Two potion shops, one heated rivalry…until hate bubbles over into something else.
Any adventurer worth their sword knows about Ambrose Beake. The proud, quiet half-elf sells the best—and only—potions in the city.
Until a handsome new shopkeeper named Eli opens another potion shop across the street, throwing Ambrose’s peace and ledgers far off balance.
Within weeks, they’re locked in a war of price tags and products—Ambrose’s expertise against Eli’s effortless charm. Toil leads to trouble, the safety gloves come off, and right as their rivalry reaches a boiling point…
The mayor commissions them to brew a potion together.
The task is as complex as it is lucrative, pushing both men to the limits of their abilities and patience. Yet as the fires burn and cauldrons bubble…they find a different sort of chemistry brewing.
A Rival Most Vial is a cozy fantasy, rivals-to-lovers romance in the vein of Legends and Lattes.
Praise for A Rival Most Vial:
“This book wraps readers in a warm blanket of cozy fantasy. Whether you come for the well-written characters, the diverse queer rep, the intriguing story, the easy to understand world building, the smooth flow, or one of the other many amazing aspects of this book, you’re sure to fall in love. …
This book releases on March 20th, and you do not want to miss out. It may very well be the next big read in cozy fantasy.” – Author Amber Lewis
“I literally cannot say enough good things about this book. It was so warm and cozy, and as cheesy as this may sound, truly felt like a hug in book form.” – Mandy Purvis from The Incoherent Fangirl
“This book is the equivalent of curling up on a beanbag with a hot chocolate on a rainy day. Warm-hearted and easy going, ‘A Rival Most Vial’ has a fun cast and heapings of found family to top it all off.” – Emily, Goodreads Review
Meet the Characters
Ambrose Beake, CPM
Certified Potion Master and sole owner of The Griffin’s Claw Potions and Tinctures. You won’t find more advanced potions this side of the Deepriver.
(And POV #1 of our dual POV!)
Without fail, Ambrose is up at dawn. By the time the weak blue sunrise has turned golden in the shop, he’s dusted every bottle, checked every expiration date, and refreshed his security spells over the front window. He could do this in his sleep if he needed to—his old master had made sure of it during his apprenticeship—but he’s wide awake every time. He enjoys this. The simple routine, the safety in knowing everything is in its place.
When his customers arrive, he’ll be standing at his usual station. Behind the counter, spine straight, long hands neatly folded on the polished wood. Ice-blue eyes not welcoming, yet not repelling, either. He’ll answer every question of theirs in a soft voice, his words just as precisely measured as his potions. No one ever doubts his answers.
New owner of the old gardening shop, now renovated as Eli’s Elixirs. Grand opening coming soon!
(And POV #2 of our dual POV!)
Eli hates mornings. By the time he’s opened his eyes, the sun’s streaming in, the street’s bustling, and he’s got half a minute to stuff food into his face and unlock the shop.
Most mornings, he skids down the stairs with some fruit sticking out of his mouth and one arm jutting partway through his sleeve. He gives the potion expiration dates a once-over—not like he needs to check, he remembers what’s where and when—then flicks the lock on the shop door and slides behind the counter.
The customers come in not a minute after, and he greets them with a wide smile. How are they? What are they looking for? Are they interested in any potion chasers today? He’s got a new flavor that works great after those particularly nasty healing draughts.
As the customers cycle through, trading questions for purchases and gossip, Eli tells himself this is a good life. He’s finally got things handled. Money coming in. He could do this for a while.
The stone walls always feel a little bit tighter when he tells himself that.
Sole owner of The Whirling Wand Emporium at the corner of Rosemond and High Vine. Always taking new commissions!
Dawn feels lucky that her apartment faces the morning sun. At least, that’s what she tells herself after a late night at the tavern. Lucky. That’s it.
She spends the early hours shrugging on her bangles and arranging her hair. She organized the shop last night, like she always does. Makes the mornings more peaceful.
Her morning luck might feel forced, but her pride in her wares is genuine. Her bracelets clink softly as she sips coffee with one hand and dusts the wands with the other. Some of the more volatile wands spark as she brushes over their enchanted glass cases. She smiles at them and keeps going.
Most of her customers already know what they’re looking for when they arrive—many of them are long-time regulars. But the new ones? The ones who wander? Those are her favorite. They’ll listen to her ramble, answer questions about what they need—then leave with the perfect wand. Another regular in the making.
When the shop is quiet, she’ll just smile at it from behind the counter. All the wood and gems and twisted metal and sunlight. She feels lucky, she really does.
For more art, check out the Artwork page!
Content warnings for A Rival Most Vial are here.
Coming Up Next in The Side Quest Row Series:
A Captured Cauldron
A Draught for a Dragon