With Valentine's Day coming up, we're all thinking about love or wanting love. That's why I have to be honest and admit that I love Olivia Dade.
Of course, this shouldn't be a surprise given that she's writing up a post for Culturess. If that wasn't clear though, I have read her entire backlist aside from the books she's pulled down. Even so, her books just work for me.
Whether you've read Olivia Dade's Spoiler Alert series or not, there's no way you won't recognize her adorable covers. In addition, she's a gem of a person who I have been reading and loving for years. I know it's almost Valentine's Day so just let me gush a little bit more.
Thankfully, Avon reached out to me and asked if I'd like to feature a guest post from Olivia Dade and the answer was an easy yes. For the sake of transparency, I think it was more like "Yes!!!!!" As you can see, having Olivia Dade talk about not only her book but place the focus on usual love interests is simply a dream.
Olivia Dade talks about unusual love interests in this delightful post
Ranchers. Hockey players. Spies. Movie stars. Firefighters. Small-town bakers. Billionaires who never actually seem to work. Those may be some of the most common options for main characters in romances—but they’re far from our only possibilities these days.
Kindle Unlimited in particular is a treasure trove of unusual love interests, as I discovered when my Twitter timeline first started buzzing about Ruby Dixon’s Ice Planet Barbarians series several years ago. Dixon’s hugely popular stories feature blue-skinned aliens with horns, prehensile tails, and ridged (for her pleasure!) tongues and penises, as well as special appendages called “spurs.” The human women in her books might be stuck on a frigid alien planet with almost no technology, but at least those spurs are located in juuuust the right place.
After devouring Dixon’s compulsively readable series, I was intrigued but still not entirely sold on the idea of non-human love interests. And then came C.M. Nascosta’s Morning Glory Milking Farm, which—spoiler alert—does not include any actual dairy products, but does star a horny-and-toppy-but-patient minotaur businessman (businessminotaur?) named Rourke, as well as Violet, the human woman he meets whilst earning some extra cash via handjob-induced sperm donations. (Yes, really.) Morning Glory Milking Farm was a revelation to me, fascinating and odd and thoughtful as well as undeniably hot, and after reading it, I never looked back.
I’m Olivia Dade, author of At First Spite and other contemporary rom-coms, and I read monster-fucking romances. Frequently and delightedly.
Give me your demons (Kimberly Lemming’s That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon), your orcs (Kathryn Moon’s Games With the Orc), and your shadow creatures (Colette Rhodes’s Luxuria). I will happily read about all of them, and also their special sexual bonus features!
I don’t write monster romance myself…yet. But when I sat down to draft At First Spite, I knew I wanted to counterbalance the more serious aspects of my book with some humor and lightness. And since monster romances were already at the forefront of my mind, they inspired how I went about adding more fun to my story.
My female main character, Athena, believes revenge is a dish best served petty—and one of the ways she exacts vengeance on her starchy, judgmental neighbor Matthew is by blasting monster-fucking audiobooks at top volume through her open windows and into his. (He’s much less bothered by this than she thinks he is, by the way.)
For those scenes, which are some of my favorite bits of At First Spite, I made up an author named Sadie Brazen, and I described several of her books in detail. Two of my favorite Brazen creations: Desire, Unfiltered, the story of a guppy-man with washboard abs, strategically placed fins, and an underseas guppy-estate, who treats his human partner to jewel-encrusted scuba gear, and Loch Ness Master, which features a seductive, dominant Scottish lake monster and a wide-eyed American who stumbles into a cold loch…only to encounter a scientifically improbable and unceasingly horny creature of the deep.
Honestly? Those bits of At First Spite still make me laugh really, really hard. But my creations, however off-the-wall, are nothing compared to some actual romances and their truly unusual love interests, as you’ll see in the list I compiled below.***
***I haven’t personally read all of these books, so before diving into any of them, you might want to check the authors’ websites for a comprehensive list of trigger warnings.
1. Love, Laugh, Lich by Kate Prior features an undead Necromancer Lord and his executive assistant, and it turns out billowing cloaks can conceal a lot of enticing attributes!
2. Frankie's Funhouse by Beatrix Hollow is a horror-romance between a server at a children’s pizza arcade and a possessed animatronic, because sometimes sex and scares make a delicious combo!
3. Taken by the Horny MRI Machine by Philomena MacKinnon includes a doctor-patient-MRI machine three-way, and admit it: You’re curious as to how exactly that would even work!
4. The Physical Manifestation Of My Coworkers And Me Discussing Our Salaries Even Though Our Boss Told Us Not To Gets Me Off by Chuck Tingle is…pretty much what it says on the tin, and Tingle is a legend for very good reason!
5. My Pumpkin by Marina Simcoe is about a human woman who grows up alongside an odd-looking pumpkin…that turns into a three-tailed dog-like creature…that, once they’re both adults, transforms into a cyborg alien creature of some sort, and then they start banging a lot? Which is not a sentence I ever thought I’d write, but here we are, and I’m delighted to do it!
6. All He Wants for Christmas Is a Fingerling by JP Sayle tells the age-old tale of a wolf shifter and his mate…who happens to be a potato shifter (!!!), and I promise I’m not making that up!
7. And last but not least: Squeak by Vera Valentine stars an art student and her two love interests, who are…wait for it…balloon animal shifters, because sometimes fiction is amazing! (This is also an omegaverse tale.) (No, I’m not going to explain that term, because we’d all be here a very long time, and you deserve to discover it for yourself.) (Also, you need to know that Valentine’s follow-up book is called Squeal: The Squeakquel. ::slow-claps::)
As you can see, Olivia Dade was once again her dazzling self and honestly gave me some books to add to my TBR. Let's be real and say that some of these books weren't even on our radars but now my mind is changed. Heck if Olivia Dade recommends it or shares it, there's a high chance I'm going to read it.
Before you do that though, you need to make sure to grab a copy of her newest release which is At First Spite which is out now for all my fellow romance readers to enjoy. I'd like to thank Olivia Dade for taking the time to write up this post and making me love her even more in just one post. Also thank you to Avon for setting this up and allowing me to have one of my favorite authors write up a post on Culturess.
Let us know your favorite usual love interests and when you plan on picking up your copy of At First Spite.