I wanted to like this book a lot more than I eventually did. I liked the cover, I liked the premise, I liked that both MCs were BIPOC women in academia. In the end, it was nice and enjoyable but not excitingly so.
Despite being a brilliant art history student, Charlotte Hilaire failed to find a teaching job and is now a courier for a museum. While in Madrid, she looks up Adrianna Coates, on whom she had a big crush when their paths crossed at Yale and who is on a research sabbatical in Spain. The two women click immediately and what should have been a one-night stand turns into three nights and the beginning of a long-distance relationship.
I’m not sure I can explain why this book didn’t work for me. The characters are interesting but I never really cared about them. I didn’t mind the instalust, that’s never a real problem for me, even less so when the characters have actually met before, as is the case here. I was told there was chemistry between them and I was willing to believe it, but never felt it in a convincing way. It all felt a bit bland.
The author clearly knows the setting she chose – art history and academia – and that’s what I’ll remember, along with her take on queer women of colour in that environment. One scene stands out for me, that I won’t spoil, but it involves Charlotte speaking up despite the risks to her job and her future. Meet Me in Madrid could have been a very different book if this same passion had made it into more chapters.