Book: Making Love
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: January 30, 2017
Cover artist: LC Chase
Length: 92 pages
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.
Hey everyone, Aidan Wayne here! Wanted to welcome you to the blog tour for my latest release, Making Love. Throughout the week I will be sharing behind-the-scenes information about Making Love, and the inspiration behind it. Please feel free to participate in and comment on the tour. By doing so, you also get the chance to receive a $15 Riptide gift card!
“Feeling okay?” He handed her a chocolate square.
Carla took it with a hesitant smile. “Yeah. I mean, I have to be. I’m never going to get better if I stick with being sad. I’ll learn from the Matchmakers, and I’m going to ask every question I can think of, and I’m going to make a True Love match. On my own!”
“That’s the spirit,” Tristan said cheerfully.
“Excuse me,” another voice interrupted, cool as silk. “Do I have the right department?”
Tristan and Carla both turned as a woman walked up to the front desk. She was tall and slender, with brown skin and razor-straight black hair, two little brown horns poking up through it. The woman’s hips swayed as she walked, a long, thin tail just barely brushing the floor behind her. She didn’t walk so much as swish, every inch radiating aloof confidence.
“That depends,” Tristan said carefully, moving back behind his desk. “What department are you looking for?”
“I want to speak with Angel,” the woman said. “I have a request.”
“Name?” Tristan was frowning at his computer. “And regarding what?”
“Leeta Absinthe.” A smile. “I wish to contract a Matchmaker’s services.”
“I see.” Tristan looked up at her, smile bland and brittle. Carla barely even recognized him. What was she missing here? “Well, Miss Absinthe, regrettably Aphrodite Agency does not do contract work with your kind. We are not a catering service. Good day.”
Leeta’s eyes glittered, and she leaned forward over the desk, tail lashing behind her. “I assure you, I have no trouble at all securing my meals—” she glanced down at the nameplate on the desk “—Tristan.” She said his name like it was dipped in honey. Tristan actually scooched his chair back a few inches. “I’m looking for a deeper connection, if you will.” She leaned forward a bit more. “Though far be it from me to say that I wouldn’t mind someone fun. Perhaps you could help me, Tristan?”
Tristan stared at her, eyes wide, before swallowing audibly. “Aphrodite Agency does not serve succubi or incubi. I’m afraid Angel would have no reason to meet with you. Good day, Miss Absinthe.”
Oh! Carla finally realized. The woman was a succubus. That explained . . . not very much, actually. Carla had never met one before. Cupids and succubi didn’t usually cross paths, for obvious reasons. But she was here—because she wanted a match?
The succubus crossed her arms, frowning delicately. “Surely we can come to some arrangement. After all, our work usually leads to the same outcome in the end.” She shrugged one slender shoulder.
Tristan bristled. “I will excuse you not to compare my work with your . . . vocation. I make love, thank you very much.”
She smiled again, slow and cold. “How perfect. So do I. In a number of different positions.”
“Miss Absinthe,” Tristan said, steely-eyed. “I do not appreciate your comments, and you are making me look unprofessional in front of my fellow cupid. Angel will not see you. If you do not remove yourself from the vicinity immediately, I will summon security.”
Leeta raised one elegant, unimpressed eyebrow, before letting out a deeply unsatisfied sigh. “Very well.” She glanced at Carla, who blushed under her gaze. “I’m amazed you’re such a close-minded lot about who deserves your kind of love.” Then she turned and walked off, hips and tail swaying.
Both Tristan and Carla watched the succubus push through the double glass doors, and then until she turned a corner and left their sight. Tristan immediately let out a loud breath of air, as if he had been holding it. He shook his head, and then fumbled in his desk for a rose candy, popping it into his mouth before saying, “I’m really sorry about that! I don’t— What an awful woman! The things she said!” He sounded downright scandalized.
Carla didn’t really understand what the fuss was about. “I didn’t think she was that bad. What was the matter?” She looked back toward the doors. “And why don’t we matchmake for succubi? I’ve never heard of that rule before. Well,” she added, bouncing a little on her toes, “I’ve never met a succubus before either, so.”
Tristan threw a caramel cluster into his mouth, chewing frantically. “They just think we’re free meal tickets,” he managed around the cluster. “It’s a completely underhanded mind-set, and they’re never looking for real love. It’s been against company policy since—since I don’t even know when. I’ve had to deal with a few in my time, and they’re all the same.” He huffed, looking downright angry. “All swishy tails and—and innuendo, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that!” he added hastily. “They can’t help that they feed off, well, you know.” This time he pulled out a milk drop, which had to be sucked, so he was at least calming down. “But if some poor fool falls in love with one of them, they can be drained until they die.”
Carla gasped. “If you fall in love with one, you die? That’s horrible!”
Tristan shook his head. “No, just humans. A fae will get very weak, and might even lose some of their more powerful abilities, but we have too much energy to outright die from that kind of depletion unless the incubus or succubus is starving.”
Carla’s bottom lip trembled, and she cast a quick glance toward the glass doors. “So a succubus might never be able to be in love with someone? Or they can’t have someone love them?” If it was that or your match died . . . “That’s—that’s the worst thing I can imagine,” she whispered.
Tristan shook his head again, and patted her on the shoulder. “Oh, they could,” he said, trying to sound comforting. “Theoretically. If the succubus or incubus returns the love, something about the magical chemical properties stops the more damaging part of the drain. Supposedly it even creates a truer bond, on top of making the lust portion a richer food source.” He shrugged one shoulder. “But it’s rare. It’s against their nature to want to settle down. A real love match? Please. That woman just wanted us to do the leg work for a good, steady food source for as long as it lasted.” He glowered, the expression looking entirely out of character on his normally cheerful face. “It’s disgusting! And not something anyone in this agency will ever be tricked into being a part of.” He let out a long breath, rummaging in his desk again. “Peppermint?”
About Aidan Wayne
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.
To celebrate the release of Making Love, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 4, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!