Today I am so pleased to welcome Verity Lowell to Joyfully Jay. Verity has come to share an exclusive excerpt from her latest release, Meet Me in Madrid. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
When Charlotte woke up the next day, not on the pullout in the study but buried in the feathery duvet on Adrianna’s bed, she could see the sun low and mellow in a sky tinged with the palest hint of blue. This biggest of the bedrooms was spare but comfortable with a few antiques, simple, expensive linens, and arched windows that matched the ones in the living room.
She closed her eyes again, instantly aware of a hard lump growing in her throat starting at her collarbone. Was it there because, the night before, Adrianna had focused on that very spot, covering her neck with kisses before she traveled up to her mouth or down to her cunt? Charlotte felt emotional. She could tell herself it was jet lag or hormones or even too much coffee and cava, but she had a sinking, dizzying feeling it was starting to be something else.
The quiet all around her made it too easy to be alone with such thoughts. In fact, Adrianna’s apartment building was disconcertingly tomblike. Barely any street noise. No evidence of other tenants. Even now on a weekday morning, the only sound was the strains of some kind of classical music that had traveled from another quarter of the immense three-bedroom to the hallway outside her door. Certainly, the music was nothing she knew; profane rather than sacred but still solemn-sounding. More Bach than Mozart, softened by rich female voices. She struggled to hear the words. What she got instead, beneath the cellos and harpsichords, was the percussive patter of Adrianna working; she was undoubtedly out there writing something original and field-changing hours before lunchtime. The knot in Charlotte’s throat tightened.
Her phone informed her that it wasn’t yet 10:00 a.m.
She wondered how long Adrianna had been at it; whether she had thought to stay in bed with Charlotte or had quickly reverted to study mode after their late night of endless sex. She wondered whether she was rested. Whether she needed rest. Or if Adrianna might belong to some not-entirely human species that survived on wine, women, and work alone.
Just then the bedroom door creaked open and, still facing the window, Charlotte heard but didn’t see Adrianna come in. She was stealthy as a cat. Charlotte turned her head at the last second, half expecting to see the kind of supernatural creature she had been contemplating.
Bathed in the pale sunlight streaming in, Adrianna did look a bit otherworldly as she stood gazing down at the woman whose name she had repeatedly cried out just a few hours earlier. She stood beside the bed in today’s choice of pajamas, crisp white cotton, blue piping, sheer enough to reveal her brown skin underneath. Charlotte looked on silently as Adrianna began slowly unbuttoning the shirt, inviting her to watch, leaving it open when she was done, giving Charlotte a full view of her softly muscular torso. Adrianna untied her pants and, once they dropped to the floor, stepped out, naked below the waist.
“What are you getting up to in here?” she asked.
Charlotte didn’t want to say that she was retracing the steps of the past few years, wondering where she’d gone wrong. So instead, she flipped back the duvet, leaving the top sheet clinging to her body. She felt unsettled under Adrianna’s gaze even though Adrianna was the nearly naked one.
“Am I meant to unveil you like a nymph?” Adrianna asked playfully. “Or unwrap you like a present?”
Charlotte lay there still and quiet. She wanted to be playful. But she suddenly felt strangely sad and a little scared. Embarrassingly so. Adrianna had graciously stretched the most mind-blowing one-night stand into three nights and all she was getting in return was a little girl in her feelings who couldn’t just roll with it. Why was she such a hot mess?
“Ay, mi amor,” Adrianna said soothingly. “What’s wrong? Did I upset you?” She sat down on the bed and took Charlotte’s hand in both of hers.
“Hardly,” Charlotte said. It was all she could muster.
Adrianna smiled at her in a sweet, knowing way. She slipped off the pajama top and laid it at the foot of the bed. Then she lifted up the sheet and pulled the heavy feather comforter over both of them, drawing Charlotte close.
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 highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.
Discover a new Carina Adores book every month!
- The Life Revamp by Kris Ripper (coming November 30)
- If You Love Something by Jayce Ellis (coming December 28)
- D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins (coming January 25)
- Sink or Swim by Annabeth Albert (coming February 22)
- Going Public by Hudson Lin (coming March 29)
Buy Link: Amazon
Verity Lowell is a professor and occasional curator who writes queer of color romance. She likes imagining and describing a world where art, ambition, and history provide the background for diverse and steamy love stories, mostly about women falling hard for women. She and her partner and their cats live in New England and sometimes elsewhere.
Find Verity Lowell Online