Book Review

A Series of Unfortunate Meet Cutes by Tori Alvarez

A Series of Unfortunate Meet Cutes Provides Nine Quickies to Satisfy Romance Lovers' Needs

Maria Chance
Jun 23rd, 2022 2:08 pm

A Series of Unfortunate Meet Cutes is an anthology made up of nine steamy, novella-length, romance stories. As the title implies, the theme that ties these nine stories together is a meet-cute between a man and a woman laden with awkwardness and sometimes eliciting secondhand embarrassment.

The stories are all, though rooted in the same theme and familiar tropes, distinctly different from each other, each one bringing a fresh new take on a different relationship. Though they all feature open-door sex, the writers have been considerate enough to add heat level icons and other disclaimers and warnings at the beginning of each story.

Though all stories feature romance and various depictions of sex, each writer brings their own thumbprint to each story, each voice shining through from their very own platform. There’s something for everyone here from the classically sentimental, second chances romance “Mi Sol, My Sun,” to the royalty romance in “Throne For It,” to the paranormal romance in “Daylight: A Witch of Kitchen Lake Novella,” and much more.

Though I hate to pick favorites, the story that stood out the most for me was “On the Rocks” by G.G. Gleason—a forced proximity, enemies-to-lovers romance that features a crestfallen Skyler who is hoping to get away from her life right at the brink of her split from her longterm boyfriend. She meets a sexy, bearded grump on the airplane headed to Sedona. It’s in that same plane where she bumps into her ex who’s also traveling to Sedona with none other than his "longterm" girlfriend, Becky (with the good hair, mhmm). Mr. Grumpy, whose real name is Seth, then swoops in to help Skylar save face in front of her douchebag, cheating ex-boyfriend. Out of gratitude and because he's insisting—and let’s face it, because she’s digging the beard and the muscles so badly contained within his clothing—Skylar allows Seth to stay with her at her gran’s old house for the duration of his stay in Sedona.

The attraction between the two is palpable and completely undeniable. In a matter of hours, they give in to their desires, and a lovely story where the two characters make space for each other and learn from each other ensues. G.G. Gleason pulls off an otherwise wild plot with tact and a masterfulness of language that makes every second of it absolutely believable. “On the Rocks” is a complex novella of insecurity, animalistic attraction, and finding someone who can see you at your most vulnerable and not just accept you as you are but support you as you grow.

Thought this was my favorite story, it doesn’t dim the light of the other novellas. Once again, there’s something for everyone here, and this is simply the one that spoke to me the most.

One thing to keep in mind when reading this anthology—advice for the leisure reader and not the reviewer who is trying to cram several ARCs in one month and other novel editing work (please ignore the bright neon arrow flashing over my head)—is that this anthology (and others of its type, of course) are probably best enjoyed slowly, over time, with much breathing space in between and not in a marathon sprint. Otherwise, you’ll be left feeling like Joey and Chandler at the end of that episode where they refuse to turn off the channel with free porn, letting it play all day (where are my fellow Friends fans at?) This, my friends, is a protip.

If a quick steamy romance is something you’re looking for, check out A Series of Unfortunate Meet Cutes. There’s a variety of tropes and styles to choose from—something to satisfy lovers of romance stories all around.

Many thanks to Tori Alvarez, Rina Dayne, G.G. Gleason, Maria Ann Germain, Kelly Kay, Marisa Mohi, K. Rodriguez, Kathryn Trattner, and Melissa Williams for providing me with an ARC of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

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About the reviewer

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Maria Chance
  • Freelance Developmental Editor
  • Book Reviewer & Editor

A self-proclaimed hermit and potential cat hoarder, Maria lives in Virginia where she writes, proofreads and copy edits as a freelancer. Her longstanding love affair with books began when her mother would fall asleep reading bedtime stories to her. (Don't worry; she was sure to wake her up so she could finish.) Now, as an adult, Maria struggles with a reading vice that has often threatened the hygiene of her home. On the few occasions that her nose isn't buried in a book, she enjoys exploring new cities, having margaritas with her sister, and curling up with a book--wait, what?