Carla the cupid is an excellent shot, but her chemistry is so bad that most of her matches don’t last. Her dream is to shoot a True Love pair, but until her scores improve, she’s relegated to the Puppy Love division of Aphrodite Agency.
Leeta, a succubus, is looking for a True Love match. Which is highly unusual, as most succubi are aromantic. But Aphrodite Agency—her only hope—turns her away because the receptionist can’t believe she’s not just looking for an easy meal.
Carla agrees to take Leeta’s case on freelance. She figures it’s a win-win: Carla gets to put a succubus’s True Love match on her résumé, and Leeta gets to find her True Love! Except as Carla tries to find a match for Leeta, she finds herself maybe . . . relieved when the matches don’t end well. And Leeta seems to be getting pickier and pickier. Things will never work out until Carla learns enough about chemistry to figure out who’s truly best for Leeta, and until Leeta can admit what—or who—she truly wants.
Aidan Wayne has been publishing LGBTQ+ fiction since 2016. While they usually stick with contemporary romance (both adult and YA), some soft sci-fi/fantasy has been known to sneak in as well. They primarily write character-driven stories with happy endings, because, dammit, queer people deserve happy endings too.
This is a cute, sweet romance. A light fluffy novella, that would be a good read for Valentines Day. While this is not necessarily to my tastes, for what this is, it worked.
This short is about Carla, a cupid, who has been having trouble in her job. While she is a great shot, she has a hard time reading chemistry to find good matches. When Leeta, a succubus, enters Carla's job in search of a true love match, Carla is shocked she is turned away. Succubus are discriminated against for belief they just want an easy meal, not real love. Carla thinks everyone should find their true match. If Carla can help Leeta, maybe she can finally get the respect at her job she deserves.
I always enjoy succubi as characters in books. Leeta, was a very easy character to like. I struggled a little more with Carla. Carla is very inexperienced and it comes across as immature. I did like how her character grew more as the book went on. But she still wasn't my favorite.
The romance is light and sweet. It was very obvious how the book was going to turn out, but I still enjoyed watching it unfold.
I had two small issues with the book. I really wish the author took a few pages for world building. I have no idea where this takes place. And while they mention humans, I don't know if the humans see these Fae walking around daily or not.
My other issue is an editorial issue. At least in the last 1/3 of the book, the use of exclamation points is way over used. Almost every other word out of our cupid, ends in one. "I'll do my best!" "I'll go get my quiver!" "Okay!" "Oh, right!" I understand using them once in a while, but every time Carla spoke she was emphatically yelling with emotion, I guess. It was a bit jarring especially since Wayne used almost none when Leeta spoke. It made Carla seem flighty.
If you are looking for a light, very fluffy romance, this book may be for you. It is a quick read that will probably put a smile on your face.
An ARC was given to me by Riptide Publishing, for a honest review.
*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is a cute story, although I expected somewhat more. For me fell short of surprises, of thick, palpable chemistry, sexual intensity... But it is a sweet story, it has its romantic moments and it's very easy to read.
I genuinely loved this! In fact, I think it's my favorite Aidan Wayne's so far.
In the beginning I picked up as my entry for the upcoming reading challenge week at Joyfully Jay (pick a book based on its cover)! I was also curious since I enjoyed Wayne's other books, and this is the only one I haven't read. PLUS it is categorized as ace-spectrum story by the publisher. So, triple reasons.
Well, it was, in my opinion ADORABLE!! And creative too!! The explanation of divisions (and how they work) in the Aphrodite Agency was FUN to read
I loved Carla's optimistic and bubbly attitude. She's a cupid, okay? Maybe she's not really good at working solo, or at recognizing chemistry for her targets, but Carla's heart is as big as the ocean. Carla is the only one who is willing to work against Aphrodite Agency's policy to find True Love for a succubus. She doesn't give up easily. I loved her tenacity!
And of course Carla is in the asexual spectrum (YAY for ace cupid!!). She doesn't think of sex as a big of a deal. Carla starts everything with Leeta as friendship before realizing that she falls for the succubus. I LOVED how both Carla and Leeta approach the physical part of showing the affection between the two of them -- communicating and finding out what works. SO CUTE.
I believe that they adore one another and they totally make it work. I just want to draw little hearts on the pages of this novella *beams happily*
This story follows Carla, a cupid determined on excelling at work and proving herself, and Letta, a succubus looking for true love. Needless to say, they both find what they're looking for/wanting in each other.
This was an incredibly sweet read and was certainly an easy book to get through, with very few obstacles for the characters getting together.
It was great to see demisexual and pansexual representation on page here, especially when this relates to the two main characters, even if those exact words were never used. I particularly liked that Letta was romantic and sought out true love, which went against the stereotypes of her species, and she was definitely the more interesting of the two mains for me. I would love to read this story from her POV and have a little more insight into her.
For me, I wasn't totally enamoured with Carla, and I felt she was a lot more juvenile than Letta. This may be because she was less experienced than Letta, but it just seemed like she had a little bit less personality in general, and was only solely focused on her job. The love story was also a little rushed for me and needed more time to develop, or more indication that it was developing (I know it's a novella but the jump between friendship and more seemed sudden to me).
I think I would have preferred if this story was a little bit longer and fleshed out but it was definitely a sweet, quick read and definitely good representation.
Making love by aidan wanye it's sweet little love story of succubus and cupid (angle or devil )in simple word I love it... How it's sweet love story begins by succubus want to find true love and they fell in love... One plus star for the power of consent...
*I received this book from NetGalley and Riptide in return for a fair review.*
mini-review Point the first: Sometime after midnight I turned my phone on yesterday and noticed that my request to read this short story had been accepted. I wanted a little something to read for a few moments before turning in for the night, so figured I’d read at least (most?) the first chapter. Needless to say, I read the entire thing in one ‘sitting’ (what, I was actually reclining on my bed, but whatever, ‘one reclining’ just looks odd).
I won't actually be able to rate or review this story, though, until Dec 30th because the story itself isn’t to [will] be released until January 30 2017. The cover screams ‘Valentine’s Day’, and the story itself, while not actually directly tied to that day in any form, seems like a good Valentine’s Day type story. So that is probably a good release date. Though that means I have to wait a while to reveal my review and rating.
This is the third work put out under this name, and the third work I've read. The other two are MM romances, while this one is FF (and mixes a bisexual (heavily leaning towards females) with an asexual ().
Of note: story involves a woman from an aromatic species that occasionally produces romantically inclined individuals (referring here to the succubus in the story, Leeta) - main character, though is a female cupid named Carla. Who loves love, but is herself something approaching asexual.
Story: Carla works for an organization that attempts to generate love, with the ultimate goal of love matches. Bah. I mean true love matches. She has been steadily attempting to better herself - she's a great shot but isn't very good with Chemistry part.
One day, after a performance evaluation, Carla overhears a conversation between the receptionist (her friend, if that’s important to know) and a strange creature from a species she hadn’t had contact with before. Turns out that it is a Succubus and she’s there to try to set up a meeting with ‘Angel’ (Carla’s boss at Aphrodite Agency). Except Tristan (the receptionist) won’t even contemplate such a request and forcefully demands that the succubus leave. Immediately. Or he will call security.
Carla overhears this conversation and is confused. The Succubus wants a true love match; isn’t that what Aphrodite Agency does? And so, Carla decides to see if Leeta, the Succubus, would be willing for her, Carla, to try to help her ‘off-the-books’.
Review It's December 30 2016, so I can reveal my review now. I believe I read something somewhere, maybe in the ‘about the author’ section at the end of the story, but wherever – that the author enjoys character stories. Especially if they are minorities. Well, the first story I read by them, ‘Loud and Clear’, involved a cab driver who had trouble reading (due to dyslexia), matching up with a businessman with an extreme form of speech impediment (trouble speaking except in specific situations) – ‘Counterbalance’ also went that ‘minority through disability’ route for one character – John the disfigured man, and though the ‘minority through minority’ route for the man he was matched up with in the story set in Canada – a man from China.
This time we leave behind MM romance, and move to FF romance. With a bisexual character who has dark skin and is from a mostly aromantic species with horns and a tail, hooking up with a rather chubby woman with wings who may or may not actually be asexual.
This leads immediately into one of the few problems I had with the story. It was a fantasy that had a layer missing from the reader. As in, where the heck is this occurring? Some far off land that is unconnected to humans? Well, no, humans are part of this story. In a dimension one step away from the human one but is still adjacent? On the same plain as humans on Earth (the horned, tailed demon walking around, and the chubby winged woman literally flying around visibly (which I mention because she can turn herself tiny and invisible) kind of removes this from ‘on the same plain’ – at least in the sense that people can see them and do not react . . . shocked by them)?
I did get a good sense of being in a small town type atmosphere (though, for all I know, this was supposed to be overlaying, say, Beijing), but I still had that issue of where exactly all of this is supposed to be taking place. Also – added into that layer of confusion – Carla helps Leeta go on some dates, two of whom actually get names, none of whom have their species mentioned. Were they human? Some unknown as yet unnamed species? For ‘reasons’, they weren’t likely to be succubi (re: aromantic for the most part species) or cupids (based on how neither of the women who got names were mentioned to have wings).
Moving past that, which was actually easier to do than I’m letting on – and you get the story itself. There is a high likelihood that I need to reread this at some point when I’m not keeping myself awake to do so, to read, but beside that specific point – I rather loved the two main characters in the story (though everything is really from Carla’s perspective). I just loved the personalities on display. Carla is bubbly, chubby – loves to eat (and has no self-loathing body images); Leeta is ‘lovely’ – she is a succubus after all, but has an abrasive blunt personality (I’d say ‘she is a demon’ after all, but I’m not actually sure if succubi are demons in this specific story universe; I do like how she tempers it, though, while on her quest to find ‘true love’, and in her interactions with Carla).
This is what would be call a slightly disjointed from reality, short and sweet story.
I do need to mention another story, though, that this one here reminds me of. Oddly enough, that story also involved an asexual and a bisexual (both women), and also involved a succubus. Though in that story, the main character is the succubus, and the succubus is the asexual (well, Abigail had been human, died, and was assigned to be a succubus – which she found quite confusing because, asexual; of note: asexual and aromantic are not the same thing – in case anyone was confused by all my mentions of terms earlier (aromantic is a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others; while an asexual is a person who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others; a person can be both aromantic and asexual, romantic and asexual, or aromantic and sexual). Also, oddly enough, the other main character is also a dark skinned bisexual (though in ‘Welcome to Your Afterlife’, this individual is a banshee; while here in ‘Making Love’, the bisexual dark skinned woman is a succubus).
To a large extent there are only superficial similarities to the two stories. I more mention it not because of the bisexual/asexual/etc. part, but because I wanted to offer it up as an example of a story that had a rather good ‘location’ vibe to it. I felt like I knew where ‘everything’ was located. I knew where I was, I mean. A version of the afterlife that has access to the ‘mortal plain’ (well, need access for the succubi and the like to go into it to feed and stuff (the 'earthly plain' was up some stairs from 'the afterlife').
Bah, I do not know why I’m going on and on about that other story – it’s not exactly going to lead people to this one here, I think it is possible that I’m the only one who actually loved that other one. Hopefully people will try and love this one. Because I did. I do not like being the oddball. :( hehe
December 12 2016 & lightly edited December 30 2016
This was a short, sweet story that could take less than two hours to read. It was fun, and silly, and a nice little happy piece. There wasn't a lot of substance here. While the two characters had good chemistry, I didn't find their relationship super compelling. Carla's personality bothered me... she comes across like a My Little Pony instead of a person. As in, you can basically read everything she says in Pinky Pie's voice.
I have mixed feelings about the way love is presented in this book, too. When they say "love" every time, they obviously mean romantic love. There are a few lines in there about how platonic love exists between family/friends, and it acknowledges the existence of aromantic people, I'm not sure that's enough. You can't call it "love" if you only mean romantic love, I suppose is my point. One example given as to why Carla isn't a great cupid, is one time she tried really hard to get someone to Match with an aromantic girl. Which "didn't end well for anyone." She also says "there are people who don't want love in their lives, and they're fine with that, and that's great for them," without making a distinction between romantic and platonic love. She describes the succubi as having something like 2% of them wanting to pursue romantic relationships, which she says is the same percentage as aromantics in the general population.
So, I feel like someone who is actually aro would have to read this. I feel like... good job recognizing not everyone is romantically inclined (or monogamous! there's a line about a 3-way match, yay!) but then lapses back into using "love" to mean romantic relationships. Like... B+. You put forth effort, but you're really not there yet.
OH. BUT. THE CONSENT. Let's talk about that because it's A+. It is not on-page, but I would peg Carla as being on the asexual spectrum. Leeta, the succubus, recognizes this and they talk about how Carla might not be interested in sex and how while Leeta deeply wanted a sexual relationship, she did not want to pressure Carla into anything. Leeta asks for consent every single step of the way in the sweetest, most romantic manner. It's really refreshing and nice, and I wish the author hadn't "fade to black" the sex scene so we could have seen more of those details. (But, hey, if sex is triggering for you, there's no sex in this book!)
(Also, one of my extreme eye roll cliches is in this book - realizing you have romantic feelings for someone because you feel jealous. Sigh.)
I've been practicing writing more professional reviews. Here is the super professional version... ;)
Cupid meets succubus in this supernatural lesbian novella.
Carla works as a cupid for a supernatural matchmaking agency. Her arrows light "sparks" that cause people to fall in love. She's an excellent shot, but a bad judge of chemistry – the magic that makes a relationship last. On the day she's put on (another) probation, a succubus enters their agency named Leeta. Leeta feeds on sexual energy, and succubi are barred from the matchmaking agency because of their tendency to drain their partners to death instead of forming a lasting romantic connection. However, Leeta wants a True Love match. Since the agency won't help her, Carla decides to assist Leeta on her own, and learns much more about chemistry than she ever could have otherwise. This lighthearted story is a short, easy read with plenty of humor. Sweet rather than sexy, with lines like "Carla really wanted to hold Leeta's hand. Then she remembered she could." The two characters (both women of color) have great on-page chemistry, though Carla's personality reads more like a cartoon character than an actual person.
A short and sweet lesbian love story exploring the secret to finding your match.
An honest review thanks to NetGalley. I was pleasantly surprised by this book, not liking short novellas I wasn't sure how I was going to receive this. Though it was a cute spin on love being found in abnormal places. I do wish the book went into more of a backstory into these creatures, especially as it seems as if they are interacting with the human world. There is almost nothing said about this, just the job of a cupid and a succubus. I would have loved this book even more so if I was able to understand the world this was set in, how they interacted with humans if humans could see them and more. This is a great cute FF read, give it a chance, and you won't be disappointed!
i don't really know what to think of this one. it was sweet and queer and had a happy ever after, which is great because we all need books like that. but it almost felt as if everything was too easy? maybe it was too romance-y for my taste? i also don't know what i think of this idea where a species is aromantic as a rule but we then focus on the few people who are alloromantic? i am not an ownvoices reviewer here! it just felt like something was off and i couldn't put my finger on what exactly. also has the aromisic line "just friends"
I received a free ebook copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
This was a light-hearted and very sweet read. Safe to say, I really enjoyed it, and thought it was adorable. The characters were great, although Tristen could have been a little less 2 dimensional, and while it was short, it was a good book.
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~
This is a really quick and cute read. It is lighthearted, amusing and witty.
Carla is an ambitious cupid, who is better at the shooting of arrows than the reading of chemistry. We get to see this in action, as she agrees to work freelance to help an unusually romantic succubus Leeta find her soulmate.
Leeta, and the reader soon get the chemistry vibe, but the naive Carla, just thinks she is failing again. As things are resolved, one cannot help but smile and sigh with relief for them both!
I read Mr Wayne's Counterbalance back in September, and enjoyed its originality - this is very different and whilst much more frivolous, also as enjoyable.
I'm not a fan of novellas and I didn't realize that's what this was when I requested it...but this story is so treacly sweet and works best in a small dose, so that ended up being a positive!
Carla's a cupid who is struggling because she can't identify good chemistry between people who would make great matches - a bit of a disadvantage in her line of work! Practically every statement of hers drips in positivity and excitement and ends in an exclamation point - this would've usually annoyed me, but I viewed Carla as an anime character, bubbly, energetic and OTT so I didn't mind, but it may be off-putting to some readers as it comes across like she's practically screaming every line of dialogue.
Leeta is my faaaave, she's a succubus who actually wants a romantic relationship, which is unusual for her kind and is a desire that subjects her to some discrimination at the Aphrodite Agency where Carla works because they assume she's just looking for another victim to prey on. Of course Leeta isn't going to beg or justify herself, so she doesn't push the issue and is coolly dignified and cutting rather than trying to pander to the agency. Fortunately Carla is more open-minded and looking for a chance to redeem herself, so she takes on Leeta's case in secrecy.
What endears Carla to me is that she really does have Leeta's best interests at heart - she wants to prove she's capable of a higher position at work and helping to find Leeta's True Love (tm) would elevate her job prospects, but she knows she's not the greatest at matchmaking so she offers to put in a good word for Leeta and quietly arranging for someone else to take on her case as a favor. She had nothing to gain from that, and it was super sweet of her to make that offer. It's easy to see why Leeta would warm to Carla after that and switch off the Ice Queen persona she projects as a default in social settings.
This is the perfect setup for them to fall in love, and I really enjoyed seeing it happen even as Carla is completely oblivious. Part of this assignment involves learning more about Leeta's hopes and dreams, her hobbies and interests and so forth; they wind up meeting fairly frequently, getting together at each other's homes so often that they start to stock up on food and drinks specifically for the other person, and as they become closer, it turns into more time spent socializing for fun than trading information to find a partner for Leeta. The main reason for my reluctance to read novellas is because I often find that authors struggle to make the progression of the relationship realistic in such a short time, but Making Love excelled in that area.
The world-building left a little to be desired, I couldn't quite picture all this taking place - if you look at the cover, Leeta and Carla are quite the odd pair and I'm not sure how a winged cherub and a woman with horns & tail can walk down the street without causing a scene. I would've liked to get a bit of an idea or some backstory on how the regular humans reacted to these fantastical species being in their midst, but the story had a very narrow focus on cupids and Leeta rather than placing them in context in this society.
Despite its flaws, I have a soft spot for this novella mainly because of the wonderful LGBT+ representation. While their orientations aren't specifically labelled, Leeta is bisexual and Carla is demisexual - she previously had never experienced sexual desire with anyone, and even though she wasn't necessarily interested in sex now, she was willing to experiment with it because she loved Leeta and wanted to see if this intimacy was something they could share so she could make her happy. What made my heart do twirls was Leeta having a very frank discussion about consent and emphasizing that while physical intimacy was a biological necessity for her species, she can survive on normal food for months and she's willing to do as little or as much as Carla is comfortable with at her pace. Consent is romantic, y'all, I loved it!
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy free from Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don't know what to say about this book. I started it because I was under the impression that it was a asexual sapphic book and while that is technically true, as book is just weird. It honestly made me quite uncomfortable a lot of the time and that had to do with the way that aromanticism was portrayed.
So it's basically about an asexual cupid who is struggling with making matches who ends up doing a freelance project for a succubus who is interested in finding true love. The issue here is that in this story all succubi are aromantic and incapable of feeling love. I wish I was joking about that phrasing but that's literally how they phrase it as incapable of feeling love. Now normally I would be super pissy about this language and I am, don't get me wrong, this is really frustrating because being aromantic does not make someone incapable of feeling love and adding to that stereotype is extremely harmful, but this book also goes directly against that statement by going over different types of love at other parts of the book like platonic and familial etcetera. It's like they couldn't figure out how they wanted to portray aromantics and it just came across as confusing and quite problematic in my opinion.
This is a novella and it's quite short but it's just boring too. I was upset and annoyed at the language surrounding aromanticism that takes place in the beginning of this book and I think it affected my ability to like the story at all. I found myself mostly just wanting it to be over and had I not been using this for an ace week bingo prompt, I totally would have DNFed it.
I really liked the premise of the story and the characters were really precious~ There’s good aromantic validation because Carla talks about how she once tried making someone love someone who was aromantic, a lot of incubi and succubi tend to be aromantic (tho kinda worrisome how it’s almost explained as because of their lustful natures??), and lots of clarifiers that romantic love should happen for those who want it and how other types of love other than romantic are valid too. I can def read Carla as being demisexual because she preciously wasn’t interested in sex, until she fell in love with Leeta.
Like, this was definitely a fun quick read to complete my GR Reading challenge and end the year with a fluff read, but some of the phrasing kinda made me uncomfortable (Carla talking about trying sex to see if it would interest her after all kinda spoke of “gotta try it to know” mentality that too many people have about lgbtqiap+ identities) but overall I did enjoy the story and the premise of having a Cupid try to match a succubus and find out they’re True Love matches. And I definitely enjoyed the Cupid culture and how making matches works.
The book was a sweet and short read, but managed not to convey a hurried pace. What I enjoyed most about the novel was that it focussed more on the emotional love, that it didn't cloud the storyline with too many or detailed sexy scenes. Despite the characters being a succubus (sex demon) and cupid (extreme matchmaker), the plot was well thought out, and the lack of physical intimacy in the narrative actually improved the story for me, as I was better able to read about the deeper romantic connection between the two without having to filter through any lust-inspired decisions the characters might have made.
Another thing I appreciated was the publisher's note at the end of the book, by acknowledging me and any other readers, they succeeded in making me feel valued, and such notes really do make a difference to the reader - when they know that the author and the publisher actually care what they think.
A more accurate review would be 3.5 stars, but I'm erring on the side of 4 because I'd been waiting for this book since I saw it in the upcoming releases email from Riptide, and it didn't disappoint me.
What caught my eye about this one was the interesting concept - a supernatural matchmaking agency, which promised a world full of casual magic and everyday monsters? yes, please - and I'd kept an eye on it in hope that the romance would be as cute as it sounded from the blurb. This book mostly delivered on both fronts. Mostly.
Carla and Leeta were both great characters who felt fairly well fleshed out despite how little space Wayne had to develop them. The romance was absolutely adorable, with a fade-to-black that meant I could finish it at work with a little bit of caution (I prefer fade-to-black anyway, but I recognize not everyone does!), and though it was never overtly stated, Carla read as demisexual to me. (Hooray! Demi characters!) The downside is that Carla's brick-wall obliviousness to her own feelings very nearly had me rolling my eyes; it was the only reason I was glad this was so short.
A big reason I wish it had been longer was the worldbuilding - we know there's a supernatural matchmaking agency, we know that Fae walk among humans and hold day jobs alongside them, but... That's all we know. We don't even know what type of town Leeta and Carla live in. The world was a big reason I was so interested in this book, and I understand why the focus was put on their developing relationship rather than their world (duh, romance novel), but I admit I'd been hoping for a bit more on this front! I'm a worldbuilding junkie and this definitely didn't give me what I wanted.
But - as far as a romance novel goes? Short, sweet, fluffy, and definitely worth a read.
Carla is a cupid and having trouble with her job. She has problems reading people’s chemistry and needed to be able to this to make good matches Then Leeta- a succubus- is in search of true love. But Leeta is turned away as it is believed Leeta just wants an easy meal. If Carla can help Leeta find true love maybe things will go better at the job. This story really wasn’t for me. Carla seems to immature especially in the beginning. This was a novella and a quick read. There was not enough surprise in the story and this seemed rushed to me. It just wasn’t for me but I am sure others will like this book.
Carla's unflappable faith in love and her determination to find it for everyone who wants it is really endearing. This story could have had longer book potential with a few tweaks, and it's good as is. Some of the time jumps seem a bit rushed and I would have liked to see more of the process of Leeta and Carla falling in love. I'm also convinced Angel knows more than he's letting on, and that could have series potential.
This adorable story is so sweet it would make Carla happy. The fantasy world of Cupids and Succubi makes for such a fun canvas to paint the story. The chemistry between the two main characters.... well, that's kinda the point of the story, eh? It's wonderful from start to finish.