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Meet Me in Madrid

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"A mature, honest, and erotic romance that will have readers admiring what these two smart and determined women accomplish.” —Library Journal 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. O "A mature, honest, and erotic romance that will have readers admiring what these two smart and determined women accomplish.” —Library Journal 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. Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.  


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"A mature, honest, and erotic romance that will have readers admiring what these two smart and determined women accomplish.” —Library Journal 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. O "A mature, honest, and erotic romance that will have readers admiring what these two smart and determined women accomplish.” —Library Journal 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. Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.  

30 review for Meet Me in Madrid

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jude in the Stars

    I wanted to like this book a lot more than I eventually did. I liked the cover, I liked the premise, I liked that both MCs were BIPOC women in academia. In the end, it was nice and enjoyable but not excitingly so. Despite being a brilliant art history student, Charlotte Hilaire failed to find a teaching job and is now a courier for a museum. While in Madrid, she looks up Adrianna Coates, on whom she had a big crush when their paths crossed at Yale and who is on a research sabbatical in Spain. The I wanted to like this book a lot more than I eventually did. I liked the cover, I liked the premise, I liked that both MCs were BIPOC women in academia. In the end, it was nice and enjoyable but not excitingly so. Despite being a brilliant art history student, Charlotte Hilaire failed to find a teaching job and is now a courier for a museum. While in Madrid, she looks up Adrianna Coates, on whom she had a big crush when their paths crossed at Yale and who is on a research sabbatical in Spain. The two women click immediately and what should have been a one-night stand turns into three nights and the beginning of a long-distance relationship. I’m not sure I can explain why this book didn’t work for me. The characters are interesting but I never really cared about them. I didn’t mind the instalust, that’s never a real problem for me, even less so when the characters have actually met before, as is the case here. I was told there was chemistry between them and I was willing to believe it, but never felt it in a convincing way. It all felt a bit bland. The author clearly knows the setting she chose – art history and academia – and that’s what I’ll remember, along with her take on queer women of colour in that environment. One scene stands out for me, that I won’t spoil, but it involves Charlotte speaking up despite the risks to her job and her future. Meet Me in Madrid could have been a very different book if this same passion had made it into more chapters. I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog. Rep: Black lesbian mc, Afro Latina lesbian mc, bi side character, Jewish bi side character, gay side character Galley provided by publisher It sounds harsh but Meet Me in Madrid has to be one of the most boring books I’ve read recently. I don’t know what it was about it, but I started skimming within a few chapters of the start, and I simply couldn’t bring myself to care one bit about the characters. This isn’t a bad book! For another person, perhaps none of it would have mattered an On my blog. Rep: Black lesbian mc, Afro Latina lesbian mc, bi side character, Jewish bi side character, gay side character Galley provided by publisher It sounds harsh but Meet Me in Madrid has to be one of the most boring books I’ve read recently. I don’t know what it was about it, but I started skimming within a few chapters of the start, and I simply couldn’t bring myself to care one bit about the characters. This isn’t a bad book! For another person, perhaps none of it would have mattered and they’d have enjoyed it a lot more. For me? Well. It was a death knell. Probably the biggest sticking point for me was the writing. To me—and I stress to me because I think attitude to writing style is one of the most personal things when reviewing a book—it felt stilted and forced. And that was clearest in the conversations characters had. Not only that, the book didn’t seem able to find a tense it wanted to stay in. I get that the parts in present tense were supposed to be like… true whatever, whenever, kind of lines, but they’d have read just as well in past tense. All that tense switch did was throw me out of the story. As I said, writing style preferences are personal, but I think here what happened is that dislike of writing proliferated down to every other aspect of the book. I didn’t care for the writing, so I didn’t care for the characters, so I didn’t care for the relationship. Everything I didn’t like about this book comes back to the writing style. So really, this entire review comes back to that. Like I said, it’s personal, and there really wasn’t much else to the book that made me think it was bad. Style aside, it was well-paced and, if I’d liked the characters, I could see myself liking the relationship (despite not being a massive fan of the age gap). But the writing…

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hsinju

    2.5 stars rounded down. 3 stars for the storyline but docking 1 star for the... writing? LDR + academia? Sounds super intriguing! It is very difficult to write LDRs since most of the time, the main characters are physically apart, and Meet Me in Madrid definitely suffered from that. For the first 60% of the book, both characters were just... waiting to see each other every few weeks. There was no clear goal for either of them as Adrianna was on sabbatical in Madrid (and lives on the West Coast) an 2.5 stars rounded down. 3 stars for the storyline but docking 1 star for the... writing? LDR + academia? Sounds super intriguing! It is very difficult to write LDRs since most of the time, the main characters are physically apart, and Meet Me in Madrid definitely suffered from that. For the first 60% of the book, both characters were just... waiting to see each other every few weeks. There was no clear goal for either of them as Adrianna was on sabbatical in Madrid (and lives on the West Coast) and Charlotte was stuck at Woodley, on the East Coast. Everything picked up around the 60% mark and the stakes got pretty high, which I enjoyed. However, I find Charlotte and Adrianna both unreasonable sometimes in their own way, and I didn’t really see how their relationship got past a fling. Plus, I don’t feel like I know either of them much. Racism and sexism are two main themes in the book. While I appreciate Lowell incorporating both the MCs’ experiences and history references, I think that the thematic execution was very heavy-handed. And I also had some issues with the wording, not just because some sentences read like using a thesaurus for word replacement, but that... it felt like the author was trying too hard. Even though I’m assuming the author is a queer person of color, the narrative reads oddly like it’s written by a cishet white author. And I’m also guessing that the author does not read much romance. The good side is that it is not super formulaic, but the bad side is that the pacing is a bit off and there is a lot of summaries of events throughout the book. And there is a 3rd POV for one scene that I don’t think is necessary. Also, I’m still scratching my head about why the author used the word “blacklist”... I enjoyed the academic aspect of the story, being in academia myself. While the demographic in engineering is largely different from that in art history, there are still a lot of things I can relate to. It was a letdown to find that the romance between two queer women of color wasn’t as satisfying as all the university and conference talks. Random, but isn’t it fun that both Quinn Ivins’ Love Factor (my review) and this book are sapphics in academia with a sexist homophobe called Grayson? All in all, Meet Me in Madrid had the potential to be much better, but it reads kind of awkwardly (because of the word choices) with okay-ish characters. A decent try at highlighting discrimination in academia for Lowell, but a slightly disappointing debut. (Where is the cat on the cover???) content warnings: racism, sexism, homophobia, depression, cheating, drug abuse, suicide, sexual harassment, past TA-student relationship? I received a digital review copy from Carina Adores via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heinerway

    As a Spaniard, I try to read every lesbian romance related to Spain. So I was in for this story about two academic women meeting in Madrid. Unfortunately for me there was very little shown of Madrid, as our main characters didn't go out in the city, and all their following rendezvous were in the States. All in all this was an OK read. As a Spaniard, I try to read every lesbian romance related to Spain. So I was in for this story about two academic women meeting in Madrid. Unfortunately for me there was very little shown of Madrid, as our main characters didn't go out in the city, and all their following rendezvous were in the States. All in all this was an OK read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    I'm contemplating running the Madrid half marathon so I figured it was time to read a book set in Madrid. This just didn't live up to my expectations. This book just wasn't for me. It holds so much promise, but the writing is off-putting and it ends up being boring and it could not hold my attention. The representation is great, leading ladies of colour and highly educated with good jobs. That is sadly also where it stops. I'm sure this works for other people, please find other reviews to find out I'm contemplating running the Madrid half marathon so I figured it was time to read a book set in Madrid. This just didn't live up to my expectations. This book just wasn't for me. It holds so much promise, but the writing is off-putting and it ends up being boring and it could not hold my attention. The representation is great, leading ladies of colour and highly educated with good jobs. That is sadly also where it stops. I'm sure this works for other people, please find other reviews to find out if this book is for you. 2.5 stars *ARC received in exchange for a voluntary and honest review*

  6. 4 out of 5

    sophia

    3.5 Thank you to NetGalley for the preview of the four chapters! It is a very promising adult, sapphic romance. I can't say much, since I've only read four chapters. Based on them though, the writing is beautiful and the plot easy to follow, while simultaneously keeping you interested. Both Adrianna and Charlotte seem to be mature, impressive women and I'm intrigued to read about how their relationship evolves! However, it was a bit fast paced, so the connection between the two women didn't feel ve 3.5 Thank you to NetGalley for the preview of the four chapters! It is a very promising adult, sapphic romance. I can't say much, since I've only read four chapters. Based on them though, the writing is beautiful and the plot easy to follow, while simultaneously keeping you interested. Both Adrianna and Charlotte seem to be mature, impressive women and I'm intrigued to read about how their relationship evolves! However, it was a bit fast paced, so the connection between the two women didn't feel very natural. I'm looking forward to reading the whole book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elise Harwell

    Really sweet adult lesbian romance featuring two Black love interests!! Loved all of the commentary on working in academia, especially art history. The two MCs had really good chemistry as well.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jena

    Meet Me in Madrid follows the story of two black, queer, academics who reunite in Madrid, only to deal with the complexities of a long distance relationship, as well as balancing their work and personal lives. Objectively, I think this is a 4 star book, but personally I didn't really connect with the story, and on a subjective level, this was a 3 star read for me. This is no fault of the writing and simply has to do with my personal preferences. Still, this is a strong story, with cute romance a Meet Me in Madrid follows the story of two black, queer, academics who reunite in Madrid, only to deal with the complexities of a long distance relationship, as well as balancing their work and personal lives. Objectively, I think this is a 4 star book, but personally I didn't really connect with the story, and on a subjective level, this was a 3 star read for me. This is no fault of the writing and simply has to do with my personal preferences. Still, this is a strong story, with cute romance and some really topical themes. I found the stand out feature of this book to be the way it discussed the lack of diversity in academia and the prejudice queer people and POC face in that domain. My main complaint for this book is just that I felt like the main characters fell in love (or at least were infatuated with one another) super quickly, which made it a bit difficult to connect to the romance. Still, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to people, just perhaps to a demographic of readers who have a different preferred writing style than I do, as this wasn't my personal favourite. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    luce

    I tried reading this a few times but I'm afraid that I find the author's writing style to be rather weak (the kind of writing that is more suited to fanfic). I'm sure many will love this so I encourage prospective readers to check out more positive reviews. I tried reading this a few times but I'm afraid that I find the author's writing style to be rather weak (the kind of writing that is more suited to fanfic). I'm sure many will love this so I encourage prospective readers to check out more positive reviews.

  10. 5 out of 5

    AC

    Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene... Except it isn't two households, ccit's two women, and it isn't fair Verona, it's Madrid. And no one dies at the end, which is refreshing (looking at you, Boys on the Side and Fried Green Tomatoes). There's bound to be spoilery stuff here. Charlotte, once a Yale undergrad and now (some kind of lowly curator title) and courier shepherding pieces of art to the places they've been loaned, is stranded in Madrid during a sudd Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene... Except it isn't two households, ccit's two women, and it isn't fair Verona, it's Madrid. And no one dies at the end, which is refreshing (looking at you, Boys on the Side and Fried Green Tomatoes). There's bound to be spoilery stuff here. Charlotte, once a Yale undergrad and now (some kind of lowly curator title) and courier shepherding pieces of art to the places they've been loaned, is stranded in Madrid during a sudden storm. Adrianna, once a Yale lecturer, and now a lecturer on the entirely opposite coast, is in Madrid on a sabbatical, running down and transcribing the diaries of a nun. They knew one another briefly,back at Yale, but now they've both been focused on their life in academia, pursuing their careers. They meet up at a cafe Adrianna knows, and the writing at that point tells you what going to happen: instalove. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, ass it's a trope of the genre. I did like the wrinkle that there is at least the fact they knew one another in some way prior to Madrid. This means they're also a bit older than the characters who usually inhabit the gene, and they're also both black, another departure from the genre. No young white women with blond hair, blue eyes, zero body fat and perfect abs here: the author paints both women as "buxom", which I took to mean that both have at least something approximating a bit of middle age spread in addition to both having big chests. After a three day marathon of sex, Charlotte heads back to New Haven, and both women have the newly-met-but-too-far-away stars in their eyes, looking forward to their next meeting, in NYC, for the new year. There's a brief appearance by Hadley, a slim, white, young woman with perfect everything (oops, I guess not all tropes are dead) at the beginning of the new year version of Madrid, someone Charlotte can't stand for reasons not well explained, who invites them to a NYE party at her parents' house, and they go, for some reason. After finishing the book, I understand why, but it was a little heavy handed. More sex, over the next couple of days. Adrianna flies back to Madrid, and we get an encore of Emotions. Charlotte is tasked with taking some art out to California, and Adrianna insists that she meet Esther, a dear friend of hers. Esther's having a time with her husband, who has been having an affair with one of his students. To put the betrayal on blast, he sends the student to tell Esther about it. After getting stuck in LA by yet another freak storm, Charlotte winds up at Esther's teaching her son Fisher to make beignets. There's a weird, uncomfortably written conversation between Esther and Charlotte, and the "is this older woman, having been married to a shitty dude with whom she had a son, really a lesbian, or at least bi?" thing was off-putting. There's also a connection made, thanks to networking, when Esther takes Charlotte to Piedmont, who may or may not be in the market for a half courier/half lecturer type of person. Next up: Chicago (Adrianna's hometown) at Valentines Day! Also, interviews, where she once again faces the dean from Piedmont, but they have to pretend they don't know one another. Charlotte also gives a talk on race and art, and her asshole boss from the museum - "I don't see you as a person of color, Charlotte" - is there, once again saying stupid things, this time about how Brer Rabbit and Songs of the South are not racist, I guess, and how art shouldn't be politicized. It's the sort of blather some overly educated jerk says when they're trying to put down one of their own employees with a nonsensical what if. What I thought immediately, and what Adrianna actually says in the book against his crap, is that his statement itself is political. More sexytimes. They depart from one another, again. In between all this - and sometimes when they're recovering from a round of sex, there's discussion of how difficult it is in general to have a career in the arts, and in particular, how hard it is for black, gay women to have a career in the arts. This is true (not just of the arts, of course, BIPOC LGBTQAI+ folk have a hard time of it anywhere) but the way it's written feels like it's been copied out of a policy paper. Later in the book, we get the Sophie's Choice: both women get job offers, but it would mean they would swap coasts, and still have the same problem: long distance relationships, even with these two who can get horny on command via facetime, are problematic in a lot of ways. They finally have their first blowup, after Adrianna tells Charlotte abut her offer from Yale. They get snippy from one another, and then give each other the silent treatment: no texts, no calls, no facetime. Esther tells Adrianna she's being a jerk and to knock it off. We get the usual makeup bit, but of course, they are still apart. Charlotte,her pal James, and three other people get the axe fro the museum thanks to Jerkface McRacistBoss. James, crafty queen that he is, has receipts: Jerkface gets fired, the five are rehired, and Charlotte is given a vague promise or promotion to Deputy Curator when the woman in charge retires. But where we land is in Cali. Esther has hooked up with Hadley, so we have a May-September romance with the two mains, and a May-December with the secondaries. It also occurred to me that out of the four white adult guys we meet for any real time, one is gay, one is a dean of the arts college, one is a two-timing douchebag, and the last is a racist homophobe. If you're reading for the sex, you'll be delighted: there's a lot of it, and it's very graphic, sometimes to the point of being clinical. If you're reading for the story: it's ok. The writing style seems to be most comfortable when the topic is academia, and the descriptions of interviews and campus visits was the best writing and the best look at getting hired in academia that I've read outside of nonfiction. Three out of five stars (possibly a fiver if erotica is your thing). Thanks to Harlequin/Carina Press/Carina Adores and NetGalley for the reading copy. At the end of the day, it's a HEA - how could it not be?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    In Verity Lowell's Meet Me in Madrid , two career-minded women embark on a long-distance relationship and encounter obstacles along the way. Charlotte’s job as a museum courier gives her the opportunity to travel the world, but honestly not see much of it in the process. So when complications strand her in Madrid, she’s excited to extend her stay. If only she knew someone to spend her time with. And then she remembers: Adrianna, who was a few years ahead of her in school when they were both PhD In Verity Lowell's Meet Me in Madrid , two career-minded women embark on a long-distance relationship and encounter obstacles along the way. Charlotte’s job as a museum courier gives her the opportunity to travel the world, but honestly not see much of it in the process. So when complications strand her in Madrid, she’s excited to extend her stay. If only she knew someone to spend her time with. And then she remembers: Adrianna, who was a few years ahead of her in school when they were both PhD candidates, lives and works in Madrid. Adrianna, the thought of whom makes Charlotte a little weak in the knees. When the two reconnect, sparks fly, and Adrianna offers Charlotte the opportunity to stay with her during her time in Madrid. It’s not long before they’re head over heels for each other and figuring out how to make a long-distance relationship work. But if that’s not enough of a challenge, when Charlotte finally finds a way back into academia, Adrianna’s latest career move may be the biggest obstacle of all for the two of them. While the romantic component of Meet Me in Madrid is sweet and interesting, what I thought was best about the book was its discussion of the prejudices and racism that people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, and women face in academia. I haven’t read a lot of F/F romance but Carina Adores definitely has a number of titles I’d like to check out! See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    3.5 stars rounded to 4 for Goodreads [I received a digital arc for an honest review] Meet Me in Madrid is a lesbian adult romance by Verity Lowell. The story of two women trying to balance their personal relationship with their career goals, all while being thousands of miles away from each other. Looking at the cover, I thought I was in for a light contemporary romance with a good amount of emotion because of the struggles that come with a long distance relationship. I was not expecting the amount 3.5 stars rounded to 4 for Goodreads [I received a digital arc for an honest review] Meet Me in Madrid is a lesbian adult romance by Verity Lowell. The story of two women trying to balance their personal relationship with their career goals, all while being thousands of miles away from each other. Looking at the cover, I thought I was in for a light contemporary romance with a good amount of emotion because of the struggles that come with a long distance relationship. I was not expecting the amount of steam I would encounter, and I am not mad about it lol It starts with a one-night stand that's so much more than a one-night stand as soon as it starts. Then every time our leading ladies are together they definitely make the most of it and in between those meet up they aren't shy and enjoy phone sex. Their distance does not put out the intimate fire between them. Besides the physical intimacy , one thing I love about long distance romances is the emotional connection that is formed between the women. While both strong characters on their own, neither of them outshone the other. They were supportive of each other's goals and career. I also really appreciated that the age gap between them wasn't some big deal, and neither of them obsessed over the fact. The reason this isn't getting a higher rating for me is because outside the romance, I found all the history jargon rather dull and found myself skimming whenever job situations were happening. Overall, this was a passionate romance between two strong BIPOC who have to learn to make room in their independent lives for love.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara | sara.reads.too.much

    Oh honey mine! This book was really interesting in terms of the characters and their representations in the book, and I truly commend the author for that. The two main characters are women of colour that have dedicated their lives to academia and the arts while putting love off. Together, they discover with each other, how important love is if you have the right person to share it with. It's my first book I've read with this storyline, even though it was a bit different, I still enjoyed reading a Oh honey mine! This book was really interesting in terms of the characters and their representations in the book, and I truly commend the author for that. The two main characters are women of colour that have dedicated their lives to academia and the arts while putting love off. Together, they discover with each other, how important love is if you have the right person to share it with. It's my first book I've read with this storyline, even though it was a bit different, I still enjoyed reading about it and experiencing it. If you love spicy romances with characters that catch all the feels, you'll enjoy this! Thank you to NetGalley and Carina Press for the earc in return for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jacque

    gonna write a full review soon but I adored this book, definitely one of my favorite reads this year❤️reading this felt languid, sexy and indulgent, but also really emotional and raw and just fantastic. highly reccomend CW for racism & homophobia in the workplace (view spoiler)[ (which is eventually combatted & handily shut down) (hide spoiler)] and for brief reference to fatphobia gonna write a full review soon but I adored this book, definitely one of my favorite reads this year❤️reading this felt languid, sexy and indulgent, but also really emotional and raw and just fantastic. highly reccomend CW for racism & homophobia in the workplace (view spoiler)[ (which is eventually combatted & handily shut down) (hide spoiler)] and for brief reference to fatphobia

  15. 5 out of 5

    emerson

    *e-ARC provided by NetGalley * I've decided not to give this book a rating because I haven't finished it and frankly I don't know what my final opinion would have been. I really wanted to enjoy it, especially because of the inclusion of art history in it. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it past 25%. I haven't DNFed a book before, so this review might be a bit all over the place. Most of the criticisms I've seen for this book were for the writing style, which I agree was not the best, but it wasn't *e-ARC provided by NetGalley * I've decided not to give this book a rating because I haven't finished it and frankly I don't know what my final opinion would have been. I really wanted to enjoy it, especially because of the inclusion of art history in it. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it past 25%. I haven't DNFed a book before, so this review might be a bit all over the place. Most of the criticisms I've seen for this book were for the writing style, which I agree was not the best, but it wasn't that that put me off of this book. My biggest issue was really just the chemistry between the characters. To be fair, I completely forgot that there wasn't going to be a slow burn element to the relationship and that definitely wasn't something I wanted, but also, in the 25% I read, I barely felt a connection between the characters even though they'd already gotten together. Also, I had an issue differentiating the characters. I don't know if this was just a me problem, but so much felt like it was happening while trying to explain the characters backgrounds that nothing being explained made sense to me. I couldn't even tell you which character was in the US and which one was in Madrid. I can't say much else because I didn't read much of it, but this wasn't for me but I encourage people who may be more interested and can tough it out to try it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    From the get go, I was hooked by the story. It was so refreshing to see two POC in a #lesfic romance, and even better but two women in Academia. Charlotte and Adrianna reunite in Spain serendipitously, and after a grad-school crush their romance develops very quickly over 4 days together. They are then left with a strong connection, but a very long distance romance. I really enjoyed following the long distance romance, and anyone who has experienced this type of relationship would definitely rela From the get go, I was hooked by the story. It was so refreshing to see two POC in a #lesfic romance, and even better but two women in Academia. Charlotte and Adrianna reunite in Spain serendipitously, and after a grad-school crush their romance develops very quickly over 4 days together. They are then left with a strong connection, but a very long distance romance. I really enjoyed following the long distance romance, and anyone who has experienced this type of relationship would definitely relate to this part of the story. It took me back to when I first started dating my wife and we had a few months of separation and it was so difficult and tested our relationship. It can definitely make or break a romance! All in all, a great romance that I highly recommend if you like your characters to be smart, outspoken and sexy. Many thanks to Netgalley and Carina Press / Carina Adores for a copy of this novel. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jovan

    A Joyfully Jay review. When Dr. Charlotte Hilaire finished her graduate program with honors, she never thought that three years on she’d be stuck as an assistant curator who spends most of her time couriering artwork instead of teaching at a liberal arts institution. However, when she finds herself stranded in Madrid where the illustrious Dr. Adrianna Coates is currently residing, Charlotte can’t help but be grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her brilliant former crush. Adrianna A Joyfully Jay review. When Dr. Charlotte Hilaire finished her graduate program with honors, she never thought that three years on she’d be stuck as an assistant curator who spends most of her time couriering artwork instead of teaching at a liberal arts institution. However, when she finds herself stranded in Madrid where the illustrious Dr. Adrianna Coates is currently residing, Charlotte can’t help but be grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her brilliant former crush. Adrianna was an intimidating inspiration as Charlotte’s dissertation advisor at Yale; now that Adrianna is teaching at UCLA and with a prestigious sabbatical fellowship to finish her book, Charlotte feels even less like her peer. Yet, as accomplished, elegant, and daunting as Adrianna is, the instant connection and passion she and Charlotte share quickly crosses any perceived divide between them and, after three intense days, both women are determined to build upon their brief time together. Unfortunately, working in different countries isn’t the only obstacle to transitioning from white-hot fling to enduring romance. When their separate career ambitions place their fledgling relationship in jeopardy, Adrianna and Charlotte must reexamine what they value most. Meet Me in Madrid is billed as a “sexy, sophisticated romantic comedy,” but I’m hard-pressed to figure out how (unless lots of sex automatically equals sexy) because there is no comedy—romantic, comedy of errors, or otherwise. I suppose sophisticated fits as both women are urbane, educated, and slightly snobbish in their dress, mannerisms, and entertainment pursuits. It’s just difficult to align the instalove with sophistication as presented here. Charlotte supposedly goes from contentedly single to barely able to get up in the mornings once home, and after only a week of being together, when Adrianna mentions extending her sabbatical, Charlotte spirals into despair and assumptions that Adrianna doesn’t care about her. Charlotte’s emotions become so intense that she gets sick to her stomach and panics at the thought of not seeing Adrianna or a missed text (among other things). Her angsting only ratchets higher and twists her up more throughout the story, as apparently discussing feelings with one another isn’t the done thing for these two sophisticates. It also doesn’t help that most of the page time allotted to the MCs as a couple is them having sex/sexting/Sex Timing. They rarely have conversations about their relationship status, their feelings (besides being horny), etc. Instead, Adrianna occasionally muses reflectively and compares her feelings for Charlotte to her previous experiences, while Charlotte obsesses about it in her inner monologues—A LOT. Her street cred as an Independent Woman™ is also a bit hard to swallow as Charlotte admits that both of the achievements she’s made in her career are inspired by her desire for Adrianna. She credits wanting to impress Adrianna as the reason her dissertation earned honors and being near Adrianna as why she puts everything into her interview. Mind you, most of Charlotte’s insecurity in herself stems from not obtaining a professorship and a) the job is basically everything she wants, b) openings are few and far between, and c) no one is beating down her door with offers. There is no reason she shouldn’t give her best in the interview regardless of Adrianna being in the picture; thus, Charlotte doesn’t come across as a determined, sophisticated thirty-something, but as kind of whiny and driven more by her libido than self-motivation, especially compared to Adrianna. Frankly, I just didn’t believe in the viability of or care about their HEA. The entire relationship takes place over the course of a few months and a few in person meetings comprised of a handful of days after a month or so of separation. I know that the running joke is that lesbians meet one day and move in the next, but I just didn’t buy the depth of feelings beyond intense sexual chemistry and basic compatibility. There is no real connection building with one another to support their coupledom; Charlotte and Adrianna spend more time talking to Adrianna’s friend Esther about their relationship than with one another. To me, this imbalance is partially due to the uneven prose that is a bit awkward in its construction—from unnecessary and/or redundant descriptors to sentence fragments that end mid-thought. The transitions can be abrupt, the dialogue is clunky (especially conversations the MCs have about being BIPOC women in a world dominated by cis-het white men), and the pacing is hampered by concocted drama. There’s also an introduction of an “awkward quasi-flirtation” and relationship that feels shoved in. It seemed like a poorly done intro for a book for another character, but no, it’s just there. Maybe it’s supposed to illustrate that even rich, white women presented as entitled, conniving, and mean can be targets of harassment (as if that needs to be stated) and promote female solidarity against the patriarchy that forces them to see one another as competitors, but as written, its inclusion seems unnecessary and forced. Additionally, as important as being racialized women of color is to Adrianna and Charlotte, their experiences, and the obstacles to their career achievements, the story mostly addresses it as anecdotal asides and commiserations the MCs make to one another. There is one plot relevant episode that is handled well and written in such a way that even the character involved knows its impact will be profound. Yet, the aftermath is handled with such a lazy deus ex machina that it trivializes the issues the MCs discuss. While I like that the characters are academics and the snippets of Adrianna’s research, there is little else for me to enjoy in Meet Me in Madrid. However, for those interested in insta-love, the woes of long-distance relationships, and lots of sexy times (with a few instances of dreadful dirty talk), there may be more here for you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anna Reads Here

    Release Date: October 26th, 2021 Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 Review: The premise of the book hooked me with promises of two academic Black queer women who find each other many years since their last interaction and fall in love. Plus, with Madrid as a backdrop, I was really eager to dive into this. Meet Me in Madrid is all of those things, but it’s so much more than just a love story and I like that I was able to go on this journey with them as they figured out their own lives and careers. While add Release Date: October 26th, 2021 Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥 Review: The premise of the book hooked me with promises of two academic Black queer women who find each other many years since their last interaction and fall in love. Plus, with Madrid as a backdrop, I was really eager to dive into this. Meet Me in Madrid is all of those things, but it’s so much more than just a love story and I like that I was able to go on this journey with them as they figured out their own lives and careers. While addressing important issues or homophobia and racism, the book also tackles love and following your dreams. Both women - Charlotte and Adrianna - have big dreams and aspirations. They want to achieve so much in their lives that their dreams are sometimes bigger than they are. But it shows you how two people so academically gifted are able to find the balance in the hard world they live in to make time for each other. One of the strong themes in the book is the lack of diversity in academia and how these two women question it, discuss it and do whatever it takes to change it. And the diversity is not just about people of colour, but people of different sexual orientations. Charlotte and Adrianna’s romance is cute, sexy and definitely steamy. Their attraction to each other kicks off almost as soon as they are reunited and I love that it wasn’t all shy and coy, they tackled it head on and enjoyed every minute of it. Their relationship might be the central focus of the book, but it shares place with the details of their respective careers. I feel like we got so much insight into their work lives and how they try to make it work instead of getting more about their relationship. This is partly because the two characters are barely ever together in the same place and their relationship relies heavily on phone calls and FaceTime conversations. And while I loved their romance, I felt like it wasn’t enough. The deep dive into their respective careers was too much for me, but I’m sure that this much information and insight would definitely appeal to some other readers. I also enjoyed meeting the secondary characters and seeing how all of them play into the story. I am definitely intrigued by what else Verity Lowell might right in the future, because her style of writing, her knowledge of the topics and the focus on queer women of colour really made this story a strong one. Thanks to Carina Press & NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review. Read more of my reviews on anna reads here

  19. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    ***I would have rated this a 2.5 if I could. While I did enjoy this easy read, and long for stories that are about queer adults rather than coming of age/coming out stories, something was missing to make me feel close or empathetic towards the characters. The majority of the story is focused on when they are together, or are a few days before or after seeing on another. I wish we would’ve seen the longing that an LDR can cause and actually gotten to see deeper conversations between the two when th ***I would have rated this a 2.5 if I could. While I did enjoy this easy read, and long for stories that are about queer adults rather than coming of age/coming out stories, something was missing to make me feel close or empathetic towards the characters. The majority of the story is focused on when they are together, or are a few days before or after seeing on another. I wish we would’ve seen the longing that an LDR can cause and actually gotten to see deeper conversations between the two when they are apart rather than just them having phone sex. It overall led to me not feeling tied to this relationship other than the fact than I knew I should be rooting for it. There are also a lot of inconsistencies in this book that should have been caught by the editor. Lots of typos, or even then calling an area of Chicago “Logan Park” to then start referring to it as “Logan Square” 2 paragraphs later. At first I thought I was confused, but then I realized it was the same location and the name of the neighborhood has gotten mixed up the first time it was introduced (also, I am from Chicago and can attest there is no “Logan Park” lol) The age difference is also an interestingly handled topic. By context, Adrianna is 42 and Charlotte we assume about 32 or at youngest, 30. However, she is portrayed through her naivety and insecurity as a women on her early 20’s. This makes the age difference seem so apparent as Adrianna was portrayed as the more mature, level headed one. If they had wanted to make the way Charlotte was acting or the differences in their ages more believable, Charlotte should have been 25. Another unbelievable thing was the logistics of their sex. This emphasis on grinding against one another until completion seemed as if it were written by a straight male, rather than the queer women it was. At times, the way they spoke about their sex even seemed very heterosexual, such as referring to being “inside her.” Sure, I understood what they meant, but it seemed very heterosexually framed. I also disliked the weird, sudden pet names they used for one another, just after barely starting their relationship. Maybe that is just my personal taste, but it seemed awkward and off putting since we lacked seeing deep conversations/intimacy as I mentioned in the beginning. In the end, I read this book with my partner as a fun activity and it was still an enjoyable and easy read. I do not regret reading but would also not recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 2.75 stars Meet Me in Madrid is billed as a “sexy, sophisticated romantic comedy,” but I’m hard-pressed to figure out how (unless lots of sex automatically equals sexy) because there is no comedy—romantic, comedy of errors, or otherwise. I suppose sophisticated fits as both women are urbane, educated, and slightly snobbish in their dress, mannerisms, and entertainment pursuits. It’s just difficult to align the instalove with sophistication as presented here. Charlotte suppo A Joyfully Jay review. 2.75 stars Meet Me in Madrid is billed as a “sexy, sophisticated romantic comedy,” but I’m hard-pressed to figure out how (unless lots of sex automatically equals sexy) because there is no comedy—romantic, comedy of errors, or otherwise. I suppose sophisticated fits as both women are urbane, educated, and slightly snobbish in their dress, mannerisms, and entertainment pursuits. It’s just difficult to align the instalove with sophistication as presented here. Charlotte supposedly goes from contentedly single to barely able to get up in the mornings once home, and after only a week of being together, when Adrianna mentions extending her sabbatical, Charlotte spirals into despair and assumptions that Adrianna doesn’t care about her. Charlotte’s emotions become so intense that she gets sick to her stomach and panics at the thought of not seeing Adrianna or a missed text (among other things). Her angsting only ratchets higher and twists her up more throughout the story, as apparently discussing feelings with one another isn’t the done thing for these two sophisticates. Read Jovan’s review in its entirety here.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate (The Quirky Kate)

    Disclaimer: This review and rating is based on a four-chapter preview provided by NetGalley. Meet Me in Madrid will be available to read on October 26, 2021. Thank you, NetGalley and HARLEQUIN - Carina Press, for allowing me the opportunity to read an advanced preview in exchange for an honest review. This was my first time reading Verity Lowell, and I'm so glad I could get a sneak peek into her next book, Meet Me in Madrid! I love a good second chance romance story, and this book does not disapp Disclaimer: This review and rating is based on a four-chapter preview provided by NetGalley. Meet Me in Madrid will be available to read on October 26, 2021. Thank you, NetGalley and HARLEQUIN - Carina Press, for allowing me the opportunity to read an advanced preview in exchange for an honest review. This was my first time reading Verity Lowell, and I'm so glad I could get a sneak peek into her next book, Meet Me in Madrid! I love a good second chance romance story, and this book does not disappoint! It's fast-paced, which I love. We see Adrianna and Charlotte reconnect right off the bat. Wine and a snowstorm ensue, leaving them with the only obvious option-- get snowed in together. While the romance aspect of this book is perfectly steamy, Lowell also fits in topics around race and sexism without it seeming weirdly out of place. It was actually a breath of fresh air! I'm so happy I was able to get a preview of this novel, and I can't wait to read where Adrianna and Charlotte left off!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    Even though this was only a preview of this book, I read enough to know that I will probably not be picking it up again. I thought it was a great concept, and had great representation, and I love to see sapphic women (especially women of colour) in writing, but I just didn't enjoy what I read. I think the main thing was the writing style - it felt overly descriptive and almost seemed to sexualise the women. I can absolutely see how some people would enjoy this, but it just wasn't for me. I won't Even though this was only a preview of this book, I read enough to know that I will probably not be picking it up again. I thought it was a great concept, and had great representation, and I love to see sapphic women (especially women of colour) in writing, but I just didn't enjoy what I read. I think the main thing was the writing style - it felt overly descriptive and almost seemed to sexualise the women. I can absolutely see how some people would enjoy this, but it just wasn't for me. I won't be picking up this book when it comes out - I wish that I liked it, but I didn't. Loved the cover though! (shelved under DNF because I read the first few chapters in the preview but will not be continuing it.)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mar

    2.5 stars this was a bit of a dissapointment for me. I wanted to loved this book so much because POC sapphic love stories there are very few but unfortunately the plot and romance weren't developed enough. i also couldn't connect with either of the mcs which was a bummer. And still, this wasn't a bad book. There were some parts that I truly enjoyed and I wish we had more of that. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the change to read this book in exchnge for an honest review. 2.5 stars this was a bit of a dissapointment for me. I wanted to loved this book so much because POC sapphic love stories there are very few but unfortunately the plot and romance weren't developed enough. i also couldn't connect with either of the mcs which was a bummer. And still, this wasn't a bad book. There were some parts that I truly enjoyed and I wish we had more of that. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the change to read this book in exchnge for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Bookish Life of Laura

    DNF at about 25% I'm so sad to be DNFing a sapphic romance, but I very quickly learned that the long-distance trope is not for me. From the bit that I did read, I love the writing style and the characters, and the tension between the two was phenomenal. I definitely think others who like the main tropes would enjoy this one, it's just sadly not for me DNF at about 25% I'm so sad to be DNFing a sapphic romance, but I very quickly learned that the long-distance trope is not for me. From the bit that I did read, I love the writing style and the characters, and the tension between the two was phenomenal. I definitely think others who like the main tropes would enjoy this one, it's just sadly not for me

  25. 5 out of 5

    Valentine

    The aesthetic of this book is very red wine, black lace, candlelight in Europe, and baroque music and I LOVE IT. This is the lesbianism that fifteen-year-old me (and current me) wants more of and I highly recommend. My only complaint is that the main conflict of the novel was really very easy to resolve and the entire time I was kind of like "Adrianna, get it together" The aesthetic of this book is very red wine, black lace, candlelight in Europe, and baroque music and I LOVE IT. This is the lesbianism that fifteen-year-old me (and current me) wants more of and I highly recommend. My only complaint is that the main conflict of the novel was really very easy to resolve and the entire time I was kind of like "Adrianna, get it together"

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    I really enjoyed this book and I found myself rooting for the two main characters both individually and as partners from start to end. The queer, art history, academia lens hit right on my interests. I also appreciate how this romance novel doesn’t shy away from the realities of racism, sexism and homophobia that exist in the world of art history and academia.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Harlequin Books

    Categories Carina Adores, Contemporary Romance, Female/Female, Romantic Comedy, Multicultural & Interracial Romance, Lesbian

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alex Levine

    i hated it. so much incoherent and unpredictable bouncing between POVs to the point where i couldn’t follow which “she” was being discussed, absolutely whacky timeline of events that did not leave me wanting more, felt uncomfortable to have the 40something babying the 30something, weird pet names

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Sapphic adult romance lets GOOOOO

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lauren loves llamas

    The cover caught my eye, and I couldn’t resist picking up a book about two sapphic women navigating their careers and relationships in their thirties and forties. While some of it worked for me, there were other parts that weren’t my jam. Charlotte is a courier for an art museum, which means lots of travel on very short turnarounds. An unexpected layover in Madrid leads to her reconnecting with Adriana, who was a few years ahead of her at Yale, but who she always had a crush on. They met over a d The cover caught my eye, and I couldn’t resist picking up a book about two sapphic women navigating their careers and relationships in their thirties and forties. While some of it worked for me, there were other parts that weren’t my jam. Charlotte is a courier for an art museum, which means lots of travel on very short turnarounds. An unexpected layover in Madrid leads to her reconnecting with Adriana, who was a few years ahead of her at Yale, but who she always had a crush on. They met over a decade ago when Charlotte was still an undergrad and Adriana was a TA. But now, three nights together in Madrid fuel a connection that neither woman wants to do without. But can they overcome the geographic differences and the disparate stages in their careers to finally be together? “Sweet Lord, Adrianna. What are we doing? How can we have spent all this time trying to advance in a field dominated by people who think we are less? That what we do doesn’t matter or isn’t real. I’m just so goddamned tired of it.” This book is slow paced and very angsty. Not only are both characters experiencing all the problems of embarking on a long distance relationship, but they’re also two queer BIPOC women in academia with all the nastiness and stress you’d expect from that. Adriana is in her forties and much further along in her career than Charlotte, though only four years separated them in grad school. With a teaching position at UCLA, she’s doing a sabbatical fellowship in Madrid studying pieces belong to a particularly art interested nun. She’s a consummate planner and very focused on her career, to the exclusion of anything else. Meanwhile, while Charlotte’s similarly talented and hardworking, she’s had two year long teaching positions that went nowhere. She ended up in her current courier/curator combo for lack of other options. Charlotte misses teaching students and the museum isn’t receptive to many of her ideas for new exhibits, choosing instead to stick with the same old white men of middling quality instead of “politically correct” fads (that is, anything that centers anyone not male, cis, het and white). The friction between their careers and love lives comes to a head when both have a chance at new opportunities – but, again, on opposite coasts. “What you see before you is a big ball of confusion. I’m living an out of body experience. When I left I was perfectly fine being here, being single. And now I can barely get up in the morning without her lying next to me. And all it took for me to get this way was three days. I feel crazy.” What this book does well is the emotions – and the steam! Each woman admires the other for their knowledge of their field and their accomplishments, though Charlotte has had less opportunities than Adriana. I never doubted the depth of their connection, and the various coping habits both women employ each time they have to leave each other was heartbreaking. But the exhilaration of them meeting up again matched the bittersweetness of those moments. The in-between, though, was super angsty, from wondering about what their relationship status is to the fear they’ll lose interest in each other while they’re apart to the frustration of being on two different continents. At times, it was a bit too much angst for me. Even when they’re apart, though, they still manage to connect in the margins, including some very hot video chats. And, woo, this book is steamy. Belying her demure exterior, Charlotte likes being in control in bed (or on the sofa, or the countertop, etc). But besides the steaminess, the scenes showed their deepening connection and the possibilities of what their relationship could be, given time together. The bleak moment, however, was everything I didn’t like about the book – super angsty and way too judgmental, honestly, and it made me dislike one of the main characters for their childish response. There wasn’t quite enough space left in the book for my opinion of her to recover, either. Overall, while there was a lot I liked about this book (the emotions, the academia bits), there was just a bit too much angst for me. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this author, however. I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Content notes: (view spoiler)[racism, homophobia, sexual harassment, cheating (on MC by ex, before book starts), death of a parent (before book starts), estranged family, fatmisia, alcohol (hide spoiler)]

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