novelro·mancen.by Emily Skopov        
         
   



love·less (luv´lĭs) adj.

1. without any love. 2. slang pathetic; a big stupid loser.


 
Max Normane’s eye for the undiscovered literary gem is famous. And nowhere is this talent more evident than the way in which she presides over “URBANITY,” Los Angeles’ esteemed literary magazine.

Unfortunately, Max hasn’t yet been able to shape her own narrative into the most enviable of stories. Once having hoped to live a sweeping romantic epic, Max instead has floundered through a series of unsatisfying, heartbreaking vignettes. Now having reached her thirties, Max realizes that finding her tale’s true heart will require a page one rewrite of her expectations.

Thus it is that when Max meets Jake Buckley, a struggling but talented writer whose previous attempts at getting published have been sabotaged by his own egocentricities and narcissism, Max relies on her unique brand of editorial intuition to offer him a mutually beneficial solution of Faustian proportions: his seed in exchange for publication. In other words, she’ll give life to his “baby” if he gives life to hers.

Despite Jake’s shock and outrage at such blackmail, this bizarre opportunity for long-awaited literary success is too good for the frustrated artist to pass up. And upon completion of the transaction, both Max and Jake go their very separate ways: Max gives birth to their child and throws herself headfirst into the world of motherhood, while Jake lives his dream as a celebrated literary figure abroad in Europe.

But with the passage of time comes the realization that, despite achieving everything they ever wanted, both are feeling a void in their lives that neither can articulate. Only upon Jake’s return from Europe do they finally begin to accept that there can only be one satisfying, yet highly improbable, way to conclude this tale.

Yes, in this as in all romances, love must attempt to conquer all—even if that all includes insurmountable personal baggage and an impossibly irresistible French woman. And with Jake’s talents as an author, and Max’s as an editor, together they craft an ending as strange and sweet as they themselves.
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