Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: The Love Song of Sawyer Bell
SERIES: Tour Dates #1
AUTHOR: Avon Gale
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 234 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 25, 2017
Victoria “Vix” Vincent has only two weeks to find a replacement fiddle player for her band’s summer tour. When classically trained violinist Sawyer Bell shows up for an audition, Vix is thrilled. Sawyer is talented, gorgeous, funny, and excited about playing indie rock instead of Beethoven. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance, even though Vix tries to remember that Sawyer’s presence is only temporary.
Sawyer’s parents think she’s spending the summer months touring Europe with a chamber ensemble. But Sawyer is in dire need of a break from the competitiveness of Juilliard, and desperately wants to rediscover her love of music. Going on tour with her secret high school crush is just an added bonus. Especially when Vix kisses her one night after a show, and they discover that the stage isn’t the only place they have chemistry.
But the tour won’t last forever, and as the summer winds down, Sawyer has to make a tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart.
Their one meeting in high school may have not lasted more than a half hour, but Sawyer Bell has never forgotten the nice, if a bit gruff, cool-girl under the trees. Hell, Sawyer never even knew her name, but she knew that she’d never forget that small bit of kindness offered to her after a rather horrible day. And she never does. But it isn’t until Sawyer walks into an audition for a temporary replacement for a band’s fiddle player, that she learns that Victoria “Vix” Vincent is about to make an even bigger mark on her life.
For Vix, her band is her whole life. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about her friends or her lovers, just that there is always going to be one thing that she needs more than air, and it ain’t the boy or girl she is crushing on. Sawyer Bell, with her sweet as sin fiddle playing–and sinful sweet body–is going to test the hell out of that determination, though. Sawyer is only supposed to stay for the summer, so Vix should be safe, but even a few months in the company of the sweet, goofy, utterly irresistible woman is probably too long for Vix to not fall head over heals.
Neither woman wants to fight the attraction they feel for each other, but with the band’s tour lifestyle and Sawyer’s impending return to Julliard, they also know it can’t be a forever thing. Even if making music and love forever is sounding better with each passing day.
I went back and forth on whether to review this book for a while. I absolutely love Avon Gale’s writing, but sometimes books with female main characters can really get inside my head in a way that is less than pleasant. However, it’s Avon Gale. I kinda just had to read this, if only because I’ve read just about everything else she has ever written.
But I found that this story is so much more than just a book about two women falling in love, or even a story about a group of musicians on tour. It is funny and sweet–and sexy as all get out–and I found myself unable to stop reading, even when I really just needed to go to bed. It is a great romance, and a lovely story about finding yourself–and learning how to tell when to let old dreams go when it is time.
While there were a couple times when I had to let myself skim the sex scenes, because it was getting too in my head to be comfortable, I kinda didn’t want to. Because they were truly well written. A wonderful mix of humor and heat, and a sense that sex should be fun and not just about getting off. And the connection between them didn’t begin and end in those scenes, either. These two characters had some real chemistry between them from almost the first second they are on page. It was a real pleasure watching as they fell in love.
It was even fun watching them fall apart, as well. I really like how the problems with their relationship are very well worked into this story so that it all just doesn’t come out of nowhere near the end. Sometimes it can feel really abrupt and forced when everything is going along great and then the MCs have personality transplants just because it has hit the 80% mark. I hate those forced climaxes. Mostly because it requires the characters to act like complete morons for it to happen. Here, that really isn’t a problem. The issues between them are totally not beating you over the head at every second, but you can clearly see where the break is going to happen between them. And I really like that a certain character calls out one of the MCs for their rather shitty decision making (or lack of decision making). A lot of the time in these type of stories the MCs friends will act like the MC has zero fault in the resulting breakup even though they clearly contributed to the problem, and I find that really annoying.
Overall this a really great story, and I don’t know how often I’ll end up rereading it–since it is clearly going to be one of those books I have to be in the right mood for–but I’m pretty sure that it will be just as fun to read the second time as it was the first. There were also some really nice hints and cameos from and about the MCs in the second book–The Ballad of Whiskey Jax–which comes out next year. I can’t wait to read Jax’s story, because he was great in this one.
While The Love Song of Sawyer Bell might not be my normal cup of tea, it went down hot and sweat, and if you get the chance you should really give it a shot.