Making Love, by Aidan Wayne
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 30, 2017
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.
With just a few novellas published Aidan Wayne has already established a reputation for engaging and fluffy sweet romance, and a reliable source for a diverting comfort read. There’s a definite need for angst-free stories that give you warm fuzzies and they seem to be helping fill that niche quite well. Making Love is as sugar-spun as candy floss, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
Carla is an eager, friendly, sunshine smile of a character and it’s easy to see why Leeta might become enamoured with her. She’s also not shamed for being chubby, which is always a pleasant relief; however she does fall victim to another fat character trope, as she loves sweets and is always eating them. Being a cupid and literal sweetheart it does make some contextual sense, but it’s also very disappointing to once again be defined by eating habits, and reinforces harmful stereotypes that overweight people lack impulse control and our personalities must necessarily focus around food. While it seems fairly obvious why Leeta would like Carla, I had a more difficult time understanding why Carla would like Leeta beyond her normal boundless affection for everyone, but they were still a very cute and enjoyable couple.
My main issue within the narrative itself was the worldbuilding was practically nonexistent – mythical and supernatural beings are real and a part of our mundane world, but how much of a part of it are they really? Are all ‘fictional’ creatures real in this verse? Are they invisible unless they purposefully display themselves to humans? Do they live in a dimension parallel to the human world and slide in and out to fulfil their duties and live their lives in both? There was almost no interaction or mention of the human world yet all the characters seemed to live in human cities among them, which let to frequent frustration trying to understand how their existence actually worked, and a few extra lines to clarify and establish the setting would certainly have been appreciated.
Making Love is easy to read, sweet as pie, and while it might have benefited from a few revisions, it’s still a fun and frothy story to treat yourself to for Valentine’s Day, and whenever you might need a reminder that anyone can find happiness and love.
Aidan Wayne is a big believer in character-driven stories with happy endings. This is not to say that stories can’t contain a little (or a lot) of grief, just that at the end of it all expect there to be bandages and hugs. They particularly like to write about minority characters because damn it, they deserve happy endings too.
When not writing, Aidan enjoys practicing aerial, martial arts, and ASL, and watching reality cooking shows. They are probably in the middle of twelve projects as you read this.
You can purchase Making Love from:
Barnes & Noble
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.