcoats and nice pens. Her large collection of vintage hats would rival Hedda Hopper’s.

Originally from the south-east of England, Eleanor now lives somewhere in the Midlands with a large ginger cat who resembles a Viking.

You can follow Eleanor on Facebook and Twitter

Catherine Curzon is a royal historian who writes on all matters of 18th century. Her work has been featured on many platforms and Catherine has also spoken at various venues including the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, and Dr Johnson’s House.

Catherine holds a Master’s degree in Film and when not dodging the furies of the guillotine, writes fiction set deep in the underbelly of Georgian London.

She lives in Yorkshire atop a ludicrously steep hill.

You can follow Catherine on Facebook and Twitter and take a look at her Website.

Giveaway

Win a $50.00 First for Romance Gift Card

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Notice: This competition ends on November 2nd, 2021 at 12am EST.

Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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