Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale

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.

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Book 1
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Riptide Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars F/F bisexual

I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. I enjoyed the premise and most of the story. I'm a sucker for musicians, and the touring with the band, the performances, the other bands and band members they encountered were all spot on for me. Sawyer and Vix (Victoria), however, fell flat. Which bummed me out frankly because I wanted to love them. They were sweet, Sawyer being new to touring and to coming to terms with being a lesbian, leaving conservative Julliard to tour with an alt-country band, had all the makings of a great coming of age/sexuality story. Victoria on her own was also an interesting enough character with her "do it on her own" attitude and her open bisexuality. The two together just did not give me the spark I hoped for. The steamy scenes felt bossy, unsexy and... instructional??? I know telling your partner how to best meet your needs is necessary at times, but this felt very clinical. Still, beyond that, we had the common problems of relationships within bandmates and the problems that brings, along with hurt feelings. So the story had good bones. I think the set up for the next book was enough to intrigue me to read on.

This is the first book in a new series, and I am already looking forward to book #2. Based around a band on tour, any lover of rock band romance will enjoy the mixture of song writing, green room shenanigans, and life on the road in a van!

In this book, there is a very acceptable level of context building, which gives us a delicious insight into Victoria and Sawyer seven years ago. It then brings us right up to date with the disparities between the two of them all boiled down to a summer on tour and a chance at love. Any open-minded, but uninformed reader will find the treatment of the issues of sexuality and expectation thoughtful and considered. I enjoyed seeing the position from different viewpoints, and the way that the women used music and lyrics to try and sort out their feelings and as a method of communication.

A sweet story, with plenty of potential for engaging future storylines.

I loved this story so much! Avon Gale is one of my favourites and this story about a classically trained violinist who joins a rock band for a summer tour was an absolutely perfect read for me.

This isn’t a rock star romance. This is the story of an emerging band touring the country in a van, washing at truck stops, getting excited about nights in dodgy motels. The band’s existence is gritty and a little bit bohemian. I love watching new bands in small venues and this book captures the details perfectly – from the elation of a gig that goes well to the monotony of life on the road to the band’s frustration with a disengaged audience talking through their set.

The romance in the story starts with the secret crush Sawyer has had on the older Vix since high school. And then there’s a convenient hook up, an offer from Vix to teach Sawyer about lesbian sex. But beyond the hook-ups, Vix and Sawyer are becoming friends. They are making music together, creating together – and accidentally falling hard for each other. There aren’t any great romantic gestures – but I loved the mix of sexual chemistry and the ‘friendship caught fire’ feel to the connection between Vix and Sawyer.

I really, really loved the sex in this book. The connection between Sawyer and Vix is playful and fun but this story also celebrates the diversity of female sexuality in a way that I found moving (and very sexy). Avon Gale avoids the angsty, emotionally heavy conversations that tend to ruin most f/f sex scenes while also avoiding the ‘easy orgasm through penetration’ scenes that dominate most m/f romance. Sawyer and Vix are seriously hot together and I especially loved Sawyer’s delight as she explores her sexuality for the first time.

There are bigger themes beyond the romance in this story. At 21, Sawyer is at a crossroads in her life and she isn’t enjoying the life she has worked so hard to build for herself. Sawyer’s part of the story feels very new adult as she tries to find her place in the world and I loved the way her uncertainty plays out against Vix’s very fixed identity and her singular passion for her music.

AVON GALE wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it—even if it was a bit weirder than the other hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after—though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. By day, Avon is a hair stylist who loves her job, her clients, and the opportunity to spend her time being creative and making people feel happy and look fabulous.

When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music, or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (Tour Dates #1) by Avon Gale to read and review.

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