Publication Date: November 29, 2022
Is their real-life love story doomed to be a tragedy, or can they rewrite the ending?
Finely dressed and finely drunk, Charlie Price is a man dedicated to his vices. Chief among them is his explicit novel collection, though his impending marriage to a woman he can’t love will force his carefully curated collection into hiding.
Before it does, Charlie is determined to have one last hurrah: meeting his favorite author in person.
Miles Montague is more gifted as a smut writer than a shopkeep and uses his royalties to keep his flagging bookstore afloat. So when a cheerful dandy appears out of the mist with Miles’s highly secret pen name on his pretty lips, Miles assumes the worst. But Charlie Price is no blackmailer; he’s Miles’s biggest fan.
A scribbled signature on a worn book page sets off an affair as scorching as anything Miles has ever written. But Miles is clinging to a troubled past, while Charlie’s future has spun entirely out of his control…
Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
I really enjoyed this. Charlie and Miles and their friends and found family were interesting characters that were fun to spend time with, and the plot was consistent with my expectations. The grumpy/sunshine trope is one of my favorites, and Miles is very grumpy and Charlie very sunshine (on the surface, at least) so I enjoyed their dynamic quite a bit.
I appreciated that although Charlie and Miles’ sexual preferences were talked about and insinuated, the actual scenes were closed door. I may be in the minority, but I prefer closed door sex scenes for any gender pairing. I read romance for… the romance. Not the sex.
I thought that Charlie’s tendency to sacrifice himself was fitting considering how much he loves Miles’ books — all smut books, yes, but also all tragedies. Yes, his friends’ interventions were convenient but they were also consistent and believable for the characters. I don’t have a problem with them.
I loved the friendship Charlie and Alma have, even though they’re being forced into marriage to “save themselves.” There’s a real bond there, and it was so nice to *not* have Alma made into a villain. The same could be said about Charlie’s parents. Despite trying to marry him off for his own good, they really do love him.
Miss Jo was wonderful, and I appreciated her even more once she revealed who her husband was. Out of all of the characters in the book, she is the one I think I’d most like to know and read more about.
I prefer to read romances that aren’t based solely on physical attraction, since I value emotional connections more. And this book definitely hit the spot – there were so many sweet and tender moments, and when things looked like they were going to fall apart they felt oh so bittersweet. There were also many humorous moments and moments of joy.
*Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Adores for providing an early copy for review.