*I received free ARCs of these stories, with thanks to the authors. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: From the A Little Bit Cupid collection
Will a photographer be swept off his feet by a duke who’s more dishevelled than dashing?
It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s Billy last shift at The Chelsea Bunn. His photography career never took off, so it’s time to leave London, parcel up the leftover heart-shaped cakes and head back home to Hampshire.
Rumpled Charlie and his two mischievous dogs are Billy’s favourite customers, so when Charlie turns up at closing time with a mysterious wrapped gift and the offer of a whirlwind trip on the London Eye, Billy can’t say no. But Charlie is keeping a secret that could turn Billy’s world happily upside down.
As the snow falls over London and the big wheel grinds to a halt, Billy discovers that wishes aren’t just for Christmas.
Short and sweet, this little story is full of wish-fulfilment and cheesy banter – perfect for a little pick-me-up romantic read.
Barista Billy has reached the end of his big London adventure and is facing returning back home, sadder and lonelier, to start again. But first he has to say goodbye to his favourite customer – the rumpled, dog-loving Charlie – who has a few secrets to share that could very well be the solution to both of their problems.
In a whirlwind night of romance, the adorable May/December pair take in the sights of London and enjoy each others’ company. But can they finally reveal their feelings and find their happily ever after?
Not to be taken too seriously (coincidences abound!) this is a lovely, quick and easy, light-hearted story in which dreams can come true, and true love be right before your eyes all along. Ideal to cosy up with on a chilly evening, with a warm drink and a sweet treat.
Not having seen Charlie for a fortnight had made Billy realise how much he would miss the friends he had made in London. People from art school, and Imogen, who had given Billy enough shifts to eke out his life in London for just a few more months, even a place to sleep when his love life had turned sour. And most of all Charlie, who always had a smile for him, who always found the time to speak to him.– Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead, The Dishevelled Duke
Billy’s favourite customer.
Buy Link: The Dishevelled Duke
Blurb: From the Some Like it Haunted collection
Love isn’t science. It’s alchemy.
Needing a date for the hottest Hallowe’en party in town, scientist Aubrey Waldegrave sets to work creating his perfect man. Unfortunately, the Adonis who emerges from his laboratory is a free spirit who has no time for Aubrey’s brogues and tweeds.
Alchemist Trismegistus Nimlet can turn anything into gold, but when his apocathery’s alligator starts talking back and his werewolf allergy leaves him sneezing, it looks like Halloween might be a washout. Worse still, is Tris really about to lose the chap he secretly loves to a manmade surfer dude who’s more flash than Frankenstein?
With werewolves leaving fur in the ornamental fountains and a banshee making enough noise to wake the dead, Aubrey’s Halloween is going from bad to worse. All he wanted was to make his perfect man, but what if he was right there all along?
Another sweet romance, this time with a supernatural slant, but still with plenty of the trademark humour I have come to expect from this authorial pairing!
Aubrey attempts to Frankenstein himself up a date for the big Halloween party, only to find that his hunky young creation is curiously resistant to his stuffy, bookish charms. Luckily, Aubrey’s colleague and best friend, Tris, is on hand to cheer and support him… but with both of them harbouring secret feelings, can they get themselves together, without the ‘perfect’ Kai getting in their way?
I have to say that this story has some of my favourite characters so far from these authors! I love Aubrey and Tris, the chatty stuffed alligator… all of it.
I also got a giggle out of just how oblivious Aubrey is to his own taste in men… a surfer dude, really?! This did give me a bit of a squicked out moment too, as it occurred to me that he had basically created a, er, ‘hung’ Adonis to be his lover, but – as Victor Frankenstein could have warned him – their relationship clearly fits into a different category of relations! Thankfully Tris is there to sort it all out, after a few escapades with werewolves, banshees and other things that go bump in the night.
This is a sweet, silly romance with bonus magical mayhem and I would love to see more from the world and characters we glimpse here. I could definitely read a whole novel of this, or even a series!
The figure lay inside a large glass tank in the middle of Aubrey’s laboratory. The water it contained was cloudy and white, luminous from the brightness of the lightning that filled the room at intervals. Aubrey leaned against the side of the tank and peered fondly at his creation.– Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead, How To Make The Perfect Man
Buy Link: How To Make The Perfect Man
For more from Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead, check out their respective links below:
Check out my reviews of their Captivating Captain series on the following links!